BYU law school ranked No. 1 for return on investment

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Ari Davis
Professor Aaron Nielson teaches a class at the J. Reuben Clark Law School. (Ari Davis)

Social Finance, Inc. conducted a study that shows BYU Law students will have less debt after graduation compared to their peers at other law schools.

BYU law school was ranked as having the highest return on investment for graduates in America, according to Social Finance, Inc.

D. Gordon Smith, dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU, said this research will help make the school more credible.
“Of course, all analytics like this are limited to the quantity and quality of the data,” Smith said. “In this case, the analysis is limited to three years of historical data, and I’ll be excited to see the analysis when the data covers a larger arc of our graduates’ careers.”
Smith said he was excited for the BYU Law School to be recognized by national media. He said he believes BYU Law is a wonderful choice for students who want to get a valuable education and avoid overwhelming debt.
According to the study, BYU law school graduates average salary for their first job is $108,916 with an average debt of $64,873.

Tuition for BYU law students is $12,000 per year for those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and $24,000 for non-members, according to U.S. News.

Cornell University law graduates earned around $183,377 average salary, but had debt of $148,443 according to SoFi. In comparison, Florida Coastal School of Law has an average salary for graduates of $84,664 with a debt of $158,427 according to SoFi.

Those who study at the University of Texas at Austin fall right behind BYU. UT Austin grads have an average salary of $147,444 per year, and their graduates have an average debt of $105,254, according to SoFi.

Current BYU law student Lauren Simpson said the school is ranked at the top for best investment return, best value and lowest debt. Simpson applied to BYU as an undergrad because she felt the school could help her fund her degree. She said she hopes to go into public interest or non-traditional work because she does not have to worry about thousands of dollars of student debt.

“If you go the firm route, I think BYU law for sure offers a great monetary return on your investment,” Simpson said. “But what it’s offered me is flexibility, which is more of a priority for me.”

BYU law school associate professor Aaron L. Nielson said he believes the school is a great value because students will be able to manage their debt, if any.

“If students aren’t carrying around what amounts to a second mortgage, they have a lot more career options, including public service,” Nielson said.

According to Social Finance, Inc.‘s research, BYU law school can be an affordable route for students to enjoy school without having to worry about paying debt after graduation. 

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