cheap law schools
Annual Tuition (30 credits): $21,000.0
Annual Tuition (24 credits): $16,800.00
When registering for the first semester at MSLAW, students are assessed a one time non-refundable building fund charge of $750.00.
If accepted, there is a $300.00 non-refundable seat deposit that is credited to your tuition once registered.
MSLAW S AFFORDABLE TUITION POLICY
For approximately 35 years there has been rampant inflation in the cost of tuition at all levels of American higher education. Since 1970, tuitions in various forms of education have risen by 1000 percent to about 2200 percent, and tuitions in law schools in particular have generally risen from 1000 percent to 1500 percent. Tuitions in higher education are now so high that prospective students at undergraduate and graduate schools are often considering relative tuitions when deciding which school to attend. Some are even going abroad to be educated in Europe (and Canada too) at a much lower price.
When Massachusetts School of Law was founded in 1988, about midway through the inflationary 35 year period, law school tuitions for full-time students in New England ranged from about $11, 000 per year to about $16,000 per year. Today the average full-time law school tuition in New England is nearly $30,000 per year, and tuitions are as high as $36,000 per year. The time has come when many prospective law students will or should consider relative tuitions as one of the factors to think about when deciding on a law school (as prospective students do with regard to undergraduate schools and other types of graduate schools).
When MSLAW was founded and full-time New England law school tuitions ranged from $11,000 to $16,000, one of our goals was not to participate in the constant upward spiral of law school tuitions. We set an initial full-time tuition of $8,000 per year. In the 18 years of MSLAW’s existence, its tuition has risen a few times to be sure, in order to insure that the school always remains in excellent financial shape. But today MSLAW’s tuition still is only $21,000. per year, far less than the New England average.
Three questions arise. One is why has MSLAW held down tuitions so stringently. Another is how has it been able to do so when other schools have been raising tuitions year after year after year until their tuitions are nearly $30,000 per year on average. A third question is in what way should a prospective student take tuition into account when deciding upon a law school.
The reason we have held down tuitions is that MSLAW believes that the price of law school tuition has gotten astronomical. It is freezing people out of legal education or causing them to take out huge loans, often exceeding $100,000 or $120,000 in total, which they find very difficult to pay off afterwards. They find it difficult even if they go to work for large, high paying metropolitan law firms, which only a small percentage do.
It is a very bad thing that persons who are not highly affluent are frozen out of legal education by its cost. The legal profession is very influential in this country, and it is very unhealthy for the country for entrance to the profession to be limited largely to the already affluent. It is also very bad for law school graduates to be strapped after school by huge payments of principal and interest on huge loans, payments which make it difficult to lead a normal life even if a person is one of the small percentage of graduates who work for a large, high paying metropolitan firm a job which many graduates come to feel is an undesirable way to live and which they leave in droves.
As I said above, MSLAW has had to raise its tuition a few times. Each time has seemed like a personal defeat to me, because I so strongly hold to the views discussed above. It is small but some solace that we have been able to hold the increases to amounts far below the levels that make law schools completely unaffordable or that cause students to have to take on debts of crippling size such as $100,000 or $120,000 or even more.
As to how MSLAW has been able to keep down its tuition, the answer is easy in theory though almost all institutions of higher education find it impossible to achieve or even attempt in practice. MSLAW is run like a business. We seek to be as efficient as possible, with maximum amounts of work done by each professor or employee, with beautiful physical facilities acquired for the minimum possible cost, and with extensive use of online research and of lawyers and practicing judges as part-time professors (just like medical schools extensively use doctors as adjunct professors). Such efficiency is unknown to almost any other law school, and is not sought by them.
With regard to the final question, it seems to me that law school tuitions are generally now so high at so many schools that many prospective students should, even must, weigh them as one of the factors to consider in choosing a school.
Other factors to be weighed in making a choice would include the geographical area where a student might like to practice, whether a student wishes to try to be one of the small percentage of graduates who will be hired by large, major urban firms or instead wants to practice in a smaller firm or in government service, whether a law school teaches its students not just the abstract law and how to “think like a lawyer,” but also the practical skills of practice (all medical schools teach the skills of practice, but at most law schools the chance to learn them is limited for most students), whether a school teaches courses in a specialized field which a student might wish to pursue, and the extent to which students at a school have a chance to interrelate closely with professors outside the classroom, an opportunity not widely available at many schools. If a student investigates and considers all of these factors, including the cost of tuition, he or she will be far better able to make a decision that is right for him or her.
Dean Emeritus Lawrence R. Velvel
Students who wish to withdraw from the Massachusetts School of Law should submit a hard copy letter (email is not sufficient) to the registrar’s office. A student who submits a letter of withdrawal is withdrawing from the entire program, not just for a semester and is not eligible to return in future semesters without permission of the Admissions Committee.