Before we talk about logistics of financial aid, let's consider some important statistics. The average amount of debt carried by 2012 law school graduates was $84,600 for public school graduates, and a whopping $122,158 for private school graduates. Not a big deal because you'll be rolling in the big lawyer money after graduation, right? Not exactly. The adjusted mean starting salary for 2012 law school graduates was $75,554, with 51% of graduates making between $40,00 and 65,000 annually and 16% making $160,000 (For more detailed information, click here). If you are in the majority of graduates with a salary under $65,000, paying back that debt can be a hefty endeavor.
“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” John F. Kennedy
“Crisis” is certainly an appropriate word to describe the current state of the legal profession. Over the past ten years, the number of licensed lawyers in the United States has increased 20% and sixteen new law schools have opened their doors. Legal employment, however, has not grown at the same rate.
Why is your GPA so important to law school admissions officers? There are two primary reasons: 1) a good GPA demonstrates both your intellectual ability and your willingness to work hard, and 2) studies have shown a positive correlation between strong undergraduate GPAs and law school performance. What you might not know - but should - is how your GPA is presented to law school admissions officers.