The Most Selective Law Schools In The U.S.

Yale Law School remains the most selective in the country

Yale Law School remains the most selective in the country


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.

 

SchoolAcceptance Rate
Yale University8.3%
Stanford University9.7%
UC-Berkeley11.6%
University of Virginia15.2%
University of Pennsylvania15.5%
Harvard University16.1%
Columbia University18.4%
Duke University19.1%
University of Chicago20.1%
UC-Irvine21.0%
Baylor University21.2%
University of Richmond21.4%
University of Washington21.8%
Florida International University22.2%
University of Minnesota23.2%
Northwestern University23.7%
UCLA23.7%
University of Notre Dame23.7%
University of Michigan24.5%
University of Alabama25.2%
City University of New York25.4%
University of Maryland26.6%
Georgia State University26.8%
University of Texas-Austin27.2%
New York University27.9%
University of North Carolina28.3%
Georgetown University28.4%
Washington University28.5%
University of Southern California29.0%
Cornell University29.1%

 Source: Law schools reporting to U.S. News & World Report

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.