If you are planning to get your law degree, choosing the right school can be a difficult decision. You may have a passion for public interest work and not feel the need to attend a prestigious top law school.
On the other hand, you may want to work for New York's most prominent law firm, meaning that you’ll have to “go big or go home.” Here are the top five law schools in the U.S. for prestige, pro bono opportunities, financial assistance, and employment rate.
1. University of Michigan Law School
The University of Michigan Law School is located in a thriving college town in Ann Arbor, Mich. This top law school offers tremendous public interest opportunities for students through its MLaw Public Interest Program and other programs like the Innocence Clinic. Every year, the nation's top law firms compete to recruit the grads of the UM's law school through the Early Interview Week program.
2. Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the premier top law schools in the U.S. for its contributions to academia and the legal profession. As the oldest continuously operating law school in the country, Harvard has played a large part in developing legal pedagogy. Only 13% of applicants are admitted to Harvard Law School, and more than 98% of attendees ultimately pass the bar exam. The law school also has an employment rate of 96.3%. The school also offers many opportunities to combine a J.D. program with a Ph.D. or M.B.A.
3. Yale Law School
Every year, only 7% of students are accepted into Yale Law School's competitive law program. More than 94% of students from Yale pass the bar exam. Yale also has an impressive employment rate of 96.5%. The tuition cost for a full-time student is $52,525. Yale also hosts two public interest fairs every year for its students, and the university also has a thriving on-campus recruiting program. Yale has a strong network of alumni who are more than willing to help graduates find jobs.
4. Stanford Law School
At Stanford Law School, students have the option of earning a certificate from the John and Terry Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law. Only 9.8% of applicants are accepted into Stanford, where annual tuition is $49,179.
5. Columbia Law School
Located in the heart of New York, Columbia University Law School is a top choice for aspiring law professionals who are dedicated to public interest legal work. Columbia accepts 15.8% of students for its law program every year. The school also has a 98.9% employment rate.