Best Value Law schools announced

Sixty law schools have been selected by preLaw magazine as the 2010 Best Value Law schools, the magazine announced Aug. 5.

“With tuition and cost of living expenses outpacing entry-level salaries, it is more important than ever for prospective law students to take into account value,” said Jack Crittenden, Editor and Founder of preLaw magazine and its sister-publication The National Jurist.

This is the first time the magazine has published the study in consecutive years. It is the first year that average indebtedness was factored into the study.

Law schools are honored if they meet four criteria: 1) their bar pass rate is higher than the state average; 2) their average indebtedness is below $100,000; 3) their employment rate nine months after graduation is 85 percent or higher; and 4) tuition is less than $35,000 a year for in-state residents.

The Fall issue of preLaw will rank the top 20 schools, and assign a letter grade (A-, B+ or B) to the other 40 honorees.

Six schools that were honored in last year’s magazine, did not make the cut this year, including top ranked North Carolina Central University.

“Unfortunately, North Carolina Central saw their employment rate drop from 87 to 82.6 percent,” Crittenden said. “The other five schools all saw their bar pass rate drop below the state average.”

Eleven of the 60 schools this year are private institutions, including Phoenix School of Law, which was awarded full ABA accreditation in June. The Fall issue of preLaw will ship in October with the top 20 schools ranked and the other 40 receiving letter grades. 

The top 20 Best Value law schools in alphabetical order:

Brigham Young University (Clark)

Florida International

Florida State University

Georgia State University

Louisiana State University--Baton Rouge (Hebert)

Northern Illinois University

Texas Tech University

University of Alabama

University of Georgia

University of Kansas

University of Kentucky

University of Louisville (Brandeis)

University of Memphis (Humphreys)

University of Mississippi

University of Nebraska--Lincoln

University of New Mexico

University of North Dakota

University of South Carolina

University of Tennessee--Knoxville


The 40 other honorees:

Arizona State University (O'Connor)

Cleveland State University (Cleveland-Marshall)

College of William and Mary (Marshall-Wythe)

Faulkner University (Jones)

George Mason University

Gonzaga University

Hamline University

Indiana University--Bloomington (Maurer)

Lewis & Clark College (Northwestern)

Loyola University New Orleans

Michigan State University

Mississippi College

Ohio State University (Moritz)

Phoenix School of Law

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey--Newark

St. Mary's University

Temple University (Beasley)

University of Arizona (Rogers)

University of California--Davis

University of Colorado--Boulder

University of Connecticut

University of Florida (Levin)

University of Houston

University of Iowa

University of Maine

University of Maryland

University of Minnesota--Twin Cities

University of Missouri--Kansas City

University of Nevada--Las Vegas (Boyd)

University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill

University of Oklahoma

University of Oregon

University of Pittsburgh

University of Richmond (Williams)

University of Texas

University of Toledo

University of Tulsa

University of Washington

University of Wisconsin--Madison

Wayne State

Willamette University (Collins)

William & Mary