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What are the Top Law Schools in the US?

Every year, U.S. News and World Report releases rankings of the nation’s top law schools – and its rankings are arguably the most popular and influential in the education sphere. U.S. News isn’t the only authority on law schools (check out other rankings lists like StartClass and the Princeton Review). However, they are the determinant of the famous “top 14” law schools in the U.S., so we’ll be referencing them for this post!
 
The top 14 law schools are often abbreviated as the T14. Each year, individual schools shift up or down the rankings. There can be substantial differences in a school’s ranking from one year’s publication to the next. But in general, the pack running in the T14 has always remained the best of the best. T14 schools share a number of common characteristics; notably, they have the most competitive admissions standards, offer the most reputable “brand names,” and place graduates nationally, rather than locally. Students vie for spots in the T14 because of the competitive advantage these schools offer to graduates entering the job market.
 
Even within the T14, there are sub-rankings. The three top law schools (Yale, Harvard, and Stanford) are often referenced together. Schools ranked #4 through #6 (Columbia, Chicago, and New York) tend to fall in their own group, too. Schools ranked outside of these circles tend to trade spots with more regularity, so they aren’t typically grouped beyond their T14 designation.
 
If you’re interested in attending a T14 school, you’ll need to make sure your LSAT score and application materials are top-notch. T14 schools are tough to get into, and you’ll be one of many in a high-caliber applicant pool. The benefits of attending a highly-ranked school can be worth the payoff, though – we talk more about this topic here. Want to estimate your odds of acceptance at the T14 schools? Check out our post on law school predictors.
 
And now, to cut to the chase, the 2017 top law schools, revealed:
 

1. Yale University

Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Tuition and fees: $58,050 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 614
Acceptance rate: 9.7%
 

2. Harvard University (tie)

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Tuition and fees: $58,242 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 1,767
Acceptance rate: 17.9%
 

2. Stanford University (tie)

Location: Palo Alto, California
Tuition and fees: $56,274 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 572
Acceptance rate: 11.3%
 

4. Columbia University (tie)

Location: New York, New York
Tuition and fees: $62,700 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 1,165
Acceptance rate: 21.9%
 

4. University of Chicago (tie)

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Tuition and fees: $56,916 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 617
Acceptance rate: 21.9%
 

6. New York University

Location: New York, New York
Tuition and fees: $59,330 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 1,395
Acceptance rate: 33.1%
 

7. University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees: $58,918 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 753
Acceptance rate: 18.8%
 

8. University of California – Berkeley (tie)

Location: Berkeley, California
Tuition and fees: $48,679 per year (in-state, full-time) / $52,630 per year (out-of-state, full time)
Enrollment: 935
Acceptance rate: 21.2%
 

8. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (tie)

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Tuition and fees: $53,112 per year (in-state, full-time) / $56,112 per year (out-of-state, full time)
Enrollment: 932
Acceptance rate: 28.0%
 

8. University of Virginia (tie)

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Tuition and fees: $54,000 per year (in-state, full-time) / $57,000 per year (out-of-state, full time)
Enrollment: 934
Acceptance rate: 20.2%
 

11. Duke University

Location: Durham, North Carolina
Tuition and fees: $57,717 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 668
Acceptance rate: 23.3%
 

12. Northwestern University

Location: Evanston, Illinois
Tuition and fees: $58,398 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 658
Acceptance rate: 22.6%
 

13. Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, New York
Tuition and fees: $59,900 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 588
Acceptance rate: 30.6%
 

14. Georgetown University

Location: Washington, D.C.
Tuition and fees: $55,255 per year (full-time)
Enrollment: 1,725
Acceptance rate: 24.5%
 
 

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