If you want to become a lawyer, there are many law schools from which to choose. Knowing what some of the best have to offer will help make that decision easier.
Are you thinking of applying to one of the many law schools available? If that is the case, then you’re probably curious to know about how they rank in relation to each other.
The truth is that a law degree offers you a firm foundation from which you can pursue many different career paths. You could be a solicitor, or a barrister, or a judge, but you could also be so many more things,” says Allison Cooper of NinjaEssays.
To be sure, before you get to know about the different law schools out there, it should be pointed out that American law schools enjoy the privilege of being among the best in the world and offer nothing but excellence, both in the academic performance of the students and in the teaching of the instructors.
“It’s a great degree to have, especially if you’re the type that likes a good intellectual debate and wants to champion the rights of the underrepresented in society,” says Jennifer Smith who has done many custom essay orders for professionals in the field and understands it very well.
While some of the schools on our list may not be American, most of this article will be about American law schools.
How to apply to an American Law School
The requirements for getting into law school in the U.S. are rather unique. You can basically do it in the following three steps:
- First, you will have to complete a bachelor’s degree. The degree may or may not be related to law. It isn’t mandatory that you do a law-related bachelor’s degree in order to join an American law school. Law schools in the U.S. accept students who have finished a bachelor’s degree in just about any field.
- Once you’re done with your bachelor’s degree, you should take the LSAT. This is the law school’s version of an SAT and is necessary for anyone that would like to pursue a law degree. It basically tests your analytical and critical thinking abilities.
- Once you have completed the LSAT, you can now start applying to law schools of your choice. It is advised that you apply to at least three of your top choices to increase your chances of being accepted.
What are the types of Law Degrees in the United States?
There are three main types of law degrees in the United States:
- Juris Doctor (J.D.) – The Juris Doctor is granted in all law schools in the United States, whether they are public or private. It is the basic minimum degree you need if you are going to practice law in the country. For full-time students, this program lasts three years while for part-time students, it lasts four years.
- Master of Laws (L.L.M.) – The Master of Laws lasts for a year and consists of full-time study. It is done when one has finished their J.D. degree and is for those students who would like to gain even further knowledge in a particular field of law. It is also useful for those students who are coming from another country and would like to adjust to the legal system in the United States.
- Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D) – This is the same as a Ph.D. program in other fields of knowledge and is the highest academic qualification that one can receive in the field of law. It takes three years and is often pursued by those who would eventually like to be teachers of law. It is, however, a highly limited program with limited spaces available in most schools in the United States.
Top Seven Universities for Law Degrees
Duke University has ten schools, and the School of Law is one of them. It consistently finds itself as one of the highest ranked law schools in the country and is very selective in its admissions, with only 20% of applicants gaining admission every year.
There are at least eight law reviews published at Duke University, with the oldest being the Law and Contemporary Problems journal. The Duke Law Journal, on the other hand, is the very first of the law journals and academized reviews published by the University. It also includes articles on general topics involving the study of law and the legal system.
One of the major advantages of Duke University is its wide range of joint degree programs in collaboration with the medical school, the business school, and the graduate school.
The Law School at Stanford is often praised for the very low ratio of students to staff. For every staff member, there are only 7.3 students.
The law courses offered at Stanford Law School are quite diverse. In the first year, you get an overview that includes legal research and writing, torts, contracts, and criminal law. After that, there are up to 280 different courses that students can choose from, insofar as they find them to be interesting.
The library at Stanford, the Robert Crown Library, has more than 500,000 books that you can use to further your knowledge.
Another advantage of the school is the large number of student organizations at the school, all of which are run by students. The school also produces 12 legal journals.
Yale has one of the most selective admissions processed in the U.S. with no more than 10% of applicants gaining admission every year. There are a lot of clinics hosted at the school that give opportunities to students to represent real-world clients facing real-world problems. Most of the students will take part in at least one clinic before they graduate. The school is also well-known for its prominent alumni, including former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama.
This is one of the most prestigious law schools in the country and is well known for its intense programs. It is so intense, in fact, that you are required to take a three-week “Legal Methods” course that basically acclimatizes you to the programs at the school and how they work.
The University of Chicago is well-known for how well it combines law with economics. One of the law professors who taught both economics and law at the school has even gone on to win a Nobel Prize. If you think you could use a program that combines the two, then a law degree from Chicago might be what you’re looking for.
There are over 180,000 books for you to read at the Squire Law Library at this university. It has a lot of volumes on not only UK law but also other legal systems, including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and even the U.S. There are six degrees offered at the Faculty of Law and two doctoral programs in criminology and criminological research.
The Faculty of Law at this university happens to be one of the largest in the UK and actually consists of 30 different ‘law schools.’ The ratio of students to faculty members is also very low at 7:1.