Those schools had the highest percentage of graduates taking first-year associate jobs at NLJ 250 law firms for the lowest tuition price.
The University of Chicago Law School was ranked No. 1 on the NLJ's Go-To Law School list, with 58.97% of its 2010 graduates taking jobs at NLJ 250 law firms. At the same time, it was ranked No. 18 in terms of law school tuition costs, meaning that 17 schools out of the 50 on the Go-To list cost more.
The school's annual tuition in 2010 was $44,757, according to the American Bar Association/Law School Admission Council Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools.
Howard University School of Law was ranked No. 31 on this year's Go-To Law School List. Some 15.04% of its 2010 graduates got NLJ 250 jobs, and it was the third-cheapest school among the 50, charging $24,490 in 2010 for tuition.
The National Law Journal's Go-To Law School special report, published on Feb. 28, ranked the law schools that the nation's 250 largest firms recruited from most heavily to fill their first-year associate classes. Tuition amounts were based on data for full-time, non-resident students obtained from the 2010 ABA/LSAC guide.
The law school with the highest tuition compared to its percentage of graduates taking NLJ 250 first-year associate jobs was Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Of its 2010 graduates, 12.6% landed NLJ 250 jobs, for a ranking of No. 34 on the Go-To list. Cardozo's tuition was $45,170, making it the 14th most expensive school among the 50. Federal and state judicial clerkships didn't count toward the Go-To Law School rankings, and Cardozo reported that 18 graduates, or 4.7% of the class, took clerkships after graduation.
"We think we're well positioned, based on our relationships in the legal field, to do very well as the market picks up," said John DeNatale, director of communications at Cardozo.
Also among the pricier schools was Washington and Lee University School of Law, which was more expensive than 16 of the 50 law schools but was ranked No. 50, last on the list in terms of graduate placement at NLJ 250 law firms. Its 2010 tuition was $38,062.
The University of Texas School of Law also was relatively expensive. It was the 8th costliest school and ranked No. 20 among the 50 schools relied on by NLJ 250 firms. Tuition was $42,814 in 2010.
Other schools that fared well in a cost-benefit analysis were Boston College Law School and College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law. William and Mary was the cheapest, with tuition at $31,846. It ranked No. 28 on the Go-To Law School List.
"Employers recognize the strengths of a William and Mary degree," said Faye Shealy, the school's associate dean for admission, in an e-mail message. "Students recognize the cutting-edge legal experience, along with the 'best buy' value."
The average annual tuition at the 50 Go-To Law Schools was $40,167. The most expensive law school was University of Cornell Law School, which charged $49,020 and was ranked No. 2 on the Go-To list. The cheapest was Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School, which charged $19,960. It was ranked No. 47 on the Go-To list.
Contact Leigh Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We divided tuition by the percentage of first-year associates hired by
NLJ 250 law firms to determine the comparative value of the 50 Go-To Law Schools.