Education in the United States can be affordable despite all the stereotypes and beliefs. However, finding the most affordable school with a law major can be time-consuming and challenging. There are about 237 law schools in the U.S. However, not all of them are affordable by everyone. Nevertheless, what they all have in common is that they provide a degree with students who sought after this career path.
Most of the schools offer the American Bar Association recognition, necessary to work in the law, whether just a lawyer or an attorney in general. All the schools also boast various accreditations, specializations and different degrees that will work as a strong foundation towards a bright future in the law career. That said, let’s dig into the 10 cheapest law schools below.
10 Cheapest Law Schools: Detailed Reviews
North Carolina Central University School of Law
- In-state tuition fees: About $9,961
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $23,222
North Carolina Central University School of Law (NCCU) is located in Durham, NC and has a rich history of teaching students to provide legal help towards small communities and underserved people. It has a diverse history, as well as a unique teaching system. It has created a great number of lawyers, many of which are now successful in providing legal services.
Additionally, this educational institution has been ranked in the top four law schools with a focus on clinical opportunities, according to National Jurist, 2011. Back in 2009, the number of students that successfully completed the North Carolina bar examination was nearly 82%, which is more than the average of 74% within the state average.
University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law
- In-state tuition fees: About $12,838
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $24,674
Although smaller than other law schools David A. Clarke School of Law in Washington, DC delivers great quality of education to students who want to provide legal services providing over 600 hours of pro bono legal service for each student. The school boasts a reputation as one of the best UDC Law schools in 2019, as well as a rank of eight when it comes to clinical training compared to all other U.S. law schools.
Students get greeted by various theoretical and debating challenges, learn from attorney professors and participate in practical advocacy. They also learn about the importance of activism and grow into individuals who can make the world a better place. It’s considered as one of the most diverse schools in the U.S. In addition to that, its small size means professors dedicate an equal amount of attention to each student and will have a better interaction between the faculty itself. Lastly, students learn to cooperate and collaborate with each other, making a better team and more powerful leaders in law.
University of Mississippi School of Law
- In-state tuition fees: About $10,275
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $22,470
The University of Mississippi School of Law is considered one of the oldest law schools in the country supported by a state. There are a lot of law programs, where students can even enroll in a dedicated aerospace law program. It’s worth adding that this is the only ABA-accredited law school that offers this program in the process.
The school promises a firm foundation for the graduates that can orientate their law career the way they want. The school has made great ranks in many magazines and reports and accepts and respects students regardless of origin, race or sex. The processors at school have earned various rewards and distinctions for their hard work and valor.
University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law
- In-state tuition fees: About $13,177
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $32,436
The tuition fees in Missoula-based Alexander Blewett III School of Law within the University of Montana is based on 30 credits. There are a lot of programs for aspiring law students who want to provide legal services to their clients and build a successful future.
The data from the university’s site says that the 2018 class’ 90% of students were employed 10 months following the graduation. Additionally, 30% of the graduates in the same class found a coveted judicial clerkships.
This school excels at disciplines like Environmental Law, as well as Natural Resources, Conflict Resolution, Indian Law and others. Students are taught the moral and ethical values and responsibilities behind serving the law. Students develop critical and analytical thinking that helps them derive conclusions and represent their clients as an attorney after they pass the bar exam.
Finally, the abilities students develop will help them serve professionally within the Montana state, focus on tribal governments and enhancing the underserved communities and contribute to the law internationally.
University of South Dakota, Law School
- In-state tuition fees: About $13,904
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $28,430
The aim of the Law school of the University of South Dakota is to provide the best value educational programs for aspiring attorneys and legal service providers. There are a plethora of various admission options, as well as opportunities to be published in their own journal.
It has a lot of different admission programs. For example, PLSI is a two-month program for Native Americans that will prepare them to continue studying through their first year of studies with ease, free of charge. Additional specialization programs include a six-week program for students of all ethnicities. Lastly, there is an Accelerated admission program aimed towards high school students who excel at their performance and want to enter the college studies before graduating.
This school also excels at providing versatile programs for different groups as over 80% of students receive the financial guide. Also, students can participate in joint degree programs that will prepare them for multiple disciplines in the law field. Lastly, the flex-time program, which is widely favored, allows students to receive the J.D. certification through a 5-year curriculum.
University of North Dakota
- In-state tuition fees: About $10,417
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $22,394
The University of North Dakota doesn’t have too many students that enroll every year, which is good because students can then focus on interactions with the school body and use it as an advantage in learning more. There are about 250 students in total in law school.
The North Dakota university’s law school offers several financial aid options, as well as scholarships, so it allows flexible learning and studying. There are two programs that offer special certification – U.S. Air Transportation Policy and Indian Law. Additionally, there are joint programs in the master’s education programs. Students enroll in various courses that help their conclusion deriving and participating in debates.
Lastly, the university offers various summer foreign programs, one of which Is the law program in Norway.
University of Louisville’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
- In-state tuition fees: About $15,760
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $30,300
If you’re looking for a law school that can provide more practical insight on legal practice. Louis D. Brandeis School of Law within the University of Louisville will prove more than useful. It’s considered one of the oldest law schools in the U.S. and is also listed among the top best-value law schools.
The school offers both full-time education programs that take three years to complete, as well as part-time education that takes a little more, between four and five years. The school has also various awards and distinctions. The school’s graduates have passed the bar exam more than the average. Also, the U.S. News and World Report ranked it among the most efficient school. Lastly, the Ackerson Law Clinic contributed to positive results with more than 1,000 clients who faced domestic violence problems.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
- In-state tuition fees: About $6,835
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $14,060
The University of Arkansas offers one of the cheapest education programs for JDs and everyone who wants to work with legal services. There are a lot of programs and opportunities for aspiring students who want to specialize in law. This school ranks as one of the top 20 best-value law educational institutions.
Among programs offered by the school, there is a dual degree option as well as a foreign study. In addition to that, students can choose to participate in two abroad programs – Russia or England. The institution’s very own transactional clinic assists various nonprofits in seeing their legal rights.
CUNY – Queen’s College
- In-state tuition fees: About $13,802
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $21,802
Located in Flushing, New York, CUNY’s law institute is one of the leading public law schools in the nation. The message this school wants to send is that the graduates are taught to lead on and defend anyone underpowered to do that.
CUNY’s law school comes with various benefits, but it puts students in various challenges and requests tasks so that they’d prove useful in providing legal services once they get the bar certification. The school focuses on public-interest law, with third-year students getting to work within Main Street Legal Services where they provide legal services supervised by seasoned attorneys. What also makes this affordable law school better than the competition is that it earned the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award back in 2013.
Southern University Law Center
- In-state tuition fees: About $10,990
- Out-of-state tuition fees: About $18,590
Operating for many years and decades the Southern University Law Center serves as a state law school. Its original goal was to serve as an educational center for African Americans, as well as other underrepresented races and ethnicities to earn their law degree.
It provides impeccable law courses and subjects that prepare students to take on challenges in the legal fields. It is widespread across various clinical programs including Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, Administrative, and Civil law and others. It’s also considered one of the schools with the best financial value following graduation. Students can also enroll for a 6-week long abroad program at University College London.
Are there affordable private law schools?
It’s no secret that private colleges and schools require more financial investment than public colleges. However, there are some private schools that provide great value for the investment. We’ve considered the University of Tulsa as one of the more approachable private law schools, where students can enroll for about $25,300 annually for the tuition fees. Another private school with great annual tuition options, as well as the ranking, is Ohio Northern University with the annual tuition fee fixed at $29,160.
Despite being more expensive than public schools, private schools offer the same tuition fee for both in-state and out-of-state students. However, there is an exception. Even though it’s listed as a private college, Brigham University charges out-of-state students twice as much.
Paying the law school loans
It doesn’t matter whether you choose an expensive and sophisticated educational institute or an affordable school for our list. What matters is that you’ll have to pay it in the end. That said, even the most affordable school may leave you with unpaid student loans once you graduate.
There are several ways to pay them off. You can access some income-driven repayment plan which will help you pay off the taxes on the forgiven balance. Another option is to use some of the refinancing programs for the student loan to get to a lower interest rate and focus on paying them as soon as possible.
The choice of the most affordable law school is up to you. What matters to say is that all the schools from the list offer great opportunities, preparation for the bar examination and certification with is paramount for every lawyer or attorney.
Lastly, a private school may be a more approachable opportunity for students who come from another state and want to pay the same fee as the residential students. If you don’t want to change locations, then you should try to study at a school in your surroundings. After all, they all boast unique yet effective coursework, and offer various bonuses for great performance, with a history of great clinical practices and other programs.