You’re too old for law school – and other myths dispelled

By Scott Garrett, Associate Dean

Adults studying for law school

At the Birmingham School of Law, I have heard all the myths about going back to law school.  We want to share with you some of the many things we hear through our students and applicants to make sure you know the plain truth about getting your law degree from Birmingham School of Law (BSL):

I’m too old.  

You’re not too old – hardly ever is anyone too old to attend BSL.  Many of our students are in their late 30’s or early 40’s, like I was, when they begin matriculating at BSL.  In the late 2000’s, I completed the weeknight program while taking a few weekend classes along the way. Right now, we have dozens of students who are in their 40’s and 50’s; a few even a bit older than that!  No one thinking about going to BSL should be concerned about feeling awkward because of their age.  While some of our students are younger, the student body is comprised of adults of all ages.

It’s too expensive.

For many individuals contemplating going to law school, tuition costs can appear insurmountable, and some back away from law school altogether.  Others go into tremendous debt that may take them decades to pay off.  Fortunately, BSL’s tuition is extremely reasonable by anyone’s standards, and it definitely ranks among the least expensive options of the law schools within a 90-mile radius:


School Location Tuition and fees to graduation
The University of Alabama School of Law Tuscaloosa, AL $70,230 – in state

$121,080 – out of state

Cumberland School of Law Birmingham, AL $115,344
Jones School of Law Montgomery $114,000
Birmingham School of Law Birmingham, AL $26,289 – weeknight program

$30,660 – Saturday program

You must interrupt your life to pursue a law degree.

This is simply not the case.  The vast majority of our students work full-time jobs and have children and families. BSL offers weeknight classes, and we also have a Saturday program that one can mix and match – students aren’t sewn into either program.  Weeknight classes run from 6:00 pm to 8:45 pm.  There are four periods of Saturday classes that run from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. We also generally offer two 3:00 pm classes on Fridays.   Our students are able to take a flexible schedule of classes and still have a life.

You must take the LSAT.

We do not require an LSAT score for admittance to BSL.  That means you don’t have to buy study materials, study for the test, find a place to take it, pass it, etc.  That said, we do recommend that prospective students at least take a diagnostic LSAT as it gives the student an idea about how difficult law school may be.   

You must go to a top-tier law school to succeed.

BSL’s classes are taught by practicing attorneys and judges.  Our students receive both the theoretical AND the practical sides of the practice of law.  BSL’s network is growing increasingly influential as far as sharing connections in the various legal communities throughout the state.  A Birmingham School of Law degree allows a graduate to practice law in any state or federal court in Alabama.    

Many of our students go into private practice – some end up at plaintiff’s firms like our former students and friends at Farris Riley & Pitt.  Many become solo practitioners – and many go into criminal defense.  If you plan to practice law in the state of Alabama, you should seriously consider the savings associated with a Birmingham School of Law degree.  The price is right, the connections you’ll make are invaluable, and the flexibility you’ll have can make your dreams of becoming a practicing attorney an achievable reality.

Birmingham School of Law is a law school that provides an affordable quality legal education.  BSL has a diverse student body of approximately 350 students from across the State of Alabama and the Southeast. Many different undergraduate majors are represented as there is no “correct” pre-law major.  Contact us today to learn more about enrollment options.

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