Careers & Education

Top ten law schools

By Matt Williamson
Info Guru,

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Considering where to go to college, no matter what your profession, can be a daunting challenge; however considering where to go to law school is a massive decision. Your education is important because lawyers make choices every day that affect people for the rest of their lives. As with any decision about graduate school, there are many factors to consider when choosing a law school: location, tuition, reputation, programs, internships. The list goes on and on. US News & World Report has put together a list of the top ten law schools. The list (for the 2008 school year) is:

  • Yale Law School—CT
  • Harvard—MA
  • Stanford—CA
  • New York University—NY
  • Columbia University—NY
  • University of Chicago—IL
  • University of Pennsylvania—PA
  • University of California–Berkeley—CA
  • University of Michigan—MI
  • Duke University—NC

Debate about the rankings

This list was compiled based on several factors, including, but not limited to, peer assessment scores, scores from judges and lawyers, undergrad scores, LSAT scores, acceptance rate, percentage, and graduates employed. However, there appears to be much debate about these rankings, and you cannot choose a school based solely on the numbers. A letter published by the Law School Admissions Council (endorsed by numerous law school deans) is one example of a backlash to these types of rankings. So what are the top ten law schools? Well, according the compiled rankings, it is the list printed above.

A personal choice

However, choosing a school entails many more factors than those facts and numbers. For instance, what about the city where the school is located? Does living there fit your lifestyle and budget? What are the average class sizes at these schools? What is the expertise of the faculty in specific areas of law? The list of factors is potentially limitless because it is specific to an individual's wants and needs. No survey or graduation record could answer your concerns. Basically, what it comes down to is personal choice and opinion when choosing a law school or even when simply determining the top ten. The guidelines used by US News & World Report can act as guidelines for you but should not be the only factors in a decision as important as the choice of where to go to law school.

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