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Are Law School Tuition Fees in Canada Still a Bargain?

Check out this 2012 article, which lists the top 20 most expensive law school tuitions in the USA.  Here are the top 5:

Cornell University

#1    Cornell:  $53,150

#2    Columbia:  $52,902

#3    Yale:  $52,525  (note that at Yale, first year classes are ungraded, and upper year classes receive only honors, pass, or low-pass.  U of T is pondering moving to this system)

#4    Northwestern:  $51,920

#5    Penn Law:  $50,718

How do these Fees compare to Canadian law schools?

My quick look at the websites found these numbers (if anyone knows that these are out of date, please let me know):

University of Toronto Law:  around $29,000

Toronto Law School has Canada’s Highest Tuition

Osgoode Hall Law School:  around $21,000

Western:  around $19,000

Ottawa: around $16,000

Queens:  around $16,000

Dalhousie: around $14,000

Alberta:  around $12,000

UBC:  around $11,000

UNB:  around $10,00-

Manitoba:  around $10000

TWU:  around $10,000

Saskatchewan:  around $ 9000

Victoria:  around $9,000

McGill:  around $8000 (even less for Quebec residents)



3 Responses to Are Law School Tuition Fees in Canada Still a Bargain?

  1. Chris Davidson Reply

    July 9, 2012 at 11:34 am

    These fees are ridiculous on both sides of the border. Charging tuition that ensures new lawyers are in serious debt is a sure-fire way to erode access to justice. Massive debt discourages lawyers from setting-up practices in under-served areas , it discourages lawyers from taking risks by gearing a practice towards individuals who really need assistance (as opposed to businesses or large organizations), it discourages reductions in fees, and it discourages pro-bono work. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence suggests to me that high tuition reduces the diversity of students who attend law school. Finally, the truth of the matter is that the tuition is not justified on an economic basis. Many of us (lawyers) don’t make enough to make the $25,000 a year U of T charges worthwhile from a financial perspective (or the $14,000 a year at Queen’s –which was $10,000 when I went), especially when you compare the ‘return on investment’ for tuition spent on training/education for other careers. If I had made a decision regarding my education/training on a “rational economic basis” I would have become a plumber. Also, remember that, unlike med school graduates, law graduates can’t just assume they’ll get a job and be able to practise their profession. I believe 15% of law grads this year won’t even have an articling position lined-up before they graduate.

  2. Jeremy Maddock Reply

    July 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    It would be nice if Law Schools could invest somewhat in the students, perhaps providing some kind of contingency program where less affluent potential students could pledge a small percentage of their future income for a set number of years, in exchange for a reduction in fees. That would allow students to stay debt-free and mitigate the risk of law school, while incentivizing law schools to provide outstanding education and prepare students for a career in the real world.

  3. KD Reply

    July 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Alberta’s is closer to 12,500 without books. You have listed the general undergrad tuition while Law is subject to a professional program differential.

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