Special Report

50 Hardest Law Schools to Get Into

The law touches nearly every aspect of society. As such, a law degree can be a stepping stone to a career that can have a meaningful impact on many lives. It can also be a pathway to a high paying career.

Enrolling in any one of the more than 200 law schools recognized by the American Bar Association can equip students with the expertise needed for a successful career in law. However, these schools vary considerably in selectivity. While the more competitive law schools do not necessarily offer a better education, top law firms often only recruit from the most selective and elite law schools.

Using data from the ABA, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of three measures of selectivity to identify the 50 hardest law schools to get into. 

The first index measure is the acceptance rate, or the number of offer letters a school sent in 2019 as a share of the number of applications. The second is the median LSAT score of newly enrolled students in fall 2019, and the third measure is the median undergraduate GPA of newly enrolled students. We also reviewed the share of students in the class of 2018 who took the bar exam and passed on their first attempt. 

Many of the most powerful people in the United States have attended the most selective schools on this list. All nine justices of the Supreme Court graduated from one of two elite Ivy League law schools. Similarly, the last three U.S. presidents with backgrounds in law were trained in those same institutions: Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton at Yale Law School, and Barack Obama at Harvard Law. In fact, most U.S. presidents have been lawyers. Here is a look at each president’s path to the oval office.

Law school is a considerable investment of both time and money, often costing over $150,000 in tuition and fees over the course of three years. Partially because of the investment, an education in law — regardless of the selectivity of the institution — is a pathway to many exceptionally high-paying careers. Law school is a necessary prerequisite for many of the highest paying jobs. Here is a full list of the 79 jobs with six-figure salaries.

 

Click here to see the 50 hardest law schools to get into

50. University of Minnesota Law School
> Acceptance rate: 39.1%
> Applications for fall 2019: 2,129
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.75
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 165 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 85.3%

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Source: Courtesy of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law via Facebook

49. Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 34.2%
> Applications for fall 2019: 2,048
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.60
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 159 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 78.2%

48. University of Illinois College of Law
> Acceptance rate: 36.7%
> Applications for fall 2019: 1,304
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.70
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 84.8%

Source: Vmenkov / Wikimedia Commons

47. Maurer School of Law at Indiana University Bloomington
> Acceptance rate: 37.9%
> Applications for fall 2019: 1,790
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.79
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 80.0%

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Source: Nightryder84 / Wikimedia Commons

46. University of Tennessee College of Law
> Acceptance rate: 34.4%
> Applications for fall 2019: 1,042
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.65
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 159 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 75.2%

Source: Courtesy of Loyola Marymount University

45. LMU Loyola Law School
> Acceptance rate: 33.0%
> Applications for fall 2019: 3,802
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.57
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 160 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 71.7%

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Source: Bildungsroman / Wikimedia Commons

44. University of Colorado Law School
> Acceptance rate: 34.7%
> Applications for fall 2019: 3,187
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.61
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 82.4%

Source: Courtesy of UNC School of Law via Facebook

43. University of North Carolina School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 33.9%
> Applications for fall 2019: 1,293
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.63
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 161 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 90.8%

Source: Jayingram11 / Wikimedia Commons

42. Georgia State University College of Law
> Acceptance rate: 29.3%
> Applications for fall 2019: 1,710
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.51
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 158 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 84.5%

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Source: Courtesy of Washington and Lee School of Law via Facebook

41. Washington and Lee University School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 33.2%
> Applications for fall 2019: 2,551
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.64
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 86.4%

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

40. Florida State University College of Law
> Acceptance rate: 32.7%
> Applications for fall 2019: 1,598
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.73
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 160 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 89.1%

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Source: Comayagua99 / Wikimedia Commons

39. Florida International University College of Law
> Acceptance rate: 28.6%
> Applications for fall 2019: 1,665
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.61
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 157 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 87.8%

Source: Evan Didier / Flickr

38. Boston College Law School
> Acceptance rate: 31.3%
> Applications for fall 2019: 4,717
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.64
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 87.6%

Source: Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons

37. Texas A&M University School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 28.7%
> Applications for fall 2019: 2,280
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.62
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 159 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 82.8%

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Source: Courtesy of UC Davis School of Law via Facebook

36. UC Davis School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 29.4%
> Applications for fall 2019: 3,103
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.61
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 76.0%

Source: Courtesy of Pepperdine Caruso Law via Facebook

35. Pepperdine Caruso School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 29.8%
> Applications for fall 2019: 3,006
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.66
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 161 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 68.5%

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Source: Courtesy of William & Mary Law School via Facebook

34. William And Mary Law School
> Acceptance rate: 30.4%
> Applications for fall 2019: 3,291
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.76
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 92.8%

Source: Courtesy of George Washington University Law School via Facebook

33. George Washington University Law School
> Acceptance rate: 31.0%
> Applications for fall 2019: 8,019
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.73
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 166 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 84.6%

32. William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
> Acceptance rate: 27.2%
> Applications for fall 2019: 947
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.69
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 159 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 72.8%

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Source: Courtesy of The University of Alabama School of Law via Facebook

31. University of Alabama School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 32.8%
> Applications for fall 2019: 1,446
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.91
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 87.8%

Source: Courtesy of Emory University School of Law via Facebook

30. Emory University School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 31.0%
> Applications for fall 2019: 4,316
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.80
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 165 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 82.1%

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29. University of Washington School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 27.8%
> Applications for fall 2019: 2,555
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.68
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 91.0%

Source: Courtesy of Fordham Law via Facebook

28. Fordham University School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 27.2%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,285
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.64
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 87.7%

Source: Courtesy of University of Arizona Law via Facebook

27. James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona
> Acceptance rate: 26.3%
> Applications for fall 2019: 1,495
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.65
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 64.6%

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Source: Courtesy of Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law via Facebook

26. Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University
> Acceptance rate: 29.4%
> Applications for fall 2019: 3,710
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.81
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 74.3%

25. Notre Dame Law School
> Acceptance rate: 24.0%
> Applications for fall 2019: 2,753
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.74
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 165 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 87.6%

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Source: Courtesy of University of California, Irvine School of Law via Facebook

24. University of California-Irvine School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 20.8%
> Applications for fall 2019: 3,147
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.59
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 165 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 70.8%

Source: Courtesy of Boston University School of Law via Facebook

23. Boston University School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 23.1%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,812
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.78
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 166 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 91.5%

Source: Courtesy of Washington University School of Law via Facebook

22. Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 24.8%
> Applications for fall 2019: 4,129
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.83
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 169 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 86.8%

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Source: Courtesy of University of Georgia School of Law via Facebook

21. University of Georgia School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 20.8%
> Applications for fall 2019: 2,268
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.73
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 83.9%

Source: Courtesy of Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University via Facebook

20. Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University
> Acceptance rate: 20.9%
> Applications for fall 2019: 2,964
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.75
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 84.4%

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Source: Courtesy of UCLA School of Law via Facebook

19. University of California-Los Angeles School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 22.4%
> Applications for fall 2019: 6,175
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.79
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 168 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 85.0%

Source: franklingraves / Flickr

18. Vanderbilt University Law School
> Acceptance rate: 21.9%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,294
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.80
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 167 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 93.9%

Source: Courtesy of UF Levin College of Law via Facebook

17. University of Florida Levin College of Law
> Acceptance rate: 20.7%
> Applications for fall 2019: 2,208
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.80
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 71.6%

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16. Cornell Law School
> Acceptance rate: 21.3%
> Applications for fall 2019: 4,098
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.81
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 168 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 93.7%

Source: Courtesy of NYU School of Law via Facebook

15. New York University School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 21.6%
> Applications for fall 2019: 7,959
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.80
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 170 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 97.4%

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14. Georgetown University Law Center
> Acceptance rate: 19.5%
> Applications for fall 2019: 10,366
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.78
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 168 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 90.2%

Source: Courtesy of UC Berkeley School of Law via Facebook

13. University of California-Berkeley School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 19.7%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,843
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.81
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 168 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 90.7%

Source: Courtesy of The University of Texas School of Law via Facebook

12. University of Texas at Austin School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 17.5%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,803
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.72
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 168 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 90.9%

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Source: Courtesy of Duke Law School via Facebook

11. Duke University School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 18.9%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,125
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.78
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 169 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 94.9%

10. University of Southern California Gould School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 17.7%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,648
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.80
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 166 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 81.0%

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Source: Courtesy of Northwestern Law via Facebook

9. Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 18.0%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,441
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.85
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 169 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 92.0%

8. University of Chicago Law School
> Acceptance rate: 18.6%
> Applications for fall 2019: 4,933
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.90
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 170 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 90.3%

Source: Courtesy of University of Michigan Law School via Facebook

7. University of Michigan Law School
> Acceptance rate: 16.6%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,629
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.81
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 169 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 93.8%

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6. Columbia Law School
> Acceptance rate: 15.9%
> Applications for fall 2019: 7,193
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.80
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 172 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 97.3%

Source: Courtesy of University of Virginia School of Law via Facebook

5. University of Virginia School of Law
> Acceptance rate: 14.7%
> Applications for fall 2019: 5,645
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.90
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 170 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 95.3%

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Source: Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School via Facebook

4. University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
> Acceptance rate: 14.5%
> Applications for fall 2019: 6,483
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.89
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 170 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 92.1%

Source: Darren McCollester / Getty Images

3. Harvard Law School
> Acceptance rate: 12.5%
> Applications for fall 2019: 7,333
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.89
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 173 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 96.5%

2. Stanford Law School
> Acceptance rate: 9.7%
> Applications for fall 2019: 3,908
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.91
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 171 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 94.7%

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1. Yale Law School
> Acceptance rate: 8.2%
> Applications for fall 2019: 3,198
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.93
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 173 out of 180
> Bar exam passage rate: 96.8%

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