State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Best Law Schools for 2022

For those contemplating a career in law, selecting the right law school for you is a crucial step along the way to becoming a lawyer. Above all else, make sure that the law school you choose holds accreditation through the American Bar Association (ABA). Each year, U.S. News and World Report ranks the top law schools in the country, based on metrics such as placement of graduates, faculty resources, academic qualifications of entering students, and opinions by those working in law and criminal justice on the program’s overall quality. Here, we will examine their top 11 ranked law schools for 2022 in greater detail.

Top Ranked Law School: Yale University

Topping the list for 2022’s best law schools is Yale University Law School, 127 Wall St, New Haven, CT.  One of the unique qualities of Yale Law School is that the school no longer awards traditional grades. During the first term, students earn no grades. After the first term, students are graded on the basis of honors, pass, low pass, credit or failure. Only 6.9% of applicants are accepted to Yale Law School. In 2020, Yale Law School had a total of 621 students, 50.1% of whom were male and 49.8% female. Degree programs offered include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.), Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), and Ph.D. in Law. Famous alumni of Yale Law School are President Bill Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Other important information about Yale Law School:

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $85
  • Application deadline:                                    Feb. 28
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $68,117
  • Median LSAT score:                                     173
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                 98.3%             
  • Percentage employed at graduation:           83.9%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):               $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                     admissions.law@yale.edu

                                                                        (203) 432-4995          

Number Two: Stanford University

The runner up, at number two, is the Law School at Stanford University, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA. Only 9% of applicants are accepted as students at this law school. In 2020, the law school totaled 565 students, 50.4% of whom were male and 49.6% female. Degrees offered include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.), Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.) and Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.). Famous alumni of the Law School at Stanford University include Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and former Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $85
  • Application deadline:                                    Feb. 15
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $66,396
  • Median LSAT score:                                     171
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                 95.3%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:           87.4%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):               $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                     admissions@law.stanford.edu

                                                                        (650) 723-4985

Number Three: Harvard University

Harvard Law School, 1563 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA ranks third on the list of top law schools for 2022. Just under 13% of applicants are accepted at this law school. Like Yale Law School, Harvard Law School has eschewed traditional grades, instead giving students the status of honors, pass, low pass, or fail. As of 2020, the law school totaled 1737 students, with 50% male and 49.8% female. Degrees offered include Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), and Doctor of Judicial Science (S.J.D.). Famous alumni of Harvard Law School include President Barack Obama, First Lady Michele Obama, and political activist Ralph Nader.

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $85
  • Application deadline:                                    Feb. 1
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $67,081
  • Median LSAT score:                                     173
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                 97.2%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:            91.3%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):               $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                      jdadmiss@law.harvard.edu

(617) 495-3179

 

Number Four (Tie): Columbia University

Tied for fourth on the list of top law schools for 2022 is the Law School at Columbia University, 435 W. 116th St., New York, NY. Of those who apply, 16.8% are accepted. In 2020, the law school totaled 1268 students, 51.1% of whom were male and 48.9% female. Degrees offered include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Executive Master of Laws, and Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.). Famous graduates of Columbia Law School include President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $85
  • Application deadline:                                    Feb. 15
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $74,995
  • Median LSAT score:                                      172
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                  97.7%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:             97.4%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):           $180,000                    
  • Admissions contact:                                       admissions@law.columbia.edu

(212) 854-2674

 

Number Four (Tie): University of Chicago

Tied for fourth on the list of top law schools for 2022 is the Law School at University of Chicago, 1111 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL. Of those who apply, 17.5% are accepted. In 2020, the law school totaled 600 students, 53% of whom were male and 47% female. Degree programs offered include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) and Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.). Famous alumni of the Law School at University of Chicago include Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Senator Amy Klobuchar.

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $85
  • Application deadline:                                    March 1
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $69,975
  • Median LSAT score:                                      171
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                  98.9%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:            95%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):               $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                      admissions@law.uchicago.edu

(773) 702-9484

 

Number Six: New York University

Sixth on the 2022 list of best law schools is the School of Law at New York University , 40 Washington Square S., New York, NY. Of those who apply, 23.6% are accepted. The law school totaled 1380 students in 2020, 46.4% male, 53.4% female. Degrees available include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Doctor of Judicial Science (J.S.D.), and Executive L.L.M. Famous alumni of the NYU Law School include John F. Kennedy, Jr., former sports journalist Howard Cossell, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. 

  • Application fee (full-time students):             $85
  • Application deadline:                                    Feb. 15
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $71,304
  • Median LSAT score:                                     170
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                 97.5%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:            88%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):           $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                      law.moreinfo@nyu.edu

(212) 998-6060

Number Seven: University of Pennsylvania (Carey)

Ranking seventh on the list of best law schools for 2022 is the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, 3501 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA.  Of those who apply. 14.6% are accepted. In 2020, the law school totaled 755 students, 48.9% male, 51.1% female. Degree programs include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Master in Comparative Law (L.L.C.M.), Master in Law (M.L.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (S.J.D.). A myriad of joint degrees, certificates, and international programs are also offered. Famous alumni include Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts, former Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin, and U.S. Senator and founder of national law firm Pepper Hamilton George Wharton Pepper.

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $80
  • Application deadline:                                    March 1
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $68,130
  • Median LSAT score:                                     170
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                 98.5%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:           91.6%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):               $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                     contactadmissions@law.upenn.edu

(215) 898-7400

Number Eight: University of Virginia

Coming in eighth on the 2022 list of best law schools is the School of Law at University of Virginia, 480 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA. The school runs on a strict honor system, in which students pledge not to cheat, lie or steal. Those found guilty by a jury of their peers are expelled from school. Of those who apply, 15.3% are accepted. The law school totaled 923 students in 2020, with 54.2% male and 45.8% female. Degrees available at the School of Law at University of Virginia include Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), and Doctor of Judicial Science (S.J.D.). Famous alumni include Senator Ted Kennedy, President Woodrow Wilson, and former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $85
  • Application deadline:                                    March 3
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $65,500 in-state; $68,500 out-of-state
  • Median LSAT score:                                     169
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                 99%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:            92.3%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):               $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                      admissions@law.virginia.edu

(434) 924-7351

Number Nine: University of California—Berkeley

Ranking ninth among the best law schools of 2022 is the School of Law at University of California—Berkeley, Boalt Hall, Berkeley, CA. This school does not use letter grades or GPAs, nor does it rank students among their peers. Of those who apply, 20.2% are accepted. In 2020, the law school totaled 976 students, with 40.1% male and 59,7% female. Degrees available include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Doctor of Jurisprudence and Social Policy (Ph.D.), and Doctor of Judicial Science (J.S.D.). Famous alumni of the School of Law at University of California-Berkeley include Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Regional Director of the US Securities and Exchange Commission Helane Morrison, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren.

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $75
  • Application deadline:                                    Feb. 15
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $60,158 in-state; $62,816 out-of-state
  • Median LSAT score:                                      168
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                  89.2%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:            87.5%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):               $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                      admissions@law.berkeley.edu

(510) 642-2274

 

Number Ten (Tie): Duke University

Tied for tenth place on the 2022 list of best law schools is the School of Law at Duke University, 210 Science Drive Box 90362, Durham, NC. Of the students who apply, 20.2% are accepted. In 2020, the law school totaled 682 students, 54.3% male, 45.6% female. Degree programs offered include Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Master of Judicial Studies (Judicial Studies L.L.M.), L.L.M. in Law and Entrepreneurship, and Doctor of Judicial Science (S.J.D.).  Famous alumni of the School of Law at Duke University include President Richard Nixon, Journalist Charlie Rose, and attorney and former professional women’s basketball player Sonja Henning.

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $80
  • Application deadline:                                    Feb. 15
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $66,120
  • Median LSAT score:                                     169
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                 97.8%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:           91%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):               $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                     admissions@law.duke.edu

(919) 613-7020

Number Ten (Tie): University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Tied with Duke for tenth place among the best law schools of 2022 is the Law School at University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, 625 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI. Of those who apply, 19.6% are accepted. In 2020, the law school totaled 1012 students, 51.6% male, 48.4% female.  Dual degrees, certificate programs and international programs are offered, as are law degree programs such as Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Master of Advanced Corporation Law (M.A.C.L.), and Doctor of Judicial Science (S.J.D.). Famous alumni of the Law School at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor include Senior Advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett, co-founder of Groupon Eric Lefkofsky, and David Weston, former president of ABC News.

  • Application fee (full-time students):              $75
  • Application deadline:                                    Feb. 15
  • Tuition (full-time):                                          $64,198 in-state; $67,198 out-of-state
  • Median LSAT score:                                     169
  • Percentage passing bar 1st time:                96.6%
  • Percentage employed at graduation:           87.6%
  • Median starting salary (priv. prac.):               $180,000
  • Admissions contact:                                     law.jd.admissions@umich.edu

(734) 764-0537

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