10 of the Most Expensive Law Schools in the United States

School of Law exterior shot.

In 2018, the student loan debt of the United States was at a stunning $1.5 trillion. It has become really expensive to go for higher education and get specialized degrees in the country.

With costs getting higher, students go for more specialized degrees so that they would be able to manage the debt repayment later on. One such degree is law but as you may already know, it takes a lot of money to become a lawyer.

However, what a lot of students don’t realize is that it isn’t just the cost of tuition that you have to look at. There are many other cost-related factors that come together to make any school one of the most expensive ones in America.

You have to think about everything from the cost of purchasing a computer, books to health insurance, etc. Don’t forget the expenses related to accommodation, transportation, business attire, networking, and other supplies. All of this will contribute to your experience in law school.

Here, we have analyzed all the costs that you will need while at a certain school with a modest lifestyle.

The factors taken into account to calculate the price for a law school include:

  • Tuition
  • Room
  • Boarding
  • Personal expenses including clothing, food, entertainment, and other expenses
  • Books and other supplies
  • Transportation around the city
  • Health Insurance ( it is mandatory in most schools)
  • Miscellaneous Costs

The costs are noted for a single unmarried student with a modest lifestyle. The costs also vary on a yearly basis. Below are the 10 most expensive law schools in the United States.

1.    Harvard Law SchoolAerial view of Harvard Law School

Everyone knows the name of Harvard since it is the most prestigious university in the world. The university was founded in 1636 and Harvard Law School was inaugurated in 1817. It ranked number 3 in the US News listing of Best Law Schools in 2019. However, attending school comes with a huge cost.

The tuition cost for 2019 is $65,875 but there are other costs that you should take into account as well. Health insurance and other health-related services cost around $33,475. Other expenses including food, housing, personal, travel, books, and other supplies can cost an additional $33,475.

This is a sum total of $99,350 to attend Harvard Law School.

2.    NYU Law SchoolNYU Law School

Each year around 26,417 students apply to NYU School and a huge chunk of those are for their law department. The university ranked 30 in New York University’s Best Colleges in National Universities. It was founded in 1835. Since then, it has gained a reputation as one of the best law schools.

The tuition cost for the school is $63,802. Other mandatory costs include registration fees, tech fees, health, and other services add up to $2,620. Getting room and boarding can cost around $24,400, not to mention the $1089 for transport. Health insurance costs $3,313 for every student, while books, supplies, and other smaller miscellaneous costs round up to $2,710.

The total overall cost for NYU School of Law is $97,934.

3.    Columbia Law SchoolColumbia Law School , New York

Columbia Law School in New York was one of the first law schools established in America. It was founded in 1858 and since then has become one of the most coveted law schools in the world. Thousands of students apply each year which has created a lot of demand for a degree from Columbia.

However, when you factor in all the costs, it becomes the second most expensive law schools in the country. The tuition for the school in 2019 is $67,532 but with added mandatory fees like health services, university facility fees, and student activity fees the costs becomes $69,916. Living in New York is really expensive and transportation can cost you $19,894. Health insurance and other documentation fees make a sum of $3,315 for a student. Books and other supplies can cost you $1,500.

In total, studying at Columbia Law School could end up costing a student $94,625.

4.    Stanford Law SchoolAerial view of Stanford School

Stanford School was founded in 1893 and ranked number 3 in the 2017 Top 50 Law Schools listing. The university is based in California and is known around the world for its excellent programs and campus life.

The tuition fee for Stanford Law School is $60,072. Room and boarding can cost you up to $25,998 for a single person. Costs for books and other supplies sum up to $1,530, while transport and other personal costs can be around $4,100.

This comes to a total of $91,700 for a law degree from Stanford University.

5.    University of Southern California Gould School of LawUSC Park Grounds

The University of Southern California ranked No. 17 in the Best Law Schools and was founded in 1896. It was the first law school of California and has since produced thousands of lawyers.

The tuition cost to attend the law school program from 2019-2020 is $66,306. Other mandatory fees that students have to pay for administration, documentation, process, and other activities add up to $860. Books and other supplies can cost around $2040. For housing and boarding, students have to pay $17,802. Miscellaneous and personal expenses factor into the overall cost by $2,232 and transport in California can cost $2,448.

The overall cost to attend USC Law School is $91,688.

6.    Cornell UniversityCornell School

Cornell University was ranked 13 in the Best Law Schools by US News. It was founded in 1887 and around two hundred students graduate from the law school each year.

The tuition for the program at Cornell costs around $65,456 with additional student activity fees of $85. Room and boarding in the school cost $16,766. Books and supplies for the program cost $1,100 and other personal and transport expense can go up to $4,000. Health insurance costs $2,832.

The total budget to attend Law School at Cornell University is $90,239.

7.    Brooklyn Law SchoolBrooklyn University

Brooklyn Law School was founded a century ago in 1901 and was ranked by the New York Law Journal as the #2 Best Overall Law School from 2017 to 2018. Living in New York can be pretty expensive, which is why this university ranks high on our list as well.

The tuition cost for the law school is $55,038. You will have to pay an extra $2,041 for health insurance. Books, access to a computer, and other supplies for the academic year can cost up to $3,300. You should also factor in $3, 025 for personal expenses, program fees, loan fees, and administration fees. Don’t forget living and transport which can cost around $21,822.

The total cost to attend Brooklyn Law School is $85,226.

8.    Fordham University School of LawFordham School

Fordham School ranks 70 in the 2019 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities. It is based in New York and was founded in 1841. It is one of the most sought-after law schools in the world, which is why it is also one of the most expensive.

Tuition for the law school program can cost up to $44,654 and other mandatory fees cost $868. Living and transportation costs can go up to $21,822. Books, supplies, miscellaneous and personal expenses make a total of $6,085. For health insurance, students have to pay an additional amount of $3,073.

Overall, that is a cost of $76, 502 if you want a law degree from Fordham University.

9.    Northwestern University School of LawNorthwestern University

Northwestern University ranked No. 10 in the Best Law School by US News and was founded by John Evans in 1851. It is a really great school and is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Full-time tuition costs for 2018-2019 is $54,120 with $447 in extra fees. On-campus boarding is available for $16,626. You will need $1,605 for the books and supplies, while commuting can cost you around $1,050. Personal expenses for a student can go up to $1,850.

The total cost of attending this law school is $75,698.

10.    New York Law SchoolNew York University

New York University was founded in 1891 and has grown in ranks due to its splendid education program. It ranked number 6 in the Best Law Schools list by US News.

The total cost for full-time is $50,008 with additional mandatory fees of $1,724. Room and boarding can cost a single student up to $17,550. Books and supplies for the program can cost around $1,300. Personal expenses are $3,600 with $1,094 for transport. Loan fees factor into the cost by $215.

The overall cost to get a degree from New York University is $75,491.

To become a lawyer, you need to go through rigorous training from a professional law school. Standards for bar exams are really high and a lot of hard work is needed to practice law. This is why law schools are so prestigious and sought-after, making them some of the most expensive in the world.

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