US Law School Rankings 2020
Looking at law school rankings is one way of assessing which law programs you might wish to apply for.
However, please bear in mind that rankings are calculated by measuring characteristics that are arbitrary, as are the values given to each one, and that as a prospective law student you should apply for programs you feel are the best fit for you, rather than the top schools in a rankings list.
U.S News collect data every year on law schools to produce rankings, and list the best 10 law schools for 2021 as follows:
- Yale University
- Stanford University
- Harvard University
- Columbia University
- University of Chicago
- New York University
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Virginia
- Northwestern University
- University of California (Berkley)
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
These law school rankings are based on data collected on a range of factors, including faculty-to-student ratio, student selectivity, and acceptance rate.
While law school rankings can be a useful tool in guiding your program choices, they should be used in conjunction with other factors such as location, facilities, curriculum and funding when making your final decisions.
Please see our Choosing A Law School section for further information.
Alternatives to law school rankings
The American Bar Association (ABA) and LSAC produce an annual guide to approved law schools, which aims to provide law applicants with a set of standard data on which they can compare law schools, rather than sorting schools by a certain criteria.
This is available for free online, and can be purchased in print for a small fee.
The National Law Journal publishes a list of the top 50 law schools that saw the highest percentage of graduates take jobs at the 250 largest law firms in the States.
This offers some good employment-based rankings if you’re more interested in getting a job at a top firm when you complete your studies, rather than how the prestigious the university is.
The Social Science Research Network also produce a rankings list for law schools every month, based on the number of times faculty members' scholarship was downloaded.
Rankings are available by total number of downloads, total number of downloads within the last 12 months, and downloads per faculty member (to allow for the different sizes of institution). You can also look at rankings of individual law school faculty members on these metrics.
For global law school rankings, check out the QS World University Rankings for Law in 2019.
While law school rankings can be a useful tool in guiding your program choices, they should be used in conjunction with other factors such as location, facilities, curriculum and funding when making your final decisions on where to apply.
For more tips and advice on applying to law school, please see: