Best Value law schools: 6 new private schools make list

Six new private law schools premiered on the list of the Best Value law schools this year, joining Brigham Young University, which had been the lone private institution on the annual list in 2013.

Baylor University, Boston College, Duquesne University, Notre Dame Law School, Ohio Northern University and University of Tulsa all made the list. All six made the list for top private schools last year. But this year each made the overall list, thanks in part to lower debt at each school.

This was the eighth time The National Jurist has published the list. The list included the most private schools to date. St. Mary’s University, a private school in San Antonio, made the list in 2012, and Willamette University and Faulkner University made the list in 2011. 

The National Jurist looks at a number of academic and financial variables, including the law school's price of tuition, student debt accumulation, employment success, bar passage rate and cost of living. Employment is given the greatest weight — 35 percent — because of the recent woes in hiring.

This year's list shows it's still possible for students to graduate with under $100,000 in debt and land a job.

Overall, 54 law schools were recognized as a Best Value school this year, up from 46 in 2013 and 47 in 2014. An additional 14 law schools were recognized for being tops among private schools. 

“When law school enrollment began to drop a few years ago, some schools began to offer more scholarships,” said Jack Crittenden, Editor In Chief of The National Jurist. “We are now starting to see the beginning of that impact on debt. Also, employment numbers are improving, even if slightly.”

The magazine will release a complete list with grades (A, A- or B+) for the 53 schools in the Back to School issue of preLaw magazine and the September issue of The National Jurist. It will rank the top 20 schools in order.

The National Jurist also named the top 22 private law schools for best value. 

Below are the schools that made this year's list in alphabetical order:

Best Value Law Schools

Baylor University

Boston College

Brigham Young University

Duquesne University

Florida International University

Florida State University

Georgia State University

IU McKinney School of Law

Louisiana State University

Notre Dame Law School

Ohio Northern University

Ohio State University

Rutgers — Camden

SUNY Buffalo Law School

Temple University

Texas Tech University

UC - Irvine

UC Davis Law

University of Akron

University of Alabama

University of Arizona

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

University of Cincinnati

University of Florida

University of Georgia

University of Houston

University of Idaho

University of Illinois

University of Iowa

University of Kansas

University of Kentucky

University of Louisville

University of Memphis

University of Minnesota

University of Mississippi

University of Missouri — Columbia

University of Nebraska

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

University of New Mexico

University of North Carolina

University of Oklahoma

University of Pittsburgh

University of South Carolina

University of South Dakota

University of Tennessee

University of Texas

University of Tulsa

University of Utah

University of Washington

University of Wisconsin

University of Wyoming

Wayne State University

William and Mary Law School


Top private law schools

Baylor University

Boston College

Boston University

Brigham Young University

Brooklyn Law School

Campbell University

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Drake University

Duquesne University

Notre Dame Law School

Ohio Northern University

South Texas College of Law

St. John's University

St. Mary’s University

Stanford University

University of Richmond

University of Tulsa

Wake Forest University

Washington University

William Mitchell College of Law

Yale Law School