US News ranks law schools on basis of graduate starting salary

March 31, 2011 US News, those inventive list makers, has come up with yet another ranking system for prospective law students: “10 Law Degrees With Most Financial Value at Graduation.” The list aims to guide students towards law schools whose graduates “have the highest first-year salaries relative to debt load.”

As US News puts it: “With tuition increasing at nearly every law school for the 2011-12 school year, incoming students may want to consider the initial value a law degree will render. A legal education can cost upwards of $150,000, and students, on average, graduate from law school with $93,359 in debt, according to an analysis of school-reported data to U.S. News.

The time it takes to recover your student debt can vary widely by job choice, since median starting salaries in the private sector are, on average, about twice as large as median public sector starting salaries. Law school graduates in the private sector earned an average median wage of $91,708 in 2010, according to the schools’ self-reported data; in the public sector, graduates garnered an average median of $49,831.”

So, the top ranking schools:
1. Southern University Law Center
2. Georgia State University College of Law
3. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey—Camden School of Law
4. Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law
5. Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School
6. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill
7. University of Texas—Austin School of Law (tied for 7th place)
7. University of Cincinnati College of Law (tied for 7th place)
8. Loyola University New Orleans School of Law
9. University of Georgia School of Law
10. University of California—Berkeley School of Law

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