Special Report

Hardest Law Schools to Get Into

Working as a lawyer is one of the most prestigious and high paying jobs in America. Prospective attorneys must complete law school and pass the bar exam, but to really stand out among their peers, these students will often aim to get into some of the nation’s most revered law schools to pad their resume and make connections with distinguished alumni. 

While many prospective students apply to these exclusive schools, just a fraction get in. Across all American Bar Association accredited law schools, just 35.5% of applicants are accepted. For many of the most exclusive law schools, the acceptance rate is less than half that.

To determine the hardest law schools to get into, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of the acceptance rate, median undergraduate GPA, and median LSAT score from the over 200 American law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. Data on acceptance rate was calculated from data on applications and offers for admittance for the fall 2019 semester from the ABA and was included in the index. Data on the median undergraduate GPA and median LSAT score for the incoming first-year class in the fall 2019 semester also came from the ABA and were included in the index. Supplemental data on the percentage of graduates who took the bar exam for the first time and passed in 2019, and the percentage of the graduates of the Class of 2018 who were unemployed in 2019 also came from the ABA.

To be an exceptional law school candidate, good grades and test scores are critical. Law schools will typically seek applicants with a high grade point average as an undergraduate, as well those with a high score on the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, which tests the reading, writing, and reasoning skills that are crucial for lawyers. Beyond that, students can set themselves apart by showing their leadership skills through extracurricular activities, academic projects, or work experience.

Attending an exclusive law school can put students on a lucrative career path, even among attorneys. Because of the high level of education needed to be a lawyer, these workers can expect to make more than $100,000 in a given year, a threshold met by just a handful of jobs in the country. These are the 25 highest paying jobs in America.

Click here to see the hardest law schools to get into

Correction: Due to a discrepancy in reporting for Indiana for first-time bar passage as compiled by the American Bar Association, the passage rate listed in the original version of the article for Indiana University Maurer School of Law was substantially lower than it should have been. We have updated that figure based on the value provided by the school and removed a passage in the profile for the school that referenced the incorrect rate.