Law School Rankings

There are approximately 200 law schools in the United States. All of these professional schools prepare graduates to take the state bar exams needed to practice law. Making an effort to learn about what is common among law schools and then how each distinguishes itself will help you in the selection process once you have also developed a clear sense of why you want to pursue a legal education and what is important to you in a law school.

Most of us are aware that law schools are ranked by US News. Although these rankings can wield powerful influence, rankings alone do not usually provide enough information for applicants to make informed decisions. It is also helpful to see the methodology employed by US News. The Law School Admission Council has made an effort to help applicants think seriously about rankings and reputation.

Law School Admission Data

The Law School Admission Council provides a database that can be utilized by applicants to enter real or hypothetical LSAT scores and grade point averages to see what the likelihood of admission might be for any particular year; pre-law advising representatives from Boston College provide similar information in a different format in their Law School Locator. Individual law school websites can be helpful as well.

Evaluating and Comparing Law Schools and Their Outcomes

It is important to access good and varied information as you explore law schools. The LSAC site provides a good place to start as you begin to gather facts and information about law schools. It has a section on How to Evaluate Law Schools and also Law School Features to Consider. AccessLex provides information and online tools (Analytix) for applicants to create charts with financial data to compare groups of law schools selected by them.

The American Bar Association makes key additional information about individual law schools’ available to you in their annual Required Disclosures Report. The ABA also reports annual employment statistics for individual law schools in its Employment Summary Report.

The National Association for Law Placement had developed a resource for applicants to access employment, salary information and more in its Prelaw Portal.

The Law School Transparency website compiles employment information and enables applicants to compare law schools. It also highlights the limits in most data provided about outcomes.

The Wilson-Stern Book of Law School Lists (published by Kaplan TestPrep) compiles helpful, specific information about programs, scholarships, clinics, and much more provided by law schools. Gerald Wilson and Ed Stern are distinguished prelaw advisors (Duke University and Boston University, respectively).