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2017 U.S. News Best Law Schools List Released
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Summary: U.S. News and World Report has just released its 2017 ranking of Best Law Schools.

Last night, U.S. News and World Report released its highly anticipated 2017 Best Law Schools List, a ranking that weighs in a school’s reputation, LSAT scores, job placement success, acceptance rate, and more. (See their methodology methods here.) It was supposed to be published at midnight, but they eased the tension of some law school deans by releasing it almost an hour early at 10:45 pm.

  
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The famous list is coveted by potential law students and law schools every year. According to Business Wire, a Kaplan poll showed that 73% of applicants use the list to factor in where to apply. With law school admission standards decreasing and less students applying, those that make U.S. News’ list still have the prestige of being competitive to get into and thus giving any of its students and graduates an elite status.

It’s noted that acceptance rates at these top schools have risen, which is good for potential applicants, but so have prices.

So what makes these schools so special? Let’s look at the top 25 and compare.

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U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Top 25 Law Schools



1. Yale

Yale kept the top spot from last year. Like the other schools on the list, Yale saw an increase in its acceptance rate–last year it was 8.9%, this year it’s 9.7%. The school, which has notable alumni like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Clarence Thomas, and Sonia Sotomayor, costs $58,050 a year for tuition and fees, and the 25th-75th percentile of its student body have LSAT scores that range from 171-176.

2. Harvard (tie)

Harvard enrolls 1,767 full-time students, according to U.S. News; and ten months after graduation 94.4% get jobs. JD Journal reported earlier that Mark Weber, assistant dean of career services at Harvard Law, said that the school produces a large amount of judicial clerks who later move into big law firms. The acceptance rate at Harvard Law eased from 15.4% to 17.9%.

2. Stanford (tie)

According to U.S. News, the 25th-75th percentile of Stanford students have LSAT scores that range from 169-173, and after graduation 93% of students get full-time jobs. Annual tuition and fees is $56,274, and notable alumni include Sandra Day O’Conner and William Rehnquist.

4. Columbia (tie)

Amongst the top ten schools, Columbia is the most expensive, costing $62,700 a year in fees and tuition. Leading legal recruiter Harrison Barnes of BCG Attorney Search said that Columbia students tend to gravitate towards law firm jobs, which makes sense because so many of the majors are located nearby. He added that Columbia students often choose the school over others such as Harvard because they desire to live in New York City.

Columbia Law has a 21.3% acceptance rate, and the 25th-75th percentile of students have LSAT scores of 168-173. It consistently ranks #1 on The National Law Journal’s Go-To Law School list.

4. University of Chicago (tie)

University of Chicago maintained its spot from last year. The school enrolls 617 students and has an acceptance rate of 21.9%, according to U.S. News. After ten months, 96.2% of its students find full-time employment.

6. New York University

Like Columbia, New York University has close proximity to major law firms, which is a draw for the 96.7% of students who find employment ten months after graduation. According to U.S. News, tuition and fees is $59,916 for a full time student, and the school has a 33% acceptance rate. The 25th-75th percentile of students have LSAT scores of 166-171.

7. University of Pennsylvania

LawCrossing wrote, “The University of Pennsylvania Law School has always focused on the employability of its students rather than focusing solely on theoretical jurisprudence.” This can be seen in its numbers–97.8% of its graduates find employment in ten months. The school costs $59,918 a year, according to U.S. News.

8. University of California–Berkeley (tie)

Keeping its spot from last year, UC Berkeley also increased its acceptance rate from 20.2% to 21.1%. The school costs $52,630 a year for out of state students, and in state students get a slightly reduced rate of $48,679. The 25th-75th percentile of students have LSAT scores of 162-168, according to U.S. News.

8. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor rose three spots from last year, and it has an acceptance rate of 28%, 932 full time students, and an employment rate of 93.3% for graduates after ten months. Tuition and fees per year is $53,112 for in-state students and $56,112 for out-of-state students, according to U.S. News.

11. Duke

Last year, Duke ranked #8, but it dropped to #11. The school has 668 full-timers, and an acceptance rate of 23.3.%, according to U.S. News. Barnes of BCG Attorney Search said, “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.” The school’s annual tuition and fees is $57,717.

12. Northwestern

Staying at #12, Northwestern has an acceptance rate of 22.6% and the 25-75% percentile of students have LSAT scores of 163-169. According to LawCrossing, Northwestern is known for being the school for applicants with years of business experience. The legal website writes, “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.”

13. Cornell

Cornell stays at the #13 spot. According to U.S. News, its tuition and fees is $59,900 for full-time students, and the 25-75% percentile of students have LSAT scores of 164-168. The school has an acceptance rate of 30%.

14. Georgetown

Georgetown in Washington D.C. has 1,725 full-time enrolled law students on its beautiful campus, and it has an acceptance rate of 28.1%. After ten months, 87.2% of graduates found jobs, according to U.S. News. The school ranked #13 on National Law Journal’s Go-To list.

15. University of Texas–Austin

According to U.S. News, UT-Austin has 949 full-time enrolled students, and it offers a decent discount for in-state students ($33,162 for Texans and $49,244 for out-of-staters.) The 25-75th percentile of students have LSAT scores of 162-169, and the school has a 21.9% acceptance rate.

16. Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt climbed up one slot from last year. The Nashville, TN school has a 38.1% acceptance rate, and 87.1% of its graduates find work in ten months. The school costs $51,360 a year, according to U.S. News.

17. University of California–Los Angeles

UCLA dropped this year from #16 to #17. The Los Angeles school, which is located in the beautiful area of Westwood, costs Californians $45,284 a year and out-of-staters $51,778. The LSAT scores for the 25-75th percentile of its students is 162-169, U.S. News reports.

18. Washington University in St. Louis

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.” The school costs $51,626 a year in tuition and fees, and it has an acceptance rate of 27.6%.

19. University of Southern California

USC jumped up one slot from last year. According to U.S. News, there are 598 full-time enrolled students, and it has an acceptance rate of 29.9%. The annual tuition is $58,022, and 85.7% of its graduates find work in ten months.

20. Boston University (tie)

Boston University has 672 full-time enrolled students, and the 25-75th percentile of students have LSAT scores of 160-164. The school has an acceptance rate of 37.9%, and 80.5% of graduates find work after ten months, according to U.S. News. The National Law Journal ranks the school #16 in its percentage of graduates who go on to BigLaw firms.

20. University of Iowa (tie)

The University of Iowa cracked the top 20 this year. Like UT-Austin, the school offers a benefit for in-state students. Tuition for Iowa residents is $24,177, and out-of-state students pay $42,021. Either prices are quite reasonable compared to the other schools in the top 20. Iowa has an acceptance rate of 43.5% and it has 387 full time enrolled students, according to U.S. News.

22. Emory

Emory, located in Atlanta, GA, dropped three slots from last year. The school, which has 836 full time students enrolled, costs $51,510 a year in tuition and fees, and the 25-75th percentile of students have LSAT scores of 155-165. The school has an acceptance rate of 32%, according to U.S. News.

22. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota lost its spot in the top 20, dropping from 20 to 22. The school accepts 44.4% of its applicants, and it has 632 full-time enrolled students. The 25-75th percentile of students have LSAT scores of 158-166, according to U.S. News.

22. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame has 581 full-time students, and the 25-75th percentile of them have LSAT scores of 161-165. According to U.S. News, the school costs $53,372 per year, and it accepts 35% of its applicants. LawCrossing writes, “Established in 1869, the University of Notre Dame Law School is among the oldest law schools in the nation and the first law school established on the campus of a Catholic university. Notre Dame legal education focuses on issues of justice and values inspired by two traditions—the Catholic tradition and the Anglo-American legal tradition.”

25. Arizona State University

ASU in Tempe, AZ offers in-state students a reduced rate of $27,074. Out-of-staters can expect to pay $42,794. The school has 623 full-time enrolled students, and the 25-75th percentile of them have LSAT scores of 158-163. The school has an acceptance rate of 43.3%, according to U.S. News.

For the full list: U.S. News and World Report 



 

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