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Law School Debt: By the Numbers

Yesterday we wrote about a recent law school graduate who is now eligible for food stamps. He owes over $200,000 in student loans.

It’s hard to wrap your head around such a big number. What does six figures of educational debt actually represent?

Various commentators on legal education have tried to express these amounts in understandable terms. Last year, for example, Constitutional Daily calculated that with $100,000, a fairly typical debt burden for a recent law school graduate, you could purchase 125 Superbowl tickets at $800 each. Or make 40 maxed-out $2,500 campaign contributions. Or buy (if not consume) 505,050 Wendy’s Crispy Chicken Nuggets.

The latest effort to quantify student loan debt comes from Bloomberg Law, which put together this concise and informative video, “Law School Debt By the Numbers.” Bloomberg notes, for example, that for $153,000 — the average debt load for a graduate of the California Western School of Law, according to U.S. News & World Report — you could eat at Outback Steakhouse every night for 16 years (assuming you don’t die of cardiac arrest in year one; watch out for the Blooming Onion).

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the video:

If you’d like to see the sources for the statistics mentioned in the piece — or if you can’t watch video right now, perhaps because you’re at work or in class, and would prefer to read text — click through to the next page.

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