The law profession remains an attractive occupation today. It provides an opportunity to help people with their legal issues while offering financial benefits and social status for the lawyer.
In order to become an attorney, the first step is to go to law school. There are currently 204 law schools in the United States that the American Bar Association nationally accredits. Of those 204 law schools, nine of them exist in Ohio, a state with several of the very best law schools in the country.
When finding the right college to attend, it is important to realize something simple that, although may seem obvious, is necessary to mention: law schools come in all shapes and sizes. Practically every law school is strong in one or more areas, including available programs, experiential learning opportunities, affordability, flexibility on how to obtain a degree, job and marketing opportunities, bar passage rate, and student-to-faculty ratio.
There is indeed a “best fit” for each prospective law school student, but it is not always easy to find it. How can a student who wants to become a lawyer determine which law school is best?
For students in Ohio, we have compiled a list of the very best law schools in the country. These law schools boast high bar pass rates, excellent employment opportunities, and curricula on par with any highly-ranked law school.
For this list, we are ranking each Ohio school based on their appearance in the US News ranking of best law schools. It should come as no surprise that many of the law schools in the U.S. News Law School Ranking are located in Ohio as The Buckeye State has many outstanding colleges and graduate schools.
Without further ado, here are the best law schools in Ohio.
9. Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law (Ada, OH)
Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law is tied for eighth with Capital University Law School among Ohio law schools in the U.S. News Law School Ranking. Ohio Northern is in Ada, Ohio, in northwestern Ohio.
In 2020, Ohio Northern was named one of the “Best Schools for Public Service” by preLaw magazine.
Ohio Northern has the lowest tuition among private law schools in the Great Lakes region. In 2020, Ohio Northern was named a “Best Value” law school by preLaw magazine.
In 2019, Ohio Northern ranked first among Ohio law schools with a 100 percent bar passage rate by first-time takers of the Ohio bar. Additionally, Ohio Northern’s law school has a favorable 6 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Ohio Speaker of the House Bob Cupp earned his law degree from Ohio Northern.
8. Capital University Law School (Columbus, OH)
Located in downtown Columbus, Ohio’s capital and the 15th-largest metropolitan area in the country, Capital University Law School is tied for eighth with Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law among Ohio law schools in the U.S. News Law School Ranking.
Capital’s location enables it to offer its students many experiential learning opportunities, including through its in-house legal clinics, more than 150 externship sites, and other extracurricular programs.
In addition, Capital’s location provides its students easy access to numerous job and marketing opportunities at law firms, federal, state, and local government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies.
The Family and Youth Law Center at Capital works with the child welfare, adoption, and juvenile justice systems to assist children, youth, and families with legal issues.
Congressman Jim Jordan is an alumnus of Capital University Law School.
7. University of Dayton School of Law (Dayton, OH)
Ranked seventh among Ohio law schools in the U.S. News Law School Ranking is the University of Dayton School of Law. Dayton offers its law students three options for a degree – a traditional J.D. program, a two-year J.D. program (by taking classes in the summer), and an online hybrid J.D. program (including live online classes, interactive online coursework, and 10 campus visits over four years).
In 2019, Dayton graduates ranked third among Ohio-area law schools in bar passage, with the most improved bar passage rate in the country for first-time bar exam takers.
Dayton’s Program in Law and Technology provides students with learning in patent law, copyright and trademark law, intellectual property law, computer/cyberspace law, and entertainment law.
Michael Coleman, the first African American mayor of Columbus, Ohio, graduated from University of Dayton School of Law.
6. University of Akron School of Law (Akron, OH)
University of Akron School of Law is ranked sixth among Ohio law schools in the U.S, News Law School Ranking.
Akron emphasizes its affordability relative to other law schools, charging annual tuition and fees of less than $25,000. Although the University of Akron School of Law may not be as well-known as the T14 law schools, its employment percentage is nearly equally outstanding: 94 percent of 2019 Akron graduates obtained employment within 10 months of graduation.
Throughout the last year, Akron’s programs in intellectual property law, trial advocacy, and part-time studies were ranked in the top 50 in the nation.
Akron recently established an externship program in Washington, D.C. for students interested in intellectual property law. Students can work in this area of law for a judge, the government, a public interest organization, or another related entity in Washington.
Judge Alice Batchelder, of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, is a graduate of University of Akron School of Law.
5. University of Toledo College of Law (Toledo, OH)
The fifth-ranked Ohio law school in the U.S. News Law School Rating is the University of Toledo College of Law.
Toledo emphasizes the flexibility of its law school program. It offers full-time and part-time options, start dates in January or August, and certificates of concentration in various legal areas (including criminal law, environmental law, intellectual property law, international law, and labor and employment law).
In addition, Toledo stresses the importance of law students receiving real-world experience. Every law student at Toledo participates in a clinic, externship, or simulation course before graduation.
The law school offers joint graduate degree programs with other colleges at Toledo, including business, criminal justice, engineering, medicine, public administration, and public health.
Congressman Bob Latta graduated from the University of Toledo College of Law.
4. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (Cleveland, OH)
Cleveland State University Marshall College of Law is ranked fourth among Ohio law schools in the U.S. News Law School Ranking. Cleveland rose 24 points from the prior U.S. News Law School Ranking – the second-largest increase of any law school.
The P. Kelly Tompkins Leadership in Law Program at Cleveland State is one of the first in the nation to provide law students with core leadership training.
Through its “pop-up practicums,” Cleveland State offers students short-term, practice-based experiences on current legal topics.
Cleveland State Law students have the opportunity to learn about growing industries through Cleveland State’s Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection, Center for Health Law and Policy, and Global Space Law Center.
Former host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Tim Russert, earned his law degree from Cleveland State.
3. University of Cincinnati College of Law (Cincinnati, OH)
Ranked third among Ohio law schools in the U.S. News Law School Ranking is the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Two of the programs in which Cincinnati law students participate are the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law and the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights.
The Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law seeks to free every innocent person in Ohio who has been wrongfully convicted of committing a crime.
The Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights was the first endowed institute at a law school devoted to international human rights law. Urban Morgan students work as editors for the world’s leading human rights academic journal, Human Rights Quarterly.
Cincinnati is undertaking a $45.6 million construction project to renovate a new building for its law school, scheduled for completion in August 2022.
Former NFL wide receiver and current broadcaster Cris Collinsworth earned his law degree from Cincinnati.
2. Case Western Reserve University School of Law (Cleveland, OH)
Located near downtown Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University School of Law is ranked second among Ohio law schools in the U.S. News Law School Ranking.
Case Western’s programs in health law, international law, and intellectual property law are all rated in the top 40 in the nation in the U.S. News Law School Ranking. In addition, National Jurist magazine named Case Western as one of the top 25 law schools in delivering public interest law opportunities.
Practice experiences are part of Case Western’s curriculum. All Case Western law students start working with real clients during their first year and participate in a semester-long, full-time, or a year-long, half-time, practice experience in their third year.
Fred Gray, attorney for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
1. Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (Columbus, OH)
Ranked 38th nationwide by US News, the highest-ranked law school in Ohio in the U.S. News Law School Ranking is the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. This recognition is not surprising, as Ohio State consistently has been considered the top-rated law school in Ohio since the law school’s founding 120 years ago in 1891.
Ohio State law students can choose from more than 175 classes taught by more than 50 faculty members.
The school also offers students one of the oldest criminal training programs in the nation, five scholarly journals, a moot court, and lawyering skills program that regularly produces championship teams, and programs in Washington, D.C., and England.
Among Moritz’s more than 10,000 alumni are former United States Attorney General William Saxbe, United States Tax Court Chief Judge William Drennen, and CBS journalist Erin Moriarty.