There's good news and bad news for would-be lawyers. The good news is that the local firm of Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn is setting up an annual law school scholarship which will pay one year's tuition for a deserving student at one of five local law schools.

Arent Fox partner Rodney F. Page says the firm each year will pay the tuition for one student at Catholic, American, Howard, George Washington or Georgetown, in that order, on a rotating basis. Recipients will be selected by the schools on the basis of need and merit.

The bad news, both for the firm and anyone thinking of going to law school, is that tuition nationwide is going to jump an average of 22.5 percent next year, according to a recent survey by The National Law Journal. The average tuition will be $4,323, according to the survey, with Northwestern leading the pack at $8,600.

Georgetown is the most expensive school locally, charging potential barristers $7,160 to attend classes. That's $260 a year more than Harvard charges. American is next on the list at $6,320, followed by George Washington and Catholic, each charging $6,100, and Howard at $2,700.

Footnote on Arent Fox: Partners at the firm emphatically deny rumors that they have given up plans to move into the fancy new Washington Square building on Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW. Sources at the firm say the rumors started when the firm offered to sublease part of the space it acquired. But the partners insist that the firm always intended to use only two floors in the new location and sublease half a floor.