Wikipedia

With law school application season in full swing, StartClass set out to identify the top 25 law schools in the country. To accomplish this, we used data from the American Bar Association’s Standard 509 Reports from each school. The schools were then ordered using our Smart Rank system.

The Smart Rank system combines traditional law school rankings with statistical data to determine a school’s overall quality. Data includes admissions selectivity, bar exam performance, employment rate, financial aid, student-faculty ratio and attrition.

The results of our ranking differs slightly from the long held notion of the “Top 14,” which refers to the top 14 law schools in the country that have perpetually been placed, in some order, at the top of the U.S. News and World Report rankings since the first ranking in 1989.

The current U.S. News and World Report ranking features the same top 14 schools as usual. Our ranking features some differences as a result of our customized, comprehensive Smart Rank system.

Most of the schools on this list are traditional academic powers and already garner plenty of applications from top-tier students. Future lawyers with high aspirations ought to have these schools at the top of their lists.

#25. University of Alabama School of Law

At 93.6 percent, Alabama has a higher employment rate of graduates than both Yale and UCLA.

#24. Boston College Law School

Boston College’s acceptance rate of 43.9 percent is the highest among any law school on this list.

#23. Notre Dame Law School

Established in 1869, the Notre Dame Law School is the oldest Roman Catholic law school in the country.

#22. William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law

The William & Mary Law School was founded in 1779 at the urging of Virginia governor Thomas Jefferson.

#21. Emory University School of Law

Emory is the only law school in the state of Georgia to appear on this list.

#20. Washington University School of Law

Washington University School of Law is the oldest law school west of the Mississippi River that is still in operation.

#19. Boston University School of Law

Founded in 1872, Boston University School of Law is the second-oldest law school in Massachusetts.

#18. Gould School of Law, University of Southern California

The Gould School of Law is the fourth-best law school in California, according to our ranking system.

#17. Georgetown University Law Center

Georgetown is the first of two Top 14 schools to fall out of our top 14. Notable attendees of include former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

#16. Vanderbilt University Law School

Vanderbilt is the only law school from the state of Tennessee to make this list.

#15. Northwestern University School of Law

Northwestern is the second Top 14 school to fall short in our ranking. The school ranks in the top 10 percent nationally in acceptance rate (24.7 percent), median LSAT score (168) and median undergraduate GPA (3.75).

#14. Cornell Law School

All five Ivy League schools that offer law degree programs are in the top 14, starting with Cornell, which was founded in 1887.

#13. University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Among the notable alumni from the Texas School of Law is Sarah Weddington, who represented “Jane Roe” in the landmark Roe v. Wade case before the United States Supreme Court.

#12. University of California, Los Angeles School of Law

Founded in 1949, the UCLA School of Law was the first public law school in Southern California.

#11. University of Michigan Law School

Among the notable alumni to attend the University of Michigan Law School is Branch Rickey. He is best known for breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier when, as general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, he signed African American player Jackie Robinson.

#10. New York University School of Law

Established in 1835, the NYU School of Law is the oldest law school in New York City.

#9. University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)

The UC Berkeley School of Law ranks in the top 10 percent nationally in acceptance rate (20.2 percent), median LSAT score (167) and employment rate (96.5 percent).

#8. University of Virginia School of Law

The University of Virginia School of Law was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. It is the fourth-oldest active law school in the United States.

#7. Columbia University Law School

Columbia is one of four Ivy League law schools ranked among the top 10 in the nation.

#6. University of Pennsylvania Law School

Notable alumni from the University of Pennsylvania Law School include Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

#5. Duke University School of Law

Among the notable alumni from the Duke School of Law is former U.S. President Richard Nixon.

#4. University of Chicago Law School

Only Yale Law School has a higher median undergraduate GPA (3.91) than Chicago’s (3.90).

#3. Harvard Law School

At 99.7 percent, Harvard Law School has the highest employment rate of any school on this list.

#2. Yale Law School

Yale Law School’s acceptance rate of 8.9 percent is the lowest of all law schools in the country.

#1. Stanford Law School

Notable Stanford alumni include former U.S. Supreme Court justices William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor. O’Connor was the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.