15 Best Law Schools In The US: How To Get In

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The best law schools in the US have over the years produced some of the world’s best legal practitioners.

The rankings for law schools in America are by far the most consistent; they have barely changed over the past 20 years. 

The first ten universities are typically listed in a slightly different order each year, and this is frequently the only difference. 

You could argue that admission to a top law school in the US, regardless of which one it is, is the only thing that matters.

In this article, you will see the top 15 law schools, why they made the list, and some other tips that can make your entry into any of them easy.

The benefits of attending the best law schools in the US

You’ve undoubtedly heard a thousand justifications for why practicing law in America is challenging and fascinating. 

First off, the United States is a sizable nation, which inevitably results in a wide range of career options. 

Second, the American legal system is by far the most open, complex, surprising, and simple system in the world.

Last but not least, the legal field offers tremendous rewards from all angles. Financially speaking, a “fresh” lawyer’s annual salary begins at about 160,000 USD. 

Morally speaking, you will have the opportunity to positively impact many people’s lives and become an everyday hero for them.

Now, you have seen why the best law schools in the US are a good fit for you.

Top 15 best law schools in the USA

1. Yale Law School (Yale University)

Since the nation’s top law schools began being ranked more than 30 years ago, Yale Law has consistently held that position. 

Yale only admits the best applicants in the nation due to its acceptance rate of less than 7 percent and the fierce competition for its 200 slots each fall. 

With over 10% of graduates choosing to work in academia, Yale Law School has produced a number of notable alumni since its establishment in the early 19th century, including two American presidents and four current justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

 Being one of the best law schools in the US, Yale Law also generates more academics than any other law school in the nation. 

A sizeable percentage of graduates go on to work in the judiciary. Less than 50% of Yale Law students pursue traditional legal jobs, but the school nevertheless offers one of the highest median beginning salaries among all law schools in the nation. 

Because of the academic rigor of its program, Yale Law did away with the grade point average in favor of a straightforward pass/fail system.

To be admitted to one of the best law schools in the US, you will need a 3.83 GPA and an LSAT score of 173.

2. The University of Chicago Law School

The growth of the mid-20th century law and economics movement, whose roots were tied to law school, has contributed to the University of Chicago Law School’s status as one of the most significant law schools in the nation. 

The school has produced a number of distinguished jurists during the course of its comparatively brief history, including numerous Supreme Court justices. 

Prior to becoming a senator for the United States, former president Barack Obama worked on the faculty. 

Cass Sunstein and Richard Epstein, two of its senior faculty members, are regarded as among the most significant legal scholars of the 20th century. 

The University of Chicago Law School is excellent at placing graduates in jobs, and its alumni earn among the highest median salaries in the nation. 

The law school provides a number of additional degrees in addition to its Juris Doctor program, including a dual degree with the M.B.A. program.

The acceptance rate at one of the best law schools in the US is 56.94%. The required LSAT score is 151, and a GPA of 3.27.

The best law schools in Chicago have a bar passage rate of up to 90%, and it is a good rating that other schools seek to achieve.

3. Harvard Law School (Harvard University)

The history of legal education is deeply ingrained in Harvard Law School, the nation’s first and oldest continuously running law school. 

Harvard Law School has contributed to the development of legal education’s approach and curriculum ever since it was founded in the early 19th century. 

A significant portion of its graduates goes on to work as full-time teachers (second only to Yale Law School). More U.S. Supreme Court justices have come from Harvard Law School than from any other institution in the nation. 

Compared to the other top five programs, Harvard Law School accepts over 550 new students each fall. 

Admission is still very competitive despite the high-class size. The largest law library in the whole world and one of the most prestigious law faculties in the nation are both found at Harvard Law. 

Langdell Hall, home to the law school at Harvard University, is one of the most well-known and illustrious structures on the entire campus. It is located on the main campus of Harvard University in the gorgeous city of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As one of the best medical schools in the US, you will need an LSAT score of 170 or above, and a GPA of 3.75 to be considered for admission to this school.

You should see how to secure an Ivy League school admission

4. The University of Virginia School of Law (University of Virginia)

The University of Virginia School of Law, which is located in lovely Charlottesville, Virginia, and was established by former President Thomas Jefferson, is the second-oldest law school in the nation after Harvard Law School. 

The UVA School of Law has grown to be one of the top law schools in the nation since the early 19th century. 

For students who obtained their legal degree from a foreign university, UVA School of Law also provides a famous Master of Law program in addition to its standard Juris Doctor program. 

Along with its superb staff, the law school is renowned for the quality of its student life. Over one-third of the student body at the University of Virginia Law School identify as people of color, and there are more female students than male. 

Although admittance is fiercely tough, like it is at the majority of the top 10 law schools, graduates earn among the highest median earnings in the nation.

It is one of the best law schools in the US, and it requires you to have a GPA of 3.7+ and an LSAT of 160 or above.

5. Stanford Law School (Stanford University)

Despite having a brief history, Stanford Law School has grown to be one of the most significant and esteemed legal institutions in the nation. 

Students at Stanford Law School, one of the most selective law schools in the nation, have the highest undergraduate grade point average in the nation. 

Additionally, the median pay of its graduates is the second highest in the country. The law school, which is outside of Palo Alto, California, has also played a significant role in the development of the innovation centers close to campus. 

The school is currently consistently rated as one of the best for minorities. One of the first law schools in the nation to do so was Stanford Law School, which switched to a quarterly system in 2009. 

Stanford Law was a pioneer in developing a curriculum for new areas of law, including intellectual property, environmental law, and law and technology.

It is one of the best law schools in the US, and it requires you to have a GPA of 3.75, and an LSAT score of 171 or above.

6. University of Pennsylvania (Carey School of Law)

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School has a history of training practicing attorneys dating back to the middle of the 19th century. 

The biggest law firms in the country frequently seek out Penn Law graduates. More than 75% of all Penn Legal graduates joined large law firms following graduation, with an employment rate of over 99% and median pay of close to $200,000. 

By strategically integrating with other graduate programs, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School also embraces the University’s overarching objective of “One University.” 

One of the most sought-after combined degrees in the nation is the law school’s collaboration with the esteemed Wharton School of Business. 

Penn Law, which has its main campus in Philadelphia, has an acceptance rate of fewer than 15%, making it a very competitive program. Additionally varied is the student body, with more than 40% of students identifying as people of color.

As one of the best law schools in the US, it requires you to have a GPA of 3.90 and an LSAT score of 173.

7. Columbia University (Columbia Law School)

One of the finest law schools in the country is Columbia University Legal School. It is particularly well-suited for students who want to work in big law firms. And this is thanks to its exceptional location in the heart of New York City just minutes from Central Park. 

More than any other law school during the past nine years, alumni of Columbia Legal have found jobs in the 100 biggest law firms in the nation. 

Since its inception, Columbia Law School has also played a significant role in the growth of both American jurisprudence and legal education. Nine Supreme Court Justices and two U.S. Presidents have come from law school. 

One of several schools in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, the law school enjoys a privileged location next to Riverside and Morningside Parks. 

Just over 15% of applicants are accepted by Columbia Law, but the school excels in terms of job placement and median salary.

As one of the best law schools in the US, it requires you to have a GPA of 3.7 and an LSAT score of 172 and above.

8. Duke University (Duke University School of Law)

On the university’s west campus in Durham, North Carolina, the Duke University Law School is only a short distance from Cameron Indoor Stadium, the legendary home of Duke’s basketball teams. 

Duke Law has made a name for itself as one of the top law schools in the nation since it first opened its doors in the early 20th century. 

Fewer than 300 students are admitted each year to Duke Law, which accepts slightly more than 22% of all applicants. 

As of 2019, minorities made up over a third of the admitted students, reflecting the law school’s recent efforts to diversify its student body. 

The law school has recently had one of the highest median starting pay rates and one of the highest bar passage rates in the nation. 

The “Research Triangle” of North Carolina, one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions, includes Durham.

As one of the best law schools in the US, it requires you to have a GPA of 3.76 or above, and an LSAT score of 169.

9. University of California-Berkeley (University of California, Berkeley, School of Law)

The top-ranked public law school in the US is the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. 

Berkeley Law draws one of the most competitive application pools in the nation thanks to its nearly 98 percent job placement rate and one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation. 

Despite accepting nearly 350 students each autumn, Berkeley’s admission rate is still only 22%. For its dedication to progressive legal areas like environmental law, public interest law, and critical racial studies, the law school has established a strong reputation. 

After graduation, more than a third of graduates choose jobs in public interest organizations, government agencies, or judicial clerkships. 

Over 56% of the student body self-identifies as a person of color, and two-thirds of the student body is female. 

One of the most forward-thinking cities in the nation, Berkeley, where the law school is located, is on the east side of San Francisco Bay.

Furthermore, being one of the best law schools in the US, it requires you to have an LSAT score ranging from 166–169 and then a GPA of 3.70–3.82.

You should check out the best law schools in California. And this is because these schools can be found in top 50 ranked schools in the world

10. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (University of Michigan Law School)

One of the top public law schools in the nation is the University of Michigan Law School, which is renowned for its clinical program and emphasis on international legal studies. 

One of the biggest law schools in the nation, Michigan Law has approximately 1,000 students enrolled. 

Despite its size, less than 6% of applicants actually enroll in the school, indicating how tough admittance is. 

One of the most esteemed clinical programs in the country is offered at Michigan Law. More than 18 clinical programs that offer a variety of practical experiences to supplement academic learning are available to law students. 

Because of this hands-on instruction, Michigan Law has developed a reputation for producing “practice-ready” lawyers, as shown by their 98 percent employment rate. 

On the university’s main campus, a quadrangle of four buildings housing the huge student body of Michigan Law houses the living, dining, and informal social areas.

This school is one of the best law schools in the US, and it requires applicants to have a GPA of 3.61-3.93 and an LSAT score of 171 or above.

The best medical schools in Michigan are also highly ranked among the top medical schools in the world

11. New York University (NYU School of Law)

The New York University School of Law is the city’s first and oldest law school, and it is located in Greenwich Village in lower Manhattan.

In lower Manhattan, the law school is housed in six structures, including two residence halls. Given its location, NYU Law is also regarded as having the nation’s best international law curriculum. 

Due in part to the Root-Tilden-Kern scholarship, which offers full scholarships to twenty students each year who exhibit a strong dedication to public service, more than 30% of its graduates choose professions outside of big legal firms.

 A variety of distinctive law schools, including those specializing in international law, economics, and innovation, are located at NYU Law. 

With an average LSAT score of over 170 and a median GPA of 3.8, admission to NYU Law is exceedingly hard and regarded as one of the best law schools in the US.

12. Cornell University (Law School)

There are only five Ivy League law schools in the nation, and one of them is the Cornell University Law School. 

Cornell Law is one of the most selective law schools in the nation, with an acceptance rate of slightly over 20%. 

Each year, the law school receives over 4,000 applications, but there are only about 200 seats available for the incoming first-year class. 

In addition to having one of the best student-to-faculty ratios in the nation, Cornell University offers a wide range of joint programs that combine a law degree with other professional degrees from the University, such as an M.B.A., an M.P.A., and several programs with other law schools around the world. 

The law school is currently ranked third in the nation for wage rates and consistently produces extraordinarily high median incomes. The campus of the law school is situated in Ithaca, New York, in the state’s northwest.

As one of the best law schools in the US, it requires one to have a GPA of 3.65 and above, and an LSAT of 160 or above too.

13. Northwestern University (Northwestern Pritzker School of Law)

The Northwestern University Pritzker School of Legal has established a superb reputation as a “feeder” school for the biggest law firms in the nation thanks to its prime location in Chicago. 

The institution’s highly respected clinical program, which stretches back to the initial beginnings of the school, played a part in helping it gain this reputation. 

More than 20 legal clinics, run by practicing attorneys and staffed by students, are currently located within the School of Law. 

Only 20% of applicants are granted admission, thus candidates must have the highest possible LSAT and GPA scores. 

A substantial preference for candidates with at least two years of professional experience is also shown by Northwestern Law. 

Through Northwestern’s academic curriculum, this blend of real-world experience and intellectual rigor is maintained. 

The ultimate result is a typical beginning income of $180,000 and an employment rate of nearly 90%. 

Northwestern School of Law is important to the city’s legal community because it was the first law school established there.

As one of the best law schools in the US, it requires you to have a GPA of 3.86 or above, and an LSAT score of 167 or above.

14. Georgetown University (The Georgetown University Law Center)

One of the biggest law schools in the country is the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. 

The admittance rate is less than 15% despite getting more applications than any other law school. With an average LSAT score of 168, the median grade point average was 3.78. 

The Georgetown Law Center, which is situated in the capital of the country, is likewise very important to the Federal legal community. 

On average, almost one-third of graduates choose to work in the government or the public sector. The majority of partners in the largest law firms in the nation are also alumni of Georgetown Law Center (second only to Harvard Law School). 

With women making up over 55% of the student population and minorities making up over 25%, the law center’s student body likewise demonstrates the school’s commitment to diversity. 

One of the premier clinical programs in the country is located at Georgetown Law Center, where students can practice their trial and appellate abilities while working on actual cases.

15. University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA School of Law)

The university system of California operates five law schools, with the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law being one of them. 

One of the top entertainment law programs in the nation is UCLA Law, which is situated in the shadow of Hollywood. 

Less than 5% of applicants who submit over 6,000 applications each year are accepted into the institution each autumn. 

Minority students make up about half of the student body, making it one of the most diverse in the nation. 

Although over 60% of students come from California, the school of law also accepts applicants from over 30 other states and seven international nations. 

UCLA Law School was a leader in the development of clinical legal education and now offers a number of distinctive programs, such as clinics for the music and documentary industries. 

UCLA Law offers one of the most interesting settings for legal research, and it is located just 15 minutes from the well-known Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach.

As one of the best law schools in the US, it requires you to have an LSAT score of 170, and a GPA of 3.82.

Do you know that you can also secure the highest-paying jobs in California without a degree? Well, you can check them out.

How to enroll in the best law school US

You should be aware that American law schools have different standards than those in Europe. You must adhere to the following procedures when applying for admission:

1. Complete a Bachelor’s degree; law studies are not required, but they can be related. No matter what their prior fields of study were, all candidates with a Bachelor’s degree are accepted by law schools.

2. Take the LSAT to gauge your analytical and critical thinking skills, which is a requirement for continuing your law degree pursuit.

3. Pick two or three law schools, then begin the application process.

Conclusion

The best law schools in the US are of high reputation in the world, and they will help you get a better job after you graduate.

Now that you know about the best law schools in the US, you can start your application process smoothly.

Frequently asked questions about law schools in the US

What is the No 1 law school in the world?

The No. 1 law school in the world is Harvard University School of Law.

What is the most prestigious law school in the United States?

The 2023 U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings place Yale University at the top of the list of the country’s top law schools. 

Stanford University came in second, followed by Yale, the University of Chicago, and the law schools at Harvard University and Columbia University tied for fourth place.

Which major is best for law school?

For good reason, political science is the most preferred major among individuals aspiring to the legal profession. 

You will research the philosophy, operations, and relationship between government and the legal system as a political science major.

What’s a good LSAT score?

Law school admissions professionals advise aiming for an LSAT of at least 150, but for a top-ranked law school, you should aim for a 160 or above, according to U.S. News. 
A score of 170 or more is preferred for a Top 10 law school. Naturally, everything depends on the schools you are applying to.

How many times can you take the LSAT?

In a single testing year, you can take the LSAT three times.

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