What are the Best Law Universities in the United States? A law degree is the first step in a series of professional paths, such as being an attorney, lawyer, and judge. Several universities around the world offer different academic courses in law, but if you are looking for the best possible courses, Times Higher Education (THE), an important research organization responsible for the most famous university rankings in the world, has compiled a list of training courses most renowned law firms in the world, including those in the United States.
Approximately one-third of all the best universities in the Law Degrees ranking are American, including the number, Stanford University.
Times Higher Education’s rankings by study area are based on the same 13 performance indicators. However, according to the official website of THE, the methodology is carefully recalibrated for each of the evaluated areas, making the weight of the grade suit the specific field of knowledge.
In the case of Law, the weights of each indicator are as follows:
- Teaching: the learning environment – 32.7% of the grade;
- Research: volume, income, and reputation – 30.8%;
- Citations: Influence of research – 25%;
- International perspective: teachers, students, and research – 9%;
- Result in the industry: innovation – 2.5%.
There are two valid criteria for rankings by area of study: a publication limit per subject and an academic body limit per subject.
No institution enters the general world ranking, for example, without having published at least 1,000 relevant words in the last five years.
In order to be considered on the law list, the university must have at least 100 relevant academic publications in the last five years and at least 1% of its entire academic staff working in the law department.
Important: Study Law in the United States
Before we list the best American law universities, it is important to know that if your intention is to study in the United States, you will necessarily need a bachelor’s degree beforehand. This is because Law, like medicine, is considered a postgraduate in the country.
Top 10 Law Universities in The United States
The following are the top ten Law universities in the United States best positioned in the world law ranking:
1. Stanford University
One of the strengths of the Stanford School of Law is that it has one of the lowest proportions among students and faculty in the country, with 7.3 students for each teacher. This, in general, means more attentive and personalized teaching throughout the course.
Its law courses are varied and diversified, starting with the first year, which is usually a general overview of the field: criminal law, contracts, crime, and writing and legal research. From the second year of the course, students choose their area of focus from the 280 possibilities of specializations available.
Stanford has a specialized library, the Robert Crown Law Library, which has approximately 500,000 books in its collection. In addition, law students are responsible for more than 50 University organizations, including the Law and Wine Society, Stanford Law Students Against Gender Violence, Women in Politics, and the Association of African Law Students.
Finally, there are also 12 legal journals affiliated with the Stanford School of Law.
2. Yale University
The Yale Law School admission process is one of the most selective in the United States. Less than 10% of applicants are admitted each year!
The School provides students with the chance to represent real clients. Up to 80% of all Yale law students participate in these hands-on programs before they graduate, meaning that they will already have professional experience before the end of the course.
This covers a wide variety of legal areas and each year there are a number of new options. It is no coincidence that Yale Law School has trained people like presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former US presidents Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford.
3. University of Chicago
The University of Chicago School of Law was founded in 1902, just 12 years after the institution was created.
The department’s faculty applies the Socratic teaching method: instead of just teaching classes, they engage students in dialogues by inviting them to consider some of the most complex legal and social issues in the world.
The objective of this method is to prepare students with agile thinking, decision-making, and practical actions when they are under pressure from the area in the job market.
4. University of California, Berkeley
The three pillars of Berkeley Law, the law school at the University of California, Berkeley, are teaching, research, and community service.
One of the 14 schools and colleges on the campus, she has trained leaders in the fields of law, government, and society, such as the president and founder of the Equal Justice Society, Eva Paterson, and civil rights activist, Pauli Murray.
Berkeley Law maintains different practical learning programs, such as clinics, internships, professional skills, and even the practice of law for veterans and victims of domestic violence.
5. Duke University
The mission of the innovative and ambitious Duke University School of Law is to prepare students for a responsible and productive life dedicated to the legal profession through rigorous teaching in a supportive, collaborative, and diverse environment.
With a course at Duke Law School, students develop leadership skills at the national and international levels to improve their understanding of the law and improve laws and legal institutions through public service, academic research, and scholarships, including interdisciplinary work with other Duke colleges and departments.
6. New York University
The 16 areas of study at the New York University School of Law (NYU) provide students with a wide variety of academic specialization choices. The courses are demanding and taught by academics recognized in their respective fields.
Law studies at NYU create a close and dynamic community, enriched by the diversity of study centers and student organizations, as well as opportunities to work directly with the faculty in revolutionary research.
Experimental and clinical training is an integral part of any of the courses offered by the University and students also choose to participate in interdisciplinary learning and research in Law and Philosophy, Economics, Politics, History, and Social Theory.
Among the other universities, NYU has a good admission rate: according to the Tipping The Scale website, 33% of all candidates are accepted every year.
7. University of California, Los Angeles
Founded in 1949, the UCLA School of Law (or just UCLA Law) has quickly established a reputation for access and excellence by offering world-class legal education and major scholarships in the field.
It was the first law school in Southern California and is one of the youngest to join the list of the best in the United States. In addition, she has the only law course in the country devoted to racial and justice issues. The innovative work of the teachers of the Critical Race Studies course is recognized by the world.
At the School, there are also other centers dedicated to urgent areas of law, such as the Media, Entertainment Technology and Sports Center; the Environment and Climate Change Institute; the Institute of Business and Politics; the Human Rights Institute; and the Williams Institute, a source of information and analysis of the political and legal impact on the LGBT community.
8. Harvard University
Founded in 1817, the famous Harvard Law School is the oldest active school in the United States, formed by the largest academic library in the world.
In addition to the more traditional courses, Harvard maintains double degrees in Law with Business, Government, Public Health, or Urban Planning. There is even a course in conjunction with the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
9. Columbia University
Columbia Law School is renowned for the intellectual rigor required in its course curriculum and for its revolutionary faculty.
With an emphasis on the University’s vast interdisciplinary resources and research and the advantage of its New York location, students complete legal training prepared to address the most challenging issues across all borders, subjects, jurisdictions, sectors, and industries.
Columbia has mandatory modules for experimental learning and pro bono public service, in addition to students being able to participate in various research conducted at the various centers and institutes that form the University.
10. Cornell University
One of the biggest advantages of studying at Cornell Law School is its very low ratio of 4.9 students to each teacher. If your priority is to have direct contact with teachers and receive personalized teaching, this is a factor to consider.
By participating in one of the School’s various clinical training or internships, students have the chance to work with real clients and recurring challenges in the field before they even graduate. By engaging with real and current cases, they gain valuable practical experience at all levels of the process.
Cornell Law School has more than 170 law courses and there are approximately only 25 students per classroom. Until the completion of studies, 66% of students participate in at least one clinical program.