Founded in 1872, the School of Law at Boston University is one of the best law schools in the United States. BU Law is nestled in the center of Boston University’s 175-acre urban campus on Commonwealth Avenue.
To be more specific, the School of Law is contained within the Law Complex, a hub for legal-related affairs featuring the Sumner M. Redstone Building.
Recently added to the side of the Law Tower, the Redstone Building houses the gorgeous, glass-enclosed Robert T. Butler atrium, the incredibly vast Samuel M. Fineman and Pappas law libraries, numerous meeting spaces, study rooms, and other facilities for student use.
One of the most visually striking aspects of the BU Law Complex is the Law Tower, an architectural masterpiece whose recent renovation was recognized with an award from the Massachusetts Historical Commission for achievement in historical preservation.
The tower stands at an astonishing 17 stories high, making it the tallest law school building in the country.
The School of Law is one of the 17 constituent schools and colleges in the BU system.
Although the entire BU student body comprises more than 36,000 students from 130 countries worldwide, law students make up only a tiny fraction of this number, with full-time enrollment at the School of Law being just 796 students across all three years.
For those who are interested in learning more about what makes the School of Law at Boston University the well-revered law school that it is, we have compiled some of the most essential information to know, from admission requirements to acceptance rates and other statistics.
Read on to find out what GPA and LSAT scores you need for this amazing law school, what its ranking is, who some notable alumni are, and more.
Boston University School of Law Acceptance Rate
The acceptance rate into Boston University School of Law is 18%, as of the close of the 2022 admission cycle.
Throughout the most recent application window, BU School of Law received 8,240 1L applications for the class of 2024.
The school did not release the total number of applicants who were offered admission — including those who chose to decline or defer admission rather than accepting the offering and enrolling in the law program immediately.
They did, however, announce that a total of 318 students committed to being a part of the incoming first-year class of 2024. Based on these figures, we can calculate that only roughly 4% of students in the applicant pool ultimately ended up at BU Law.
Although 4% sounds like a very low percentage, surprisingly, BU’s newest 1L class is set to be considerably larger than others in years past.
This is due to the school receiving an increasing number of applications.
According to some sources, in 2020, BU Law had an acceptance rate of 25.9%, meaning we’ve seen a sharp 7% drop over the course of just two years. That year, the School of Law was ranked the #22 most selective law school in the US.
Even further, going back three years earlier to 2017, BU Law’s acceptance rate was 37.9%. As one can see, over the past five years, acceptance rates at the School of Law — as well as at many other law schools across the country — have dropped considerably, making it more and more challenging to gain admission to the school.
Boston University School of Law GPA & LSAT Requirements
Boston University School of Law does not explicitly require a specific LSAT score or GPA in order to apply to their JD program, although test scores and other academic credentials are indeed a crucial part of the admission decision-making process at the school.
The median undergraduate GPA for those who were accepted to the School of Law at Boston University to be a part of the 1L class of 2024 was a 3.77 on an unweighted 4.0 scale.
This means students earned primarily As and a few Bs in all of their classes throughout their undergraduate studies.
This data alone shows that the law school admissions department at BU can be considered moderately selective.
In fact, BU Law ranks #26 in the nation in terms of the highest median undergraduate GPA of students.
BU Law’s standards are even higher when it comes to the LSAT, tying for 19th highest in the country in terms of the highest median LSAT score of accepted students who enrolled at the school.
For the most recent group of students enrolling in BU’s 1L program, the median LSAT score is an impressive 169.
Other requirements for admission include submitting an official undergraduate transcript, a current resume, a written personal statement, and paying the nonrefundable application fee of $85.
Students who wish to do so may also submit optional additional essays along with the rest of their application materials.
In addition, all applicants must submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation, ideally written by someone who taught the applicant at a university level.
Boston University School of Law Notable Alumni
Since the school was founded 150 years ago, Boston University’s School of Law has produced a number of extraordinarily successful graduates who have gone on to hold prominent positions in every field of law, in the world of politics, and working in many other key industries.
As of today, the BU School of Law has a network of over 25,000 living alumni who are spread out across all fifty states and more than 100 different countries in all corners of the globe.
Notable BU Law alumni include Michael D. Fricklas, prominent lawyer in the entertainment industry.
After completing his law degree at BU in 1984, Fricklas went on to become executive vice president of Viacom Inc. from 1993 until 2017, later being appointed to serve as a member of BU Law’s Board of Trustees in 2019.
Another is Owen D. Young, an early American industrialist, founder of RCA, and chairman of the board of directors for the General Electric Company from 1922-39.
Elizabeth Holloway Marston is a famous BU Law alum most people are familiar with, whether they are aware of it or not: she is credited as being the inspiration for Wonder Woman. Along with her husband, William Moulton Marston, she also developed the system of systolic blood pressure measurement that could detect signs of deception, paving the way for the modern polygraph.
Boston University School of Law Ranking
According to the 2023 edition of US News and World Report’s annual law school rankings, Boston University School of Law is in a three-way tie for 17th place among all law schools in the United States.
BU Law is one of the nation’s foremost law schools when it comes to healthcare law.
In fact, BU’s Law-Medicine Research Institute, established in 1958, was one of the first institutional collaborations between these two fields in the country, driving the study of health care law even at the earliest stages of the field’s recognition.
Today, the School of Law’s stellar health care law program is ranked fifth nationally, continuing the school’s legacy.
Another specialty area in which BU Law excels is intellectual property law, ranking #11 in terms of best law schools for those looking to practice IP law.
BU Law has strong programs in the area of tax law as well, with offerings including both full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate programs.
In 2018, the school was ranked eighth among American law schools for tax law studies, according to US News and World Report.
Outside of academics, the school is tied for ranking first in the nation in terms of highest median starting salary of graduates who are employed as law firm associates at any private practice following graduation.
With the average BU law partner bringing home $180,000, it is clear that earning a degree from this law school is a great way to kickstart a career in the legal field.
Should You Apply to Boston University School of Law?
Because of the numerous and complicated factors at play in making a law school decision, there is no one-size-fits-all guide to finding the perfect law school. That being said, there are many reasons to consider applying to the School of Law at Boston University.
For one, there is the size of the school. BU Law is somewhat large as a law school in terms of the number of students per graduating class, which one might see as an upside because of the opportunity to meet and interact with so many new people.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the School of Law is not large in all regards. BU Law boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of just 6.3:1, with just 15 students in the average law class.
Small class sizes allow students to develop close academic relationships with course instructors and classmates in an intimate learning environment, which is a huge appeal to many aspiring law school students.
Finally, excellent average starting salaries for graduates is certainly one of the biggest appeals.
All in all, the School of Law at Boston University is a great law school to apply to. Continuing to build on a 150-year-long history of providing excellent legal education, it has a wealth of opportunities and resources to offer students.