When it comes to pursuing a legal education, the United States offers a wealth of options. From the prestigious Stanford Law School to the renowned University of California - Berkeley, these institutions are known for producing some of the nation's top legal minds. In this article, we will take a closer look at the best law schools in the US, discussing their strengths and contributions to the field of law. So, if you are considering a career in law or simply curious about the top institutions in the country, read on to discover the exceptional universities that make the cut.

Stanford Law School (SLS)

Stanford Law School (SLS) consistently ranks among the top three law schools in the United States, according to World Report and U.S. News. The school's admission process is highly competitive, and its programs foster a close-knit community.

Each year, only a small number of students, ranging from 15 to 20, or 8.7 percent of applicants, are admitted into each specialization. To secure a place at SLS, your application must truly stand out.

The specializations offered at SLS include:

  • Environmental Law & Policy
  • Corporate Governance & Practice
  • International Economic Law
  • Business & Policy
  • Science & Technology
If you are fortunate enough to be accepted into Stanford, you will have the privilege of learning from world-class professors. With a student-faculty ratio of 4:1, you are guaranteed personalized attention and guidance. Additionally, SLS is home to the prestigious Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS), which awards the Master of Science in Law (JSM) degree. As an SLS graduate, you will become part of an influential alumni network known for its success. Notably, at least 90 percent of Stanford graduates secure employment within 10 months of graduation.

If you aspire to join Stanford Law School, consider the following statistics as a guide:

  • LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 169-174
  • GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.82-3.99

University of California - Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

The U.C. Berkeley Law School, founded in 1894, is considered the second-best law school in California after Stanford, according to U.S. News. In 2019, it was also ranked as the 10th best law school in the country, highlighting its highly competitive admissions process.

Annually, approximately 20 percent of applicants are accepted into the program. Moreover, UC Berkeley Law School boasts a low student-faculty ratio of 5:8:1. It offers two LL.M. programs: a traditional one-year program and a Professional Track LL.M. program.

The Professional Track LL.M. allows candidates to study over two consecutive summers, providing the opportunity to work or spend time with family during the academic year. UC Berkeley Law School offers the following LL.M. specializations:

  • Business Law
  • Law & Technology
  • Energy & Clean Technology
If you choose to attend UC Berkeley Law School, there is a 90 percent chance of securing a job within one year of graduating. Many UC Berkeley Law graduates excel in government and public interest sectors.

If you are interested in joining UC Berkeley Law School, consider the following statistics:

  • LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 165-170
  • GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.64-3.90

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Established in 1949, UCLA Law School proudly holds the distinction of being Southern California's first public law school. Located in Los Angeles' Westwood neighborhood, the school benefits from its strategic position. UCLA Law School offers an LL.M. program with various specializations, including:

  • Business Law
  • Tax Law
  • Law and Sexuality
  • Sports Law
  • Entertainment Law
UCLA's Entertainment Law program, housed at the Ziffren Center, is widely regarded as the premier entertainment law program in the United States. UCLA Law School also features a unique Critical Race Studies program, the only one of its kind in the country focusing on issues of race and justice.

The school's comprehensive classroom work is well-known, and students have plentiful opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning. Notably, UCLA Law School distinguishes itself through specialized clinics centered around the First Amendment and Supreme Court.

With an acceptance rate of approximately 22.5 percent, UCLA Law School maintains its competitive edge. Furthermore, a robust global alumni network comprising over 17,000 members awaits graduates. For those seeking admission to UCLA Law School, consider the following figures:

  • Median LSAT Score: 160
  • Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.72

University of Southern California Gould School of Law (USC Law School)

USC Law School, established in 1896, stands as the oldest law school in the Southwestern United States. Officially launched as a USC school in 1900 under the name Gould School of Law, it consistently secures its place among the top 20 law schools in the country.

Strategically situated in downtown Los Angeles' southern region, USC Law School provides students with abundant opportunities within a major metropolitan area. Despite enrolling around 600 students, the school maintains an excellent student/faculty ratio of 5.9:1. However, gaining admission to USC Gould School of Law is no easy feat, as only around 19 percent of applicants are admitted each year.

Early application increases your chances of acceptance, an advantage few law schools can offer. Additionally, USC Gould School of Law has established partnerships with esteemed universities around the world, including those in Brazil, France, Australia, Italy, and Hong Kong. These collaborations provide students with opportunities for studying law abroad. Moreover, the school offers 15 dual-degree programs that integrate law with other fields such as:

  • Public Policy
  • Business Administration
  • International Relations
  • Gerontology
If you wish to enhance your knowledge in a specific area, these programs can be an excellent option. Furthermore, USC Gould School of Law's year-long clinics provide a more comprehensive learning experience compared to the typical semester-long clinics offered by most law schools.

Graduates of Gould School of Law often find employment in government and law firms. Below are some key statistics to consider if you are interested in joining this prestigious institution:

  • LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 163-167
  • GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.61-3.89

University of California (U.C.) Irvine School of Law

Despite its relatively recent establishment, U.C. Irvine School of Law stands out as one of the most progressive law schools in the United States. It consistently ranks among the top 25 law schools nationwide. The school maintains a student/faculty ratio of 5:8:1, ensuring personalized attention for students throughout their course of study.

With an acceptance rate of about 25 percent, U.C. Irvine Law School is highly competitive. If you are fortunate enough to secure a spot at the school, you will begin gaining hands-on experience immediately. First-year students participate in a Lawyering Skills course, which includes real client interviews. In the second year, students can choose from 10 core clinics that address various issues, including domestic violence, community development, criminal justice, and immigrant rights.

Other practical learning opportunities at U.C. Irvine Law School include a rigorous externship program and the UCDC Law program, allowing students to spend a semester in Washington, DC. If you aspire to join U.C. Irvine Law School, consider the following statistics:

  • LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 161-165
  • GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.4-3.73

Chapman University - Fowler School of Law

Chapman University Law School, founded in 1995, received provisional American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation in 1998 and secured full ABA accreditation in 2002. The Orange County-based school offers a broad range of programs, including various LL.M. degree specializations and the Juris Doctor degree.

LL.M. candidates at Chapman Law School can choose from a selection of specializations, including:

  • Business Law
  • Entertainment & Media Law
  • International Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Taxation
  • Trial Advocacy
The school also provides combined programs such as J.D./MBA and J.D./MFA in Film and Television Production. Chapman Law School boasts a diverse and accomplished faculty, offering students personalized instruction along with hands-on clinical and courtroom experience.

With an acceptance rate of 48 percent, Chapman Law School offers opportunities to a significant number of applicants. According to the school, 78 percent of its 2018 graduates secured employment within 10 months of graduation, with 60 percent finding jobs in law firms. As you consider joining Chapman Law School, keep the following numbers in mind:

  • LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 154-158
  • GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.17-3.56

University of California (U.C.) Davis School of Law

U.S. News ranks U.C. Davis School of Law as one of the top 10 law schools in California. Founded by the university in 1965, the school's location between the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, the state capital, offers students the opportunity to network with professionals and government representatives.

With an acceptance rate slightly above 34 percent, U.C. Davis School of Law is among the smaller law schools within the University of California system, enrolling approximately 200 students per class. This small size ensures an intimate learning experience compared to larger law schools in the state.

U.C. Davis School of Law offers a wide range of LL.M. specialization options, including:

  • Business Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Public International Law
  • Private International Law
Moreover, the school provides opportunities for students to work with real clients and solve real-world problems through various clinics, such as:
  • Immigration Law Clinic
  • Family Protection & Advocacy Clinic
  • California Supreme Court Clinic
  • Civil Rights Clinic
  • Prison Law Office
The school's comprehensive externship program further enhances hands-on learning experiences, allowing students to work in diverse settings, such as the California Legislature, district attorney's offices, and state and federal judicial chambers.

To gain more insight into U.C. Davis School of Law, here are the statistics for the 2018 entering class:

  • Median LSAT Score: 162
  • Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.63

Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Founded in 1920, Loyola Law School Los Angeles is renowned for its active evening program and strong trial advocacy program. The school offers a range of robust LL.M. programs, including specializations in:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Civil Litigation
  • Entertainment & Media Law
  • Cybersecurity
  • Taxation
According to LLM GUIDE, Loyola's LL.M. in Taxation program ranks among the top 10 LL.M. programs for U.S. Tax Law. Loyola Law School is also recognized for granting a high number of Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees to minority students.

What sets Loyola apart from competitors is its concentration program, allowing students to specialize in a particular field. Concentration options include public interest law, entrepreneurship, intellectual property law, and immigrant advocacy. In addition to coursework in their chosen field, students gain practical experience through simulation or real client work during a semester.

Loyola Law School's student population reaches approximately 1,000 students. However, admission is highly selective, with only 36 percent of applicants gaining acceptance. To better understand the admissions process, here are the statistics for the 2018 entering class:

  • Median LSAT Score: 160
  • Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.58

Pepperdine University School of Law

Located in Malibu, Pepperdine University School of Law proudly embraces strong Christian principles and is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. The school's student/faculty ratio of 7:1 ensures personalized attention and support for students throughout their legal education.

Pepperdine University School of Law's Paris Institute for Professional Formation stands out as a unique feature. Students have the opportunity to work with mentors on various subjects, such as legal analysis and ethics. Moreover, the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution positions the school as a thought leader in the field of alternative dispute resolution, with its LL.M. in Dispute Resolution program ranking among the top 10 worldwide.

The school also offers LL.M. programs in United States Law, International Commercial Law & Arbitration, and Sports, Entertainment & Media Law. Admission to Pepperdine University School of Law is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of approximately 36.2 percent. For further insight into the admissions process, consider the following statistics for the 2018 entering class:

  • Median LSAT Score: 160
  • Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.63

In conclusion, when it comes to pursuing a legal education, these top law schools in the US offer an array of opportunities and resources to help students thrive and succeed in the competitive field of law. Whether it's Stanford Law School's renowned faculty or Loyola Law School's hands-on approach to learning, each institution on this list has something unique and valuable to offer prospective law students. So, if you're in search of the best law schools in the US, look no further than these prestigious institutions that have proven time and again to produce exceptional legal professionals.