With almost 200 law schools to choose from in the U.S., it may be difficult to know which school is best for you. However, U.S. News & World Report and the Consus Group rank law schools each year. Each organization's rating criteria include Law School Admission Test scores, graduate placement success and selectivity, the percentage of applicants admitted. In 2010, U.S. News & World Report ranked Yale, Harvard and Stanford as the top American law schools. Consus Group ranked them in that same order in 2008.
Yale Law School
The Law School at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, ranks first in the country by both U.S. News & World Report and the Consus Group. Yale Law School boasts small-class sizes, generally averaging fewer than 20 students. Yale Law School has more than 70 full-time faculty, and more than 50 lecturers and fellows for more than 650 students. This low student-to-faculty ratio, about 6.8 students to one faculty member, means professors can offer personalized attention. Yale offers almost 200 course options each academic year. Degree options include Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) and Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), as well as several joint degrees. Yale's Law Library contains more than 2 million print and electronic resources.
Yale Law School P.O. Box 208215 New Haven, CT 06520 203-432-4995 law.yale.edu/
Harvard Law School
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Harvard Law School ranks second in the country by U.S. News & World Report and the Consus Group. Founded in 1817, Harvard Law School is the oldest in the country. About 1,900 students attend Harvard Law. Harvard Law's faculty includes more than 100 full-time professors, and more than 150 lecturers, visiting professors and professors emeriti. Students can choose from more than 260 courses each academic year. Degree programs include J.D., LL.M., and Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.). Several joint degree programs are also available through partnerships with Harvard Business School, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Harvard's law library collection contains more than 2 million volumes.
Harvard Law School 1563 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-495-3100 law.harvard.edu/index.html
Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School in Stanford, California, ranks third by U.S. News & World Report and the Consus Group. Stanford Law School offers an 8.6-to-one student/faculty ratio and has more than 500 students. With 47 full-time faculty and more than 100 lecturers, visiting faculty and affiliated faculty, class sizes typically fall below 28 students. Degree options include J.D., LL.M., J.S.D., Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.) and, according to the Stanford Law School website, a "virtually limitless" number of customized joint degrees. Stanford's law library contains more than 500,000 million books, 360,000 microform and audiovisual materials and about 8,000 periodicals.
Stanford Law School Crown Quadrangle 559 Nathan Abbott Way Stanford, CA 94305 650-723.2465 law.stanford.edu/
Based in the Southwest, Linsay Evans writes about a range of topics, from parenting to gardening, nutrition to fitness, marketing to travel. Evans holds a Master of Library and Information Science and a Master of Arts in anthropology.