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U.S. News Will Release Best Law School List Later This Month
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Summary: On March 16, U.S. News and World Report will release the list of 2017 Best Law Schools.

U.S. News and World Report announced they will release their Best Law School list on March 16.


According to U.S. News, “Detailed statistical data collected about each program in the six largest graduate disciplines will be displayed on searchable directory pages on, as well as in the “Best Graduate Schools 2017” print guidebook, on sale at newsstands on April 5.” However, international law information will only be available to the site subscribers.

In addition to calculating cost, location, culture, and other factors, prospective law students use the list to compare factors such as “acceptance rates; scores on the GRE, LSAT, MCAT and GMAT; student-faculty ratios; and job placement success upon graduation.”

The publication encourages students to use the list as a tool but not use it as the sole decision making factor.

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Last year, U.S. News and World Report released the 2016 top 20 rankings online:

20. University of Minnesota—Twin Cities (tie)

According to LawCrossing, “Founded in 1888, this institution has historically ranked high in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual ”Best Law Schools”. It’s chosen year after year for its diversity, wide ranging programs, tuitions and the number of former graduates who have gone on to serve in the highest courts in the country and who might have become high profile lawyers, political leaders and business leaders. It is the 11th largest law school in the nation and offers several opportunities for students to study abroad in such places as China, Japan, Spain and Germany.”

U.S. News reports that the 2014 acceptance rate was 41.5 percent.

20. University of Southern California – Gould (tie)

Lawcrossing writes, “USC Law is known for its diverse student body, its leadership in clinical education, and its tight-knit alumni network composed of national leaders in the legal profession, business, and the public sector. It is the most diverse of the nation’s top law schools.” The legal publication reports that the school does not rank its students.

According to US News, the school’s 2014-2015 tuition was $57,507.

19. Emory University

U.S. News reports that Emory University has 819 full time students, and it has an acceptance rate of 36.8 percent. The 2014-2015 tuition and fees come in at $49,734.

According to LawCrossing,”Emory Law’s policy is to rank only the top 1/3 of each class. Individual class ranks are given to the top 10% of the class.”

18. Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis has a full-time enrollment of 749 and an acceptance rate of 30.1 percent. According to LawCrossing, “Washington University School of Law distinguishes itself by its devotion to the total professional and personal development of its students.” Furthermore, “Beginning in fall 1994, Washington University School of Law discontinued ranking JD students.”

17.Vanderbilt University

U.S. News reports that 2014-2015 tuition and fees at prestigious Vanderbilt University was $49,722. That year, the school had 525 full-time enrolled students and a 34.7 acceptance rank. LawCrossing writes, “Vanderbilt Law School offers a solid network of active and supportive alumni, a strong career services program, and a relatively small student body. It also works closely with the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt. The nation’s largest media-related foundation, the center works to promote better understanding of First Amendment values through research, seminars, and publications.”

16. University of California—Los Angeles

Located in the beautiful affluent Los Angeles neighborhood of Westwood, UCLA is a state school that offers a discounted rate for in state students: $45,226 (in-state) compared to $51,720 (out-of-state). According to the UCLA Law website, they offer eight joint degrees and six specialities. These specialties include business law & policy; entertainment, media, and intellectual property law; critical race studies; international and comparative law; law & philosophy; and public interest law and policy.

15. University of Texas—Austin

Located in Texas’ capital of Austin, UT offers students a unique place to live as well as a quality education. LawCrossing reports that it is one of the nation’s oldest law schools, and that year after year, it is recognized for its diversity. According to U.S. News, they have over 1,000 full time enrolled students, and in 2014-2015 the tuition and fees came out to $33,162 (in-state) and $49,244 (out-of-state).

14 Georgetown University

Georgetown University has a beautiful campus that offers enough amenities that gives its students an opportunity to never leave the premises. LawCrossing writes, “It’s rich in history and tradition and provides a challenge for all who attend. Honorable, noble and truly a once in a lifetime experience, those who graduate this prestigious facility are afforded a spectacular foundation from which the rest of their lives are built from.”

The school has a full-time enrollment of 1,719, according to U.S. News.

13. Cornell University

Cornell University has a faculty that is well known for being prolific, and its graduates can expect numerous opportunities in the private sector, according to Lawcrossing.

With that level of prestige, the school’s tuition and fees are on the high end of the spectrum. U.S. News states its 2014-2015 rate is $59,360.

12. Northwestern University

While other law schools often accept students right after undergrad or with a few years of experience, Northwestern encourages applicants with extensive experience in the business world. According to LawCrossing, “It’s considered a ”business oriented law school” with an emphasis on international dynamics… As the school’s Dean says, ”This ensures our students have the maturity, good judgment and other abilities that their future employers want.”

11. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

LawCrossing writes, “Michigan Law may be considered one of the best public law schools in the nation; but it’s as expensive as any top private law school – probably because the school receives virtually none of its operating budget from its parent university. For all intents and purposes, it is a private school.” According to U.S. News, the tuition and fees for 2014-2015 were $51,398 (in-state) and $54,398 (out-of-state).

8. Duke University (Tie)

According to U.S. News, “The student-faculty ratio is 9.2:1. The School of Law at Duke University has 79 full- and part-time faculty on staff.”

Leading legal recruiter Harrison Barnes of BCG Search writes, “You will find graduates of Duke at most of the best law firms in the country. Here, they often do extremely well and fit in quite well. For the most part, there are a lot of good students coming out of Duke that can succeed at a high level in the practice of law.”

8. University of California—Berekely (Tie)

“Even though UC Berkeley School of Law is one of the best law schools in U.S. its environment is considered to be less stressful than most,” LawCrossing writes. “[Regarding admissions] Berkeley Law emphasizes more on GPAs and personal statements than on LSAT scores, and the school does not have a letter-grading system but has a pass/fail system designed to reduce the rat race.”

According to U.S. News, the acceptance rate for 2014 was 20.2 percent.

8. University of Virginia (Tie)

The frequently top ranked law school boasts such respected alumni as Robert F. Kennedy and Thurgood Marshall. Barnes of BCG Recruiting stated that alumni from this school typically do well in the law firm employment market. One of the reasons is the environment. “Virginia has the feel of a collegial, well-run law firm,” he writes. “The students at Virginia are all very intelligent and there is a sort of “group mentality” among the student body that seems to be reinforced with softball and various activities. Students also make a great effort to behave in an anti-competitive manner with one another.”

7. University of Pennsylvania

According to U.S. News, U Penn Law School has 756 full time law students, and its 2014-2015 tuition and fees rate was $56,916. According to LawCrossing, “The University of Pennsylvania Law School or Penn Law is a member of the Ivy League and one of the oldest and most selective law schools of U.S… The University Of Pennsylvania Law School has always focused on the employability of its students rather than focusing solely on theoretical jurisprudence.”

6. New York University

Located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York University offers its students one of the most exciting places to live. According to LawCrossing, what makes New York University School of Law special is that “In contrast to normal law school programs in the U.S., the New York University School of Law offers numerous study abroad programs and joint degrees with foreign universities.”

U.S. News reports that in 2014-2015 it charged $56,838 for tuition and fees.

4. Columbia University (Tie)

Like New York University, Columbia also offers its students a chance to live in The Big Apple, for the steep price of $60,274. Harrison Barnes noted that Columbia students tend to gravitate towards law firm jobs, which makes sense because so many of the majors are located nearby. He writes, “For the most part, people who go to Columbia have the sorts of numbers and qualifications that would enable them to get into schools like Harvard but, for whatever reason, are at Columbia instead. Many Columbia students would pro-actively choose Columbia over Harvard because they desire to be in New York City.”

4. University of Chicago (Tie)

“The University of Chicago Law School has consistently ranked as one of the best in the U.S. The school is renowned for its contributions in economic analysis of law and the application of other social sciences,” according to LawCrossing.

U.S. News reports that it has a full time enrollment of 604.

2. Harvard University (Tie)

Ivy leaguer Harvard University has a 15.4 percent acceptance rate, and Barnes notes that its admissions process is driven by numbers such as LSAT scores and grade point averages. According to LawCrossing, “Harvard Law School is a brand recognized across the world, in business houses, and among the academia and general public…Harvard’s focus is entirely intellectual and geared to produce think tanks and thought-leaders.”

2. Stanford University (Tie)

In 2014, Stanford University Law School had an acceptance rate of 9.1%, according to U.S. News. Lawcrossing writes that, “Stanford Law School has been putting great stress on preparing students to work collaboratively with other professions for the past few years. Taking a multidisciplinary approach Stanford is one of those few law schools that create students suitable for working both in law firms and within large corporate houses. It is common to find students complementing their JD in intellectual property with an MS in bioengineering or someone interested in environmental litigation doing an MS in environment and resources along with his/her JD.”

1. Yale University

Like Stanford and Harvard, Yale has an elite acceptance rate of 8.9%, and notable alumni include Bill and Hillary Clinton, President Ford, Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Clarence Thomas. Barnes wrote that, “The ability to be extremely smart and be able to focus and get passionate about ideas is what separates Yale students from the pack.”

So what schools will be on the 2017 list? We’ll keep you updated when the new rankings come out later this month.

Source: U.S. News and World Report

Source: LawCrossing



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