5. University of Miami School of Law (Coral Gables, FL)
In February of 2017, the University of Miami had a bar pass rate of over 80%, making it the most successful school in Florida that season to pass the bar.
Miami has consistently demonstrated excellent student employment outlook; in 2012, over 70% of students found employment within 9 months of graduation, according to information disclosed by the ABA (American Bar Association).
University of Miami has one of the largest active alumni bases of any law school working today. Indeed, over 20,000 alumni of the University of Miami School of Law are now working professionally.
The school is particularly known for being a leader in international law – indeed, International Jurist named the University of Miami as a “Hot Spot for International Law” in 2018.
Faculty at Miami are some of the most recognized names in law. Jan Paulsson, a current faculty member at Miami, is one of the most distinguished names in international arbitration. Another faculty member, Marilyn Milian, is longtime host of the famous television show “The People’s Court.”
4. Vermont Law School (South Royalton, VT)
Although you may have never heard of a small town called South Royalton, don’t be fooled – it has a law school that is among the very best hidden gem law schools in the world.
Ranked number 1 in environmental law by US News, the school’s Environmental Law Center (ELC) is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading institutions for studying energy, sustainable agriculture, and land use.
The school is led by nationally recognized lawyer and Vermont Law School president Thomas McHenry, a former partner in a major Los Angeles law firm whose work on environmental law has assisted major corporations and nonprofits throughout the country.
One appealing aspect of the school is its scholarship generosity; in 2017, 88% of all incoming students received a scholarship worth an average of $24,000. This makes the school among the most generous of any law school in terms of merit-based financial aid.
The school has a number of specialized institutes in the field of environmental law. These include not only the aforementioned Environmental Law Center, but also the Environmental Tax Policy Institute, Land Use Institute, and Center for Agriculture Food Systems.
More than half of the class of 2013 found long-term, gainful JD-required employment within a year of graduating. Many alumni of the program have held prominent positions in Vermont’s government infrastructure.
3. Suffolk University Law School (Boston, MA)
Despite the fact the school is the fourth-largest law program in the country, its educational and employment outcome place it among the top schools in the country, making it stand out as a top law school.
One of the most impressive feats of Suffolk is in its alumni. Suffolk University can call itself one of the influential schools throughout the entire USA for having students of the school hold positions in politics, including the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Senates & House of Representatives.
One particularly notable alumnus, Oz Griebel, was the CEO of BankBoston in the 90s, which eventually merged with Bank of America in the next decade.
In July of 2017, just about 2/3rds of enrolled students passed the bar on their first try. This is comparable to many other top law programs in the country, and is an impressive statistic considering that over 1,600 students are enrolled in the school at any given time.
One noted aspect of the school is its partnership with other Boston area law schools (including Harvard Law and BC Law) called the Rappaport Fellows Program, an opportunity for law students to gain fellowships in public policy related disciplines.
The school, among the most selective in the country, accepts less than 10% of all applicants into its program.