If you’re going to invest your time and money into any sort of graduate school or doctorate degree, you want to make sure that investment is going to pay off. And for graduates of one particular North Carolina law school, it pays off in a big way. This research comes from a nationwide study of the law schools producing the highest-earning graduates. It was conducted by Florida personal injury lawyers Anidjar & Levine. They analyzed data from American Bar Association (ABA) accredited schools regarding the earnings of their graduates. This included the average earnings of recipients of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the schools. And when it came to law schools in particular? Graduates of Duke University Law School had the third-highest earning average nationwide.

After 4 years, alumni of Duke receive an average salary of $202,452. Anidjar & Levine report that this is 3210% more than than the average of the top 150 law schools combined which is $65,330. The only two schools with higher average salaries? Cornell and Yale Law. That’s not bad company to be in.

Of course, you have to be able to get into Duke Law first. According to the school’s website, the most recent class, the class of 2026 is “made up of 244 students, enrolled from 6,205 applicants.” That’s an acceptance rate of 3.9% in case you’re wondering. The median GPA of those students is 3.87. And the median LSAT score is a 170. (Though Elle Woods did score higher). You’ll also need that high salary to pay off the cost of law school. Duke Law School tuition is $74,100, with estimated expenses totaling $105,330 per year for the three-year program.

But for those who can make the cut, it will pay off with Duke graduates earning the most of any North Carolina law school and the third most nationwide. Is it too late to go back to school?

US News Best Colleges Rankings, Here's How North Carolina Universities Scored

Looking at colleges can be overwhelming. I was lucky enough to know exactly where I wanted to go to school from a young age and was able to make that dream a reality. But many students don’t know where they want to go or perhaps don’t have the grades to get into their dream school. There are so many colleges across not only North Carolina, but the region, and nationally. Especially if you don’t have a specific major in mind how do you even begin to narrow down your choices? One trusted source many high school students use is the US News and World Report Best Colleges rankings. The 2024 Best Colleges Rankings were just released, including 16 North Carolina universities in the national rankings.

This is undeniably just one of numerous things that should be considered when making the decision on where to study. Some students prefer a smaller institution, while others want a large college experience. Location plays a big part in the decision as well and of course affordability or availability of scholarships. The best colleges in North Carolina included on the US News list span the entire state of NC. Some are in small towns, others in the state’s largest cities. Some are state schools which means cheaper tuition for in-state students. There are several private schools (complete with a higher price tag) included on the list as well.

The four highest-ranked schools all made the top 100 nationally. Two are private and two are public. All four are members of the ACC. Which ones ranked where? You’ll have to keep reading to find out. Below you’ll find information including enrollment and tuition for each NC school included on the US News rankings. Interested in another school or the full list? You can read that here.

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