Best Law Schools in the US 2023 (Top 10 Law Schools Ranked)

Best Law Schools

Law schools are institutions that specialize in legal education, providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice law or work in legal-related professions. In most countries, including the United States, law schools offer programs leading to a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, which is the primary degree required to become a licensed attorney. Law schools typically offer a rigorous curriculum that covers a broad range of legal topics, including constitutional law, civil procedure, criminal law, contracts, property law, and torts. Students are also often allowed to participate in clinical programs, where they can gain hands-on experience representing clients under the supervision of practicing attorneys. Law schools may be standalone institutions or may be part of larger universities. They may also offer specialized programs, such as LL.M. programs, which allow students to specialize in a particular area of law, or joint degree programs, which allow students to earn a law degree along with a degree in another field. Admission to law schools is typically highly competitive, and applicants are often required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and provide letters of recommendation and transcripts of their undergraduate studies. Law schools may also consider factors such as work experience, community service, and personal essays in their admissions decisions. Upon graduation, law school graduates must typically pass a bar exam in their state to become licensed to practice law. Some law schools also offer programs that prepare students for bar exams in multiple states or countries. Law schools play a crucial role in training the next generation of attorneys and legal professionals, and they continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of the legal profession

Best Law Schools in the US 2023

Rank Law Schools
1 Yale Law School
2 Harvard Law School
3 Stanford Law School
4 Columbia Law School
5 University of Chicago Law School
6 New York University School of Law
7 University of Pennsylvania Law School
8 University of Virginia School of Law
9 University of Michigan Law School
10 Duke University School of Law

1. Yale Law School

Yale Law School (YLS) is situated at Yale University, a private research university located in New Haven, Connecticut, which was founded in 1824. According to U.S. News & World Report, YLS was ranked as the best law school in the United States annually from 1990 to 2022, after which Yale decided to withdraw voluntarily from the rankings, citing problems with the methodology used in the rankings. It is one of the most competitive academic institutions worldwide, with an acceptance rate of 4% in 2020-21, the lowest of any law school in the United States. The yield rate of YLS is consistently the highest of any law school in the United States, at 87%. Yale University’s Law School has a deadline for applications on Feb. 15th and charges an $85 application fee for its full-time program. The full-time tuition fee is $69,433, and the student-faculty ratio is 4.7:1. At this Ivy League law school that ranks highly, students are not assigned traditional grades. During the first semester at Yale Law School, students do not receive any grades at all, and afterward, they are only graded by honors, pass, low pass, credit, or failure. The class sizes are small, with less than 20 students often in attendance. Although there are no areas of concentration, students may customize their course selections to match their interests. Joint degrees are available in partnership with other professional and graduate schools at Yale, such as the well-regarded School of Management. Students may also enroll in courses at these schools without having to declare a second major. Exceptionally motivated students may earn an accelerated, integrated J.D./MBA in three years, the same duration as a traditional J.D. Yale offers over 20 legal clinics where students can engage in authentic legal experiences as early as their first year. These clinics enable students to represent actual clients in disputes such as domestic violence and apartment evictions. Apart from clinical opportunities, students can test their legal expertise in on-campus centers and workshops. Beyond academics, there are about 50 student organizations, ranging from the Habeas Chorus a cappella group to the Yale Federalist Society, that students can explore. While the university provides graduate student housing in New Haven, Connecticut, most students choose to reside elsewhere in the town. The law school has an impressive list of notable alumni, including former President Bill Clinton and Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. According to the rankings, Yale University is the top-ranked law school. The ranking system takes into account various well-regarded indicators of excellence.

2. Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the law school of Harvard University, which is a private research university. Established in 1817, it is the oldest continuously operating law school in the US. The JD program has an unusually large class size of approximately 560 students, which is among the largest class sizes of the top 150 ranked law schools in the country. In the first year, the class is split into seven sections of about 80 students who take most of their courses together. The law school also awards LLM and SJD degrees in addition to the JD program. The prestige of the institution and its large class size has produced numerous notable alumni in the judiciary, government, and business sectors. Based on Harvard Law’s 2020 ABA-required disclosures, 99% of 2019 graduates passed the bar exam. Between 2000 and 2010, graduates of the school accounted for over a quarter of all Supreme Court clerks, more than any other law school in the US. The founding of Harvard Law School is traditionally associated with the endowment of Harvard’s first professorship in law, financed by a bequest from the estate of Isaac Royall Jr., a colonial American landowner, and slave owner. HLS is home to the largest academic law library in the world and has about 135 full-time faculty members. Harvard Law School is a highly selective and prestigious institution that attracts top students and faculty from around the world. Its rigorous academic programs, distinguished faculty, and extensive resources make it a leading institution in the field of legal education.

3. Stanford Law School

Stanford University is home to Stanford Law School (Stanford Law or SLS), which is one of the most renowned law schools in the world. Established in 1893, Stanford Law has consistently been ranked among the top three law schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Its acceptance rate in 2021 was 6.28%, making it the second-most selective law school in the country. Jennifer Martínez is the current dean of Stanford Law School, serving since 2019. Stanford Law School has a small student body of approximately 550 students working toward their Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree, with each fall enrolling a J.D. class of approximately 180 students. It also offers four advanced legal degrees: Master of Laws (LL.M.), Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.). Stanford Law School has more than 90 full-time and part-time faculty members and maintains eleven full-time legal clinics, including the first and most active Supreme Court litigation clinic in the nation. Additionally, it offers 27 formal joint degree programs. Stanford Law alumni include notable figures such as retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former Chief Justice of New Zealand Sian Elias, and several other justices of supreme courts, including the late Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist. The law school has produced many distinguished alumni who have excelled in the judiciary, government, and business world.

4. Columbia Law School

Columbia Law School (CLS) is a law school affiliated with Columbia University, a private Ivy League university located in New York City. Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious law schools in the world, Columbia Law has consistently ranked in the top five law schools in the United States since U.S. News & World Report began publishing law school rankings in 1987. The school is particularly well known for its strength in corporate law and its ability to place graduates in top law firms across the country. Founded in 1858 as the Columbia College Law School, the institution has a long history of legal scholarship dating back to the 18th century and boasts notable alumni such as the first chief justice of the United States, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton, co-author of The Federalist Papers. Other distinguished alumni include US presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, numerous cabinet members and presidential advisers, US senators and representatives, governors, and more members of the Forbes 400 than any other law school in the world. According to Columbia Law School’s 2021 ABA-required disclosures, 98.3 percent of the Class of 2021 secured employment within ten months of graduation, with starting salaries ranging from $215,000 at the 25th percentile to $215,000 at the median and 75th percentile. Since 2014, the law school has also been ranked No. 1 on the National Law Journal’s “Go-To Law Schools” ranking, which measures the percentage of graduates who obtain employment at the largest 100 law firms in the United States.

5. University of Chicago Law School

The law school of the University of Chicago, a private research university located in Chicago, Illinois, is known as the University of Chicago Law School. It is consistently considered as one of the top and most esteemed law schools in the world, with many distinguished alumni in various fields such as the judiciary, academia, government, politics, and business. The Juris Doctor program of the law school has more than 600 students, and it employs over 180 full-time and part-time faculty members. Additionally, the law school offers several other degrees such as the Master of Laws, Master of Studies in Law, and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees in law. The law school has the highest percentage of recent graduates who are clerking for federal judges. William Rainey Harper, the president of the University of Chicago, initiated the idea of the law school in the 1890s. The school’s curriculum was designed by Harper and the law school’s first dean, Joseph Henry Beale, with inspiration from Ernst Freund’s interdisciplinary approach to legal education. John D. Rockefeller financed the construction of the school, and the cornerstone was laid by the then-President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. The law school started operating in 1902, and since then, the Socratic Method has been the predominant mode of teaching used by the law school’s professors in lectures and seminars. In the 1930s, the law and economics movement influenced the interdisciplinary nature of the law school’s curriculum. This movement was further developed by economists Aaron Director and Henry Calvert Simons, who taught courses that were integrated with the antitrust curriculum taught by Edward H. Levi, a statesman. This led to the development of the Chicago school of economics and the Chicago School approach to antitrust law. The law school grew rapidly in the 1950s under Levi’s leadership, and in the 1970s and 1980s, it attracted many scholars in social sciences due to its influence in law and economics. Distinguished scholars such as Nobel laureates Ronald Coase and Gary Becker, and Richard A. Posner, the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century, were all attracted to the school.

6. New York University School of Law

NYU Law is the law school of New York University, a private research university located in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan. Established in 1835, it is the oldest law school in New York City and the oldest surviving law school in New York State. The school offers J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. law degrees and is consistently ranked among the top 10 law schools in the world by various rankings, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and the QS World University Rankings.NYU Law has consistently ranked among the top 7 T14 law schools since the U.S. News & World Report began publishing its rankings in 1987. It is also ranked third best in the United States by the SSRN ranking of the top 350 U.S. Law Schools for 2022. In addition, NYU Law is known for having the best overall faculty in the United States, with leading scholars in every field of law teaching at the school.NYU Law alumni include judges at the International Court of Justice and numerous Nobel laureates, as well as prominent US lawyers such as David Boies and leading human rights practitioners such as Amal Alamuddin Clooney. The school’s Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Law Fellowship is widely recognized as the most prestigious public interest program of its kind, and the school is known for its significant orientation to the public interest. According to the school’s ABA-required disclosures, NYU Law’s bar passage rate is 98.7% in 2022, the second highest in the United States.

7. The University of Pennsylvania Law School

Penn Law, also known as the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, is one of the oldest and most selective law schools in the United States. It is part of the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, a private research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Penn Law offers several degree programs including Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), Master of Comparative Laws (LL.C.M.), Master in Law (M.L.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (S.J.D.). Admission to the school is highly competitive, with an entering class of approximately 250 students. The school has a first-time bar passage rate of 98.5 percent and has consistently ranked among the top 14 (“T14”) law schools identified by U.S. News & World Report. Penn Law has a diverse student body, with 49 percent of students in the class of 2024 being women and 40 percent identifying as persons of color. The school offers an extensive curriculum, with opportunities to specialize in fields such as East Asian Studies or Gender and Sexuality Studies, and hosts various student groups, research centers, and activities. The University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the oldest law journal in the United States, is published by Penn Law students. Students also publish The Regulatory Review, a regulatory news, analysis, and commentary publication. Penn Law alumni include a US Supreme Court Justice, at least 76 judges of the United States court system, nine state Supreme Court Justices, three supreme court justices of foreign countries, at least 46 members of the United States Congress, as well as nine Olympians, several founders of law firms, university presidents and deans, business entrepreneurs, leaders in the public sector, and government officials. The Class of 2020 had a 99.6 percent employment rate after graduation, with a median salary of $190,000 for the Class of 2019. The law school was also ranked #2 of all law schools nationwide by the National Law Journal for sending the highest percentage of 2019 graduates to join the 100 largest law firms in the U.S., constituting 58.4 percent. To graduate, each student must complete at least 70 hours of pro bono service.

8. University of Virginia School of Law

The University of Virginia School of Law, located in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a prestigious law school that was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. It is consistently ranked among the top law schools in the United States, with a current ranking of #8 by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers a rigorous legal education, with a focus on critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and legal writing. It offers three-degree programs: the Juris Doctor (J.D.), the Master of Laws (LL.M.), and the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.). The school has a highly selective admissions process, with an acceptance rate of around 20 percent. The student body is diverse, with approximately 60 percent of students coming from outside of Virginia and around 45 percent identifying as women. The law school offers a variety of clinics, centers, and programs, including the Program in Law and Public Service, which prepares students for careers in public interest law, and the Virginia Journal of International Law, which is one of the leading international law journals in the world. The school has a strong alumni network, with graduates holding positions of leadership in law firms, corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the world.

9. The University of Michigan Law School

The University of Michigan Law School is a renowned law school located on the University of Michigan’s campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1859, it is one of the oldest law schools in the United States. The school offers various programs, including a Juris Doctor (J.D.) program, a Master of Laws (LL.M.) program, and a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) program. Its faculty includes over 80 full-time professors, and it has a student body of around 1,000 students. The school has a strong reputation for its interdisciplinary approach, offering joint degrees with other schools and departments at the university. It is also well known for its clinical and experiential learning opportunities, including the Michigan Innocence Clinic and the Community and Economic Development Clinic. In addition, Michigan Law has an extensive alumni network that includes prominent figures in law, government, and business. The school consistently ranks among the top law schools in the United States and is currently ranked eighth by U.S. News & World Report.

10. Duke University School of Law

Duke Law School, located in Durham, North Carolina, is a constituent academic unit of Duke University, one of its 10 schools and colleges. It was established in 1868 as the Trinity College School of Law and renamed the Duke University School of Law in 1924 after the renaming of Trinity College to Duke University. It is consistently ranked as one of the top law schools in the US and has an acceptance rate of approximately 14.5 percent. Duke Law is part of the “T14” law schools that have consistently ranked within the top 14 law schools since the inception of U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. reports that 91.36 percent of the 2018 graduating class were employed within 10 months, with a median starting salary in the private sector of $205,000. The law school has one of the highest bar passage rates in the country, with a rate of almost 98 percent for the 2019 class, second only to Harvard Law School. According to Law School Transparency, the estimated cost of attendance for three years of law school is $329,609. Despite a nationwide decline in law school applications, Duke Law has experienced an increase in applications. The 2014 entering class had 221 enrolled students out of 5,358 applicants. The LSAT percentiles for the 2014 entering class were 166 to 170, with a median of 169, and the undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.66 to 3.85, with a median of 3.77. The law school currently has approximately 640 JD students and 75 students in the LLM and SJD programs.

What are the Top 10 Law Schools in India?

Rank Law Schools (India)
1 National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore
2 National Law University (NLU), Delhi
3 NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
4 Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur – Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law
5 National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal
6 West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata
7 Symbiosis Law School (SLS), Pune
8 Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), Sonipat
9 Institute of Law, Nirma University (ILNU), Ahmedabad
10 Government Law College (GLC), Mumbai

What is the no.1 Law School in America?

Yale Law School is ranked as the No 1 law school in the United States. Yale Law School has consistently been ranked among the top law schools in the US and is known for its rigorous academic program, renowned faculty, and accomplished alumni. Yale Law School is a private law school located in New Haven, Connecticut. It is one of the most prestigious and highly-ranked law schools in the United States and is known for its rigorous academic program, distinguished faculty, and selective admissions process. Yale Law School offers a three-year J.D. program, as well as LL.M. and J.S.D. programs for graduate students. Yale Law School has a long history of producing influential legal scholars, judges, and political leaders. Many of its alumni have gone on to serve as judges on the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts, as well as leaders in government, academia, and the private sector. The law school is known for its unique approach to legal education, which emphasizes a close-knit and supportive community, hands-on learning opportunities, and a broad-based curriculum that allows students to explore a range of legal fields and interdisciplinary topics. Students at Yale Law School have access to a wide range of extracurricular activities, including moot court competitions, legal clinics, and student-run organizations focused on various areas of law. In recent years, Yale Law School has been ranked among the top law schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is often considered one of the “T14” law schools along with other elite institutions like Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School.

What is the no.1 Law School in the World?

Stanford University, a private non-denominational co-educational institution, is considered one of the most distinguished universities worldwide, with one of the largest campuses in the US. It was established in 1885 and is situated in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, a place known for its entrepreneurial culture. Its innovative spirit goes back to the post-World War II era, where the university’s provost stimulated innovation that resulted in a self-sufficient industry that ultimately became Silicon Valley. The main campus, which encompasses almost all undergraduates, spans over 8,180 acres and includes 700 major university buildings, 40 departments, and 18 independent laboratories, centers, and institutes within three academic schools and four professional schools. Stanford’s community includes 21 Nobel laureates, and its alumni include numerous notable personalities from diverse fields. The university has produced 30 billionaires, 17 astronauts, 18 Turing Award recipients, and two Fields Medallists, among others. Furthermore, companies founded by Stanford affiliates and alumni generate over $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, which could be the world’s 10th largest economy. The university has produced successful companies such as Nike, Netflix, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Instagram, Snapchat, PayPal, and Yahoo. Additionally, the university has produced notable individuals such as Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space, who received an undergraduate degree in physics from Stanford in 1973.

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