CHEAPEST LAW SCHOOL

Top 10 Cheapest Law Schools in the US

Introduction

Starting a career in law can be tough because of the expensive education. But, some good and affordable law schools in the United States provide excellent education. Students who want a high-quality legal education without spending too much should look for the cheapest law school. This article aims to highlight these affordable law schools. We will take a closer look at the law schools that offer lower tuition fees while maintaining high academic standards.

Students talking while walking inside of the cheapest law school

Understanding the Cost of Legal Education

How much does law school cost? The cost of attending law school is a crucial factor for many aspiring lawyers, impacting their choices and future plans. Understanding the numerous components contributing to the total cost is critical for making sound judgments. 

The LSAT Cost

The LSAT often represents a significant expense, with the 2023-2024 testing year costing $222. However, it’s noteworthy that some law schools are moving away from this traditional requirement. Among the law schools that don’t require the LSAT, you’ll find renowned institutions such as Stanford, Yale, and Harvard. This evolving trend not only alleviates the financial burden of the LSAT but also broadens opportunities for those seeking a legal education.

Tuition Fees

Law school costs significantly vary based on the institution and your residency status. Students who attend full-time and live in the state where the university resides typically have cheap law school tuition. The American Bar Association data for 2022 shows some actual numbers: full-time, in-state law school students spend around $42,823 annually in tuition and fees. 

The Cost of Attendance (COA)

The listed tuition charge may not fully reflect the actual amount you must pay. Tuition, fees, and other associated expenditures are all included in the cost of attendance. Textbooks, housing accommodations, transportation, campus-specific fees, and health insurance are some of these. The average annual cost of living for law students, according to ABA statistics, is around $19,360 for on-campus living, $24,617 for off-campus living, and $17,636 for students living at home.

So, looking for law schools is more than finding the cheapest law school tuition or the most affordable law school. You must also consider your daily activities. If you live in a city where everything is expensive, your costs will rapidly build up. Consider the following questions while selecting a law school:

  • Am I going to live in an expensive area or somewhere more affordable?
  • How much is the rent around the school?
  • Will I drive or use public transportation to class?

Top 10 Cheapest Law Schools In US

Here are the top 10 cheapest law schools in the USA to provide you with a choice of options:

School Tuition  Acceptance Rate
1. University of the District of Columbia (Clarke) Full-time: $13,438 (in-state); $25,874 (out-of-state)
Part-time: $9,440 (in-state); $17,860 (out-of-state)
50.3%
2. Brigham Young University (Clark) $14,636 (LDS)
$29,272 (Non-LDS)
31.4%
3. Inter-American University Full-time: $15,665
Part-time: $12,270
51%
4. CUNY Full-time: $16,013 (in-state); $26,203 (out-of-state)
Part-time: $10,958 (in-state); $17,977 (out-of-state)
35.3%
5. University of Arkansas-Little Rock (Bowen) Full-time:  $16,717 (in-state); $33,277 (out-of-state)
Part-time: $11,663 (in-state); $22,703 (out-of-state)
55.8%
6. University of South Dakota (Knudson) Full-time: $16,793 (in-state); $36,333 (out-of-state)
Part-time:  $9,982 (in-state); $19,747 (out-of-state)
67.5%
7. Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico Full-time: $17,108
Part-time: $13,068
56.3%
8. University of Montana (Blewett) Full-time: $17,167 (in-state); $41,177 (out-of-state) 66.1%
9. Georgia State University Full-time: $17,202 (in-state); $36,810 (out-of-state)
Part-time: $15,888 (in-state); $33,858 (out-of-state)
28.4%
10. University of North Dakota Full-time: $17,475 (in-state); $33,236 (out-of-state) 72.7%

1. University of the District of Columbia (Clarke)

What is the cheapest law school to attend? The District of Columbia University (Clarke) is the cheapest ABA-accredited law school. Attending UDC is affordable and easily accessible, with a high acceptance rate of 50.3%. And since the media LSAT score for admission is 150, candidates won’t need to retake the exam to improve their scores, saving both money and time. 

Despite its affordability, UDC keeps the quality of education high. Boasting a legacy of 50 years, it ranks 13th nationwide for its exceptional clinical program. This ensures that students receive a comprehensive legal education, equipping them for future careers in law. Even if your undergraduate major isn’t typically considered among the best majors for law school, the University of the District of Columbia’s high acceptance rate offers a promising opportunity for you to pursue a legal education. 

2. Brigham Young University (Clark)

Brigham Young University is considered the second cheapest ABA law school and is associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which offers a high-quality education. The school maintains affordable tuition fees by funding a significant portion of its operational expenses through donations from church members. In addition, LDS Church members are only required to pay $14,636, while non-members are charged $29,272.

Prospective students should note that BYU maintains high academic standards despite its lower costs. The median LSAT score for incoming students is 168, and the median undergraduate GPA is 3.92. Notably, BYU (Clark) is tied for the 22nd rank in Best Law Schools and has an acceptance rate of 31.4%.

3. Inter-American University

Inter-American University offers an inexpensive law school option with affordable tuition for many students. With an acceptance rate of 51%, Inter-American University welcomes a diverse range of students, with the median undergraduate GPA for entrants at 3.37 and the median LSAT score at 143. Additionally, the university holds a notable position in Trial Advocacy, ranking at #40, making it an attractive option for students interested in this legal specialty.

4. CUNY 

CUNY is one of the cheapest law schools. The school has a 35.3% acceptance rate, a median LSAT score of 154, and a median GPA of 3.42. CUNY is the top public interest law school focused on teaching law for human needs and inclusivity. All CUNY students gain practical experience through clinical education to promote transformative justice even while pursuing their JD degrees.

5. University of Arkansas-Little Rock (Bowen)

The University of Arkansas is recognized for its hands-on learning opportunities and as a cheap law school. It’s ranked #43 in Part-time Law. A GPA of 3.41 and an LSAT score of 152 are recommended if you want to enroll, with a 55.8% acceptance rate. UA’s law program also includes diverse clinics, such as business innovations, consumer protection, family law, mediation, tax, and veterans legal services, allowing students to delve into specific legal areas and hone their skills.

6. University of South Dakota (Knudson)

The institution offers full-time and part-time study options and varying tuition fees for in-state and out-of-state students. Boasting the highest acceptance rate on our list at 67.5%, it’s an accessible choice for many, accepting LSAT scores from 148-155 and GPAs between 3-3.72. USD is not just about being the least expensive law school; it’s also about quality, offering high placement rates, a low student-to-faculty ratio, and diverse hands-on learning experiences.

7. Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico 

The Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico stands out as an affordable law school with full-time tuition at $17,108 and part-time at $13,068. Welcoming 56.3% of its applicants, it caters to a range of academic profiles, accepting LSAT scores from 132-139 and GPAs between 2.77-3.49. The program spans three years for day students and four for those in the evening division. A highlight of the curriculum is the clinical program offered to third-year students, providing practical legal experience.

8. University of Montana (Blewett)

The University of Montana is notable as one of the cheapest law schools, with in-state full-time tuition at $17,167 and out-of-state at $41,177. It’s tied at No. 96 in Best Law Schools and has a 66.1% acceptance rate. The school accommodates a variety of academic levels, with LSAT scores ranging from 151-158 and GPAs from 3.05-3.71. UM distinguishes itself by offering clinical simulations from the first year and a mandatory clinic or field placement in the final year, earning recognition for practical training. It’s also highly regarded for its environmental law program, an excellent choice for those passionate about this field.

9. Georgia State University

Georgia State University is the ninth cheapest law school in America. The institution holds the 69th position in the list of Best Law Schools in America, ranks 12th in Part-time Law, and is recognized as the top law school for Health Care Law. With an acceptance rate of 28.4%, this Atlanta-based public law school is renowned for its healthcare law program. Students have the opportunity for practical legal experience through the school’s HeLP Legal Clinic and the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

10. University of North Dakota

The school has a high acceptance rate of 72.7%, welcoming students with LSAT scores between 146 and 153 and GPAs from 3.1 to 3.59. As the state’s oldest and largest university, it offers over 225 accredited on-campus and online degrees. Nationally recognized for its academic programs, it also serves the largest number of exclusively online students among all nonprofit flagship universities in its eight-state region.

To help you estimate your chances of getting into different law schools, a Law School Predictor utilizes your LSAT scores and GPA. It calculates probabilities of admission, offering guidance on where your application might be most competitive.

A woman budgeting while using the phone calculator

How to Finance Your Law School Journey

Paying for law school can be expensive, but there are ways to make it more affordable. Establishing your law school application timeline for managing application deadlines and scholarship opportunities is beneficial. 

To begin, complete the FAFSA form to determine if you are eligible for federal grants, work-study programs, student loans, or state or school aid. Some awards and law school scholarships don’t need to be paid back. They can come from sources other than the government. You can find scholarship opportunities on the Law School Admission Council’s website.

Work-study programs are another choice. They let you work in areas related to your studies while earning money to help with school costs. You may consider taking out law school loans designed exclusively for law students if you need additional funds. Federal student loans offer lower interest rates, flexible repayment options, and potential loan forgiveness. Private lenders also offer loan options. Remember, loans must be paid back, so think carefully before choosing this option.

Prepare for the LSAT with Confidence

Performing well on the LSAT is crucial as it not only holds significant weight in law school admissions but also opens up opportunities for scholarships and other financial assistance, easing the financial burden of pursuing a legal education.

Odyssey Test Prep offers comprehensive services to help you excel in your LSAT. Our services are tailored to guide you through the entire law school journey, including an admission roadmap to easily navigate the process.

LSAT Prep Course

Improve your LSAT score with our LSAT Prep Course to secure your spot in your dream law school. Our LSAT Prep Course provides an in-depth curriculum covering all aspects of the test to ensure a thorough understanding and effective strategies for each section.

LSAT Tutoring

Maximize your LSAT performance through personalized one-on-one tutoring, increasing your chances of getting into your preferred affordable law school. Our personalized LSAT tutoring focuses on individual strengths and weaknesses, offering customized support and targeted practice to boost your performance.

Law School Admission Consulting

Gain a competitive edge in the admissions process by partnering with our expert consultants, helping you secure admission to a law school that matches your goals. Our consulting service offers expert guidance on every aspect of law school admissions, from selecting the right schools to crafting compelling applications, ensuring you present your best self to admissions committees.

Final Thoughts

Law school is tough, not just academically but also financially. The burden of expensive tuition can make the journey seem overwhelming. That’s why considering the cheapest law schools on our list could be a smart move. These schools cut costs without skimping on the quality of legal education. Opting for these affordable schools shows that “Is law school worth it?” can have a positive answer.

Finding a school that perfectly balances affordability and educational quality paves the way for a successful legal career without the weight of excessive debt.