Nominal tuition does not account for inflation. The following chart reflects the actual average tuition prices for the each category over the past 27 years.
Since 1985, inflation has been a factor in rising law school prices. According to the BLS, inflation has been 103.2% over this period. But legal education inflation far exceeds the inflation rate. In 1985, the average private school tuition was $7,526 (1985 dollars), which would now cost a student $15,733 (2011 dollars). Instead, the average tuition is $39,184 (2011 dollars), so tuition grew about 2.5 times the inflation rate. For public school resident tuition, the average grew 5.27 times the inflation rate.