Perhaps the degree with the highest return on investment, a law degree from a top school is as prestigious of a mark as it gets in the US.
Students who graduate with the vaunted juris doctor from a top law school gain the privilege few others ever get to achieve; a starting six-figure salary at a firm of international reputation.
Of course, those jobs are competitive, and nearly every student salivates at the idea of a starting job out of a JD with a salary of roughly $200k yearly.
So what separates the students who get these jobs from those who do not?
Certainly, experience in a law firm, internships, and more can help.
However, at the beginning stage of a career, the prestige of an applicant’s college degree is one of the most important considerations a company can make in their hiring process.
Which schools are the very best for law? Which ones provide the highest ROI (return-on-investment, a phrase often associated with law school)?
We looked at all of the major law programs in the country, sorting through factors such as the aforementioned ROI, student satisfaction, career outcome, and more.
This list has some of the mainstay school of any top law school list, while there are others you may just be finding out today are among the very best.
Of course, the selection of these schools is simply the opinion of College Gazette and is not to be construed as definitive fact; we recommend researching to find the best school for your future.
Here are 10 of the very best colleges for law in the US.
10. University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Berkeley, CA)
Coming in at number 10 on the list, UC Berkeley, as well as every other school on this list, is a member of the T14 list of law schools, which are the 14 law schools that essentially always appear at the top of lists based on a number rankings criteria, including the lists we aggregated for this particular ranking.
The bar pass rate at UC Berkeley is among the highest in the nation; according to their ABA profile, their bar pass rate is an astounding 92%. The endowment for the parent university is among the highest in the country at $4.3bn as of 2017.
UC Berkeley’s law school is remarkable for the number of leaders its school has produced, including US Chief Justice Earl Warren, Chairman of the Federal Reserve G. William Miller, and attorney general Edwin Meese who worked during the Reagan administration.
In 2016, nearly 96% of graduates found employment within 9 months, and another 1.2% enrolled into another full-time degree.
9. Duke University School of Law (Durham, NC)
Consistently ranked in the top 10 law schools in the country, Duke’s 2017 first-time bar pass rate was an astonishing 97.44%, which was 3rd at the time in all law schools for bar pass rate. Duke University as a whole has an $8.52bn endowment.
We note that a number of publications rank Duke Law #1, including Times Higher Education in 2018. The acceptance rate is many years is less than 20% overall, according to Tipping the Scales. The LSAT score required for admission is extremely high, the median for admission being 169.
Duke publishes a number of widely-read legal texts and journals. These include the Alaska Law Review, which is in collaboration with the Alaska Bar Association as Alaska does not have any law schools. Additionally, Duke is also home to the Duke Law Journal, which publishes 8 issues a year.
Uniquely, 25% of students at Duke Law are enrolled in dual-degree programs with other programs at Duke University.
Law School Transparency, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to divulging accurate statistics about every law school in the country, gave Duke the highest employment score in 2017.
8. University of Virginia School of Law (Charlottesville, VA)
People often call the Kennedys the United States version of the royal family.
The reason is that so many of them have had a hand in our political system and held other influential positions in society.
If you’ve ever wondered who educated much of this family, the answer is the University of Virginia School of Law, who trained Robert, Ted, Robert Jr., and Michael.
A public university, UVA is just as highly reputed as any other law school on this list. The bar pass rate is an impressive 96%.
Annually, the school is ranked among the top 10 law schools in the country.
This school’s roots are as impressive as its alumni. It was founded by Thomas Jefferson all the way back in 1819 when it became just the second law school in the entire country.
In the last 200 years, it has retained its reputation by hiring world-class professors, updating facilities constantly, and maintaining high standards for admissions.
The result is Virginia Law being one of the most attractive schools in the world.