BECKLEY, W.Va. — Students seeking a law degree have a bigger asset right here in the Mountain State than they might realize.
West Virginia University’s College of Law is not only ranked in the top 100 law schools in the nation, but also has one of the lowest tuition rates in the country, according to U.S. News rankings.
In-state, full-time tuition for students at WVU College of Law (ranked No. 83) is $17,658 per year, which is one of the lowest among the top 100 ranked law schools.
Only three schools in the top 100 have lower tuition: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, ranked No. 54, with $14,441 per year; Georgia State University, ranked No. 64, with $16,042 per year; and the University of New Mexico, ranked No. 72, with $16,251 per year.
The most expensive law school on the list was No. 4, Columbia University in New York at $57,838 per year.
U.S. News ranked 194 fully accredited American Bar Association schools based on a weighted average of 12 measures of quality, including peer assessment, assessment by lawyers/judges, selectivity, median Law School Admission Test scores, median undergraduate GPA and acceptance rates.
“It’s nice to get the recognition,” Director of Communication James Jolly said. “I think we’ve earned it and I think the members of the law school community think we’ve earned it.”
According to another U.S. News report, graduates from WVU’s 2013 class also have a relatively low average of law school debt at graduation. That debt rate averages $75,000 at WVU.
Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego topped the list at $180,665 average debt for its 2013 grads, and the University of the District of Columbia (Clarke) in Washington, D.C., came in with the lowest amount of grad debt with $34,645…