The law school debt problem is not new. Clarence Thomas recently told students at Harvard Law School, "I wound up on the Court 17 years after I graduated. And I made my final payment on my student loan my third term on the Court." Granted that 1) Thomas went to a pricey law school (Yale), 2) got elevated to the Court at a relatively young age (43); and 3) didn't have much (as in any) family wealth as a cushion. Still, the idea that a United States Supreme Court justice would be paying off college loans is pretty bracing. And that was twenty years ago.
If you're looking for a picture of what's happened with law school tuition since then, Brian Leichter offers this:
At the same time, the landscape for paying off law school loans has also been changing -- projections on employment and income in the legal market are less optimistic than they were 20 years ago, and repayment conditions are in flux. See this quick description of a new income-based repayment option, and a warning that even that may change.