Here Are the 10 Best Law Schools in the Country

4. Columbia University School of Law (New York, NY)

Columbia University School of Law
Beyond My Ken, Columbia Law School from Amsterdam Avenue, CC BY-SA 4.0

Columbia Law has graduated many of the world’s most famous lawyers, scholars, and politicians, including both Teddy Roosevelt as well as Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The prestige of Columbia’s law school is best reflected in its exceptionally high bar pass rate at 95.6%. Only a handful of schools in the country can boast a bar pass rate above 95.6%.

The class of 2016’s median starting salary upon full-time employment was an impressive $180,000, not counting any bonuses which could rise the number up to $200k.

In 2015, according to the school’s Wikipedia page, Columbia was no. 1 for sending students to a top-100 law firm as determined by size of the company.

The Columbia Law Review is one of the most frequently cited law journals in the world.

3. Stanford School of Law (Palo Alto, CA)

Stanford Law School
King of Hearts, Stanford Law School , CC BY-SA 3.0

Stanford Law’s history is synonymous with greatness.

Alumni of the program – among the world’s leaders in law, politics, and philosophy – best demonstrate the incredible accomplishment of this unique program. Perhaps the most famous alum of Stanford Law is none other than Sandra Day O’Connor, retired US Supreme Court Justice.

Stanford is among the most well-funded research institutions in the world. Stanford University, as a whole, has an endowment of over $26 billion dollars, trailing only Harvard and Yale in total funding.

Amazingly, between 4,000 – 5,000 prospective students apply to Stanford every academic year. Total enrollment among all three years at any given time is less than 600. The median GPA of an accepted student is 3.93, making it one of the most academically rigorous for admission worldwide.

For its 2019 list, US News ranked it #2 in the world.

2. University of Chicago Law School (Chicago, IL)

University of Chicago Law School
University of Chicago Law School Communications Staff, Lawschool , CC BY 3.0

In 2017, 98.58% of this school’s graduating law class passed the bar on their first attempt, among the highest in the country, the highest that year. The school is among the most selective in the country; students applying typically need a 3.9 GPA to be considered for acceptance.

Throughout its history, University of Chicago has been home to incredible faculty that are household names in politics. These include Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens, and current Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.

In 2018, the National Law Journal ranked Chicago #1 for overall employment outcomes.

The school publishes the University of Chicago Law Review; with an impact factor of 2.284 (meaning the average number of citations in the last two years from consumers are 2.284), it is among the most influential journals in law education.

1. Harvard Law (Cambridge, MA)

Harvard Law School
Chensiyuan., Harvard Law School Library in Langdell Hall at night, CC BY-SA 4.0

Harvard Law is another school that has produced influential leaders, the most famous of them being Michelle and Barack Obama.

Among the largest law schools in the country, the total enrollment at Harvard Law is nearly 2,000 students. Notably, Harvard is home to the largest academic law library in the country.

US News, in 2018, ranked it at #3, while ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities) and QS ranked it #1. Based on the aggregate score of the rankings we sourced for this list, Harvard scored the highest and is the #1 law school in the country.

Acceptance is extremely low at Harvard Law – just 12.8% were accepted in the class of 2021. The 50% percentile for incoming GPA was 3.9.

Harvard is home to the Harvard Law Review, which has one of the highest “impact factor” scores of any academic law journal at 4.979 in 2015.

Besides the Obamas, other notable alumni include Ted Cruz, Chuck Schumer, Tom Cotton, and countless more influential political figures.

This ranking is an aggregate ranking based on the top law school publications. Here are the rankings cited for this article:

US News

Business Insider




Above the Law


Social Science Research Network

Rankings sourced early August 2019. Why this is important.

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