I will have a total debtload after law school of $150,000++ even with some scholarship assistance (and including some undergrad loan debt as well). I had the opportunity to go to the leading school in my home state (AL, if you're interested) with a full tuition scholarship+++. I would have had significantly less debt, but ultimately I will have more options without having to finish at the top of my class by attending the best school possible regardless of debt. So, IMO, it is definitely worth it to acquire a higher debtload if you desire more mobility (or money) in your career without having to be in the top 10% or so of your class at the lesser school. Then again, if public interest is what you want to do with your JD, then the higher debtload might preclude you from practicing in that area for years until you have worked your debt off doing something that you might hate. In the end, I think it's about your personal preferences for your career and your (perceived) future ability to offset the high debt with the type of job that you desire.