Best Legal And Law Colleges in the U.S.

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Why a degree in legal and law?

You were always the person in your group of friends who followed the rules, never TPing, prank phone calling, staying out past curfew, or even speeding 3 mph over the limit. And to this very day, you refuse to put a toe out of line. You’re already a hardcore follower of every letter of the law, so why not get paid it?

What legal and law degree options exist?

Your options in criminal justice are far and wide — and jobs in this field are on the rise. In fact, police and detective jobs are forecasted to rise by 10% now until 2018,* and cybersecurity is more in demand as technology advances and integrates itself into society. Average salary varies greatly depending on the discipline you are interested in (e.g., $27,000 average security guard salary to $75,000 average homicide detective salary).*

Your passion to protect, service, and investigate exists without a question. Now all it takes is putting that into motion. You see what is right and wrong — and you want to fix the wrong to make the community a safer place. How you do it is up to you. Start your path to criminal justice today.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook
*Satisfaction in the Practice of Law: Findings from a Long-Term Study of Attorneys' Careers
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Best Legal And Law Colleges in the U.S. for 2018

Rank School Name Location Description   Rating
1 Georgetown University Washington, DC

Georgetown University offers 25 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 1,512 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 828 Master's degrees, and 684 Doctoral degrees.

Based on 32 Reviews
2 Northwestern University Evanston, IL

Northwestern University offers 19 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a small city. In 2015, 680 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 330 Master's degrees, 289 Doctoral degrees, 35 Bachelor's degrees, and 26 Certificates degrees.

Based on 40 Reviews
3 Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY

Columbia University in the City of New York offers 6 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 742 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 415 Doctoral degrees, and 327 Master's degrees.

Based on 20 Reviews
4 Duke University Durham, NC

Duke University offers 8 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 339 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 232 Doctoral degrees, 99 Master's degrees, and 8 Certificates degrees.

Based on 24 Reviews
5 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania offers 7 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 396 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 253 Doctoral degrees, 132 Master's degrees, and 11 Bachelor's degrees.

Based on 56 Reviews
6 Harvard University Cambridge, MA

Harvard University offers 4 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 782 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 600 Doctoral degrees, and 182 Master's degrees.

Based on 44 Reviews
7 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA

Tulane University of Louisiana offers 19 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 410 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 237 Doctoral degrees, 76 Master's degrees, 48 Bachelor's degrees, 30 Certificates degrees, and 19 Associate's degrees.

Based on 24 Reviews
8 Stanford University Stanford, CA

Stanford University offers 3 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large suburb. In 2015, 269 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 199 Doctoral degrees, and 70 Master's degrees.

Based on 64 Reviews
9 Yale University New Haven, CT

Yale University offers 4 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 255 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 225 Doctoral degrees, and 30 Master's degrees.

Based on 12 Reviews
10 New York University New York, NY

New York University offers 13 Legal And Law Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 1,242 students graduated in the study area of Legal And Law with students earning 754 Master's degrees, 486 Doctoral degrees, and 2 Certificates degrees.

Based on 60 Reviews

List of all Legal And Law Colleges in the U.S.

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Degree Levels
  • Associate's
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  • Four or more years
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School Logo School Name Average tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Georgetown University Georgetown University Washington, DC
5/5
13 : 1 18,459
Northwestern University Northwestern University Evanston, IL
5/5
10 : 1 21,655
Columbia University in the City of New York Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY
5/5
7 : 1 28,086
Duke University Duke University Durham, NC
5/5
5 : 1 15,984
University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
5/5
12 : 1 24,876
Harvard University Harvard University Cambridge, MA
5/5
14 : 1 29,652
Tulane University of Louisiana Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
5/5
12 : 1 12,485
Stanford University Stanford University Stanford, CA
5/5
6 : 1 16,980
Yale University Yale University New Haven, CT
5/5
5 : 1 12,385
New York University New York University New York, NY
5/5
8 : 1 50,027
George Washington University George Washington University Washington, DC
5/5
17 : 1 26,212
Washington University in St Louis Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO
5/5
9 : 1 14,688
Boston University Boston University Boston, MA
5/5
11 : 1 32,158
Northeastern University Northeastern University Boston, MA
5/5
15 : 1 19,940
University of Southern California University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
5/5
16 : 1 43,401
University of Chicago University of Chicago Chicago, IL
5/5
7 : 1 15,391
University of Miami University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
5/5
11 : 1 16,825
Vanderbilt University Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
5/5
4 : 1 12,567
University of California-Berkeley University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
3/5
21 : 1 38,189
University of Washington-Seattle Campus University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
3/5
12 : 1 45,408
American University American University Washington, DC
5/5
14 : 1 13,198
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
4/5
7 : 1 28,649
Cornell University Cornell University Ithaca, NY
5/5
12 : 1 21,904
University of Notre Dame University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
5/5
11 : 1 12,292
University of San Diego University of San Diego San Diego, CA
5/5
15 : 1 8,251

Find Local Colleges with Legal And Law Majors in the U.S.

Top Schools offering Legal And Law Degrees in the U.S.

Questions About Legal And Law Degrees

What are the different degrees I can get in legal and law?

From an associate’s degree to a Juris Doctor, a range of programs can prepare you for a legal and law career. Build a foundation of legal knowledge with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in paralegal, legal studies, political science, public policy, American government, or criminal justice (the enforcement side of working in law). An associate’s degree require around 60 credits of coursework compared to the 120 credits required to receive a bachelor’s degree. Are you thinking of applying to law school someday? According to the American Bar Association website, students can gain acceptance into law school regardless of undergraduate major. Even biology or art!

To become a lawyer you need to earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. J.D. programs usually require around 80 credits of coursework beyond the bachelor’s level. You can pursue a joint degree to specialize your legal practice. Some joint degree options include business, public health, educational policy, security studies, Foreign Service, environmental law, and taxation. Keep in mind the J.D. degree isn’t the only pathway to a career in law. You could instead earn a master’s or doctorate degree in areas like public policy, political science, health policy, public administration, and legal studies. To earn a graduate degree you’ll need to complete at least 30 credits. These programs teach you to understand, develop, implement, and evaluate policies that impact all kinds of industries.

What are some of the skills and experiences I will gain through legal and law?

At the undergraduate level students learn the ins and outs of the legal system. You’ll study the evolution of law through history and the many ways it has both influenced and been shaped by society. You’ll need excellent critical thinking skills if you plan on working in any legal aspect. Therefore, you will spend time reading and analyzing complex legal cases and documents. You and your classmates can team up to compete in regional or national mock trials, where you’ll analyze a hypothetical court case and get to play the role of attorneys and witnesses in a realistic forum. It’s a great way to build your analytical thinking and public speaking skills. You may also have to complete an internship to see the legal system in action—and take an active role in it! Students complete internships with state and federal government agencies or as legal or policy interns with companies and non-profit organizations.

As a Juris Doctor candidate you can expect a highly rigorous learning experience. You’ll become skilled in conducting extensive legal research, preparing and presenting arguments, and engaging in ethical practices. Most first-year (or “1L”) law students study the same core topics including civil procedure, criminal law, constitutional law, contracts, and torts. Second and third year students have the flexibility to study areas that specifically interest them. For example, if you are fascinated by the relationship between law and technology, you might choose to take courses on digital privacy and intellectual property. Students participate in clinics, externships, and pro bono projects to get hands-on experience in the field. For example, in a clinic you might represent a real client in a domestic violence case under the close supervision of lawyers and faculty. These activities are often offered directly through universities.

What are legal and law programs seeking in their applicants?

If you’re applying to an undergraduate program, schools will look at your high school GPA, SAT score, and extracurricular activities. Grade and course requirements will vary by school and major. If you’re thinking of studying law, you’ll want to participate in your high school’s mock trial and/or Model UN teams.

To gain acceptance into a graduate or J.D. program you will need the perfect mix of a stellar undergraduate GPA, a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and a history of extracurricular and community involvement. You don’t have to only participate in law-related extracurricular activities as an undergraduate. Dedicate your time and effort to activities that empower and excite you. Your application will really shine if you can describe active involvement in Student Government Association and advocacy groups like Amnesty International. Law schools and graduate programs usually require applicants to submit letters of recommendation as a part of their applications. If you want supportive letters of recommendation (which of course you do!), develop strong personal relationships with your advisor, professors, and supervisors.

Should I study legal and law online or on a campus?

Right now the only way to earn a Juris Doctor degree is by studying on campus. However, you can enroll in law and legal undergraduate or graduate programs online. Legal and law programs usually require a lot of reading, research, case analysis, and writing, tasks you can complete just as easily by studying online as opposed to on campus. However, if you study on campus you’ll have more opportunities to debate legal issues with classmates and receive personal guidance from professors as you plan your legal career.

What are the cutting-edge careers in this industry?

Technology is a hot practice area for lawyers right now, especially intellectual property law, according to the American Bar Association and the Robert Half International 2016 Salary Guide for the Legal Field. Robert Half International also states legal professionals are in demand in the areas commercial law and healthcare. Also, companies are hiring compliance managers to ensure company procedures and policies comply with state and federal regulations, according to O*Net Online. State and federal laws impact the practices of literally every business and agency in the country. This means that while the in-demand legal specialty areas may change, you can always expect a need for legal and law professionals.

How do you work your way to the top in the legal and law industry?

Make yourself marketable by gaining direct experience through fellowships, internships, and clinics. While it’s great to get paid for your services, you’ll attract attention from employers when you donate your time to community service activities and pro bono work. Consider completing a judicial clerkship for one or two years after you graduate. As a clerk you’ll serve as a trusted aide to a judge, an impressive responsibility and resume builder. You can clerk in United States District Courts, Court of Appeals, and even the Supreme Court. Make networking a priority as both a student and a seasoned professional. You can expand your web of clients and colleagues by attending local business luncheons and national events like the Annual Bar Association Annual Meeting. As a student or new professional your grades need to be just as excellent as your resume. And, since the legal landscape is always changing, plan on being a lifelong learner. Stay in the know by reading academic journals and joining professional organizations, such as the Law and Society Association or the Association of Legal Administrators.

Are there scholarships or grants available to people looking to study legal and law?

The verdict is yes! Whether you’re planning to be a legal secretary or a lawyer, you can take advantage of educational funding opportunities. Scholarships and grants are available through colleges, law firms, legal professional organizations, government agencies, and companies. For example, if you’re graduating from high school and planning to earn at least 24 credit hours in American history or American government, apply for the renewable Dr. Aura-Lee A. and James Hobbs Pittenger American History Scholarship. This scholarship provides $2,000 per year to two students for up to four years. Or, if you’re on the path to law school, the American Bar Association manages the Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund. This fund provides scholarships of $5,000 per year to 20 ethnically diverse students pursuing a law degree. You’ll discover some scholarships are location-specific. Legal Secretaries, Incorporated awards $1,500 scholarships to high school seniors and college students who live in California and are pursuing degrees in the legal field. Similarly, the Alabama Law Association awards three scholarships per year to outstanding Alabama law students. No matter where you live or which path you take to your legal career, you’ll be able to find funding opportunities to match.

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