Suppose you are ready to submit your application to any of the best law schools in the USA. In that case, you are undoubtedly interested in finding out which universities and colleges are the best.
The American law school rankings are by far the most consistent ones, having undergone almost no significant shifts in the past 20 years. In many cases, the only thing that shifts from year to year is the rank order of the first ten universities, which is subject to some variation.
You may say that the only thing that matters is that you were accepted into a top law school in the United States, regardless of which one it is. This is a valid point of view.
- What Is The Most Prestigious Law School In the USA?
- 1. Yale University
- 2. Harvard University
- 3. New York University
- 4. Stanford University
- 5. Columbia University
- 6. University Of Chicago Law School
- 7. University Of Pennsylvania Law School
- 8. University Of Virginia School Of Law
- 9. Washington University School Of Law
- 10. University Of California, Los Angeles School Of Law
- 11. University Of North Carolina School Of Law
- 12. Georgetown University Law Center
- 13. Duke University School Of Law
What Is The Most Prestigious Law School In the USA?
Some of you are obligated to carry on the custom of your ancestors. You enroll in a particular college because that is the institution from where all of your relatives received their degrees. Getting into one of the schools that finished in the top three or five of the list is highly significant for some people.
One thing, however, cannot be disputed: the United States of America is home to a long and illustrious legacy of academic excellence among its colleges and law schools.
Even though it is essential to take note of these annual rankings, you should base your ultimate choice on several criteria that you determine based on your best judgment.
Here are some of the best law schools in the USA for you to enroll in if you are considering enrolling in one of the prestigious law schools in the US. I will also give you a rundown of their respective acceptance rate and average GPA.
1. Yale University
Yale University is one of the best law schools in the USA. It is located in New Haven, Connecticut, is a private Ivy League research university. Yale Law School, sometimes known as Yale Law or YLS, is the law school that is part of Yale University.
It was founded in 1824, and since the 1980s, when US News & World Report first began issuing rankings for law schools, it has been ranked as the best law school in the United States by that publication.
The law school’s admittance rate of 4% for the academic year 2020-21 was the lowest of any law school in the United States, making it one of the most competitive academic institutions in the world. Its yield rate of 87 percent is likewise regularly the highest of any law school in the United States, and it has held this title for many years.
It does not matter if a student is interested in constitutional or criminal Law; Yale Law School offers students a varied and rich academic experience that gives them the freedom to choose their path.
Yale Law School offers a diverse and rigorous array of educational opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge and abilities necessary to contribute to society as a whole significantly.
The school’s faculty members are some of the most eminent worldwide, and the institution’s legal clinics and intellectual centers are thriving. Discover what Yale Law School offers through our list of areas of interest, degree programs, clinics, and our exciting collection of student and alums profiles.
- Acceptance rate: 9.7%
- Average GPA: 3.82
- Total Number of Students: 625
- Bar pass rate 99%
- USNWR ranking: 1st
- Tuition Fees: $54,650
2. Harvard University
The Harvard Law School (HLS) is a branch of the prestigious Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private research university. It has remained in continuous operation since its founding in 1817, making it the oldest law school in the United States.
There are around 560 students in each of the three classes that make up the Juris Doctor degree program, making it one of the largest of the top 150 best law schools in the USA.
The first-year class is divided into seven sections, each with roughly 80 students. These sections attend the majority of their first-year classes together. In addition to its Juris Doctor degree, Harvard also confers the degrees of Master of Laws and Doctor of Laws.
Because of Harvard Law School’s outstanding reputation and huge class sizes, it has produced many notable graduates who have gone on to successful careers in the judicial system, the executive branch, and the private sector.
The disclosures that Harvard Law will have to make to the ABA in 2020 indicate that 99 percent of their 2019 grads passed the bar exam.
More graduates from this law school than any other law school in the United States served as clerks for the Supreme Court between 2000 and 2010, making it the most successful law school in the country.
- Acceptance rate: 9.7%
- Average GPA: 3.82
- Total Number of Students: 625
- Bar pass rate: 99%
- USNWR ranking: 4th
- Tuition Fees: $53,308
3. New York University
The New York Institution School of Law, also known simply as NYU Law, is a law school that is affiliated with New York University, a private research university located in New York City.
When you graduate from NYU with a law degree, you open the door to various professional opportunities, some of which may include intellectual property, business compliance, government policy, immigration, or human. The New York University School of Law is consistently ranked as one of the best law schools in the USA, and it is consistently ranked among the top 14 law schools in the country.
In addition to its excellent rankings and widespread reputation, New York University School of Law is often regarded as the best institution in the world for students interested in majoring in international law.
It is the oldest legal school in New York City, founded in 1835, and the oldest law school in New York State that is still in operation. In addition to the Juris Doctor (J.D.), the Law School at New York University (NYU Law) also confers the LL.M. and JSD degrees.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has ranked New York University School of Law as the fifth-best law institution in the world for the subject of Law in the year 2021. In addition, the school was ranked as the world’s fourth-best law school in 2020.
According to the same standard used for the ARWU Shanghai Ranking, NYU Law achieved the position of second best in the world in 2017. In addition, the QS World University Rankings place NYU Law in the top 10 universities in the world year after year.
New York University School of Law is included in the list of T14 law schools. Since 1987, when US News & World Report first began publishing its rankings, the Law School has been consistently ranked among the top 7 of these rankings.
The Social Science Research Network (SSRN), formerly the Social Science Research Network, ranked the top 350 law schools in the United States for 2023. New York University School of Law was ranked third overall.
In addition, the New York University School of Law is often regarded as the top law school in the United States for studying criminal Law and procedure. The Princeton Review’s rankings of top law schools place NYU Law at the top of the list for top law schools with the Best Career Prospects.
- Acceptance rate: 31.4%
- Average GPA: 3.57
- Total Number of Students: 625
- Bar pass rate: 95%
- USNWR ranking: 7th
- Tuition Fees: $54,678
4. Stanford University
A private research institution close to Palo Alto, California, Stanford University is home to the prestigious law school known as Stanford Law School (also known as SLS).
It was founded in 1893, and ever since, it has been widely acknowledged as among the most prominent legal schools in the world. Since 1992, Stanford Law School has consistently been regarded as one of the top three legal education institutions in the United States.
The second-best law school in the US is located at Stanford University. Schools are graded according to how well they perform on a set of markers of excellence generally recognized by the public.
Over 550 students are now enrolled at Stanford Law School and are working toward earning their Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) degree. The faculty at Stanford Law School consists of more than 90 full-time and part-time individuals.
A Master of Laws (LL.M. ), a Master of Studies in Law (MSL), a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M. ), and a Doctor of the Science of Law are the four specialized legal degrees that can be earned from Stanford Law (JSD).
Every year in the fall, roughly 180 students enroll in the Juris Doctor program at Stanford Law School, making it the law school with the most petite student body among those ranked in the top fourteen (T14).
In addition, Stanford has eleven full-time legal clinics, one of which is the country’s first and most active Supreme Court litigation clinic. It provides formal combined degree programs for a total of twenty-seven other disciplines.
- Acceptance rate: 10.3%
- Average GPA: 3.76
- Total Number of Students: 574
- Bar pass rate: 98.25%
- USNWR ranking: 2nd
- Tuition Fees: $52,530
5. Columbia University
The Columbia Law School, sometimes known as Columbia Law or CLS, is the legal education institution that belongs to Columbia University, a private Ivy League institution located in New York City.
Columbia Law School is consistently ranked among the top five best law schools in the United States, making it one of the world’s most distinguished legal education institutions.
In particular, Columbia Law is well-known for its prowess in the field of corporate legal as well as its placement power in the nation’s most prestigious law firms.
Since its establishment in 1858 as the Columbia College Law School, Columbia Law School has been renowned for the quality of the legal scholarship it has produced since the 18th century.
Early American legal figures such as John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States, and Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, both co-authors of The Federalist Papers, were graduates of the university’s colonial predecessor, King’s College. Other notable early American legal figures who were graduates of King’s College include James Madison, the first president of the United States, and John Marshall, the first attorney general of the United States.
Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, both of whom served as President of the United States; a large number of members of the United States Cabinet and presidential advisers; nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States; members of the United States Senate, House of Representatives, and Governorships; and more members of the Forbes 400 than any other law school in the world are among the distinguished alums of Columbia Law.
- Acceptance rate:21.3%
- Average GPA: 3.54
- Total Number of Students: 1,248
- Bar pass rate: 95%
- USNWR ranking: 7th
- Tuition Fees: $57,838
6. University Of Chicago Law School
The University of Chicago Law School is the law school of the University of Chicago. It is consistently regarded among the world’s most significant and prestigious law schools, and it boasts many remarkable alumni who have gone on to prominent positions in the judicial system, academic institutions, governments, political arenas, and commercial enterprises.
In addition to the Juris Doctor degree, it grants the Master of Laws, the Master of Studies in Law, and the Doctor of Juridical Science degrees in the field of Law. It has more than 180 full-time and part-time faculty members working for it. Hence, it is no surprise that the University of Chicago Law is considered one of the best law schools in the USA.
It also has more than 600 students enrolled in its Juris Doctor program. The law school has the most significant percentage of recent alumni working as clerks for federal courts compared to other legal education institutions.
William Rainey Harper, who was serving as president of the University of Chicago at the time, is credited with having the idea for the law school in the 1890s.
Harper and Joseph Henry Beale, the first Dean of the law school, were responsible for designing the curriculum for the school. They drew their ideas from Ernst Freund’s interdisciplinary approach to legal education.
John D. Rockefeller provided the funding for the construction of the school, and Theodore Roosevelt served as president during the laying of the foundation stone.
- Acceptance rate: 19.6%
- Average GPA: 3.67
- Total Number of Students: 612
- Bar pass rate: 93%
- USNWR ranking: 3rd
- Tuition Fees: $53,361
7. University Of Pennsylvania Law School
The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is part of the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is often known as Penn Law or Penn Carey Law.
It is currently ranked sixth by US News & World Report, making it one of the most prestigious and competitive law schools in the United States. It was also the first law school ever established.
It is possible to earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.), a Master of Laws (LL.M. ), a Master of Comparative Laws (LL.C.M. ), a Master of Law (M.L. ), and a Doctor of Science in Law from this institution (SJD). The freshman class is generally around 250 students strong, and entrance is highly competitive overall. A weighted first-time bar passage rate of 98.5 percent was achieved by Penn Law in 2020.
Since the beginning of when US News & World Report has been publishing its rankings, the institution has maintained its position as one of the country’s top 14 (“T14”) law schools.
49 percent of the students enrolled in the class of 2024 were female, 40 percent of the students identified as being people of color, and 12 percent of the students enrolled had an advanced degree.
The school provides a comprehensive education to its students and is home to a wide variety of student organizations, research centers, and extracurricular activities.
Students at the University of Pennsylvania published the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, which is the oldest law publication in the entire United States.
- Acceptance rate: 17.3%
- Average GPA: 3.55
- Total Number of Students: 786
- Bar pass rate: 95%
- USNWR ranking: 6th
- Tuition Fees: $54,992
8. University Of Virginia School Of Law
The law school of the Institution of Virginia, sometimes known as Virginia Law or UVA Law, is located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The University of Virginia is a public research university.
Thomas Jefferson established it in 1819 as a part of his “academical village,” which later became the University of Virginia and was one of the first institutions in the country to teach legal studies.
The University of Virginia School of Law, one of the best law schools in the States, is the second-oldest law school that has always been in operation, making it the fourth-oldest functioning law school in the United States.
In addition to conferring the Juris Doctor (J.D.), the LL.M., and the Super Juris Doctor (S.J.D.) degrees, the law school hosts many visiting academics and researchers as well as several legal research centers.
The University of Virginia School of Law is consistently ranked among the top 10 most distinguished law schools in the United States. According to the most recent rankings published by US News & World Report, UVA Law is now ranked 8th.
Since the publication of rankings by US News & World Report, UVA Law has consistently maintained a position within the top 14 law schools.
The number of graduates who are currently working as general counsels and chief legal officers at the top 500 firms in the United States places UVA Law in third place.
Notable outstanding alumni include Justice James Clark McReynolds of the United States Supreme Court, in addition to a large number of members of the United States Congress and judges serving on federal courts all around the United States.
- Acceptance rate: 16.8%
- Average GPA: 3.52
- Total Number of Students: 1,048
- Bar pass rate: 95%
- USNWR ranking: 8th
- Tuition Fees: $47,900
9. Washington University School Of Law
The Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, sometimes known as WashULaw, is the law school affiliated with the Washington University in St. Louis, a private university in St. Louis, Missouri.
It is now ranked 16th among the 196 American Bar Association-approved law schools and 9th in the country by AboveTheLaw.com.
WashULaw has continuously ranked among the best law schools in the USA. Alumni who have gone on to prominent positions in American society include many senators, congressmen, federal and state judges, cabinet members, businessmen, governors, and academics.
Since its establishment in 1867, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law has maintained its status as the oldest law school located west of the Mississippi River (the oldest, Saint Louis University School of Law, operated briefly from 1843-1847 and was re-established in 1908).
The law school moved from its original location in downtown St. Louis to the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis in 1904. Prior to that year, the law school was housed in the historic Old Courthouse.
The Juris Doctor (JD) program is the one in which most students at the Washington University School of Law are enrolled. In order to earn a Juris Doctor degree, students are expected to accumulate 86 credit hours during their coursework.
- Acceptance rate: 24.3%
- Average GPA: 3.27
- Total number of students: 687
- Bar pass rate: 89%
- User ranking: 8th
- Tuition fees: $49,945
10. University Of California, Los Angeles School Of Law
At the University of California, Los Angeles, there are 12 professional schools. One of these schools is the UCLA School of Law. Since the first year that US News & World Report began evaluating law schools in the United States in 1987, UCLA Law has been listed by the publication as one of the top 20 law schools in the country on an annual basis.
Among its 18,000 former students are prominent figures in various legal fields, including the judiciary, private law practice, commerce, public service, sports and entertainment law, and public interest law.
Jennifer L. Mnookin is an evidence scholar who joined the UCLA Law faculty in 2005. In 2015, she became the school’s ninth dean and the third female dean in the school’s history. The dean of the school is Jennifer L. Mnookin.
The University of California, Los Angeles, holds the fifteenth spot on the list of the best law schools in the country. The performance of schools is evaluated using a set of well-recognized quality indicators, and the results are used to create rankings.
The University of California, Los Angeles School of Law is the third oldest of the five law schools that are part of the University of California system. It was established in 1949.
In the 1930s, initial efforts to establish a law school at UCLA were unsuccessful due to opposition from the President of the University of California, Robert Gordon Sproul, and because supporters of UCLA subsequently refocused their efforts on first adding medical and engineering schools.
Midway through the decade of the 1940s, a group of individuals from outside the UCLA community provided the push for the establishment of the UCLA School of Law.
- Acceptance rate: 28.2%
- Average GPA: 3.51
- Total number of students: 687
- Bar pass rate: 88%
- User ranking: 15th
- Tuition fees: $45,226
11. University Of North Carolina School Of Law
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is home to several professional schools, one of which is the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Carolina Law, which dates its beginnings back to 1845, is not only one of the oldest law schools in the United States but also the oldest law school in the state of North Carolina.
After debates within the North Carolina legal profession, the Trustees of the University of North Carolina gave President David L. Swain the authority on December 12, 1842, to investigate the possibility of establishing a law chair at the institution.
Legal education at the university began in 1845 with the appointment of William Horn Battle as the institution’s first professor of Law.
In the years that followed, assistant professors, followed by an organized faculty and a law library, were both introduced.
Margaret Berry made history when she graduated from law school in 1915, being the first woman to do so. After the American Bar Association established school rules for the very first time in the 1920s, the school began to take on many of the characteristics of a modern law school and continued to do so during the 1930s.
Despite significant resistance, including that of the governor of North Carolina, University President Harry Woodburn Chase played a critical role in leading the charge to reorganize the university.
- Acceptance rate: 44.7%
- Average GPA: 3.27
- Total number of students: 720
- Bar pass rate: 87%
- User ranking: 23rd
- Tuition fees: $22,215
12. Georgetown University Law Center
The Georgetown University Law Center, also known simply as Georgetown Law, is the legal education arm of Washington, District of Columbia’s private research university, Georgetown University. It began operations in 1870 and has grown to become the second-largest law school in the United States in terms of enrolment. It also receives more full-time applicants than any other law school in the country.
Numerous graduates of this prestigious university, a leader in constitutional, technological, and international Law, have gone on to careers in public service. The university’s campus is located a few blocks from the United States Capitol Building, which serves as the epicenter of the legislative branch of the United States government.
Additionally, the university closely associates with the United States Supreme Court, which is located in the immediate area.
The ranking of Georgetown University Law Center, consistently among the most renowned law schools in the United States, occasionally moves up or down one spot and is currently positioned at the 14th spot.
Notable graduates include 91 members of the Congress of the United States, current and former federal and state judges, billionaires, and ambassadors.
In addition, the Georgetown University Law Center is ranked among the top 10 law schools in the US for commercial and corporate Law; international, criminal, environmental, health care, and tax law; and first in clinical training and part-time legal study.
- Acceptance rate: 26.3%
- Average GPA: 3.49
- Total number of students: 1,694
- Bar pass rate: 90%
- User ranking: 14th
- Tuition fees: $20,890
13. Duke University School Of Law
The Duke University School of Law, also known simply as Duke Law School or Duke Law, is the legal education arm of Durham, North Carolina’s Duke University, a prestigious private research institution.
The School of Law at Duke University is a constituent academic unit initially established in 1868 as the Trinity College School of Law. It is one of the 10 schools and colleges that make up Duke University.
After Trinity College was transformed into Duke University in 1924, the school’s previous name, Trinity College, was changed to Duke University School of Law.
About twenty percent of students who apply are accepted into the law school at Duke, which is frequently recognized as one of the best legal schools in the United States.
Since the publication of law school rankings by US News & World Report, this law school has been continually placed inside the top 14 law schools, making it a member of the group of law schools known as the “T14.”
In 2019, the bar passage percentage for Duke’s graduating class was “nearly 98 percent,” making it the school with the second-highest rate in the US, behind only Harvard Law School.
- Acceptance rate: 19%
- Average GPA: 3.59
- Total number of students: 629
- Bar pass rate: 91%
- User ranking: 11th
- Tuition fees: $53,596
It has become a known fact that the USA is a country with the best law schools in the world. As such, if you are looking for the best law schools in USA, you should consider some of the schools listed in this article.