School of Law lands top 20 'best value' rating

The School of Law is one of the top 20 "Best Value" law schools in the nation, according to preLaw magazine.

This is the second year in a row the law school has been honored by preLaw.

“This ranking we value because it is consistent with the primary mission of the law school: to provide a high-quality legal education that is affordable to students,” said Stephen Mazza, interim dean of the law school. “The rankings also reflect the dedication of our outstanding faculty and the hard work of our career services office.”

Law schools are honored if they meet four criteria: their bar pass rate is higher than the state average; their average indebtedness is below $100,000; their employment rate nine months after graduation is 85 percent or higher; and tuition is less than $35,000 a year for in-state residents.

“With tuition and cost of living expenses outpacing entry-level salaries, it is more important than ever for prospective law students to take into account value,” said Jack Crittenden, editor and founder of preLaw magazine and its sister-publication, the National Jurist.

Total tuition and fees for the 2010-11 academic year for a first-year Kansas resident are about $15,500.

Last year, the School of Law was ranked No. 21 on the Best Value list. preLaw’s fall issue, published in October, will rank the top 20 schools and assign a letter grade to the other 40 honorees.

“Our current students and alumni know the outstanding value they’ve received from their tuition dollars,” Mazza said, “and it’s nice to let others know that you don’t have to spend $40,000 a year in tuition to receive a high-quality law degree.”

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