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Working as a lawyer can be a rewarding — though stressful — career. Getting there is pretty tough, too. Law school is so rigorous that until 2014, the American Bar Association restricted the number of hours students were allowed to work while in school.

Law school is also expensive. Data published by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that in 2016, seven out of 10 law students had to take on loans to pay for their schooling. The average student loan balance for graduates then was $145,500 — a number that has continued to grow, according to more recent surveys.

If you're going to take on so much debt, you want to be confident you'll be able to get a job using your new law degree. Law School Transparency (LST), a non-profit that educates consumers about the legal profession, reports that over 60% of law students get a job offer before they even graduate.

Still, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that job competition will be fierce over the next decade since there are more students graduating than jobs available in the field. That’s why borrowing thousands of dollars worth of student loans isn’t a decision you should make lightly.

Here’s what you should know about law school and student debt.

How Much Law School Costs

The cost of law school has been exceeding inflation for three decades straight, according to Law School Transparency’s latest data.

Law school is expensive for the same reason a lot of college programs are: it requires a lot of highly educated (and expensive) people to deliver its courses.

Ashley Norwood-Struppa, northeast regional manager at the AccessLex Center for Education and Financial Capability, says that law schools also invest a lot of money on resources to help students with career placement. That includes intensive practice clinics and networking events for exposure.