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Stanford Law School

This Prestigious Law School Has The Largest Projected Debt

Debt and law school go hand-in-hand.

In recent years, law school debt has reached astronomical heights, with a majority of law school graduates carrying debt loads that exceed their starting salaries.

While many believe that a more prestigious law school results in lower debt, new data by Law School Transparency shows otherwise.


In fact, Stanford Law grads had the highest full-price projected debt at $389,673. Law School Transparency also tracked Stanford’s year over year tuition change for full-time students. The site found that the price has increased on average +3.5% a year since 2015.

The data is based on 2018 graduates using employment score, firm size and type, number of grads, and enrollment.

New York University had the second-highest full-price projected debt for students starting in 2020 at $377,394 with Harvard University coming in third-highest at $373,612.

At Stanford University, a private school, tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year is priced at $64,554, with cost of living averaging around $39,177.

Check out the top 10 schools that had the highest full-price projected debt for students starting in 2020 below.


While Stanford holds the highest projected debt, it’s also within the top 20 schools for employment score, according to Law School Transparency, with an 85% employment rate for 2018 grads.

Compare that to a law school, such as the University of Puerto Rico, that has the lowest projected debt at $98,126 but only a 23.4% employment score.

In addition, most law schools offer grants to offset tuition. At Stanford Law, for example, 46.5% of students receive some financial aid, with a quarter of the class paying half or less of tuition.

While prestigious law schools, like Stanford, still are able to successfully get grads jobs, experts say the law school industry’s debt problem is hurting the profession.

“We are pricing future members of the profession out,” Kyle McEntee, the executive director of Law School Transparency, tells the Wall Street Journal. “That negatively impacts diversity, access to justice and ultimately the rule of law.”

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Law School Transparency