With the growing need for lawyers around the country, a career in law is becoming increasingly lucrative. Attorney jobs are expected to rise 4% over the next decade, with a median wage of $127,000 in 2020. Lawyers are in charge of providing legal advice to clients as well as equally defending them and their legal rights. Criminal defence, prosecution, tax, and environmental law are some of the areas in which they can specialize. Attorneys must obtain a degree from an American Bar Association-approved law school and pass the bar exam before they can practice law. Civil procedure, contracts, torts, criminal law, constitutional law, and legal research are also topics included in law school. The best law school will train you to ace the bar exam while still providing a valuable professional experience.
Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States, with a significant number of potential customers. It’s also a vibrant and accessible city, ideal for law students who want to obtain practical experience at numerous courts, firms, companies, and non-profit organizations. Law students have a rare opportunity to connect to and benefit from their community. With so many excellent choices in the Chicago metropolitan area, picking the best law school can be challenging. Many considerations must be taken into account, including prospective work placement, faculty, academic accomplishments, and public opinion.
University of Chicago Law School
The University of Chicago Law School is regarded as one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings have ranked it as the fourth-best law school in the world for its outstanding education and learning opportunities. The Socratic Method is used to teach law students at UChicago, a method that is not used at many other top law schools. Professors engage with students personally, rather than giving seminars, challenging them to explain and justify their views on specific legal issues and values. These questions don’t have simple or even right answers, but they do teach students how to think on their feet. In their potential job as an attorney, they would need this grace under pressure and strategic thought in high-stakes scenarios.
The University of Chicago Law Review is the department’s most important journal, and students can help edit and compile it. The magazine is seen as a platform for leading professors, judges, and other professionals to share their thoughts. It is one of the world’s top five most quoted legal reviews, and it has been cited in Supreme Court trials. Law students at the University of Chicago are well-prepared for their potential careers, with a first-time bar pass rate of 98.6 per cent, the best of all colleges in the United States. UChicago is well-known around the world, especially among employers, with a median salary of $190,000. The National Law Journal ranked the school first in the country for total job results due to its high performance.
Founded In: 1902
Acceptance Rate: 9%
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs open at the University of Chicago Law School for students
- David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program: Educational Fund
- James C. Hormel Public Interest Scholarship: Educational Fund
- JD/Ph.D. Fellowships: Educational Fund
- Patino Fellowship: Awar of $10,000 per year
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Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
The Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law was the city’s first law school, opening in 1859. Admission to the program is now highly competitive, with a median LSAT score of 169 among applicants. Those with at least two years of work experience are also given a high priority by the university. The Bluhm Legal Clinic provides students with hands-on training representing clients and honing their talents as community advocates. The centre, which houses more than 20 clinics, is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Students are expected to question the fairness of legal institutions and recommend reform methods in addition to acquiring practical knowledge. The Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center, which acts as a blueprint for related initiatives, is another creative platform at Northwestern.
The student-focused nonprofit program aids lawyers in representing entrepreneurs and creatively solving legal challenges. Many clinical programs, simulation-based courses, conferences, and speakers are held at the centre. Graduates of Northwestern’s unique initiatives and distinguished education have gone on to work with BigLaw firms or firms with more than 150 lawyers. Northwestern Law was ranked as the #2 “feeder school” of BigLaw firms in Vault’s 2016 survey of over associates. Pritzker is just second to Columbia University, beating out such prestigious institutions like the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.
Founded In: 1873
Acceptance Rate: 19.3%
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs open at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law for students
- Kirkland & Ellis LLP Diversity Fellowship: Educational Fund
- Winston & Strawn LLP Diversity Scholarship: Educational Fund
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Loyola University School of Law
The School of Law at Loyola University Chicago is dedicated to accepting human diversity and is inspired by a shared purpose of representing their culture and contributing to society. The university attracts students from all walks of life, with out-of-state students accounting for 51% and students of colour accounting for 32%. In the Chicago area, Loyola University is at the forefront of legal developments. A wide range of clerkship, jobs, and clinical opportunities are available in the legal sector. Clinical programs are at the forefront of Loyola’s social justice commitment, helping students to obtain real-world experience serving children, families, and other members of their society.
Furthermore, students gain firsthand experience that will help them achieve their career aspirations and lead to success in the future. In the various journals and publications that cover a wide audience, law students obtain expertise in legal studies and journalism skills. There is something for all, with topics ranging from cybersecurity in digital health to school disciplinary change to the risks of genetic engineering. Loyola graduates have an 88 per cent first-time state bar passage record, owing to many opportunities to put their legal skills into practice and world-class education. The Loyola University School of Law aims to prepare students to become trained and professional lawyers.
Founded In: 1908
Acceptance Rate: 44.39%
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs open at Loyola University School of Law for students
- The Terry Bryant College Scholarship: Award of $2,500
- Sieben Edmunds Miller Criminal Defense Scholarship: $1,000
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Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law
The Chicago-Kent College of Law is Illinois’ second oldest law school, and it has made an impression since its inception. It is the first law school in the United States to receive an A+ in labour and employment law from the preLaw magazine. Their prestigious curriculum blends theoretical instruction with hands-on learning experiences and cutting-edge skill development. It houses about 20 practice courses as well as the Institute for Law and the Workplace, which is known nationwide for its employment and labour law studies. Law Street Media ranked Chicago-Kent #1 in the country for Intellectual Property Law. IIT is highly qualified in the area as a leading engineering school and Chicago’s only technological university.
The IP program offers a one-of-a-kind degree that prepares law students for the complexities that come with rapid technological advancements. Via its Patent Hub, the school hosts a variety of networking and instructional activities, such as national conventions and student moot court teams. Students may use their legal skills outside of the classroom by joining school associations and societies. In mock trial competitions, the Chicago-Kent Trial Advocacy Team has earned national recognition for its proven advocacy skills. In 1988, 2007, 2008, and 2015, the Chicago-Kent team dominated the National Trial Competition, defeating teams from over 140 law schools around the country.
Founded In: 1888
Acceptance Rate: N/A
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs open at the Kent College of Law for students
- Honours Scholars Program: Full Tuition
- The Honorable Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Scholarship: Full Tuition
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Depaul University College of Law
DePaul University has been a part of the Chicago legal community for over a century, with a network of over 10,000 students spread throughout the city. Students may use their degrees to pursue new opportunities and connect with alumni through these connections. DePaul College of Law graduates went on to become state lawmakers, United States District Judges, and influential lawyers around the country. The College of Law at DePaul University offers a diverse range of rigorous courses intended to train students for professional legal practice in a number of fields. The Third Year in Practice Program (3YP) blends engaging coursework with field placements that are tailored to the student’s specific interests.
This one-of-a-kind opportunity teaches students to practice law in a real-world environment. According to the ABA Employment Summary for the 2019 cohort, 90.5 per cent of graduates find work within 10 months of graduation. They work with prestigious law firms, federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and a variety of other companies. The Princeton Review rated DePaul as a Top Law School in 2019, 2020, and 2021, based on its impressive career opportunities, academic offers, and stringent admission standards. DePaul is recognized as an outstanding choice for prospective attorneys in this list.
Founded In: 1912
Acceptance Rate: 48.09%
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs open at DePaul University College of Law for students
- First-Year Dean’s Scholarship: Educational Fund
- Albert Pick, Jr. Fund Law Student Scholarship: Award amount of $5,000
- American Bar Association (ABA) Legal Opportunity Scholarship: Award amount of $15,000
- American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholarship: Award amount of $10,000 per year
- BARBRI Law Preview One Lawyer Can Change the World Scholarship: Varies
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University of Illinois Chicago John Marshall Law School
Many students benefit from the John Marshall Law School at UIC, which is Chicago’s only public law school and offers a rigorous and accessible legal education. John Marshall, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was the inspiration for the department’s name. Many dual degree options are available thanks to the school’s relationship with the University of Illinois Chicago, which aligns with the school’s strengths in fields like health sciences, engineering, and business. The institution is dedicated to public education and community service, empowering students to put their legal knowledge to good use when assisting those in need. During their time at UIC, law students are expected to serve in a clinic or an externship. The Community Legal Clinics are well-known for providing millions of dollars in pro bono programs to the Chicago community. The Community Enterprise & Solidarity Economy Clinic, the International Human Rights Clinic, and the USPTO-certified IP Trademark Clinic are among the specific areas of focus. Within the school, students can hear from professors who are experts in their fields. Around half of the full-time faculty has earned a law degree from one of the top 15 law schools, with 45 per cent of women and 35 per cent of professors of colour. Human rights champions, US District and Circuit judges, and well-known lawyers make up the outstanding faculty.
Founded In: 1899
Tuition: $1,200 (per credit hour)- in-state students & $1,500 (per credit hour)- out-of-state students
Acceptance Rate: 69%
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs open at Columbia University for students
- Barrister’s Scholarship: Educational Fund
- Edward T. Lee Scholarship: Educational Fund
- Dean’s Scholarship: Educational Fund
- Distinguished Scholar Scholarship: Educational Fund