5. American University Washington College of Law (Washington, DC)
Times Higher Education recently ranked American University’s Washington College of Law (WCL) as a top-75 school worldwide, and with good reason.
Specialty law programs are at the heart of the WCL experience. WCL’s programs in clinical training, international law, and intellectual property all rank in the top 10 by US News.
WCL is one of the most popular law schools in the country – over 5200 applications were submitted in 2019. Less than 400 of these applicants were enrolled into WCL.
Opportunity is at the heart of the WCL experience. One unique initiative offered here includes the Lawyering Peace Program, a program where students participate in post-conflict negotiations. Another is the Academy on Human Rights, an initiative designed to both teach and impact the world of humanitarian law.
4. New England Law (Boston, MA)
Based in Boston, New England Law is the only independent law school in Boston.
Historically, this prominent institution has had some of the most important faculty of any law school in the country; in fact, eight US Supreme Court Justices have lectured or taught at New England Law.
One unique aspect of New England Law is the Center for Law and Social Responsibility, abbreviated as CLSR.
This experiential division of New England Law helps clients through pro bono and public service activities, giving students hands-on experience helping people in need of free legal services.
For students interested in business law, New England Law has one of the best programs in the Northeast in terms of available externships.
Students participating in New England Law’s externship program are often placed in major companies, including Liberty Mutual, RNK Telecommunication, the Boston Stock Exchange, and more.
Impressively, their class of 2018 featured 83% of their graduates finding gainful employment within 9 months of graduation, with another 4% pursuing an additional degree. This is among the highest employment rate of any independent law school in the country.
3. Mitchell Hamline School of Law (Saint Paul, MN)
Currently recognized as a top 5 program by US News for Dispute Resolution and a top 15 program for Health Care Law, Mitchell Hamline is an incredible law school on the rise.
It is perhaps the best independent law school in the country when it comes to employment; in its class of 2018, approximately 90% of students found employment within 9 months of graduation in bar passage required, JD Advantage, and Professional positions.
Mitchell Hamline has over 20,000 alumni practicing throughout the country, which is part of what makes this school so special; the alumni network contribute to the school in the form of donations as well as offering jobs to graduating students.
However, what makes Mitchell Hamline truly remarkable is what goes on in their legal clinic program.
In this unique program, students help clients who cannot afford the services of a lawyer. Students from Mitchell Hamline have helped clients through immigration issues, tenant-landlord disputes, establishment of non-profits, and more.
This pro bono work provides students an experiential foundation for work in the real world. It is perhaps no wonder then that many graduates of Mitchell Hamline have gone into the highest sectors of public service; numerous senators, congressmen, judges, and more call themselves graduates of this prestigious, rising law school.