West Midlands teenagers who want to be lawyers face fees of nearly £10,000 for their training this year - unless they stay at home.
The region's colleges and universities are now the cheapest in the country when it comes to offering a compulsory practical qualification for those who have already studied law.
The qualification, known as the Legal Practice Course, is the last set of exams before students enter the profession.
The University of Central England, based in Perry Barr, Birmingham, charges its students £5,855 for the year-long full-time vocational course while Wolverhampton University asks for fees of £5,900.
The Law Society found these were the cheapest courses in the country.
In other major cities fees are almost £3,000 more. Nottingham Law School's course costs £8,415 and Cardiff Law School charges £8,300.
Even one of Birmingham's most expensive institutions to study the course, the Hockley-based Birmingham College of Law, charges £8,300 for the course.
This is £650 less than its sister College of Law in London and £ 900 less than another well-respected college in the capital, BPP, where fees are £9,200.
However, this year several of the West Midlands colleges and universities have increased the cost of their courses above inflation.
And although their fees may still be comparatively cheap, some leading Midland lawyers worry that the rise could deter talented teenagers from entering the profession.
Staffordshire University's fees rose nine per cent to £6,500 and Wolverhampton University's fees increased by five per cent to £5,900.
Richard Follis, president of the Birmingham Law Society, believes the hike will discourage the poorest students and those from ethnic minorities.
He said: "Students from more affluent backgrounds won't be put off by this kind of increase. But in some universities, such as Wolverhampton University, where some of the students may be less well-off, they will be.
"Already it is very regrettable that we have so many students with massive debts.
"This rise will also deter students from the most diverse backgrounds and that is a great pity. The legal profession has become much more diverse in recent years.
"For example, we now have a majority of women entering the law and many lawyers are from Asian backgrounds in Birmingham. But there are still not enough lawyers from ethnic minorities and this fee increase will not help."
But Brian Mitchell, dean of the School of Legal Studies at Wolverhampton University, believes the individual attention and support given to students on his course justifies the fee rise.
He said: "Over the period in which we have raised our fees, student applications have increased.
"We pride ourselves on drawing our students from the West Midlands and have many from lower socio-economic groups. We take very seriously our commitment to helping people enter the profession and work closely with Law Societies throughout the region.
"We are a small provider and are committed to giving students individual attention and support.
"In the last two years we have made considerable financial investment in the resources we use to deliver the Legal Practice Course.
"In particular, we have moved into brand new premises to provide the course at Wolverhampton Science Park, the recently-opened Centre for Professional Legal Studies."
Martin Hannibal, the Legal Practice Course award manager at Staffordshire University, said fees had to rise to meet the growing cost of textbooks and computer programmes.
He said: "Our fees increase each year to absorb rising costs, such as study materials and investment in IT, all of which benefit the students. Our fees remain competitively priced for a course that was labelled as 'excellent' by the Law Society."
Anglia Polytechnic University increased its fees by 17 per cent to £6,800 this year - the highest rise of any institution offering the LPC in the country. It said the increase followed two years where costs were frozen and was in part the result of its law school moving premises.