Understanding How Much Law School Will Cost

how much law school

Over the last ten years, the cost of law school has significantly increased. This trend is particularly concerning as many graduates find it difficult to repay their debts once they land their first job.

Before making a determination of whether attending law school is worth it or not, it’s essential to comprehend the cost. To do this, let’s examine four major components of tuition expenses.


A law degree can be an expensive investment, so it is essential to know exactly how much it will cost. The cost of attending law school depends on a variety of factors such as where you live and whether you opt for public or private university tuition.

Tuition is the major expense associated with attending law school and can range anywhere from $84,558 at public universities to $147,936 for private ones. But that’s not all; living costs like rent and food may also add up over time.

Fortunately, there are numerous financial aid options that can help cover the cost of law school. These include loans, grants and scholarships.

Finding out how much law school costs is best done by speaking with a representative at your university. They can guide you through the application process for financial aid and may have insight into other resources available to students.

For instance, the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund is available to first-year law students and provides $15,000 in financial aid over three years.

Additionally, the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program is an ABA-approved scholarship that covers all tuition, room and board expenses for selected law students. This program can be found at many top-tier schools and particularly beneficial to underrepresented individuals.

Another financial option is the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, which can be used for tuition and fees, books, housing costs, transportation needs and other living expenses. Unfortunately, these loans come with high-interest rates which make them expensive to borrow from.

Finally, remember that room and board costs will escalate throughout your time in law school. If you can live with roommates and share expenses, this may enable you to keep costs low.


Law students typically invest a considerable amount of money on books during their studies. Costs can range anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 annually, depending on whether they borrow or pay with personal funds.

Professors often suggest that law schools reduce textbook expenses by offering open-source casebooks. These digital textbooks allow professors to customize and replace their own materials without having to invest in costly print runs.

A study of legal books at US and Australian universities revealed an average price tag of $45. This may seem like a small amount, but it adds up to an expensive textbook for many law students.

The book also describes how law school classes relate to exams and professors expect students to demonstrate their analytical skills both in class and on exams. It provides effective final exam preparation strategies and techniques that will enable you to craft an answer that demonstrates your mastery of the legal material in a way your professors will be proud to mark.

McClurg draws upon his years as a professor to offer practical, empathic advice to new law students. He covers topics like writing like a lawyer and the impact of new remote learning methods on students.

This book is an ideal read before entering law school if you want to hone your writing skills. It will help you create your own distinctive style of writing, which can make you stand out in interviews or as a law student. Furthermore, it provides insight into the common law system which will make you a stronger advocate for it.

Living expenses

Law school can be an expensive endeavor. Tuition, living expenses, books and more can add up to more than $100,000 annually – that’s why it’s essential to understand how much law school will cost you and how it’s funded before you enroll.

Many law schools provide grants and scholarships that reduce tuition prices for eligible students. These awards tend to be merit-based, meaning they take into account a student’s GPA and standardized test scores.

The American Bar Association requires each school to report the percentage of students receiving discounts and 25th, 50th or 75th percentile grant amounts on their ABA Standard 509 Information Report. If you have any queries regarding these awards, please reach out to the financial aid office at your law school for further assistance.

Though living costs cannot be controlled, there are ways to make them more manageable. For instance, attending a school with affordable on-campus housing options or living with friends or family while attending school can help make tuition cheaper.

These strategies can also save you money on food and transportation by cutting back on eating out at restaurants or taking taxis. Make sure to contact your university’s financial aid office ahead of time, so they can connect you with other incoming students looking for roommates.

Most universities offer work-study programs. These allow you to work for a law firm in exchange for part of your tuition payment, helping you earn your degree while paying off student loans at once.


A law degree is an enormous commitment and can be quite expensive. While scholarships and grants can help cover the full cost of school, many students find they must supplement their funding with loans.

Before applying for any loan, it’s essential to comprehend the different types available. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will tell you which federal loans may be available to you.

Federal loans offer lower interest rates, more loan repayment options and enhanced borrower protections. Furthermore, they have additional advantages like income-driven repayment plans and public service loan forgiveness.

Selecting the correct loan is critical for law school students as it determines how much they must repay. Additionally, take into account your budget when making this decision.

Some private law school loans may be less costly than federal ones. These are provided through banks and credit unions to students who have already finished their undergraduate studies and taken the LSAT exam.

If you’re thinking of applying for a private law school loan, it is essential to compare the features offered by each lender. The ideal lenders will have low interest rates and repayment terms, release your cosigner when you graduate, and give you nine months grace period in which to make payments without incurring late fees.

Additionally, some lenders may provide special bar exam loans to cover the costs of taking the bar after graduation. This could be a substantial expense for those planning on taking the bar immediately after graduation; costs could reach as high as $10,000 or $15,000. Therefore, research all possible loan options thoroughly before applying for any type of law school loan.

Other expenses

Tuition and fees are the two primary expenses faced by law students, but other costs such as living expenses, travel, personal spending, and books can also add up.

Tuition at a US law school can be as high as $100,000 annually. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to reduce your costs.

First, look into federal student loans (see our tips for getting the most out of your FAFSA). These are provided directly through your university’s financial aid office and offer low interest rates with flexible repayment plans. Private student loans may also be available to cover additional tuition expenses.

Before applying to law schools, be sure to research scholarships, grants and loan forgiveness programs. These funding sources can assist with financing your education without incurring debt – so be sure to investigate them thoroughly.

Scholarships are non-repayable awards given to students that do not require repayment. They can be merit-based, such as having a certain GPA, or they may come from non-government sources like law firms and local bar associations.

In addition to applying for scholarships, you could also consider working as a law school student or part-time to cover living expenses. Many schools have Federal work-study programs and federal loans are available as additional financing options to cover educational costs.

Law students can expect to spend a considerable amount on bar preparation. The average cost for taking the bar exam ranges from $200-$1,500 depending on the state, and if you plan on practicing in another jurisdiction, costs may be even higher.