Best Pre Law Schools in Illinois

Last Updated on May 25, 2022

Law is a system of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior, with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been variously described as a science and the art of justice. State-enforced laws can be made by a group legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes; by the executive through decrees and regulations; or established by judges through precedent, usually in common law jurisdictions.

Law – or legal studies – refers to the ‘art of justice.’ It has been practiced since 3000 BC by the Ancient Egyptians. While the study has changed through time, one thing is for sure: you need to get a law degree to practice legally. In the following sections, we will list the best pre law schools in illinois.

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Best Pre Law Schools In Illinois

University of Chicago Law School

The Law School at the University of Chicago is one of the top legal education centers not just in Illinois but all of the United States. It also has among the top citations-per-capita rate by any American law school.

Since its founding in 1909, the law school has established itself as one of the most reputable in the nation. It boasts among the highest placements into the U.S. Supreme Court. 15 to 25 percent of its graduating class each year get a state-level placement. Besides state placements, graduates from the law program get lucrative offers from top-of-the-line law firms in Illinois and across the nation.

U.S. News & World Report ranks this law school at No. 4 among while the Vault 25 puts it at No.5. No wonder it has so many applicants who want to study law each year. It has a 22 percent acceptance rate with a 3.90 GPA median and an LSAT median of 170.

Once you get accepted, you should prepare to part with $58,065 tuition for both in-state residents and non-residents. For such high fees, you get a great student-faculty ratio as well as comfortable class size for 1L sections when you compare them with other law schools.

Bar passage rates

Whenever we recommend any law school to students, we usually check the bar passage rates. The University of Chicago has an excellent record of 97.3 percent, above even the state-level average of 79.3 percent.

Post-graduation salaries

One of the reasons applicants love the University Of Chicago School Of Law is the high employability rate of its alumni. Most of them end up in top law firms while others get clerkship at the Supreme Court. Starting salaries for graduates is $132,000, with room for an increase to $200,000 after a couple of years of experience.

Northwestern University (Pritzker)

Located in Chicago, the Pritzker School Law School at Northwestern University offers a variety of J.D., LLM, and MSL programs. The law school has gained a reputation for producing highly qualified and renowned attorneys through the years. Part of the university’s 11 educational entities, Northwestern Law School, is found on the downtown campus in the Streeterville neighborhood.

Established in 1859, Northwestern University law school is both ABA-accredited as well as a member of the AALS. It is one of the schools considered relatively competitive, with an acceptance rate of only 23 percent. At Northwestern University, you can enroll for both full-time and part-time law courses, giving you much-needed flexibility. The student body and staff consist of averagely diverse ethnicities and minorities.

Pritzker law school is ranked No. 10 by the U.S. News & World Report and No. 12 by Vault.com. With such excellent ratings, this college receives record applications. Only 23 percent of applicants get accepted into its law programs.

The Northwestern University School of Law has an LSAT median of 168 and a GPA median of 3.77. The school boasts a highly desirable student-faculty ratio at 6.5:1. Northwestern has an enormous 1L section size. It is 32 percent larger than the law schools in Illinois and a record 40 percent higher than any other private school.

Bar Passage Rates

If you ever worry about passing the bar exams, you will rest easy at Northwestern, knowing they have a 93 percent bar-exam pass rate. The rate exceeds the state average and guarantees students the successful completion of their studies.

Post-Graduation Salaries

Everybody wants to earn top dollar after getting their degree. Salary projections for a 2020 Northwestern graduate are a median of $180,000 in the private sector and $60,000 average for the public sector.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Law School

Founded in 1897, the college of law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC Law) is an ABA-approved school and a member of the AALS. The Urbana-Champaign campus accommodates over 500 students in various law programs.

UIUC Law campus boasts a record 84 percent graduation rate. Even though it has a high return-on-investment rating, the one thing that makes it stand out completely from other law schools is the net price. At $16,249 per year, it is one of the lowest. The university also has a relatively high acceptance rate of 46 percent. The rate improves your chances of getting accepted, where other law schools may turn down your application.

Although not ranked by Vault Top 25, the UIUC Law is ranked relatively high by U.S. News, sitting at position 39 in the list of best law schools, making it higher than most other law colleges for a lower net price per year.

UIUC Law has a 161 LSAT median score and a 3.51 GPA median. The campus also has a great student-faculty at a ratio of 11.6:1. The tuition fees for in-state residents and non-residents are $41,328 and $49,078, respectively.

Bar Passage Rates

With excellent ratings everywhere else, you can expect the bar passage rates at UIUC Law to be impressive too. Bar passage rates is at 84 percent, which is still pretty good.

Post-graduation Salaries

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign law school has an impressive 60.6 percent employability rate for its graduates. The median starting salary for the private sector is $80,000 and $65,000 for the public sector.

Loyola University Law School (Chicago)

This law school is in downtown Chicago in some prime real estate, just a walk from the landmark Water Tower. Loyola College has an excellent reputation for producing renowned trial lawyers as well as politicians.

One of the things that make it stand out is the various degree programs offered under its law school that includes SJD, which is similar to a doctorate. Another thing you will notice is the diversity in terms of both students and faculty. A diverse population follows the traditions of the Jesuits, a Catholic order that established the university. It hosts art exhibitions as well as cultural events that promote a whole-person approach to learning.

Loyola law school has not been ranked by Vault Top 25. However, it sits 77th in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. It also has a tremendous high acceptance rate pegged at 55 percent of applicants. The school is a member of the AALS, as well as having ABA accreditation.

Loyola also has an LSAT median of 158 and a 3.34 GPA median with an above-average 1L section. The university also has a 12.3:1 student student-faculty ratio. This ratio is highly favorable to students.

Bar Passage Rates

Bar passage rates for Loyola University Chicago law school are relatively high. The school reports that up to 83 percent of its students pass the bar, quite a significant number.

Post-graduation Salary

We have always said the university you go to can determine the first salary you get. Once you enroll at Loyola University Chicago, you can expect to earn up to $80,500 median in the private sector and a $60,000 average in the public sector.

Best Law Schools in the Midwest

Chicago-Kent College of Law (IIT) Law School

Chicago-Kent College of Law is part of the Illinois Institute of Technology. It started in 1888 and is among the oldest law schools in Illinois. It is regarded highly for its scholarships and high-achieving faculty as well as the student body.

Chicago-Kent is a pioneer in many aspects. It is among the first schools that incorporated computers into its classrooms. It also focuses on professional accountability in the broadest sense. The school teaches intellectual discipline, thorough analysis, intensive research, and a client-first approach in terms of the law. Chicago-Kent College of Law has a unique three-year legal writing program, the only one of its kind in Chicago.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is ranked 87th by U.S. News & World Report. It boasts an 11.1:1 student-faculty ratio, a median LSAT of 156, plus a median GPA of 3.36. Getting into Chicago is fairly competitive. It has an acceptance rate of 62 percent with tuition for full-time pegged at $46,888 for both in-state residents and non-residents. For part-time, tuition is $34,210.

Bar Passage Rates

This college has a high pass rate in bar-exams. At 88 percent, it is among the highest, above even the state average.

Post-graduation Salary

Graduating from Chicago-Kent College of Law will entitle you to a median starting salary of $75,750 in the private sector and $60,210 in the public sector. There is also an excellent prospect for salary increment as you add experience.

Best Pre Law Schools In Illinois

Judson University

Judson University

4 Year  •  Elgin, IL

Judson University is a private not-for-profit university based in Elgin, Illinois. It is an institution with an enrollment of over 169 bachelor’s degree candidates. The admission criteria is somewhat competitive with the acceptance rate of 71%.

#1 in Best Pre Law Studies Colleges & Universities in Illinois

Blackburn College

Blackburn College

4 Year  •  Carlinville, IL

Blackburn College is a private not-for-profit university based in Carlinville, Illinois. It is an institution with an enrollment of over 145 bachelor’s degree candidates. The admission criteria is somewhat competitive with the acceptance rate of 59%.

#2 in Best Pre Law Studies Colleges & Universities in Illinois

Best law schools in the world

#1: Harvard College

A traditional feeder school, a Harvard education will undoubtedly give you an advantage in your law school applications, especially with the right grades and LSAT scores. Harvard also has several organizations for pre-law students, including the Harvard Law Society and the Harvard College Black Pre-Law Association. You’ll also be able to take advantage of Harvard’s alumni network at top schools and law firms.

#2: Yale University

Yale is considered the top law school in the country, and is the 4th best university overall according to US News and World Report. Though Yale does not have a pre-law major, the school does offer an interdisciplinary track that allows students to create their own major that can give them the skills that law schools seek. The Yale Law School Admission Council also provides undergraduates with pre-law counseling and events throughout the year.

#3: Northwestern University

Northwestern is known for academic rigor, and a big school means lots of resources, including their own law school. Northwestern’s Legal Studies track can be completed as a major or a minor, and differs from pre-law programs in that it has an interdisciplinary focus and aims to teach students to think critically about the relationship between law and society, and includes everything from psychology to literature to religious studies. It’s a well-rounded degree, and the added advantage of being in Chicago means more opportunities for internships.

25 Best Value Schools for Pre-Law 2021 | Best Value Schools

#4: University of Maryland

The University of Maryland has a department dedicated to advising pre-law students, which also connects students with resources and mentors, and works closely with the university’s law school. Maryland also has a three year arts/law degree program, in which a student can apply to law school in their third year of undergrad, and be awarded their baccalaureate degree in their first year of law school. College Park is also close to Washington D.C., which can help you with landing an internship.

#5: Georgetown University

Georgetown’s pre-law advising center offers resources on all things law school, including one-on-one advising, help with applications, and workshops. Additionally, Georgetown’s record of academics in the humanities make it a great place to learn the skills necessary to excel in law school, and its Washington D.C. location means opportunities to have internships and make connections with those working in the legal field or in politics.

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#6: New York University

NYU is in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world, and certainly offers a ton of opportunities for internships both in the legal industry and beyond. NYU also offers the Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program, or LAMP, for pre-law students. The school’s academics are rigorous overall, and has a strong record in the humanities, particularly English.

#7: Michigan State University

Michigan State offers a pre-law major that is also considered a liberal arts degree. The pre-law major aims to introduce students to legal studies while also teaching critical thinking and analytical skills so that pre-law majors are prepared to work in law enforcement, become paralegals, or go into a career in government.

#8: University of Texas at Austin

UT Austin’s career center hosts one of the largest Law Fairs in the country every year, which allows students to interact with over 100 law school admissions professionals. The career center also hosts panels and workshops, law school application coaching, and more. If you’re stuck between majors, these resources can help you decide what is best for you, and what will help you stand out on an application. UT Austin offers many majors in both sciences and humanities, and UT students go onto to law school with degrees in numerous fields.

#9: Florida State University

In addition to one of the country’s top Criminal Justice programs, FSU has a pre-law advising center that helps students magnify their achievements within their majors, and works closely with the law school. FSU hosts the Donald J. Weidner Summer Program for Legal Studies, a four-week program taught by law professors. Even better: 70% of program attendees have gone on to law school. The program is open to undergraduates from all schools and is competitive.

#10: George Washington University

George Washington University encourages pre-law students to establish themselves as pre-law early on, and take advantage of the many groups, societies, and panels dedicated to that goal. Advisers at GW help you find the law schools that are the best fit for your background and goals, and they tailor your undergrad education to those schools. Additionally, the Washington D.C. location makes for a great spot to score internships.

#11: Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern is a little different than the other schools on this list because of its thorough pre-law (legal studies) major that offers an undergraduate law degree. Nova Southeastern is dedicated to helping students prepare for law school by offering a challenging program and a dedicated interest in the humanities. The school’s B.S. in Legal Studies major also allows students to take classes in philosophy, history, and more as they work toward their degree.

About the author

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