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 tennessee.
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Best law schools in tennessee
1) Vanderbilt University
National Ranking1: 18
Bar Passage Rate: 95 percent
Cost of Tuition: $57,558 full-time
Acceptance Rate: 23.7 percent
LSAT2: 161 – 168
GPA: 3.61 – 3.87
Even thoughVanderbilt is in the Southeastern Conference; it carries the same reputation as an Ivy League school. The law program is consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the country. Vanderbilt University recently placed 18th in U.S. News and World Report. It is also one of the most selective and oldest laws schools in the southern United States.
Vanderbilt University Law School, or VLS, opened in 1874 with seven students and eight professors. Through the early 20th century, classes remained small with the enrollment never exceeding 70. Over time, the school has received significant endowments and underwent several renovations.
It has expanded its current enrollment to 640 students.
Students have the option to pursue a Juris Doctor or Master of Laws. The most popular upper concentration is in Law & Business. Other areas of emphasis include energy, environmental law, land use, criminal law, social justice, international law, intellectual property, as well as ligation and dispute law.
VLS also offers a study abroad program in comparative and international law in Venice. Students can opt to study at clinics or externships, too. As of 2013, 85.9 percent of graduates end up with a job after graduation, and only 6.3 percent are underemployed.
2) University of Tennessee-Knoxville
National Ranking: 59
Bar Passage Rate: 86 percent
Cost of Tuition: $19,674 in-state, $38,348 out-of-state
Acceptance Rate: 37.3 percent
LSAT: 154 – 160
GPA: 3.25 – 3.78
The University of Tennessee College of Law is a fully accredited public institution in Knoxville. Founded in 1890, the program enrolls 460 students and 43 faculty members. The school offers a Juris Doctor with concentration areas in Advocacy and Dispute Resolution, as well as Business Transactions.
Students can also opt for a dual-degree that combines law with business, philosophy, public health, or public administration. Notably, the UT College of Law has one of the longest-running advocacy clinics in the country. U.S. News and World Report placed the clinic 10th nationally among all public clinical programs.
3) Belmont University
National Ranking: T-138
Bar Passage Rate: 92.6 percent
Cost of Tuition: $44,470 full-time
Acceptance Rate: 52.4 percent
LSAT: 153 – 157
GPA: 3.31 – 3.7
Fewer programs in the country are younger than Belmont University College of Law. The private university opened its law school in 2011 and earned its accreditation from the ABA two years later. Despite its youth, Belmont has garnered a strong reputation for academic excellence in Tennessee.
Based on the Class of 2018, 96 percent of BU College of Law graduates were full-time employees within a year of graduating. Of those students, 89 percent remained in Tennessee, and 63 percent worked in a law firm. According to Belmont Law’s Law School Transparency, only 6.4 percent were unemployed.
BU College of Law offers specialized certificate programs in criminal law, health, and entertainment law. Students can receive hands-on experience through the university’s four academic journals, externships, and Board of Advocates programs.
In July 2019, 97.18 percent of first-time bar test-takers passed, giving Belmont the highest mark in the state and 12th highest in the country.
4) University of Memphis
National Ranking: T-138
Bar Passage Rate: 81.1 percent
Cost of Tuition: $19,197 in-state, $26,402 out-of-state
Acceptance Rate: 52.4 percent
LSAT: 147 – 152
GPA: 2.93 – 3.63
The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law is the only law school in the city. The school has had ABA-accreditation since 1965 and enrolls 314 full-time students.
Currently, it offers programs in the following areas:
- Degree Programs
- Certification Programs
- Experiential Learning
- Academic Journals
- Advocacy Programs
- Institute for Health Law and Policy
- Legal Writing
- International Law Programs
Memphis Law School is known for its affordability. The National Jurist Magazine named it as one of the best values while PreLaw Magazine gave it an A- grade for value. Additionally, the average residential graduate leaves with $108,509 in deb ( if they receive a median discount), which is below the national average of $122,000.
Best Pre Law Schools in Tennessee
Southern Adventist University
Southern Adventist University offers 1 Pre-Law Studies degree programs. It’s a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb.
Best pre 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.
#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.
#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.