For students considering the University of New Mexico School of Law, the decision to invest in a legal education was made a bit easier this week. PreLaw magazine ranked the UNM School of Law 11th “Best Value Law School” nationwide in its 2014 Back to School issue. Last year, the magazine ranked the UNM law school 13.

The “Best Value” list aims to laud schools that don’t burden students with debt and do turn out working lawyers. Their criteria includes tuition, cost of living expenses, debt accumulation, bar passage rate and employment success.

“This ranking recognizes what all of us at the law school and the State of New Mexico have long known,” Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Max Minzner said. “UNM School of Law is an affordable, first-class institution that excels at its traditional mission: providing one of the nation’s best legal educations to New Mexicans and anyone else who wants to join our legal community.”

Tuition at the UNM School of Law has always been dramatically lower than private law schools and significantly lower than most other law schools. Current in-state tuition is $15,701 and many nonresidents qualify for this in-state rate in their second and third years at the law school. Law school alumni and friends provide support that enables more student aid than ever before, while university support allows the law school to maintain its low tuition.

UNM law school employment rates prove that graduates are client-ready upon graduation. The latest American Bar Association data reveals that UNM law school students outpace the national rate for securing long-term jobs that require bar passage by 15 percent.

PreLaw magazine also points out that the UNM School of Law is one of only two schools in the Top 20 Best Value Law Schools that are in sizable metropolitan markets. Albuquerque has been listed as a top 10 value city in the U.S., one of the best US cities for people 35 and under and a top travel destination. Students at UNM have access to a wide variety of urban resources and activities including sports, cultural events, and shopping, as well as strong employment opportunities.