Whenever an organization creates a top 10 list, it risks including personal preferences that could impact accuracy. This is particularly true of subjective lists such as “Best Song of 2020” or “Best Action Movies”.

It can also be the case when generating a list of the top 10 law schools in the United States. Some people will debate the virtues of one school over another and disagree with these law school rankings.

For our list, independent benchmarks were used to evaluate schools. The following list of the best law schools in the United States considers the composite rankings of the following criteria as collected by the Internet Legal Research Group.

  • Average peer LSAT scores
  • Employment rates upon graduation
  • Student-to-faculty ratio
  • Acceptance rate
  • Pass rate of bar exam
  • Library

1. Yale University Law School

Nestled in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale is a private research university that ranks as the highest of the multiple Ivy League law schools. This top-tier law school ranks #1 in both acceptance rate and average peer LSAT scores.

Fast Facts About Yale University Law School:

2. University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law

For some, this selection might come as a bit of a surprise. University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school, but you could argue that other law schools have greater notoriety. Yet, when it comes to a law school experience, this private school in Philadelphia is a standard bearer.

Fast Facts About University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law:

  • 2021 admission deadline – March 1
  • 2021 tuition and fees – $67,998 per year
  • Pro bono hours required for graduation – 70
  • Offers more than 100 student organizations

3. Columbia Law School

The oldest institution of higher learning in New York City has an incredible law program. However, it’s probably worth mentioning that Columbia also has the highest tuition of every school on this list.

Fast Facts About Columbia Law School:

  • 2021 admission deadline – February 15
  • 2021 tuition and fees – $72,465 per year
  • Faculty-Student ratio – 4.5:1
  • Total faculty – 460

4. Harvard Law School

Rounding out the top four law schools is yet another Ivy League university. Most people know of Harvard’s sterling reputation, and some may have even presumed the Cambridge, Massachusetts school would be first on our list.

Fast Facts About Harvard Law School:

5. The University of Chicago Law School

This private research school is in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It joins the schools listed above in achieving both an outstanding reputation and in offering frigid winter weather.

Fast Facts About the University of Chicago Law School:

  • 2021 admission deadline – March 1
  • 2021 tuition and fees – $66,651 per year
  • Student-Faculty ratio – 5.1:1
  • Full-time enrollment – 614

6. Stanford Law School

Finally, an option for those seeking a school on the west coast that offers milder weather along with a tremendous law program. Stanford’s ranking would be substantially higher on this list if its library rated better.

Fast Facts About Stanford Law School:

  • 2021 admission deadline – February 1
  • 2021 tuition and fees – $64,554 per year
  • Student-Faculty ratio – 4.1:1
  • Full-time enrollment – 567

7. University of Virginia Law School

While #7 in these rankings, University of Virginia is the first public university on our list. It’s also #1 in the country in bar passing rate. Founded in 1819, this Charlottesville law school ranks high in employment rate for graduates.

Fast Facts About University of Virginia Law School:

  • 2021 admission deadline – March 3
  • 2021 tuition and fees – $66,200 per year
  • Student-Faculty ratio – 6.5:1
  • Full-time enrollment – 964

8. Duke University Law School

This private school in Durham, North Carolina is accustomed to being high on lists dedicated to college basketball.  However, you shouldn’t overlook its success as an academic institution. Duke offers a comprehensive law school experience.

Fast Facts About Duke University Law School:

  • 2021 admission deadline – February 15
  • 2021 tuition and fees – $67,358 per year
  • Student-Faculty ratio – 5.1:1
  • Full-time enrollment – 683

9. Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

This is the second school from the state of Illinois to make the top 10. Northwestern is in Evanston which is 13 miles outside the Windy City. The school ranks #2 in student-to-faculty ratio.

Fast Facts About Northwestern Pritzker School of Law:

  • 2021 admission deadline – February 15
  • 2021 tuition and fees – $66,806 per year
  • Student-Faculty ratio – 4.2:1
  • Full-time enrollment – 747

10. University of Michigan

The final entry in our law school rankings is yet another Big Ten school. Michigan is also the second public research university of our top 10 options.

Fast Facts About University of Michigan Law School:

  • 2021 admission deadline – February 15
  • 2021 tuition and fees – $64,944 per year
  • Student-Faculty ratio – 7.1:1
  • Full-time enrollment – 1,024

Clearly, there are dozens of other schools from which you can choose. Many of them are worthy of this list. When selecting a school, you should consider factors that meet your academic requirements. These include cost, career goals, location, size, atmosphere and compatibility.

If you’re seeking guidance, support or perhaps an internship in your pursuit of a law degree, consider a Premium Membership with CCWC.

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