Law schools are increasingly finding themselves on the defensive about some of their own policies, and some are trying to avoid becoming the next law school that is hit by a lawsuit over its hiring practices.
Recode, a site that aggregates the latest news and analysis on business, finance, technology and other industries, has released its 2017 Law School Rankings, which rank the nation’s law schools by their annual graduation rates.
Recoding, which focuses on business-related issues, ranked law schools based on a combination of a survey of graduates and students and a ranking of how much they spent on school.
The top law schools earned an average of 6,500 students in 2018, up from 5,400 in 2017.
Law schools in the top 10 earned an annual average of 3,000 students.
This year’s ranking places all of the top law school schools, as well as the bottom 20, in the same group.
Law schools in that group earned an overall average of 1,900 students, which is the lowest annual average in the group.
Law school graduates also spent more on education than other types of graduates, according the rankings.
Recoding found that in 2017, graduates spent on average $3,819 per year on education, with the top earning an average $12,056 per year.
This makes graduates the least educated group of law students.
The next best-paying group of graduates is those with an average annual income of $19,631, according Recode.
This group, also in the bottom 10, had an average average annual salary of $20,834.
Recode ranked the top 25 percent of law schools as the most well-off group, followed by the bottom 40 percent.
Recoded also listed the top five law schools on average cost per student, which was the highest on Recode’s list of 2017’s best law schools.
Law school students who attended the top schools averaged $17,907 in 2018.
Recoded also ranked law school graduates as the cheapest at $1,851 per year, while the bottom 50 percent of graduates were spending $2,902 per year or more.
Recodes analysis of the 2018 rankings also found that more than half of law school students have an employer, compared with just over a third in the general population.
Recodes also found students were much more likely to be working full-time in 2018 than in 2017 or 2016.
Students who completed law school in 2017 and enrolled in the class of 2019 are expected to earn $140,000 or more in their final year, according of the 2017 rankings.
The average final year salary for the class was $61,924.
The rankings also included a list of schools that received more than 50 percent enrollment in 2018 and a list that did not.
The highest-ranked school on that list was Yale, with its students graduating in 2019.
Yale ranked seventh on Recoding’s list for 2019 graduates.
The school was ranked as the fourth best law school by Recode for the group of 2019 graduates, and it had the second-highest average annual salaries.