Law school among nation's best at offering value to students


For the second consecutive year, The University of Akron School of Law ranks in the top 35 schools nationally as a “best value” by The National Jurist magazine. With its A- rating, UA is the only Ohio law school in the top 35.

The best-value ranking is designed to highlight “the law schools where graduates have excellent chances of passing the bar and getting a legal job without taking on a ton of debt.”

Jessica Lopez is one such graduate.

The Akron Law alumna, who earned her degree in May, is working in the Business Litigation Group at Roetzel & Andress in Akron. She considers her Akron Law education to be “a very good value” based on the factors most important to her — academic programs and emphasis on student success.

“The joint JD/LL.M program in Intellectual Property was extremely valuable to me,” says Lopez. “It not only enhances the marketability of students postgraduation, but it is a valuable program for students wanting to specialize in intellectual property.
“Above all, the Academic Success Program was one of the most valuable tools for me throughout my first year. The peer-to-peer learning is a unique option for students that not many law schools offer, and it continues to be an avenue for first-year students to develop the necessary skills that are needed to succeed in law school,” adds Lopez, who became a Contracts tutor for the program during her remaining two years at Akron Law.

How UA ranks

To make The National Jurist list, a school’s debt load per student must be less than $105,000; the school’s weighted employment rate must exceed 69.5 percent, and the bar pass rate must both be greater than 75 percent, and no less than 3 percent below the state average.

Here’s how UA ranks:

  • Tuition: $23,085
  • Average debt for 2012 graduates: $66,283 (lower than 92 percent of law schools)
  • Two-year bar pass rate: 92.8 percent
  • Two-year bar pass rate, state average: 86.2 percent
  • Weighted employment rate (discounting part-time and temporary employment and employment that does not require bar passage): 72.5 percent

Better value yet

Earlier this year, Akron increased the value of its degrees by freezing tuition for the entering class of 2013 until its members graduate. The school also offers out-of-state students the in-state tuition rate (reducing the out-of-state surcharge to $50 per fall and spring semester), creating a value proposition that is unique in Ohio.

“We work hard to offer the highest quality legal education at a cost that supports our students' ultimate professional success,” says Elizabeth Reilly, interim dean of the School of Law. “These rankings provide prospective students with the information they need to judge that for themselves.

“The fact that we perform well comparatively across the country highlights that we live our mission of access, affordability and opportunity by focusing on student success and outcomes,” adds Reilly.

Media contact: Eileen Korey, 330-972-8589 or