most affordable law schools in the united states

10 Most Affordable Law Schools in the United States

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Finding the most affordable law schools in the United States can be tough, especially when a student understands that the United States has 237 law schools to choose from.

Individuals who do not have the financial means to pay a $43,000 yearly tuition cost must find a school that will give them the degree they want as well as a road to sitting for the bar examination, which is required to practice law.

In the United States, there are a variety of affordable law schools, the majority of which are accredited by the American Bar Association. Because ABA clearance is required to sit for the bar, this is an excellent first step toward obtaining a cheap degree.

These institutions also provide a wide range of specialties and degrees, making them an excellent choice for students who already know the specialization they want to follow as a career. The ten institutions listed below are all excellent choices and will serve as a good beginning point for those who want to pursue their career in law.

Also read: 15 Best Community Colleges In Canada For International Students

most affordable law schools in the united states

 

Criteria for ranking

The National Center for Education Statistics and its publicly available College Navigator Database, as well as information based on each school’s average yearly tuition and its U.S. News & World Report Best Law School Ranking, were used to construct this point-based ranking.

The first 40 institutions were chosen after a search for the most affordable law schools. The schools were then given points based on their average yearly tuition rate, which includes both in-state and out-of-state tuition fees, as well as their Best Law School Ranking, as shown below:

TUITION
Under $15,000: 3 points
$15,001 – $24,999: 2 points
$25,000 and above: 1 point

U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: BEST LAW SCHOOL RANKING
Top 100 or more: 1 point
Top 75: 2 points
Top 50: 3 points
Top 25: 4 points

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SUMMARY RANKING OF TOP 10 MOST AFFORDABLE LAW SCHOOLS:

  1. The University of Arkansas
  2. The University of Alabama
  3. The University of Mississippi
  4. The University of Georgia
  5. The University of Montana
  6. The University of North Dakota
  7. The University of the District of Columbia
  8. CUNY School of Law
  9. Southern University Law Center
  10. The University of Wyoming

most affordable law schools in the united states

Ranking Top 10 Most Affordable Law Schools

 

1. The University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

The University of Arkansas has an average cost of $13,109.

Points: 4 points

The University of Arkansas School of Law, one of the most affordable law schools in the United States, has been rated one of the top 50 public law schools by U.S. News and World Report, as well as one of the “Best Values in Legal Education” by National Jurist Magazine.

This is a small public law school with a nationally renowned faculty and a variety of internship and externship opportunities. Students can pursue a JD, MLL, or an accelerated JD program for foreign lawyers, as well as certificate programs and dual degree alternatives for those who match the requirements.

Concentrations are available to students in the JD program, and they will be based on their indicated area of interest. A minimum of 90 credit hours of coursework, internships, an externship, seminars, and a set of qualifying tests are required to graduate from the JD program. Civil Procedure, Contracts, and Criminal Law are examples of courses.

Average Program Cost: $13,109
In-State: $8,094
Out-of-State: $18,124.80
U.S. News and World Report Ranking:
#88 (tie) in Best Law Schools

Link to school website

Also read: Cheapest Universities in Ukraine for International Students

 

2. The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

The University of Alabama requires a minimum of 90 credit hours to complete a JD.
Points: 4 points

The University of Alabama has one of the most affordable law schools in the United States. Small class sizes, a high bar exam pass rate, excellent internship and externship placements in federal settings, and foreign programs distinguish this school.

In reality, this school provides over 12 different programs, including JDs, combined degree programs, master’s degrees in law, and a doctorate in legal sciences. Students might also go to Australia, Israel, or India to study.

Students must complete a minimum of 90 credit hours, one internship, one externship, at least three clinicals in their chosen concentration, and a set of comprehensive tests to get their JD.

Contact the school’s admissions office for further information on these degrees and their requirements.

Average Program Cost: $32,740
In-State: $23,610
Out-of-State: $41,870
U.S. News and World Report Ranking:
#27 (tie) in Best Law Schools

Link to school website

 

 

3. The University of Mississippi (University, Mississippi)

The University of Mississippi requires 89 credit hours of coursework for a JD.

Points: 2 points

The School of Law at the University of Mississippi is one of the most affordable law schools in the United States available. The Law School underwent a Strategic Planning Process in 2015 in order to grow and improve the School’s JD program.

This public law school now offers a practice-oriented degree that includes legal research classes, internships, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities.

Students have the option of getting a low-cost JD or a Master of Laws in Air and Space Law. A minimum of 89 credit hours of coursework, clinicals, seminars, an internship, research projects, and a set of comprehensive tests are required for the low-cost JD degree.

Contact the institution directly for more information about this degree and course offerings, including concentrations.

Average Program Cost: $26,581
In-State: $16,550
Out-of-State: $36,612
U.S. News and World Report Ranking:
#133 (tie) in Best Law Schools

Link to school website

most affordable law schools in the united states

 

4. The University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)

The University of Georgia offers 20 law degree concentrations and is one of the most affordable law schools in the United States.

Points: 4 points

The School of Law at the University of Georgia is ideal for students who want to be prepared for success by professionals who have turned to academia. UGA is known around the country for its commitment to academic excellence as well as practical learning opportunities.

It’s no surprise that it’s one of the best most affordable law schools in the United State, with small class sizes and a thorough curriculum. This program offers a JD, a Master of Laws, and a Master of Legal Studies to students.

Health Law and Policy, Estate Planning, and Public Interest Law are just a few of the approximately 20 majors available for this degree.

Those pursuing the JD, the school’s most popular degree, must finish a minimum of 88 semester credit hours, as well as an internship, clinicals, and a set of comprehensive courses. Civil Procedure, Legal Research, and Criminal Law are examples of courses.

Average Program Cost: $26,649
In-State: $17,430
Out-of-State: $35,868
U.S. News and World Report Ranking:
#32 (tie) in Best Law Schools

Link to school website

Also read: Cheapest Universities in Ukraine for International Students

 

5. The University of Montana (Missoula, Montana)

The University of Montana has an average program cost of $22,807 and is one of the most affordable law schools in the United States.
Points: 3 points

Students at the University of Montana will be able to obtain a legal degree from one of the country’s most affordable schools. This school was founded in 1911 and has been a leader in legal education for the past century, focusing on the practical training that students need to become professional lawyers.

This cheap school has been at the vanguard of tackling and solving the legal difficulties that affect the state, with specialist programs in Environmental Law and Natural Resources, Indian Law, and Conflict Resolution.

Students will notice that this school and its degree options, including dual degrees, need a significant amount of hands-on experience.

Coursework, simulation courses, Lawyering Seminars, internships, clinicals, externships, and comprehensive exams must total a minimum of 89 credit hours. Legal Writing, Constitutional Law, and Contracts are examples of courses.

Average Program Cost: $22,807
In-State: $13,177
Out-of-State: $32,436
U.S. News and World Report Ranking:
#119 (tie) in Best Law Schools

Link to school website

most affordable law schools in the united states

 

6. The University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, North Dakota)

The University of North Dakota has an average program cost of $16,896.
Points: 2 points

The University of North Dakota is one of the most affordable law schools in the United States. This is a tiny public law school with instructors that have substantial experience in the profession, which students will appreciate.

With a student body of roughly 250, our school provides both valuable and intimate educational experiences for students who are eager to pursue their ambitions of becoming lawyers.

This cheap school offers academically demanding and experiential learning classes; the program involves three years of real-world experience, classroom lectures, Lawyering Seminars, trial court hearings, and more.

A minimum of 89 credit hours of coursework, an internship, an externship, competitions, and comprehensive tests will be expected of students. Contacting the school’s admissions office for more information is a good idea.

Average Program Cost: $16,896
In-State: $10,464
Out-of-State: $23,328

Link to school website

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7. The University of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)

The University of the District of Columbia has an average program cost of $18,200.
Points: 2 points

The University of the District of Columbia is one of the most affordable law schools in the United States. The David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia is dedicated to public service and has a robust community service program that sees D.C. residents get over 100,000 hours of legal assistance.

As part of their degree, students perform pro bono legal work, which is an important aspect of their education as they learn their profession in the nation’s capital. Small class sizes, as well as full-time and part-time evening programs, are available to students, ensuring that education is open to everyone, regardless of their schedule.

This institution offers both a JD and a Master of Laws at an inexpensive price, allowing students to choose the best path for themselves. This curriculum is designed to give required courses for the first two years, followed by clinical experience, internships, and externships in the student’s chosen concentration.

A minimum of 89 credit hours of coursework, clinical practice, an internship, an externship, and comprehensive tests are required for this degree. International Human Rights, Race and the Law, and Gender and Sexual Orientation Law are examples of courses.

Average Program Cost: $18,200
In-State: $12,134
Out-of-State: $24,266

Link to school website

 

8. CUNY School of Law (Long Island City, New York)

CUNY School of Law requires 89 credit hours of coursework to earn a JD.
Points: 2 points

CUNY School of Law is another school on the list of most affordable law schools in the United States. This institution provides students with a variety of experiential learning opportunities as well as the opportunity to specialize in their chosen subject.

Because of the school’s 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and its proximity to Manhattan, this institution has continuously been listed among the Top 10 Law Schools in clinical training. The New York State Board of Regents has recognized this cheap school, which is also accredited by the American Bar Association.

This school is where students go to get their JD. Before graduating, students must finish three years of hard work, which includes a minimum of 89 credit hours of classroom, Lawyering Seminars, clinics, and internships.

Public Institutions in Context, Law and Family Relations, and Civil Procedure are examples of courses.

Average Program Cost: $19,950
In-State: $15,000
Out-of-State: $24,900

Link to school website

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9. Southern University Law Center (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

The Southern University Law Center has an average yearly tuition cost of $22,790. Points: 2 points

The Southern University Law Center is one of the most affordable law schools in the United States, it offers an excellent and cheap JD program for law students. This law school has a long history of dedication to its students as well as political activism, and it is currently ranked among the top five most affordable law schools in the United States.

The American Bar Association and the American Association of Law Schools both accredit this school. It is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, not far from New Orleans, where students frequently intern in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

This school offers a JD plus combined degree program, allowing individuals interested in public administration and business administration to obtain both degrees at the same time.

For graduation, students will be required to complete a minimum of 89 credit hours of coursework, practicums, an internship, and an externship. Commercial Paper, Criminal Law, and Legal Analysis and Writing are some examples of courses.

Average Program Cost: $22,790
In-State: $16,490
Out-of-State: $29,090

Link to school website

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10. The University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyoming)

The University of Wyoming has a small student enrollment, Points: 2 points. This is one of the most affordable law schools in the United States.

One of the greatest places to earn an excellent and affordable JD degree is at the University of Wyoming. With only roughly 225 students enrolled each year, students will find that the institution is small, allowing for closer ties with faculty and staff.

This also implies that students are more likely to receive practical hands-on training and experience, making it easier for them to grasp how to apply their legal knowledge in real-world situations. Students will have the opportunity to participate in Law Week, observe court procedures, conduct research, and much more.

This institution offers a number of affordable degree alternatives, including joint degrees and graduate certificates, which allow students to specialize within their degrees. The popular JD program at the institution is demanding and takes three years of full-time study to complete.

For graduation, students must complete 89 credit hours of study, pass the First Year Law Student Exam, and participate in a range of real-world training options like internships, clinics, practicums, and more. Land Use Law, Bar Review, and the Cambridge Summer Law Institute are examples of courses.

Average Program

Cost: $25,148
In-State: $16,775
Out-of-State: $33,520
U.S. News and World Report Ranking:
#133 (tie) in Best Law Schools

Link to school website

 

most affordable law schools in the united states

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What are the Career Options for a Law Degree?
  • How Much Can You Earn in This Field?
  • What are the Various Disciplines of Law?
  • Are There Different Specializations for a Law Degree?
  • What are Some of the Requirements to be Accepted Into Law School?
  • Do You Have to go to Law School in Order to Become a Lawyer?

How Much Can You Earn in This Field?

This is one of the reasons we packaged this article 10 most affordable law schools in the United States. A lawyer’s earning potential is determined by his or her field of specialization, demand for their services, and the size of the employer or firm that hires them.

However, a law graduate’s starting income is currently around $75,803. This figure covers occupations in both the corporate and public sectors. It just includes pay and excludes all other forms of compensation.

The wage range for all legal specializations is $30,000 to $250,000. This category comprises entry-level and senior-level roles, as well as individuals who have chosen to create their own law firms after gaining experience in the industry.

In fact, depending on who their clients are and what type of law they practice, lawyers can earn upwards of $1 million dollars each year.

It should also be emphasized that the quality of the law school a student attends can influence a professional’s compensation. Students who graduate from top law schools around the country can expect to start their careers with a better beginning pay than those who do not.

This is especially true if the graduate excelled during their internships, cooperated on papers, and other activities.

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What are the Various Disciplines of Law?

This is one of the reasons we packaged this article 10 most affordable law schools in the United States. History, politics, criminal justice, international relations, economics, sociology, culture, religion, civil rights, philosophy, and the military all play a role in law.

Because law is defined as the set of rules and standards that govern society, it’s crucial to understand how many different disciplines contributed to the development of the legal system that exists in the United States today.

Because each discipline has a function to play, professionals will find that their studies mirror these domains.

However, because law is a specialized profession, students must choose a speciality before enrolling in law school.

Students can choose from criminal law, civil law, humanitarian law, international relations law, financial law, contract law, and other specialities, which will be explored in greater depth in another section.

These are all subdisciplines within the subject that provide students with a fulfilling career path.

Students will notice that, while the study of law encompasses a wide range of specializations, they are all influenced by politics, history, and economics.

The progress of law in the United States is a direct result of the country’s relationship with the United Kingdom, which gave birth to the American legal system, known as common law across the pond.

Most judicial issues have always been influenced by politics and economy, particularly at the federal level. In order to stay current on how the profession is growing, students will need to keep an eye on any trends that appear in their chosen field of law.

Are There Different Specializations for a Law Degree?

This is one of the reasons we packaged this article 10 most affordable law schools in the United States. Yes, law school offers a variety of specialities, the majority of which fall within the Juris Doctor or Master of Law degree classifications. Because a student’s career choice sets the tone for their study, specializations are critical to their success in law school.

The first step in having a great law school experience is determining which specialization is suitable for them.

International, constitutional, criminal, contract, tort, and property law are only a few of the well-known disciplines in law. Specializations in public international law, human rights law, family law, immigration law, space law, admiralty law, corporation law, and environmental law, for example, go even further.

Students should take their time picking the law school that best suits their needs, as specializations will lead to diverse experiences both in law school and after graduation.

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to specialities is that some fields, such as cybercrime and space law, are still evolving. This isn’t to say that there isn’t a need for lawyers in these industries; there is.

The truth is that more lawyers are required to resolve the issues that have already been raised. Students that pursue these specialities will face a difficult path ahead of them, but they will be rewarded for being early adopters in their industry.

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What are Some of the Requirements to be Accepted Into Law School?

This is one of the reasons we packaged this article 10 most affordable law schools in the United States. In the United States, law schools generally have a set of prerequisites, but on a sliding scale, with more competitive schools requiring higher qualifications.

More non-competitive schools, on the other hand, will be able to meet the requirements. Every law school applicant must meet the following prerequisites.

The first criterion is that you have an undergraduate degree from an authorized college or university. In this context, accreditation refers to regional accreditation, a distinction provided by organizations charged with assessing whether institutions reach a high standard.

Aside from that, the degree’s field of study makes no difference. While many students pursue degrees in political science or foreign studies, a degree in science, languages, or another field may be equally valuable.

In any event, law schools are more concerned with whether a student has completed a diverse set of challenging courses and performed well than with the total degree designation.

 

A student’s grade point average, or GPA, is also a prerequisite. Because most law schools require a minimum GPA of 3.5, this is a critical statistic on a student’s application.

The real GPA average of admitted students, on the other hand, tends to be greater than this figure. To satisfy the minimal criteria, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5; if they have already decided on law school, they should aim for a 4.0 GPA.

The LSAT, which stands for Law School Admission Test, is the third criterion that most students fear. This is a standardized test that every applicant to law school in the United States must pass.

Students in an undergraduate program should begin studying for this test during their junior year so that they can take it the summer before their senior year. This allows them to take the LSAT once and then retake it whenever they need to.

The LSAT score is one of the most important variables in determining who will be admitted to law school, so it is critical to achieve the highest possible score.

As part of the application procedure, letters of recommendation are also necessary. These letters must come from a professor or a professional acquaintance; letters from family members or friends, even if the student has worked with them professionally, do not count.

The letters are particularly beneficial when they come from a professor who can send a letter to the school describing how the student has contributed to the classroom and their abilities and talents.

A personal statement is the final criterion for a law school application. This is a creative piece of writing that should showcase a student’s personality as well as their accomplishments and goals for attending law school.

Do You Have to go to Law School in Order to Become a Lawyer?

This is one of the reasons we packaged this article 10 most affordable law schools in the United States. It is not essential to attend law school in order to practice law. The path to obtaining a license to practice law, on the other hand, is just as long, rigorous, and demanding as the one to law school. More importantly, students should be aware of how difficult it is to become a lawyer without a law school diploma.

To begin with, the vast majority of lawyers who obtain their license have finished a law school program. This is for a good reason: only four jurisdictions in the United States allow future lawyers to take the bar test without first completing law school.

California, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington are the four states in question. In these states, only around a quarter of non-lawyers passed the bar exam and were granted the ability to practice law. In fact, all four states are in the top 20 most difficult states to pass the bar test, with California leading the pack with a 54.3 percent pass rate.

Reading the law is an alternative path available in the previously stated states. This is the route that non-law school students must take, and it is difficult:

For four years, professionals must serve as an apprentice with a practicing attorney or judge, filing reports, taking depositions, writing case briefs, and more. They must also pass the First-Year Law Students’ Examination, which is required of all law students.

They must also pass responsibility examinations and any other assignments that their mentor deems important for their education. A professional can only sit for the bar exam if all of above has been completed.

Professionals would point out that while passing the bar test without a degree is challenging, it is not impossible. There is a significant amount of effort required, but nothing that an ambitious individual cannot handle.

While an apprenticeship takes a long time to complete, it is substantially less expensive than a law school study; some estimates put the cost difference between the two courses at $145,000.

Law school is a demanding program that prepares people to take the bar test and practice law in the United States. It is not for everyone; students must be motivated, dedicated, and driven to succeed.

Professionals that work in legal environments will find it to be a rewarding career. Students who want to go to law school but don’t want to break the bank will find this list of the most affordable law schools useful in their quest for the ideal school for their study.

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