Which are the most selective law schools in the U.S.? The list contains quite a few surprises.
Sure, you’ll find Yale University’s Law School at the very top, selecting less than one in every 10 applicants for the roughly 200 available seats in the school’s three-year J.D. program: 8.3% despite several years of application declines.
Yale Law School received 2,943 applications in 2012, accepted 245 applicants and enrolled a class of 203 students. That compares with 3,173 applicants in 2011 and 3,797 applicants in 2010. Even so, Yale’s small class size and prestige combine to make its admissions process the most competitive in the United States
Not far behind Yale on the most selective list are two California powerhouse schools, Stanford University and UC-Berkeley, with acceptance rates of 9.7% and 11.6%, respectively.
Rounding out the top five are the law schools at the University of Virginia (15.2%) and the University of Pennsylvania (15.5%).
The surprises? Consider UC-Irvine, Baylor and the University of Richmond, which all have acceptance rates that make them even choosier than Northwestern, Michigan or Georgetown. UC-Irvine, which accepted only 20.0% of its applicants last year, is the only unranked school by U.S. News & World Report to be among the top ten most selective in the country. Irvine only opened its law school four years ago in 2009.
The Most Selective Law Schools in the U.S.
|University of Virginia||15.2%|
|University of Pennsylvania||15.5%|
|University of Chicago||20.1%|
|University of Richmond||21.4%|
|University of Washington||21.8%|
|Florida International University||22.2%|
|University of Minnesota||23.2%|
|University of Notre Dame||23.7%|
|University of Michigan||24.5%|
|University of Alabama||25.2%|
|City University of New York||25.4%|
|University of Maryland||26.6%|
|Georgia State University||26.8%|
|University of Texas-Austin||27.2%|
|New York University||27.9%|
|University of North Carolina||28.3%|
|University of Southern California||29.0%|
Source: Law schools reporting to U.S. News & World Report