10 Prominent Law Schools On the Rise

We all know the T14 (top 14) law schools and their enormous reputations – schools like Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and more.

That said, these schools are not only incredibly difficult to get accepted into, they are also very expensive and don’t always offer scholarships, though they sometimes do.

But here’s another interesting fact:

While the employment outcome at a T14 law school is remarkably excellent, evidence suggests that you don’t need to attend a top 14 law school to be successful in the field of law. 

In fact, many excellent schools outside the T14 have employment outcomes that are equally good to those in the T14.

One other thing to consider when choosing a school is the “fit” of a particular program; some schools simply fit some students better than others.

A number of excellent law schools consistently graduating classes with high bar passage rates as well as significant employment outcomes exist outside the T14.

Today, we profile 10 amazing law schools on the rise.

What qualifies as a law school on the rise? 

One, the school has to have demonstrated significant achievement as well as excellent student outcomes over the past decade.

Secondly, the school cannot yet be ranked in the top 50 of the US News best law schools list. 

Finally, we recently made a list about 10 excellent law schools outside the Ivy League, and the schools here are unique from that list. 

This particular article is part of an ongoing series of articles in which we profile schools as “on the rise.”

Here are 10 spectacular law schools on the rise.


10. New York Law School (New York, NY)

Photo by New York Law School via Wikimedia Commons

New York Law School is an independent law school with exceptionally high employment outcomes. According to ABA-required disclosures, nearly 90% of the class of 2015 found work within 10 months of graduation. 

Admission to NYLS is competitive; for the entering class of 2019, nearly 3,000 candidates applied. Just 390 of these enrolled.

The school is among the best in the country for a number of law specialties, including finance, international, and public policy & interest.

Faculty at New York Law are among the top scholars in the country. They include Nadine Strossen, who for 17 years was president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a prominent non-profit organization currently with over 1 million members.

Perhaps the most famous alum of New York Law is Judge Judy, a household name & American television personality whose work has defined reality legal television. Her work on television has earned her a Guinness World Record for longest-serving judge in an American reality legal show. 

Another well-known alum is Zygmunt Wilf, owner of the Minnesota Vikings.


9. UIC John Marshall Law School (Chicago, IL)

Located in Chicago’s financial and legal district, UIC John Marshall is widely known as the experiential law school. Central to every student’s curriculum are three experience-based credits. 

To satisfy these curricular requirements, students can participate in an externship, clinic, or both. Students never have trouble getting placed into one of these programs as John Marshall is affiliated with over 100 externships.

With its focus on practical skill-building, UIC John Marshall instituted the Global Legal Skills Conference in 2005, a forum for professors as well as legal writing professionals to exchange scholarly ideas. 

John Marshall is a perennial contender in top legal competitions. In 2007, John Marshall placed 2nd – out of 220 – in the ABA National Negotiation Competition. They have also placed in the Frederick Douglass Competition Finals, the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Competition, and more.

Part of the University of Illinois system, this hidden gem is a public law school, providing in-state students with a lower cost than out-of-state students attending the school.

Graduates are regularly employed in top law firms and other legal jobs worldwide.

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