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ABA States That Law Degree Won’t Solve Financial Woes

When the American Bar Association starts persuading financially strapped law students to look for a different career, you know that we have reached a new era when it comes to college costs and the potential salaries expected after graduation.

The ABA recently released a statement on their website that encourages college bound students to think twice before going to law school. Based upon current economic conditions and a deplorable job market, the ABA states that going to law school could become more of a financial burden verses a financial windfall.

In 2008, a study was completed on the actual costs of obtaining a law degree. It was estimated that the average law student attending a public college would absorb over $71,000 in education loans. Law students choosing to go to a private college would borrow over $91,000. You have to keep in mind that this does not even include what they spend on their undergraduate degree. Karen Sloan stated in a 2009 article that public law schools are increasing tuition by 10-25%, so the numbers above are only going to get higher with each year that passes.

While the ABA appears to be dissuading law students from entering into the profession, they are quick to offer the following solutions to help aspiring students make ends meet while attending law school:

  • attend a local law school and live at home
  • go to a public school where one can get in-state tuition
  • enroll in a part time program and continue to work
  • carefully control costs while in law school
  • compare your expected salary to your expected debt to make sure you are making a sound financial decision to attend law school

I have to give credit where credit is due. It is a bold stance for the ABA to take when they start dashing future students’ hopes of fame and fortune in a law profession. However, the reality found in the ABA’s position of full disclosure when it comes to the financial aspect of a law degree is to be commended. It is far better for a student to decide early on if a change in career path is necessary prior to investing in a degree that will not support their ability to repay any accrued education debt and maintain some sort of life style that doesn’t involve living in their parent’s basement…

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2 Responses to “ABA States That Law Degree Won’t Solve Financial Woes”

  1. It’s kind of funny in a sad way – “No, nore more! We already have enough lawyers!”. At the same time, I hope that this doesn’t disuade those who have had their hearts set on becoming a lawyer since before they could remember. I’m sure we’ll see an upturn once the economy improves though.


  1. […] in the past that discussed weighing the pros and cons when it comes to going to law school. One of my more recent articles even highlighted a press release from the American Bar Association that was discouraging people […]

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