10 Incredible Law Schools Outside the Ivy League

When people think of the top law schools, they immediately come up with household names like Columbia, Yale, UC Berkeley.

Perhaps those who are a little more “in the know” will recall names like the Pritzker School at Northwestern or Gould College at USC.

That being said, there are over 225 law schools in the US alone, many of which are placing students into both top 100 law firms as well as smaller companies that provide exceptional salary and benefits even for starting associates.

How can you know which ones are good?

For starters, a law school should be ABA accredited – that means the Bar says it’s curriculum is good. There should also be a high percentage of students who pass the bar their 1st time.

Of course, having close, personalized interaction with professors is absolutely key

Finally, one great reason to go to a fine Non-Ivy law school is the financial opportunity; while some of the very best big-name schools sure are prestigious, they may not always be as generous with their scholarship funds as the less well-known schools.

Keep in mind that this is not by any means the definitive list of the 10 best schools for law; rather, this list can be used as a starting point when looking into top law schools.

We reveal our pick below for 10 amazing non-ivy law schools.

10. S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)

SJ Quinney – photo by Ricardo630 via Wikimedia Commons

With an astounding bar pass rate of 86%, the SJ Quinney College of Law is, more and more, becoming widely recognized as one of the premiere schools of law in the country.

For starters, the quality of the faculty is on par with any Ivy League program. Professor Jeff Schwartz, one of the notable names on the faculty at the school, is a leading scholar in the topic of venture exchanges.

Another important faculty member, Dean Robert Adler, is one of the foremost pedagogues in the field of environmental law.

His leadership and presence in the school is likely a major reason US News and World Report ranked the school as the 9th best environmental law program in all of the US in 2018.

Having been an instrumental part of expanding the school’s facilities with a $62.5 million LEED certified building in 2015, Dean Adler is well known as one of the leading administrators in any college of law.

Alumni of the program have been placed into many of the top firms throughout the country. Very notably, the school has had an unusually high impact US politics, with alumni holding positions as federal judges, members of Congress, and even a few attorneys generals of Utah.

The school is very selective, however – in 2012 alone, only 10% of all applicants were admitted into the program. What we often find is with excellent law schools comes tremendous competition.

9. South Texas College of Law – Houston (Houston, TX)

South Texas College of Law – photo by WhisperToMe via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps the very best law school in the country for trial advocacy, the South Texas College of Law has 130 national and international advocacy championships, which is far more than any other school of law in the United States.

The school is incredibly lauded – besides the international advocacy championships, the school also won its 21st National Scribes award, which goes to excellent student-written articles published in law reviews.

So what makes this school so uniquely awarded with hundreds of dozens of accolades?

First of all, the training in “moot court” is considered to be the best in the country by PreLaw Magazine. Moot court is the simulation of real-world court proceedings, but in a staged environment.

Another unique offerings of the South Texas College of Law is its partnership with other law schools, being California Western, New England Law, and William Mitchell Law School. The result of this partnership is increased resources for all of the students at each of these law schools.

The employment rate within 12 months of graduation from the school is considered very good, as reported here.

One unique advantage of the South Texas College of Law is its “3 and 3” program with Texas A&M University – essentially, students can graduate with a Bachelor’s as well as a JD (Juris Doctor) in 6 years– 3 years at A&M, 3 years at South Texas College of Law. This has proven invaluable for students seeking law school training at a premiere law school immediately after graduating from a top 4-year college.

The school is competitive for admission, but for students who find themselves accepted into this fine school, they find themselves well prepared for the real world of law.


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