Pepperdine Law School Ranking

Last Updated on December 28, 2022

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Read on to discover the latest information on is pepperdine law a good school. It is possible for you to find more information about pepperdine law school rankings 2021 on infolearners.

About Pepperdine Law School Ranking Acceptance Rate

The Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law has been ranked number 46 in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) 2022 Best Law School rankings. For the second consecutive year, Caruso Law has earned its highest ranking in the history of the school, having been ranked number 47 last year after climbing 25 spots in just three years.

“As hope grows for a return to on-campus operations after a very challenging year, the news of this ranking is a welcome complement,” said Paul Caron, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of Caruso Law. “We are pleased to be counted among the nation’s top 50 law schools, a result that reflects the outstanding work of our students, faculty, and staff.”

Caruso Law has also been recognized by its peers in all 13 specialty program rankings, with four in the top 50, including number 3 in dispute resolution, number 36 in trial advocacy, number 39 in tax law, and number 49 in international law. The globally recognized Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution has been among the top three in the specialty rankings for nearly 20 years.

The USNWR 2022 Best Law School rankings include 193 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association. Ranking criteria include a weighted average of 21 measures including student selectivity, bar passage, and job placement; quality assessments by academic peers, lawyers, and judges; and resources devoted to the school’s academic program. Specialty program rankings are based on data collected from faculty in each specialty who are asked to rate their peer schools’ programs on a scale of one to five.

The Rick J. Caruso School of Law at Pepperdine University (Caruso) has an application deadline of April 15. The full-time program application fee at the Rick J. Caruso School of Law at Pepperdine University (Caruso) is $0. The part-time program application fee at the Rick J. Caruso School of Law at Pepperdine University (Caruso) is $0. Its tuition is full-time: $59,340. The student-faculty ratio is 6.5:1.

The Pepperdine University School of Law operates its program on a scenic campus in Malibu, Calif., and boasts a high ranking for its dispute resolution specialty. Students interested in earning a joint degree have a variety of options, including a J.D./M.B.A. (offered through the Pepperdine University George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management), a J.D./M.Div. (offered through the Pepperdine University Seaver College Religion Division), and a J.D./Master’s of Public Policy (offered through the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy). Pepperdine Law also offers a Master’s of Dispute Resolution (M.D.R.), allowing students to complete a joint J.D./M.D.R. or a joint M.D.R./Master’s of Public Policy.

Outside of class, Pepperdine law students may opt to join legal journals including the Pepperdine Law Review, the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal, and the Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship and the Law. They may also find opportunities for involvement within a variety of institutes and programs operated by Pepperdine Law, including the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, the Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law, the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics, and the William Matthew Byrne, Jr. Judicial Clerkship Institute.

The school also operates the Global Justice Program, which sends students and faculty around the world to further international human rights, religious freedom, global development, and the rule of law. Pepperdine School of Law is affiliated with the Churches of Christ and “expresses its Christian principles through all aspects of academic life and administrative policy,” according to the school’s website. Students of all faiths are welcomed.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Pepperdine Caruso Law number 47 in its 2021 Best Law Schools rankings. The newly released rankings reflect a significant increase for Pepperdine Caruso Law, which advances 25 spots in just three years. (More rankings information here.)

Pepperdine Caruso Law was also recognized for excellence in several specialty programs in rankings voted on by faculty in those fields, including rankings of #3 in dispute resolution, #37 in tax law, and #39 in clinical training.

Best Grad Schools US News Badge for dispute resolution

Best Grad Schools US News Badge

Best Grad Schools US News Badge for clinical training

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution remains a leader in the field of alternative dispute resolution, having been ranked the number one dispute resolution program for 13 of the last 16 years.

“At Pepperdine Caruso Law, we do not chase rankings,” says Dean Paul Caron. “Rather, every decision we make is guided by what is in the best interest of our students. Over the past few years, we have raised the rate at which our graduating class passes the bar exam in California (from 65% in 2017 to 82% in 2019) and in the other 49 states (from 82% in 2017 to 96% in 2019), and secures full-time legal employment (from 65% in 2016 to 84% in 2019). This dramatic rise in our students’ return on investment in their Pepperdine legal education has driven our rise in the rankings.”

U.S. News & World Report ranked 194 law schools in the United States, based on data collected in fall 2019 and early 2020. Peer and legal professional assessment scores are based on data collected from voters who are asked to rate law programs on a scale of 1 to 5. Selectivity criteria include median undergraduate GPA, acceptance rate, bar passage rate, and job placement of law graduates. Faculty resources include expenditures per student, student-faculty ratio, and library resources.

By now many of you have seen the news that Pepperdine Law has risen to #51 in the 2020 U.S. News Law School Rankings. Our rise is especially gratifying in light of the decision by U.S. News last year to remove us from the rankings when we self-reported a single data reporting error one week before the publication date (for more details, see the links at the bottom of this post).

We have improved our ranking from #72 in 2017 to (unofficially) #62 in 2018 and #51 in 2019. This 21-point increase in our ranking over the past two years is the largest increase of any law school among the Top 100 law schools as ranked by U.S. News. We are in the second year of our plan to reduce the size of the student body by 20% to increase the quality of all aspects of our academic program.

We do not chase rankings at Pepperdine Law. Every decision we make is guided by a single question: what is in the best interest of our students? Often those decisions produce a rankings benefit as well, and we gladly reap those results. I am proud that our rankings rise is driven by the increasing selectivity of our incoming 1L class, the improved outcomes achieved by our graduates, the additional resources we have been able to deploy to improve our students’ educational experience, and our growing reputation among legal academics, lawyers, and judges.

Pepperdine Law also was recognized by U.S. News for excellence in several specialty programs in rankings voted on by faculty in those fields, including rankings of #2 in dispute resolution, #32 in tax law, and #33 in clinical training.

This news is especially meaningful to us following the Woolsey Fire last August which caused massive destruction in Malibu and threatened Pepperdine. Thanks to great planning by our university and the heroic efforts of firefighters on the ground and in the air, not a single building on campus was lost (for more, see the links at the bottom of this post).

Fire High Res 5 (No Ocean)

I have a confession to make. Our annual law school dinner is ordinarily held each year in early March. But after last year’s rankings hiccup, I decided to move this year’s dinner to March 30 so it would take place after the release of the new law school rankings. I was so confident about the direction of our law school that we decided that the theme of this year’s dinner would be that Pepperdine Law is “on the rise.” As I wrote when we re-opened the law school after being closed for 17 days after the fire (and following my emergency surgery for detached retinas in both of my eyes), Pepperdine Law Rises From The Ashes: Better, Stronger, United.

Dinner

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage of Pepperdine’s 2019 U.S. News ranking:

Pepperdine’s Place In The 2019 U.S. News Rankings (Mar. 16, 2018)
More On Pepperdine’s Place In The 2019 Law School Rankings (Mar. 25, 2018)
Pepperdine And U.S. News: A Problem Of Unregulated Monopoly? (Apr. 4, 2018)
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage of the impact of the Woolsey Fire on Pepperdine:

Malibu Burning (Nov. 9, 2018)
Fires Cause Massive Destruction In Malibu, But Pepperdine Is Safe (Nov. 10, 2018)
The Pepperdine Disaster Relief Clinic And The Woolsey Fire (Nov. 14, 2018)
A Clinic Rises From The Ashes (Nov. 20, 2018)
Why Pepperdine Stays Put When Wildfires Rage (Nov. 21, 2018)
Pepperdine Law Rises From The Ashes: Better, Stronger, United (Nov. 28, 2018)
Update:

Law.com, Latest US News Law School Ranking Offers Few Surprises:

Back on the list this year is Pepperdine University School of Law, which nearly cracked the top 50, coming in at No. 51. U.S. News left Pepperdine off the rankings last year after the school flagged a mistake in the figures it had reported to U.S. News pertaining to the median LSAT score of its newest class. (U.S. News provides each school an early copy of the list to check the accuracy of the data.) School administrators predicted that Pepperdine would have claimed the 62nd position had the correct LSAT number been factored in. The school’s last official ranking was No. 72.

Pepperdine law dean Paul Caron said he believes his widely read TaxProfBlog has helped spread the word about the law school and raise awareness of its strengths. That exposure, coupled with the stronger credentials and employment outcomes that the school has achieved due to smaller class sizes, has bolstered its ranking, he said.

“Our law school dinner is ordinarily held each year in early March,” Caron said. “But after last year’s rankings hiccup, I decided to move this year’s dinner to March 30 so it would take place after the release of the new law school rankings. I was so confident about the direction of our law school that we decided that the theme of this year’s dinner would be that Pepperdine Law is ‘on the rise.’ I am glad I was right, or it would have been a very awkward dinner!”

The Recorder, Stanford Holds Steady, USC Jumps 2 Spots In Latest US News Law School Ranking:

This year’s list is unusually stable compared with previous years. But Pepperdine University School of Law nearly cracked the top 50 after the school was omitted from the list last year after flagging a mistake in the figures it reported pertaining to the median LSAT score of its newest class.

Above the Law, This Law School Had A Great Year — At Least According To The Latest U.S. News Rankings:

After a big snafu last year, the law school’s back on track.

According to the leaked U.S. News Law School Rankings for 2020, what school’s ranking increased the most?

Hint: Due to some misreporting, the school was unranked in the 2019 rankings, but the 2020 list puts them up 21 spots from where they were in 2018.

Answer: Pepperdine. You can find out all about last years rankings misadventure for the school here, and read all about this year’s rankings here.

Above the Law, The LEAKED 2020 U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Here:

Way to go, Pepperdine! After a rankings hiccup last year that landed the school among the unranked thanks to some misreporting, the school has soared.

As one of the top tourist, business, professional, and scholarly destinations in the world, California has long been the land of hopes and visions. The world knows the state for its beautiful beaches, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and pulsating metropolitan centers. It is an ideal destination for those seeking to fulfill their American dream.

Who wouldn’t want to study law in such a place? Besides its natural, cultural, and economic affluence, California is also home to many good law schools. Many of these schools are American Bar Association-accredited and offer word-class LL.M. programs. Here’s a look at the top 10 law schools in California.

  1. Stanford Law School (SLS)
    World Report and U.S. News consistently ranks Stanford Law School (SLS) as one of the top three law schools in the United States. The school’s admission process is competitive, and its programs are small and intimate.

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It enrolls only between 15 and 20 students, or 8.7 percent of applicants, every year in each of the specializations. Your application for a place in SLS needs to stand out from the rest.

The specializations include:

Environmental Law & Policy
Corporate Governance & Practice
International Economic Law
Business & Policy
Science & Technology
If you’re lucky to get a slot at Stanford, you’ll have access to world-class professors. The school has a 4:1 student-faculty ratio. Additionally, the school hosts the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS).

Pepperdine University - Profile, Rankings and Data | US News Best Colleges

This program results in the Master of Science in Law (JSM) degree. Once you graduate, you become part of an influential alumni network. It’s also worth noting that at least 90 percent of Stanford graduates get jobs within 10 months.

If you’re looking to join Stanford Law School, these numbers may be of help:

LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 169-174
GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.82-3.99

  1. University of California – Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
    U.S. News ranks U.C. Berkeley’s Law School, founded in 1894, as the second-best law school in California after Stanford. In 2019, experts deemed the school the 10th best law school in the country. Hence, its competitive admissions.

The school accepts only about 20 percent of applicants every year. It also has a low student-faculty ratio of 5:8:1. U.C. Berkeley law school offers both a traditional LL.M program and a Professional Track LL.M.

Professional Track LL.M candidates study over two consecutive summers. This schedule gives you the chance to work or spend time with family during the year. LL.M. specializations in the school include:

Business Law
Law & Technology
Energy & Clean Technology
If you go to U.C. Berkeley Law School, you have a 90 percent chance of getting a job within one year of your graduation. Many Cal graduates work in government and public interest.

If you’re looking to join U.C. Berkeley Law School, these numbers may be of help:

LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 165-170
GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.64-3.90

  1. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
    Founded in 1949, UCLA Law School takes pride in being the first public law school in Southern California. The school has a strategic location in Los Angeles’ Westwood neighborhood. The school offers an LL.M. program, with various specializations including:

Business Law
Tax Law
Law and Sexuality
Sports Law
Entertainment Law
The school’s Entertainment Law, offered at the school’s Ziffren Center, has often been the best entertainment law program in the States. The UCLA school of law also has a Critical Race Studies program, the only law program in the country that focuses on matters of race and justice.

The school has an excellent reputation for its comprehensive classroom work. Additionally, students have access to endless opportunities for experiential learning. One of the things that set the school apart from its competitors is that it plays host to clinics focused on the First Amendment and Supreme Court.

The school’s admission is quite competitive, with an acceptance rate of about 22.5 percent. The school also boasts a powerful alumni network, with more than 17,000 members across the globe. If you’re looking to join the UCLA school of law, here are some numbers to keep in mind:

Median LSAT Score: 160
Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.72

  1. University of Southern California Gould School of Law (USC Law School)
    USC Law School is the oldest law school in the Southwestern United States. While it dates back to 1896, the Gould School of Law officially launched as a USC school in 1900. The school often ranks among the top 20 law schools in the country.

It has a strategic location in the south of downtown Los Angeles. The site gives students easy access to a wide range of opportunities in a major metropolitan area.

The school offers a standard one-year LL.M. program and a two-year LL.M. program.

It boasts a student/faculty ratio of 5.9:1, despite the fact it enrolls about 600 students. Don’t let the large student body fool you. Getting into USC Gould School is not easy. The school admits only about 19 percent of applicants every year.

Fortunately, you have a higher chance of acceptance if you apply early. Very few law schools in the world offer such an opportunity. USC Gould School has partnerships with universities in various parts of the world, including Brazil, France, Australia, Italy, and Hong Kong.

You can take advantage of these partnerships if you’re looking to study law abroad. The school also offers 15 dual-degree programs that integrate the law with other fields, such as:

Public policy
Business administration
International relations
Gerontology
These programs can be a great option if you want to sharpen your knowledge in a secondary area. Also worthy of note is the school’s year-long clinics, which offer a more comprehensive experience compared to the semester-long clinics in most law schools.

Most graduates of Gould School of Law get employed in government and law firms. Here are numbers to keep in mind if you’re interested in joining this school:

LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 163-167
GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.61-3.89

  1. University of California (U.C.) Irvine School of Law
    U.C. Irvine School of Law hasn’t been around for long, but it manages to be among the most progressive law schools in the United States. It has been one of the top 25 in the country. The school has about 500 students, with a student/faculty ratio of 5:8:1.

The ratio ensures that students get personalized attention from professors throughout their course. U.C. Irvine is also quite competitive, with only about 25 percent of applicants getting accepted. If you’re lucky to get a spot in the school, you start gaining hands-on experience right away.

First-year students undergo a Lawyering Skills course, where they get to interview real clients. In your second year, you’ll need to choose from 10 core clinics. The clinics focus on a wide range of issues, including domestic violence, community development, criminal justice, and immigrant rights.

Other practical learning opportunities include a rigorous externship program and the UCDC Law program, where you get to spend a semester in Washington, DC.

Here are critical numbers to keep in mind if you wish to join the school:

LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 161-165
GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.4-3.73

  1. Chapman University – Fowler School of Law
    Chapman University Law School was founded in 1995. The Orange County-based school gained provisional American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation in 1998 and acquired full ABA accreditation in 2002.

It offers a range of a variety of programs, including several LL.M degree specializations and the Juris Doctor degree. LL.M specialization options include:

Business Law
Entertainment & Media Law
International Law
Criminal Law
Environmental Law
Taxation
Trial Advocacy
It also offers combined programs such as J.D./MBA and J.D./MFA in Film and Television Production. The school is known for its diverse and vastly accomplished faculty members. Students get a blend of personalized instruction and hands-on clinical and courtroom experience.

Chapman Law School has an acceptance rate of 48 percent. According to the school, 78 percent of 2018 graduates got employed with 10 months of graduation. At least 60 percent got jobs in law firms.

Keep these numbers in mind if you’re interested in joining Chapman Law School:

LSAT 25th-75th percentile: 154-158
GPA 25th-75th percentile: 3.17-3.56

  1. University of California (U.C.) Davis School of Law
    U.S. News ranks U.C. Davis School of Law among the top 10 California law schools. The university founded the school of law in 1965. The school’s location is between the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, the state’s capital. The site allows students to network with a variety of professionals and government representatives.

The school’s admission is competitive, accepting a little more than 34 percent of applicants. It has about 200 students in every class, making it the smallest of five law schools in the University of California system.

Pepperdine University School of Law | the National Jurist

Thanks to the small size, students receive a more intimate law school experience compared to most law schools in the state. The school offers a range of LL.M. specialization options, including:

Business Law
Intellectual Property Law
Public International Law
Private International Law
Moreover, the U.C. Davis School of Law allows students to work with real clients and solve real-world problems through various clinics such as:

Immigration Law Clinic
Family Protection & Advocacy Clinic
California Supreme Court Clinic
Civil Rights Clinic
Prison Law Office
The school also has a comprehensive externship program. The program helps students gain hands-on experience working in areas such as the California Legislature, the district attorney’s offices, as well as state and federal judicial chambers.

These admission statistics of the 2018 entering class may be of help if you wish to join the school:

Median LSAT Score: 162
Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.63

  1. Loyola Law School Los Angeles
    Established in 1920, Loyola Law School Los Angeles is popular for its active evening program and trial advocacy program. Loyola offers a range of robust LL.M. programs. LL.M specialization options include:

Criminal Justice
Civil Litigation
Entertainment & Media Law
Cybersecurity
Taxation
According to LLM GUIDE, Loyola’s LL.M. in Taxation program is among the top 10 LL.M.s for U.S. Tax Law. Loyola Law School is also known for the high number of Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees awarded to minority students.

One of the things that set Loyola apart from its competitors is its concentration program. Students are allowed to choose a concentration in a particular field. Options include public interest law, entrepreneurship, intellectually property law, and immigrant advocacy.

In addition to the coursework in the preferred field, you’ll also undergo a semester of simulation or real client experience. This combination of a specialized area of study with experiential learning helps you have the upper hand in the job market.

The school has a student population of about 1,000. However, that doesn’t mean getting accepted is easy. It admits only 36 percent of applicants.

These numbers from the 2018 entering class may give you some insight if you wish to join Loyola Law School:

Median LSAT Score: 160
Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.58

  1. Pepperdine University School of Law
    Located in Malibu, Pepperdine University School of Law espouses strong Christian principles. It is an affiliate of the Churches of Christ. The school has a 7:1 student/faculty ratio, which allows it to offer personal attention to its students.

Another remarkable feature of the school is its Paris Institute for Professional Formation. Students have the opportunity to work with mentors in studying various issues such as legal analysis and ethics. Pepperdine is also known for its Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.

This institute positions the school as a thought leader in the world of alternative dispute resolution. In fact, Pepperdine’s LL.M in Dispute Resolution ranks among the world’s top 10 LL.M.s for alternative dispute resolution.

Other LL.M. programs offered in the school include:

United States Law
International Commercial Law & Arbitration
Sports, Entertainment, & Media Law
The school’s admission is quite competitive, with an acceptance rate of about 36.2 percent. These numbers from 2018 entering class may be of help if you’re looking to join Pepperdine University School of Law:

Median LSAT Score: 160
Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.63

  1. University of California (U.C.) Hastings College of Law
    The San Francisco-based U.C. Hastings opened its doors in 1878. It takes pride in being the first law school in the U.C. system. Thanks to its San Francisco location, the school is just a few minutes’ walk from the California Supreme Court, City Hall, the Attorney’s Office, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Students may network with major players in the legal industry. The school allows students to choose from 10 specializations, which include:

Criminal Law
Business Law
International Law
Social Justice Lawyering
Environmental Law
Intellectual Property Law
U.C. Hastings also boasts nine centers and programs, offering specialized studies. These include the Center for Innovation, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, as well as the East Asian Legal Studies Program. It is much easier to get into U.C. Hastings compare to most law schools in this list, thanks to its 44.9 percent acceptance rate.

These numbers from the 2018 entering class may be of help if you’re looking to join UC Hastings College of Law:

Median LSAT Score: 158
Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.44
Conclusion
California is home to at least 60 different law programs. However, not all of them are made equal. Some are accredited by ABA or the state Committee of Bar Examiners, while others are unaccredited. The 10 schools listed above all have the accreditation and approval of the ABA. ABA-accredited law schools have a better reputation.

If you’re preparing to apply to law schools in the United States, you are most certainly eager to know which are the best universities and colleges.

Law school rankings from America are by far the most stable ones, which have barely changed in the last 20 years. Very often, the only difference is the order of the first ten universities, which is slightly different every year. You could say that the only thing that matters is that you got admitted to a top law school in the US, no matter which one it is.

On the other hand, some of you have to follow the family tradition and go to a specific college, the one from which all your family members graduated. For others, it is important to get admitted to one of the top three or top five from the ranking.

View Law Masters in the U.S.
One thing is sure, though: American law schools and colleges have a long and outstanding tradition in excellent academic teaching. While it is important to take note of these annual rankings, you should make your final decision based on multiple criteria set by your own judgement.

US supreme court.jpg

Best law schools in the U.S. in 2021
According to the U.S. News, these are the best law schools in America in 2021:

Yale University
Stanford University
Harvard University
Columbia University
University of Chicago
New York University
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia
University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
Duke University
Here are other American law schools we recommend:

Northeastern University
Wichita State University
Pepperdine University
National University
If you want to know what former students of these top law schools think about their experience, here are some of their reviews:

Reviews of Harvard University
Reviews of Columbia University
Reviews of New York University
Reviews of Duke University
How to get into the best law school in the United States
You should know that compared to Europe, law schools in the United States have different requirements. These are the steps you need to follow during the admission:

Complete a Bachelor’s degree – it can be related to Law studies, but that is not mandatory. Law schools accept all candidates that finished a Bachelor’s degree, regardless of their former fields of study.
Take the LSAT – an official exam that tests your critical and analytical abilities – necessary for further pursuing a Law degree.
Decide on two or three law schools and start applying.
NYU law school.jpg

Types of Law degrees in the U.S.
Juris Doctor
All law schools in the US, both public and private, grant the J.D. (Juris Doctor) degree that is required to practice law in the country. A J.D program involves three years of study for full-time Law students and four years for part-time students.

Master of Laws (L.L.M.)
A Master of Laws degree is a one-year full-time study course after finishing a J.D. program. An L.L.M. is designated for those students that want to further improve the knowledge of a particular area of law or for foreign students that need to additionally adjust to the U.S. legal system.

Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.)
The Doctor of Judicial Science degree is similar to a usual PhD program and it is the highest academic degree in the legal field. An S.J.D. lasts three years and is more often pursued by students who are interested in teaching Law. However, most law schools from the States provide a small number of S.J.D. programs.

Teaching style and curriculum at U.S. law schools
During the three or four years of studying Law, you will have classes that will cover topics such as administrative law, legal theory, analytical legal methods, bankruptcy, business law and ethics, civil rights, constitutional law and much more.

Between the 2nd and 3rd year, most local and international students in the United States engage in an internship program in order to gain practical experience that can sometimes lead to a future job after graduation.

Beginning with the 3rd year, you can choose elective courses tailored for the particular Law specialization that will define your future career.

Specializations in Law in the United States include:

International Law
Public Law
Criminal Law
Business Law
Patent Law
Law degree studies use the Socratic method
A popular practice in terms of teaching and learning style in all law schools from the USA is called the Socrates method.

Following the premises of the antic philosopher that had the habit of asking and debating different people about various philosophical ideas, law teachers from the U.S. are known to challenge students to analyze and present arguments to various law issues, similar to stating a case in court.

Pepperdine University School of Law - Wikipedia

Although this is not an easy task for students, American teachers consider it is the best tool to prepare future law professionals to be critical, analytical and quick problem-solvers.

You can also check out online Bachelors and Masters in Law and study a degree offered by an American university from the comfort of your home.

Passing the bar exam to become a lawyer in the U.S.
After successfully finishing Law school, you have to take one more step that will help you to become a genuine lawyer, and that is passing the bar exam.

You can take the bar exam in any state, but you have to select the exact state where you plan to practice law. Each state has its own rules for bar admission and once you are admitted in one state, most often you will only be allowed to work as a lawyer in that state only.

There are some exceptions, as some states have signed agreements in this sense, giving law professionals the right to practice without having to take another bar exam.

lawyer court US.jpg

Why become a lawyer in the U.S.?
You’ve probably heard a thousand reasons why being a lawyer in America is so intense and fascinating. To start with, the U.S. is a big country and that inevitably leads to numerous career possibilities. Second, the legal system of the States is by far the most transparent, challenging, surprising and straightforward – all at the same time.

Last, but not least, the lawyer profession is extremely rewarding from any point of view. Financially, the annual income of a “fresh” lawyer starts at around 160,000 USD. Morally speaking, you will get to be an every-day hero for many people and actually make a difference in their lives.

While some colleges in California may be associated with entrepreneurship and technology, thanks in large part to the presence of high-quality universities in Silicon Valley, many of the world’s most outstanding law schools also call California their home.

Indeed, numerous Golden State universities are among the best places to study law and gain serious lawyering skills. Many, if not most, schools are in or around the most populous and thriving centers of the state, providing aspiring lawyers a plethora of opportunities for hands-on training.

The colleges in this article were ranked based on each school’s placement in the US News list of law schools. These law schools boast some of the nation’s highest post-graduation employment rates and average first-time bar pass rates. Additionally, the caliber of faculty and their scholarly or field contributions is exceptionally high. Finally, these schools hold myriads of opportunities for experiential education and the development of practical skills.

What does California offer the aspiring lawyer and legal advocate? Let’s take a look…

  1. University of San Diego School of Law (San Diego, CA)
    University of San Diego School of Law
    Ckbee, Warren Hall, USD, CC BY-SA 3.0

With famous alumni and stunning views of the Pacific, the University of San Diego School of Law has a lot to offer the aspiring lawyer. Former and current students are highly-profiled for their accomplishments, in addition to being actively employed in the field of law. Overall, a high number of USD law school graduates are gainfully employed and earn an average bar pass rate of around 70%.

Employment prospects, bar pass rates, and location are not the only factors that matter. Curriculum, unique clinics, and experiential learning can make a school stand out from the rest. Applicants who are passionate about law and education advocacy can enroll in the Special Education Law and Advocacy seminar. The USD School of Law is home to a variety of centers and institutes, from the ​Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics to the Institute of Law and Philosophy.

USD School of Law has an illustrious and reputable Clinical Education Program that bridges classroom learning with practical skills and experience. Students become successful lawyers by serving low-income residents throughout San Diego, making their education and contributions, in and outside of the classroom, socially meaningful.

  1. Loyola Marymount University Loyola Law School (Los Angeles, CA)
    Located in downtown LA, the Loyola Law School at Loyola Marymount University has a stellar profile. According to the US News and World Report, LLS tops the Criminal Law and Public Interest, Trial Advocacy, Entertainment Law, Music Law, and Moot Court lists. The school is right in the middle of a diverse and sprawling metropolis, with access to a plethora of opportunities.

Students with a strong social-justice focus will be able to make an impact through the Social Justice Law Clinic, which has served over 74,000 clients in the LA area since 1996. LLS has a prolific faculty, many of whom have had federal judicial clerkships and are distinguished academics in their field of law. For those who want to grapple with the legal issues posed by rapidly changing technology, Loyola offers a new program in cybersecurity and data privacy law.

Loyola graduates’ pass rate on the bar exam is around 72%, exceeding the national average among ABA-approved law schools. Around 90% of graduates find employment within 10 months of graduation.

  1. University of California Hastings College of Law (San Francisco, CA)
    University of California Hastings School of Law
    FirstPrezzzz1776, UCH Roof View, CC BY-SA 4.0

Did you know that the 49th Vice President of the US, Kamala Harris, first female VP and first VP of color in US history, proudly displays a diploma from the University California Hastings College of Law in her office? Well, she probably does. Hastings College of Law can boast about its high-profile alumni, among many other things.

The school boasts a Moot Court Team that ranks #1 in the nation and an outstandingly high bar pass rate of 86% among its graduates. Ten of its programs rank highly nationally, as well. Among these reputable programs are Dispute Resolution, Healthcare Law, and Tax Law. Examples of HCS’s successes and accomplishments abound.

Further proof of its rising status, besides recent rankings of its program, is its recent, bold plan to build the Academic Village in the heart of San Francisco. This expansion will enhance the experience of law students and the area.

  1. Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law (Malibu, CA)
    Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law
    ​Wolffystyle, Pepperdine University Malibu Canyon Entrance Gate, CC BY-SA 3.0

Given its location along the beautiful coastline of a beach city, it is no wonder it ranked #10 for “Best Quality of Life” on Princeton Review’s 2021 Law School Ratings. More importantly, the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law ranks among the top 50 law schools in the country, according to US News. It is the only school on this list that earns the badge for ideological diversity among its faculty, in addition to a diverse student body.

The school operates a notable Global Justice Program that is focused on international human rights, religious freedom, and rule of law. Students and faculty are sent to various countries to represent vulnerable populations and help strengthen justice systems in accordance with these rights.

As part of its highly distinguished Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Caruso students can participate in real mediation cases throughout LA through the institute’s Mediation Clinic. Overall, students have access to numerous opportunities for experiential learning, an essential stepping-stone into law practice.

Given its outstanding programs, opportunities for professional development, and location, it is no wonder that Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law’s acceptance rate hovers around a low 20%.

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