Good Grief: These Law School Debt Per Job Numbers Are Ugly
What do you think you would do with $389,000 in debt? Eat rice and beans for the rest of your life while working three jobs? As family members to help pay it off? Flee the country?
Unfortunately, and startlingly, this is the kind of debt many law school graduates are taking on after graduation. A little over a month ago, M7 Financial put together their list of the Credit Ratings for Law Schools. They took public data and analyzed prominent law schools like banks. Based on that data, they decided to look at lower ranked schools. They then reported the findings to Above the Law.
M7 told Above the Law, “What we found shocked us.” They found in 2013, almost 1,500 law students graduated from five law schools and borrowed about $200 million to pursue their law degrees. What’s more, only about 500, or 35 percent, of those graduates held full-time long term jobs requiring a J.D. nine months after graduation. The average student debt was $389,000 per each employed graduate.
The five schools are Thomas Jefferson School of Law, North Carolina Central Law School, Whittier College, Golden Gate University and Florida Coastal School of Law. The example given on how the numbers were crunched came from Thomas Jefferson. In 2013, Thomas Jefferson had 293 graduates. Out of those graduates, 41 percent, or about 120, had full-time jobs nine months after graduation. Out of all graduates, 91.1 percent, or about 267, borrowed money. The average amount of money borrowed was $172,445.
The estimated aggregate amount borrowed is $46,029,537 and that number divided by the number of employed graduates is $383,164. Voila. Quite possibly the saddest high school-level math word problem. So, if you graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2013 and have a job, the average debt you could owe is $383,164.
But, wait, it could be worse. Besides North Carolina Central Law School, which had an average of $183,234, all of the other schools listed above had higher amounts than Thomas Jefferson. Florida Coastal had an average of $400,301. Whittier College had $442,189 and Golden Gate University had an (almost) unreal, $460,870. That’s a heaping pile of debt.
Just when we thought law school data couldn’t be crunched in a more depressing fashion, Above the Law and M7 Financial had to go and do this. Thanks a lot.
Source: Above the Law
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