Number of "Best Value" Law Schools Up


National Jurist Releases List of Best Value Law Schools

So where do you get the biggest bang for your buck?
When it comes to law school, you may want to check out the “A Team” – the University of Alabama and the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville – which ranked #1 and #2 in National Jurist’s 2013 ranking of the “Best Value” law schools. While the 2014 rankings are still three months away, National Jurist has published the names of the schools that will be included on the list.
When it comes to value, law school numbers are swelling. This year, 53 schools were listed as having the best value, up from 47 last year. Moreover, private schools have improved by keeping costs down and placement high, with six schools (Brigham Young University, Baylor University, Boston College,  Duquesne University, the University of Notre Dame, and Ohio Northern University) cracking the list of 53. Last year, only Brigham Young University was included.
So what constitutes a best value law school? National Jurist applies a rating system that weighs criteria like placement rate (35%), tuition (25%), average debt (15%), bar passage rate (15%), and cost of living (10%). From there, schools are given academic letter grades, with “Best Value” statuses conferred to schools that earn a B+ or better. Most top 20 “Best Value” law schools were based in state flagship universities such as Louisiana State University, the University of Nebraska, the University of South Dakota, and the University of Kentucky.
Of course, these names shouldn’t surprise anyone following the law school beat. Brigham Young graduates enjoy one of the lowest debt loads of any school. Similarly, law graduates from the University of Alabama can expect a modest $71,098 debt, with nearly a third of graduates reporting no debt, according to U.S. News and World Report. Placement was the main strength at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (85.6%), Louisiana State University (83.9%), the University of Kentucky (83.7%), and the University of Nebraska (82.0%). Florida State University and the University of Georgia, which ranked #9 and #11 in last year’s National Jurist rankings, also reported lower-than-average debt and higher-than-average placement based on U.S. News data.
Here is a listing (in alphabetical order) of the 53 schools deemed “Best Value” by National Jurist:

Baylor University University of Akron University of Missouri-Columbia
Boston College University of Alabama University of Nebraska
Brigham Young University University of Arizona University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Duquesne University University of Arkansas-Fayetteville University of New Mexico
Florida International University University of Arkansas-Little Rock University of North Carolina
Florida State University University of Cincinnati University of Oklahoma
Georgia State University University of Florida University of Pittsburgh
University of Indiana-Indianapolis University of Georgia University of South Carolina
Louisiana State University University of Houston University of Tennessee
Notre Dame Law School University of Idaho University of Texas
Ohio Northern University University of Illinois University of Tulsa
Ohio State University University of Iowa University of Utah
Rutgers University-Camden University of Kansas University of Washington
SUNY Buffalo Law School University of Kentucky University of Wisconsin
Temple University University of Louisville University of Wyoming
Texas Tech University University of Memphis Wayne State University
University of California-Davis University of Minnesota William and Mary Law
University of California-Irvine University of Mississippi

Sources: National Jurist, Above the Law

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