Best Graduate Programs in Law - Updated 2021

What is being taught at Graduate Schools of Juris Doctor(JD)?

J.D. stands for juris doctorate, and is a post-graduate doctorate degree for students seeking to become lawyers in the United States.

The curriculum of these schools tend to differ in the second and third year of the JD, however the first year generally teaches these courses:

  • Fall
  • 1. Civil Procedure

    2. Property Law

    3. Contract Law

    4. Torts

    5. Legal Research and Writing

  • Spring
  • 1. Criminal Law

    2. Constitutional Law

    - Legal Research and Writing

    3. Legislation/Regulation or Electives

    Subjects being taught, what courses, how JD in Law is different than the undergraduate program?

    • Undergraduate programs in law are generally called pre-law programs. These include classes in legal philosophy, political science, american legal history, and so on.
    • Students do NOT need to study pre-law to get into law school. Law schools will accept any undergraduate major from any accredited college or university, so long as students score well on their Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and have a good GPA.

    What is the duration of Juris Doctor Courses?

    • Generally speaking, a full-time J.D. student can complete the degree in three years. Depending on the school, however, there may be accelerated programs and/or summer courses, which allows for students to obtain their JD in under three years.
    • Additionally, law schools across the US tend to run on semesters. This means a student will take four or five classes, between fifteen and twenty credit hours, a semester. There are two semesters in one year, so in total the student will complete six semesters of courses before graduating.

    How do public versus private schools differ for JD programs?

    • Top-tier schools, like Harvard, NYU, Yale, and Stanford, tend to be private. However, there are some very well-renowned public law schools as well.

    Is it worth paying a premium for Ivy League JD Graduate Programs?

    • This is a big debate, and depends on the person, specifically on the person’s finances. Ivy League law schools will be very expensive, sometimes around $200,000 a year. That said, a degree from an Ivy League school will almost always allow you to find a job at a large, high-paying law firm where repaying your loans will be easier.
    • On the other hand, enrolling in a public school has its benefits. These schools are not as expensive and therefore have less loans. This will give a graduate the ability to pursue areas of the law they might not have been able to consider if they were hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, such as working in public interest, compliance, or pursuing other fields.

    How much will JD Law Degree Cost?

    • This depends entirely on the school as well. Private schools with good rankings like Harvard will cost around $90,000 a year, including tuition, housing, healthcare, etc. This averages out to around $270,000 after the three-year degree. On the other hand, a public school like University of Georgia, costs around $30,000 per year, all things included, and so averages out to be around $90-100,000 for the three-year degree.

    Is previous work experience in Law helpful when applying for JD program?

    • It may be helpful, but not necessary. Most law students will undergo an internship after their first year of school, so experience in a law related field is not expected before applying to law school. That said, a demonstrated interest in the law from previous employment in the field may help your application. Additionally, statistics show that students who take time off between their college graduation and their first year of law school to work do better, on the whole, then students who go straight from undergraduate to the JD degree.
    Ranked as: #2 in Best National University
    Tuition: $46,384
    State: MA
    Acceptance: 4.73%
    The Accelerated Leadership Program (ALP) at Harvard Law School is a, fully live, online program designed to advance early-stage to mid-stage partners of major law firms, and leaders of smaller legal organizations to the next level of leadership. The program focuses on four dimensions of leadership: client, practice, people and team, and personal leadership. Participants leave the program with the perspectives, concepts, and tools they need to succeed as effective leaders in their firms.

    Accelerated Leadership Program (Online) - Harvard Law School

    Harvard University GRE score,GPA for masters degree in Law and legal studies
    Ranked as: #3 in Best National University
    Tuition: $42,100
    State: CT
    Acceptance: 6.35%
    Law and Technology, Cyberlaw Copyright Law, Intellectual Property. Elkin-Koren has been a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University, Columbia Law School, UCLA, NYU, George Washington University and Villanova University School of Law. The Law and Economics of Intellectual Property in the Digital Age: The Limits of Analysis (co-authored with Eli M. LEGAL NETWORK: LAW AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (co-edited with Michael D.

    GRE score required at Yale University master's degree programs in Law
    Ranked as: #4 in Best National University
    Tuition: $57,759
    State: IL
    Acceptance: 7.26%
    By offering both an accelerated three-year and a traditional four-year JD MBA structure, the university're able to integrate the distinct flexibility and interdisciplinary strengths of UChicago Law and Chicago Booth, with a timeline that fits their goals.

    Joint MBA JD Program

    University of Chicago GRE score and admission requirements for graduate programs in Law and legal studies
    Ranked as: #4 in Best National University
    Tuition: $46,216
    State: NY
    Acceptance: 5.91%
    The Columbia Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law, led by Columbia’s renowned corporate law faculty, is an accelerated, six-month degree program designed for ambitious, experienced lawyers. Combining online courses with an intensive 12-week residency at Columbia Law School’s New York City campus, the program enables students to spend minimal time away from home and still gain the advantage of studying global business law with many of the world’s most renowned scholars and practitioners in a city at the center of law and business.

    Executive LL.M. Online program

    GRE score required at Columbia University in the City of New York master's degree programs in Law
    Ranked as: #4 in Best National University
    Tuition: $50,703
    State: CA
    Acceptance: 4.36%
    Stanford Law School offers a student-centered, future-facing and interdisciplinary approach to legal education. Faculty, staff, students and alumni all support and inspire each other to explore, excel, and contribute to the world through law. Law School faculty have created online course material for use in campus law courses, including a pioneering course in comparative anti-discrimination law created in partnership with UC Berkeley, as well as modules that support its robust clinical education program. Some aspects of the school’s corporate governance program for professionals are being brought online.

    Stanford Online Law Program

    Stanford University GRE score,GPA for masters degree in Law and legal studies
    Ranked as: #8 in Best National University
    Tuition: $53,540
    State: NC
    Acceptance: 8.91%
    The Duke University Graduate School and the School of Law are revising the joint degree J.D. Ph.D. program. Applicants for the J.D. Ph.D. must apply separately to the Law School and the Graduate School.

    Dual Degrees

    Duke University GRE score and admission requirements for graduate programs in Law and legal studies
    Ranked as: #8 in Best National University
    Tuition: $34,882
    State: PA
    Acceptance: 8.41%
    Penn is strongly committed to open learning — a vital part of the university's mission to increase access around the world to educational resources. Penn’s Online Learning Initiative (OLI) cultivates the integration of online programs across campus, supporting Penn’s schools in the creation of online degree and non-degree programs.

    Penn Law Online Learning Courses

    University of Pennsylvania GRE score and admission requirements for graduate programs in Law and legal studies
    Ranked as: #12 in Best National University
    Tuition: $53,740
    State: MD
    Acceptance: 11.48%
    By completing their MBA and JD at the same time, students earn both degrees in four years instead of five. With an MBA from Johns Hopkins and a JD from the University of Maryland, applicant will benefit from the combined knowledge, network, and experience of two highly respected institutions.

    JD MBA

    Johns Hopkins University GRE score and admission requirements for graduate programs in Law and legal studies
    Ranked as: #13 in Best National University
    Tuition: $54,120
    State: IL
    Acceptance: 8.47%
    The MSL online program is designed for STEM professionals around the world who wish to advance their careers by deepening their understanding of law and business within the STEM context. The online MSL is a part-time program, which can be completed in two to four years. Online students may begin in either the Fall or the Spring and will be required to complete a 2-week online orientation before the start of their first term.

    Master of Science in Law (MSL) Online Program

    Northwestern University GRE score,GPA for masters degree in Law and legal studies
    Ranked as: #14 in Best National University
    Tuition: $52,400
    State: MO
    Acceptance: 15.03%
    Wheeler Frost 2017 Wheeler Frost has joined the Corporate Lewis Rice LLC in St. Louis as an associate. He practices general business and transactional law. Farley 2016 Benjamin M. Farley has joined the Litigation Lewis Rice LLC as an associate.

    Class Notes

    GRE score required at Washington University in St Louis master's degree programs in Law
    Compare Schools