Top Law Colleges in Usa: Courses, Eligibility, Fees, Studentships and Jobs

Law studies in USA could be a professional graduate entry degree which implies that the law programs offered are usually admire a graduate degree in other parts of the globe. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), there are a complete of 202 ABA-approved top law colleges in USA. The demand for lawyers in US is predicted to grow as individuals, businesses, and governments require legal services in many areas.

  • According to QS Law Rankings 2021, there are a complete of fifty universities in US that are among the top 100 law colleges within the world.
  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2020 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), the use estimate for legal occupations in USA are 1,150,780 with an annual mean wage of 109,630 USD.
  • The entry level annual salaries of law graduates in legal firms in USA range between 58,000 USD – 70,000 USD. Check job opportunities in US
  • According to the BLS, the projected growth within the American job marketplace for lawyers is anticipated to grow by 5% through 2029, faster than the common for all occupations, and can lead to about 67,600 new jobs.

Top Law Colleges in USA

With many law universities in usa ranking among best law colleges of the globe, the table below shows the best top law schools in usa in keeping with QS Rankings 2020 for world-class educational activity in USA:

QS Law Rankings 2021 University Name (Law School) Programs Offered
1 Harvard University (Harvard Law School) JD, LLM, JSD and Joint Programs
5 Stanford University (Stanford Law School) JD, LLM, JSD, Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS) and Master of Legal Studies (MLS)
7 Columbia University (Columbia Law School) JD, LLM, Executive LLM in Global Business Law, JSD
8 New York University (NYU) (NYU School of Law) JD, LLM, JSD, Executive LLM in Taxation, MSL in Taxation, Advanced Professional Certificate in Taxation and Advanced Professional Certificate in Law & Business
9 University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley School of Law) JD, LLM, JSD, Ph.D. (Jurisprudence & Social Policy- JSP Program), Executive Education Program

Top Law Schools in USA: Degree Types

best law schools in usa generally offer three varieties of law courses in usa . However, there are other law degrees yet offered at various top law schools in usa. law colleges in usa applications may be made for:

Juris Doctor J.D.- Usually a 3 year full-time program offered at universities. This law degree in usa allows a candidate to practice law within USA.

Master of Laws (LLM)- LLM in USA is typically a 1 year program offered to folks that have already got a JD or equivalent degree. Offered with various specializations, LLM helps to specialise in a particular area of legal study.

Master’s Degree- Include degrees like Master of Legal Studies (MLS), Master of Studies in Law etc. These law degrees in usa are for folks that want to study law in usa but aren’t looking to become lawyers.

Doctor of Juridical Science J.S.D./ S.J.D.- Also spoken as Doctor of the Science of Law is a sophisticated and top academic degree offered in USA. A JSD/ SJD degree is completed in three years of full-time study. This program is open only to students of respective law schools in usa and hardly accepts applications from international students.

Ph.D. in Law- A 3 year duration program that doesn’t always require a JD degree. Available for international students also who want to finish a degree with required coursework and academic research.

Legal Certificate- is often completed in as little as three months with online options available.

Apart from these above mentioned programs, in best law colleges in usa like NYU School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, University of Colorado Boulder, etc. also offer executive programs in law for professionals.

Legal studies at top law colleges in USA follow the Socrates Method for teaching. Under this pedagogy, the professor cold calls on a student to state a case and reply to case-based questions. This helps within the improvement of argumentative dialogue among students usually helpful during legal practice.

Law Colleges in USA: Areas of Study

The academics for law programs are over just coursework and include interdisciplinary intellectual dialogue, clinical experiences, first-hand lawyering, etc. There are various areas of study offering students with a large choice of educational specializations. The table below shows the varied areas of specialization at top law colleges in USA:

Law School Areas of Study
Harvard Law School Law & Business; Law, Science & Technology; Criminal Justice; International & Comparative Law; Law & Government; Law & History; Law & Social Change
Yale Law School Administrative; Constitutional; Corporate & Commercial; Criminal Justice; Environmental; Human Rights; International; IT & Media; Law & Health; Public Interest
Stanford Law School Environmental Law & Policy; International Economic Law, Business & Policy; Law, Science & Technology; Corporate Governance & Practice
UC Berkeley School of Law Social Justice/ Public Interest; Business & Start-ups; Tech/IP/Privacy; Environment + Energy; Criminal Justice; Constitutional/ Regulatory; International + Comparative
Columbia Law School Gender & Sexuality, Human Rights; Environment; Criminal Law; International & Comparative Law, etc.
NYU School of Law Taxation; International Law; Human Rights; Immigration Law; Criminal Law & Administration; Environmental & Energy, etc.

Law Colleges in USA Offering Juris Doctor (J.D.)

A Juris Doctor (J.D.) in USA could be a three year program offering students with the intellectual foundation for legal studies. A J.D. degree enables a graduate to practice law in USA. Around 202 American colleges offer Juris Doctor program. Here is the list of US universities offering the degree:

  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Columbia University
  •  New York University (NYU)

Law Colleges in USA: Eligibility Criteria for Juris Doctor

Admissions for the Juris Doctor (JD) degree is open for the autumn semester. To be eligible for Juris Doctor degree, an applicant must meet the admission requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university
  • Standardized test scores like graduate school Admission Test (LSAT)
  •  Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
  •  Scores of English proficiency tests like TOEFL IELTS, etc.

Law Colleges in USA: Documents Required for Juris Doctor

  •  Completed form submitted through grad school Admission Council (LSAC)
  •  Non-refundable application fee
  •  Academic transcripts from all educational institutions attended
  •  LAST or GRE scores
  •  English language proficiency scores
  •  Resume
  •  Letters of Reccommendation
  •  Statement of Purpose
  •  Essay

Fees & Funding for Juris Doctor (J.D.)

The tuition fees for Juris Doctor degree range from 30,000- 70,000 USD per annum reckoning on the university. No matter the citizenship of the student, top law colleges in USA offer various assist options to assist students finance their studies. There are various international scholarships to study in USA that are awarded by the schools, private agencies or organizations, etc.

Law Colleges in USA offering Masters in Law

There are various masters in law programs offered. These include LLM (Master of Law), Master of Legal Studies, Master of Studies in Law, etc. the top law colleges in USA offering masters in law are tabulated below:

University Name Programs Offered
Harvard University LLM
Yale University LLM

Master of Studies in Law (MSL)

Stanford University Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS)

Master of Legal Studies (MLS)

University of California, Berkeley LLM
Columbia University LLM Executive

LLM in Global Business Law

New York University (NYU) LLM

Executive LLM in Taxation

MSL in Taxation


Law Colleges in USA: Eligibility for Masters in Law

To study law in usa international students, an applicant must meet the subsequent admission requirements:

Have a recognized professional first degree from a recognized college. These include degrees such as:

Juris Doctor (J.D.)

Bachelor of Law


Integrated five year Bachelor of Law, or equivalent

Proof of English proficiency through one among the test scores of:

TOEFL (iBT): 100


Law Colleges in USA: Documents Required for Masters in Law

  • Completed admission application through LSAC
  • Academic transcripts from all educational institutions attended
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose for LLM in US
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Financial aid application
  • Payment of non-refundable admission application fee

Fees & Funding for Masters in Law

The tuition fees for masters in law range from 55,000- 70,000 USD annually supported the program and university. There are a number of scholarships  to check masters degree in USA which will be undertaken by a student.

Top Law Colleges in USA offering Ph.D. in Law

Ph.D. in Law in USA is out there for college students who want to own a career as legal students and teachers. Here are the top universities for llb in usa for indian students and international students as well:

  • Yale University
  • University of California, Berkeley

Law Colleges in USA: Fee & Funding for Ph.D.

The tuition fee for Ph.D. in Law ranges from 28,000- 40,000 USD each year. However, students are advised to test with the university regarding the precise tuition expenses. The candidates of Ph.D. programs at law colleges in USA usually receive a fellowship from the university to financially support their doctoral studies.

Law Colleges in USA: Scholarships Offered

Studying abroad in USA can cost a fortune as America is way more costly compare to other overseas destinations. Therefore to assist students, there is variety of monetary options. A few of the studentships for international students in US are available at top law colleges are:

Scholarship University Scholarship Details
Jagdish Bhagwati Fellowship Columbia Law School Awarded to graduate students; Awarding partial or fill funding
Employment Law Scholarship Harvard University Amount of 1,000 USD awarded to students enrolled in J.D. program
Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program Stanford University Full funding to Stanford graduate students
Asia Pacific Scholarship UC Berkeley 10,000 USD from Asian/Pacific countries (India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, etc.) enrolled in LLM program
Arthur T. Vanderbilt Scholarships New York University Merit-based covering full-tuition fee for master’s degree program
Podell Global Graduate Legal Scholarship NewYork University Awarded to international LLM student covering full tuition, reasonable living expenses and airfare for one round-trip to and from New York


Law Colleges in USA: Jobs and Salaries

After a law program, a graduate working within the legal sector in USA can earn around 96,200 USD per annum. Salaries within the legal sector range from 52,800 USD- 149,000 USD p.a. in keeping with reports by salaryexplorer, a legal studies graduate in USA can earn 10% quite graduates working in other sectors.

Here are the top paying jobs after graduating from the best law schools in usa:

Occupation Average Annual Salary (in USD)
Lawyer 84,000- 126,000
Associate Attorney 73,000- 94,000
General Counsel 90,000- 254,000
Tax Manager 71,000- 128,000
Tax Attorney 59,000- 195,000
Federal Judge 175,000- 203,000
Corporate Lawyer 60,000- 241,000
Associate Professor of Law 78,000- 128,000
Criminal Defense Lawyer 48,000- 173,000
Government Attorney 51,000- 151,000


Legal professionals in USA are likely to look at a salary increment of 10% every 14 months. in line with the recent reports, there’s a slow yet continuous increase within the salary for legal professionals. This concludes that the law colleges in USA not only provide quality education but also train international students to earn attractive incomes during their careers.

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