ABA Journal: Legal academics like to think their students are studying the law because they want to advance justice, right wrongs and serve the underprivileged. But most students are motivated at least partly—and often substantially—by the lure of money, according to a law dean who decided to evaluate whether law school makes economic sense.
In a paper set to be published by the William Mitchell Law Review, University of Louisville law dean Jim Chen realizes the reality and analyzes law school in terms of return on investment. In his view, law grads need to earn three times their annual tuition for adequate financial viability and six times their annual tuition for good financial viability, the National Law Journal reports.
The NLJ explains Chen’s theory. It would mean law grads at a school charging $16,000 a year in tuition would need to make $48,000 for adequate financial viability and $96,000 for good viability. Grads attending schools with annual tuition of $48,000 would need to make $144,000 for adequate viability and $288,000 for good viability. The formula assumes no other debt besides law school loans.