best schools for law in california
University of California – Berkeley
Located in Berkeley, California, the University of California – Berkeley has a strong reputation for being a highly rated school. This school was ranked 12 in our overall Best Colleges ranking and earned a score of 95 out of 100 on our Social Mobility ranking. In addition to having excellent academics, students can take advantage of the abundance of student activities. With over 1,000 student organizations and recreational opportunities such as basketball club or rock climbing team, there is something for everyone at University of California – Berkeley.
The law school offers students several degree options including:
- Master of Laws (LLM)
- Juris Doctor (JD)
- Doctorate (PhD)
If you’re looking for a school to help you get into the world of law, Stanford University is one of your best bets. Stanford was founded in 1891, and has been consistently excellent ever since. The university has a reputation as one of the most prestigious research universities in America, and its law school is no exception. The competition to get into these programs is very tough: Stanford accepts only 2% of all applicants; by contrast, Harvard’s Law School accepts 10%—but once they do let you in, they don’t want you to leave.
The prestige that comes with this selective process means that although tuition is higher than at other schools (this year’s first-year students are paying $56,094), it’s more than worth it if you have the academic standing to merit admission. According to the US News 2015 rankings, Stanford has the second-highest ranking for national universities; their law school ranks third on US News’ list of best law schools . If you prefer higher rankings than those offered by US News, make sure to check out Princeton Review and Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings lists as well. Regardless of which ranking system you choose, it’s hard not to be impressed: top ten isn’t too shabby!
You also can’t go wrong with the faculty or library staff at this university—according to U.S. News & World Report (USNWR), its 447 full-time faculty members hold 20th place among all national universities when ranked on student selectivity and graduation rates alone. Not only that but its library size earned it 11th place on USNWR’s list!
University of California – Los Angeles
- #4 in National University Rankings by US News and World Report
- #12 in Undergraduate Programs by US News and World Report
- The cost of attending UCLA as an undergraduate is estimated to be $35,000 (in-state) and $69,000 (out-of-state) per year
- Cost of tuition at UCLA School of Law is $57,006 per year (California residents) and $59,522 per year (out-of-state students)
- Located just 5 miles from the beach and 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles
- While the school doesn’t offer any specialized programs that allow students to earn a joint degree in less time than it would take if they pursued each degree separately, it does allow joint enrollment. Joint enrollment means you can enroll in classes at other colleges within UCLA at the same time you’re enrolled for law school classes. Some of these other schools include: Anderson School of Management; David Geffen School of Medicine; Fielding School of Public Health; Luskin School of Public Affairs; and Herb Alpert School of Music.
- Alumni include: Jerry Brown (39th Governor for California); Kamala Harris (United States Senator); Cory Booker (United States Senator); Eric Garcetti (42nd Mayor for Los Angeles); Tom Bradley(38th Mayor for Los Angeles); Robert Mundell (Nobel Prize winner in Economics); Anthony Kennedy(Associate Justice on United States Supreme Court); Sandra Day O’Connor(Former Associate Justice on United States Supreme Court).
- In order to be admitted into UCLA Law your GPA should be above 3.7and your LSAT score should be around 170 or higher. Although these numbers are considered the minimums necessary to gain admission into the program, please note that the average GPA for accepted applicants is a 3.82and the median LSAT score is a 173.
The cost of living in Westwood, where UCLA is located isn
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private university located in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1896 with an enrollment today of 1,500 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1. The school is known for its entertainment law program and has ranked #16 among all law schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
USC Gould School of Law
The University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law is located in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1880, and today it is the oldest law school in Southern California. The school is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Gould School of Law has been ranked as one of the Top 25 Law Schools for three years running, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school has also been rated as one of the Top 10 Law Schools for intellectual property research and scholarship by the National Jurist magazine, which also ranked USC as a top choice for students seeking careers in environmental law and public service law. In 2018, the publication gave USC an A+ rating in career prospects for its graduates.
University of California – Davis
UC Davis School of Law is a great option for students who want to attend a top-tier law school in California. The faculty are well regarded and knowledgeable, the student body is diverse and interesting, and the facilities are excellent. Students at UC Davis have many opportunities for hands-on legal experience in clinics and externships. Students also have access to classes taught by professors from other disciplines, such as economics or history. The location is ideal—Davis has a thriving college town atmosphere with lots of culture, arts, music, good food, and lots of opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature.
This highly selective program offers a J.D., LLM, SJD degrees along with dual degree programs in conjunction with other University of California schools such as Berkeley and Hastings College of Law. Located in suburban Sacramento on a beautiful campus that boasts one of the best arboretums in Northern California (plus some incredible campus architecture), UC Davis offers convenient public transportation links to San Francisco or just about anywhere else you might want to go for recreation or employment opportunities! With reasonable tuition costs compared with other state schools across America it appears “The Green Machine” offers something everyone will love regardless if they prefer city life over country life though according our readership survey.”
Loyola Marymount University and Loyola Law School
Not only does the school’s location give you a chance to enjoy the best of California’s 70-degree weather, but it also places you within easy driving distance of downtown Los Angeles. It is ranked as one of the nation’s premier law schools.
The estimated cost for a full-time student at 21 units for tuition and fees for 2018-2019 is $56,160 (resident), and $61,063 (non-resident).
Loyola Marymount University and Loyola Law School have several specialties including entertainment law. They also have many notable alumni like Jerry Brown former Governor of California, Terry Francona current manager of Cleveland Indians baseball team, and Larry Namer founder of E! Entertainment Television just to name a few.
- Location: Pepperdine University is located in Malibu, California.
- Rankings: US News and World Report ranks Pepperdine University at #52 for Best National Universities. The school’s undergraduate program is ranked #21 for Best Undergraduate Teaching.
- Specializations: Pepperdine offers a JD that allows students to specialize in the following areas of law: Business, Dispute Resolution, Entertainment, Public Interest & Public Service and Taxation.
- Unique Features: The university has several special programs within its law school that make it stand out from other schools in the area, such as the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and the Loyola Project for the Elderly (LPE). LPE provides free legal assistance to seniors through a program called “The Silver Strike Legal Line.”
Univeristy of San Diego School of Law
University of San Diego School of Law (USD) is renowned for its excellent faculty and strong alumni network. Just minutes from downtown, the city location provides plenty of opportunity to practice law in an urban setting. The weather? Even better than the faculty and alumni network.
consider these 8 schools when pursuing your law degree.
It is important to note that the schools listed below are not necessarily the best law schools in California, but rather a selection of law schools based on their unique characteristics. When researching a school, consider what is most important to you, whether it be the location, tuition cost, or reputation. The city and town where your school is located will affect your cost of living as well as other entertainment options. And remember: if you want to practice law in California after graduation, you’ll need to take the state’s bar exam.
Best Law Schools in California