Paying for law school is often an issue for students long after they graduate and go into practice. The cost of earning a juris doctor degree (JD) and becoming an attorney can potentially result in the student being in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Paying off the debt potentially takes a considerable amount of time before the new lawyer can enjoy earning any money that does not go towards repaying the debts.
Choosing an affordable law school rather than attending an expensive school offers the opportunity for law school students to avoid the extensive debt and the stress that possibly results from trying to pay for attending a more expensive law school.
Top 5 Most Affordable Law Schools
|1||University of South Dakota||Vermillion, South Dakota|
|2||University of Nebraska College of Law||Lincoln, Nebraska|
|3||University of North Dakota||Grand Forks, North Dakota|
|4||University of Montana||Missoula, Montana|
|5||Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University||Tallahassee, Florida|
Why Choose to Earn a Law Degree at a Most Affordable Law School Option?
One of the greatest benefits of attending the most affordable law school program compared to a school with the big name and the largest price tag is that students still receive the same high-quality level of education that is provided to students at the less expensive schools.
Other benefits of choosing one of the most affordable law school options include:
- Law schools with lower tuition rates possibly have lower costs for fees and other expenses compared to more expensive law schools
- More affordable law schools are often smaller with fewer students which provides for more personalized support from both faculty members and peers
- Affordable law schools typically have the same types of resources provided to students attending more expensive law schools
- Graduating from a less expensive law school likely means having less debt
Affordable law schools sometimes offer program options that may not be available at larger, more expensive law schools, or that are less expensive compared to other schools. One example is that less expensive law schools sometimes offer courses in an online format.
It is important that individuals who are considering going to law school still complete only an American Bar Association (ABA) approved school. Although affordable law programs are available that are not ABA-approved, you do not want to discover that you cannot sit for the Bar Exam or practice law in the U.S. or in a particular specialty area. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explains that most states require that a student graduates from a school that is approved by the American Bar Association in order to practice law in that particular state.
Affordable law school options are available that help students save money and reach their career goals. The tuition listed for each school covers only the cost of instruction unless stated in the description for a particular school.
20 Most Affordable Law Schools
University of South Dakota
Our top-ranked school is the affordable Juris Doctor degree program at the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law. USD Knudson School of Law prepares students for a lifelong law career all over the country. The school offers several tracks that provides the knowledge necessary to excel in the specialization. Some career tracks include Civil Litigation, Business Law, Corporate Law (remove) add Indian Law, Employment Law, Criminal Law and Procedure and Estate Planning.
The first year of study consists of exposure to theoretical concepts, while the second and third years of study includes approved courses, experiential learning opportunities, and a bar preparation course. With a small, close-knit community, USD Knudson School of Law tailors your JD to help you meet your educational goals.
University of Nebraska College of Law
Earn your affordable law degree at the University of Nebraska College of Law even though it is a Big 10 school. The well-known school understands that its desire to educate inclusive leaders that advance justice, solve problems and serve with integrity does not have to cost a small fortune.
Students have the opportunity to earn their juris doctor degree or to earn a first-of-its kind Space, Cyber, & Telecommunications Law degree. The specialized degree focuses on the fact that as technology advances and changes, laws and regulations that protect citizens and that serves industries must change as well.
University of North Dakota
Students attending the University of North Dakota School of Law engage in the school’s ‘practice-ready approach’ to education with experiential learning opportunities. Students also gain skills and knowledge through the trial teams and moot court opportunities.
The high-quality education, coupled with the affordable price and the intimate learning environment are just some reasons that students choose this school. The law school indicates that it has one of the lowest costs of attendance in the country among the ranked law schools.
University of Montana
At the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, students thrive in an environment that integrates theory with practical experience, graduating ready to practice the law.
Third-year students are provided with faculty-supervised, experience-based learning in clinics. The clinic experience gives students the opportunity to pull together skills acquired in the first two years and apply it. They represent real clients with actual legal problems in areas such as criminal law, environmental and natural resource law, American Indian law, bankruptcy law, family law and judicial practice.
Over 33 percent of graduates were placed in judicial clerkships, and more than 92 percent of the law students pass the bar exam on their first attempt.
The cost of tuition at this school does include some fees.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (Florida A&M) School of Law requires that students fully commit to their study of law, and that they not work more than 20 hours each week to comply with the rules of the American Bar Association. The rigorous curriculum focuses on theoretical and intellectual coursework.
Students benefit from intensive skills training and the community service, which involves students providing pro bono services to members of the community. Students also participate in clinical and practical experiences. This is one of the best law schools in Florida.
University of Wyoming
The University of Wyoming College of Law recently celebrating its 100th anniversary of providing high-quality education to law students. The school has a reputation for its innovative skills training and affordable cost. The family-like atmosphere and access to faculty members is likely appreciate by students looking for a more intimate experience.
The small class sizes and opportunities for experiential learning, including hands-on experiences, simulation courses and externships further provides learning opportunities for students preparing for a future as a lawyer.
University of the District of Columbia
The University of the District of Columbia provides up to 10,000 hours of legal services to members of the community, providing students with hands-on experiences. The school stresses the importance of providing students with these and other supervised experiences as part of their training to become effective and ethical lawyers.
There are eight career pathways, although the school does not require students to choose a pathway as part of the degree program. Some pathways include Family and Juvenile Law, Housing and Community Development Law and Civil Rights and Equality.
The most affordable law school in the area, students at the University of the District of Columbia also benefit from small class sizes and faculty to student ratio.
University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas School of Law offers a challenging curriculum that prepares future lawyers to excel in their career through the three-year program. Students progress through required courses in their first year of study, then complete courses from a broad selection of elective courses during their second and third years in the program.
Students have the opportunity to accelerate their degree by one semester by completing courses and earning credit outside the semester courses.
Southern University Law Center
The Southern University Law Center, located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, maintains the goal of producing attorneys who are well prepared for entry into the legal profession. It has designed a Juris Doctorate (JD) curriculum that has given particular attention to Civil Law, as well as hands-on experience and application. The Law Center offers a comprehensive JD program that can be attained through a full-time or part-time program. In addition, students can earn JD/MPA and JD/MBA dual degrees, as well as certificates in Public and Tax Law.
As an outlet and effort to support the surrounding community, the Law Center hosts over 20 student organizations, 12 clinics, and four institutes. We welcome prospective students to visit our website at www.sulc.edu to learn more.
University of Oklahoma
Choose from a dozen concentrations when you choose to earn your degree at the University of Oklahoma School of Law. The American Indian and Indigenous People Law, and International and Comparative Law are two examples of the concentrations.
Students learn in state-of-the-art facilities, and receive an innovative education from practicing attorneys and world-class legal scholars.
University of Mississippi
The University of Mississippi School of Law is another school that offers a law degree related to advances in space and the need to protect citizens. It is offered as a concentration for students in the schools’ juris doctor program and a Master of Laws degree for law school graduates.
Juris Doctor students at ‘Ole Miss’ receive a high-quality education that fits their future career goals and maximizes their options. The curriculum starts with completion of “heavily tested bar exam subjects” and then advances to legal research and writing, appellate brief writing and oral arguments.
The City University of New York School of Law
The City University of New York School of Law is one of the most affordable law schools in the U.S. and is known for its groundbreaking clinical program. The school mission is to learn, teach and practice law in the service of human needs and to transform law so that it includes others that the law would possibly otherwise exclude, oppress, or marginalize. The school is the only public law school in New York City.
Students primarily complete required courses during their first year, then progress to completing electives in their second and third year of law school. Students also complete a capstone project.
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa challenges prospective students to ‘be the lawyer the world needs.’ Students have that opportunity to do just that when they enroll at the College of Law and earn their Juris Doctor degree. Students benefit from the smaller class sizes and a curriculum designed to focus on the study of the legal doctrine and participation in experiential opportunities.
The school prepares future lawyers to have knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law, and the skills related to legal research, legal analysis and reasoning, problem-solving skills, along with both written and oral communications skills.
University of Kansas
At KU Law, they don’t define value in traditional terms. Instead, they ask what they can give their students that will help them succeed anywhere they imagine.
They will equip you with the deep knowledge and practice-ready skills to achieve your goals. With programs in areas as diverse as corporate law, international law, public interest law and others, Jayhawk lawyers have been exploring new horizons near and far for more than 140 years.
You’ll build connections with nationally recognized legal scholars. You’ll form lasting bonds with your classmates. And you’ll find a home in a top 10 college town.
Georgia State University
Located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta, the Georgia State University College of Law is conveniently located so that students walk from the classroom to the courtroom. The school takes pride in emphasizing commitment, courage, and a challenging curriculum for the curious that want a career in law.
The Juris Doctor degree features the opportunity to complete the program full-time-part-time or through the evening program. Some students prefer to earn a dual degree, choosing one of the nine options. Develop the legal expertise to take a path to the future without extensive debt.
University of Memphis
The Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis prepares graduates for success during and after law school through the education and experiences that students engage in while at the school. The mission of the school is to ‘provide an affordable, intellectually rigorous, and practice-oriented legal education.’ This is accomplished through a curriculum that challenges students and with the various experiences available that provides students with real-world, hands-on opportunities.
Students develop skills and values that are essential for the practice of law. Some examples include gaining knowledge and understanding of the law, competency in legal problem solving, legal analysis and legal reasoning, developing exceptional communications skills and understanding the value of community and public service.
University of New Mexico
Our student-focused approach to legal education is a key reason that students choose the University of New Mexico School of Law. The student-to-faculty ratio, currently 6-to-1, is one of the lowest in the nation, offering students the opportunity to engage more in-depth with faculty and not just be another face in the crowd. Our professors know their students by name. The rigorous curriculum, hands-on opportunities, nationally-ranked Clinical Law Program, extraordinary access to local attorneys and judges, and specialized programs and seminars all contribute to the professional development of students. The UNM School of Law also focuses on student wellbeing, with its own wellness center located in the building and access to a 2-mile walking/running path along a golf course right outside the school’s doors.
The UNM School of Law’s competitive tuition rates allow students to graduate less constrained by debt. The UNM School of Law boasts one of the most diverse faculty and student bodies in the nation and prides itself on opening access to the legal profession.
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is home to the James E. Rogers College of Law, where students receive a high-quality, affordable education. As the first law school in the country to accept the GRE, University of Arizona Law is always looking for ways to make legal education more accessible.
In addition to low tuition, University of Arizona Law has a competitive scholarship program, including our TechLaw fellowship, the nation’s only full-tuition scholarship program dedicated to law students with science and technology backgrounds in an effort to address a growing need for tech-savvy lawyers. University of Arizona Law takes pride in preparing students for professional success through a stimulating, hands-on curriculum that includes 16 clinics, 10 JD certificates and numerous specialized concentrations. The college is also home to a top-ranked Legal Writing program to help students build the essential writing and communication skills that employers value.
An inherently global institution, our groundbreaking advanced admissions pathway for non-U.S. lawyers has helped us recruit one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation. Our international connections and proximity to the Mexican border have also led us to create one-of-a-kind programs for lawyers and professionals in Tucson and abroad such as the Diplomado Program in Mexican Public Law and Policy, taught in Spanish by elite Mexican legal scholars and practitioners, offering a specialized credential to students who complete all four courses.
George Mason University
The George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School has been at the forefront of innovation as a pioneer in its program curriculum. The location of the school, just minutes from Downtown Washington, D.C., features a long list of specialty concentrations, some of which are unique, compared to program options offered at many other law schools. A few examples include the concentration in Sports Law, legal and Economic Theory or Public Interest Litigation and Advocacy.
The school offers several opportunities for real-world experiences in regulatory law, patent law, domestic relations, and law and mental illness through clinical programs.
Florida International University
Fuel your passion for law, receive personalized attention and access to real-world experiences when you enroll at the Florida International School College of Law. The school offers the opportunity for students to be ready to practice law immediately after graduation, whether the student chooses to earn a Juris Doctor or a dual degree.
Students study the Foundation Curriculum before advancing into courses such as Legal Skills and Values, Professional Responsibility, and Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Finding the most affordable law school can take a long time so we did the work so that you do not have to do it yourself. We first researched law schools from around the country. Next, we narrowed the list by considering the most affordable law schools and ranking them by tuition, and by acceptance rate. When there was a tie, the school with the lower tuition rate was awarded the higher ranking.
It is important to understand that the cost of tuition does not include the cost of fees, supplies, parking, housing or other expenses.
If you would like to have your school included in our rankings, or if you would like to update information on your school, please feel free to contact us.