Among graduates of the University of Michigan Law School in the classes of 1970 through 1979, about half borrowed to pay for their college or legal education. By the early 1980s the portion who borrowed had risen to about 80 percent and has remained at that level through the classes of early twenty-first century. Even greater growth has occurred in the average debt of those who incurred debt. In actual dollars, average debts among those with debt have increased twenty-fold from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Even in CPI-adjusted dollars, average debts have tripled. By the classes of 2000-2001, 42 percent of students were borrowing more than $90000 to attend law school. This memo tracks the changes over time in the ways law students have paid for their education, the growth of borrowing as the principal means of financing legal education, and the difficulties reported by our graduates in paying off their loans.
Chambers, David L., "The Increasing Reliance on Educational Loans By University of Michigan Law School Graduates" (2019). Bibliography of Research Using UMLS Alumni Survey Data. 40.