Best Cheapest Law Schools in Illinois [Costs & Benefits Compared]

Are you on the lookout for budget-friendly law schools in Illinois but feeling overwhelmed by the options? Worry not, as we’ve done the legwork to identify some of the most economical law schools in the state. Our guide factors in tuition fees, cost of living, and other expenses, ensuring you can make an informed decision about the best fit for your legal education journey. We’ll also delve into the unique advantages each school offers, such as access to specialized classes, student-run organizations, and more.

Let’s dive into the realm of affordable legal education in Illinois and explore some of the top contenders.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The law school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, often referred to as Champaign, stands out for its full-time JD programs catering to undergraduates. Notably, it doesn’t require prior legal experience, making it an attractive option for aspiring lawyers. With affordable tuition, generous scholarships, and grants, Champaign is committed to minimizing financial burdens. In the 2023 academic year, tuition for locals is a modest USD 15,442, complemented by a reasonable living cost of approximately $5,900 per year.

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Keep in mind that Champaign maintains rigorous academic standards, necessitating completion of challenging coursework and success in the Bar exam.

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University, a public university, is unique in that it accepts all students with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. The affordability of its education further sets it apart, with a tuition fee of $12,478 USD in the 2021 academic year and continuing at the same rate. Beyond cost, Northern Illinois University boasts small class sizes, knowledgeable faculty, career services, and internship opportunities, making it accessible to students from diverse backgrounds.

John Marshall Law School

Situated in Chicago, the John Marshall Law School is a private institution known for delivering excellent education at a reasonable cost. With a yearly tuition fee of USD 30,360, it stands as one of the most affordable private law schools in Illinois. Students benefit from experienced faculty, dedicated career services, internship opportunities, and a vibrant array of student organizations and activities.

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DePaul University College of Law

DePaul University College of Law, a private institution and a top-ranked law school, offers a JD/MBA dual degree program. Despite its prestige, DePaul remains one of the cheapest law schools in Illinois, with a tuition fee of USD 31,740 per year. Students enjoy access to renowned faculty, diverse student organizations, career services, and internship opportunities.

Southern Illinois University School of Law

Southern Illinois University School of Law, a public institution, is renowned for its affordability, with a tuition fee of USD 22,838 per year. The school offers an accelerated JD program, allowing students to complete their degree in three years. Notably, there are no strict academic standards, providing students the freedom to pursue their interests. The school also supports part-time work during the summer and features a unique JD/MBA dual degree program.


your journey to finding the best and most affordable law schools in Illinois is now simplified. We’ve covered the costs and benefits of each institution, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to Southern Illinois University. This comprehensive guide takes the guesswork out of your decision-making process, helping you embark on your legal education journey with confidence.

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