The legal field is vast and exciting, and many young people dream of being a lawyer. Whether you have personal motivations, or whether you got excited after watching Suits (Harvey does make the legal profession look cool, doesn’t he?), the first step is choosing from the best law schools in Washington DC. Not just a good one, but the right law school for you. If you found yourself here, that means you’re looking for good law schools in Washington DC.
Selecting the right law school is important. It’s where you’ll create the foundation for your career path in life, and also your friend circle, which many would consider just as important. It’s also where you’ll figure out your strengths, your weaknesses, and most importantly, what kind of a person and lawyer you want to be.In this article, let’s look at some of the best law schools in Washington DC, with reasons for why they may be a good choice, and any potential drawbacks they may have.
1. What to Look in Law Schools in Washington DC?
When you look for the top law schools, the ranking is important, sure. But what’s more important is figuring out if it’s the right fit for you.
“Where do my interests lie right now?”“What amenities/facilities do I want in my college?”“What do I need to help create my future?”
Law isn’t purely about theory, as many people would have you believe. A lot of significance is given to the practical experience as well.
You don’t need to know the laws by rote, but you do need to know how to interpret and apply them to real-world situations. So, you should make sure that the law school has good facilities to ensure that.
When searching, you should keep in mind the ranking of the law school and the cost of the tuition. It may be helpful to figure out where you see yourself in the future or what you want to be doing. It is essential to understand that the field of law can offer diverse and rewarding opportunities for aspiring lawyers.
When looking for the best law schools in Washington DC, there are several key factors that you should check for. This includes the curriculum and the academic excellence of the school. Check whether or not experiential learning opportunities such as internships or clinical placements are provided. Look at options for legal writing proficiency development, community and university resources, and faculty expertise.
2. 06 Best Law Schools in Washington DC
The following are some of the best ABA-accredited law schools in Washington DC that are recommended for aspiring law students. Their advantages and potential drawbacks have also been discussed.
The American Bar Association also releases its annual standard law school reports with a lot of information on these law schools. For more detailed information, you can check that out as well.
2.1 Georgetown University Law Center – Law Schools in Washington DC
Georgetown University Law Center is a popular choice and gets more applications yearly than other law schools in the United States. It offers one of the most comprehensive lists of programs. If you are already interested in a specific legal area, you can be sure to find a program for you here.
Georgetown Law has mainly made a name for itself in the field of international law, which is a vast and exciting field of law, with a great scope.
It is amongst the first 15 legality schools in the United States, ranked 14 by US News, 2022. The University also offers a range of practical, hands-on experience for the students, from the first year itself.
They offer externships for the students, where they can work under an attorney and get involved in real-world projects.
There are clinical courses, where law students will engage in real legal challenges and have the opportunity to work for clients with the faculty.
The legal clinics are among the best in the nation. Moreover, from the beginning, they engage students in simulations, which allow them to develop and evaluate their skills in hypothetical cases.
The tuition costs over $60,000 for full-time law students. Moreover, the law school has an average LSAT score of about 168-171 and an average GPA of 3.8. The acceptance rate is about 12.9%.
The application deadline is the beginning of March, so make sure to finish everything before then when applying.
The intensive programs, supported by practical experiences, allow students to develop and practice all the skills required to be successful lawyers. The bar passage rate is higher than the national average, at 94.7%.
They also offer varied scholarships that students can benefit from. The student-faculty ratio is also pretty good, so you’ll be ensured personalized attention.
Being located pretty close to the Supreme Court and the U.S. Capitol makes it that much easier to gain all the practical experience you want and need. Additionally, if you are interested in research and writing, you’ll be pleased to know that they have about 13 law journals to write for.
Due to the extremely high number of applications, the acceptance rates are lower than the other law schools in Washington DC, at 25%. It has the second-largest enrollment of students in the United States.
Moreover, if you want to study at this top law school, you will need to put in a large amount of effort. Don’t let that put you down. You can do what you dream of.
2.2 American University Washington College of Law
Established over a century ago, this university’s history makes it unique. On December 5, 1892, a congressional act founded the private research university – the American University in Washington, which holds a federal charter.
It’s the first university in the world that was founded by women, and the first with a class of all-women graduates. Considering how very few women were allowed or able to enter the professional world at the time, its groundbreaking feats have continued to this day.
It is ranked among the top 80 law schools in the United States, at 73 by US News, 2022. This law college is now well-known for its top-ranked programs and initiatives, especially in the areas of trial advocacy, international law, intellectual property law, clinical training, and health law.
For those interested in business, the American Business Law Review run by this law school, is the first business-focused law review in the state and is produced and edited entirely by the students.
Additionally, if you’re not sure about what career path you want to take, this university offers an academic pathways program through which students are introduced to different areas of practice to help them figure out their future career paths.
The average LSAT score is 161, and the average GPA is 3.57. The acceptance rate is about 27.9%, and the bar passage rate is 81.5%. The application deadline is the beginning of March. Tuition is about $55,000.
The study abroad program offered here is one the best, and students will have an opportunity to study in over 18 different countries across the world, in their summer abroad or study exchange programs.
The Washington College of Law runs the Equal Justice Foundation. This provides stipends to students who undertake unpaid internships in public interest organizations.
The American University Washington College of Law may not necessarily hold the same level of prestige or rank as the other law schools on this list. However, it can still be regarded as a great option for a law college. This college has achieved great things, and so will you!
2.3 George Washington University Law School
The George Washington University Law School has the largest offering of courses in the country. No matter your choice of subjects, you can be sure to find an elective among the 275 offered. It is ranked among the top 25 law programs in the United States, at number 25 by US News, 2022.
It is also widely known to have the most notable alumni network spanning across the legal field, including judges, heads of state, directors of the FBI, and members of Congress. Here’s a fun fact: This university is the oldest law school in the state!
The university churns out graduates equipped with all the skills ready for the job market, and a majority of the students go on to work at law firms, businesses, government agencies, clerkships, and public interest organizations.
Its proximity to the White House also results in many students being placed in jobs in the federal government. What a life they must lead, huh?
The average LSAT score is 167, and the average GPA is 3.8. The acceptance rate is about 21.6%. The bar passage rate is significantly higher than others, at 93%. The application should be submitted by the beginning of March.
The Technology-Academics-Policy forum includes George Washington Law School as a participant school. This forum is involved in legal matters like cloud computing and intellectual property and is, therefore, a great opportunity for those interested in these fields.
The large number of courses is the biggest advantage students will have. You can try out several courses to figure out what you want to do, gaining knowledge in several topics, ranging from business and finance law, and environmental law.
Numerous law degrees can be conferred, including a Doctor of Juridical Sciences, if you’re interested in entering the academic world of law.
The university also offers several scholarships, grants, and loans.
The admission process is highly selective, with lower rates of acceptance than other law schools. The average LSAT score for most applications is now 166.
Don’t let that discourage you, though. After all, how will you know if you don’t at least try?
The tuition fees are on the higher end, at over $60,000, similar to the Georgetown University Law Center. However, this won’t be much of an issue due to the various financial aid offered.
2.4 Howard University School of Law
The Howard University School of Law is among the oldest law schools in the country. The alumni of law school have historically been a voice for social justice.
They have several distinguished alumni, including Mary Ann Shadd and Thurgood Marshall. It has also been said that Howard Law was the first school in America to have a non-discriminatory admissions policy, about both gender and race.
The law school is known for the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Centre, which is the prime place for studying and practicing civil and human rights law. If you’re interested in human rights, you can work with the Human Rights and Globalization Law Review, which publishes articles on various human and social issues.
The most Black American Ph.D. recipients, compared to other universities in the country, have graduated from this law school. Four Rhodes Scholars, nine Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, more than 60 Fulbright Scholars, and 22 Pickering Fellows are among the alumni of Howard University.
This university is also the leading historically black university and first in rank when it comes to diversity and inclusion. It is ranked 98 by US News, 2022. The average LSAT percentile is 154, and the average GPA is 3.49.
The acceptance rate is around 24.5. The bar passage rate for the first attempt is about 70%. The tuition is about $34,000, and the application deadline is in mid-March.
Due to its history and reputation, the Howard University School of Law has formed strong relationships with firms, all of which visit the campus to recruit students, giving a large number of opportunities to the students.
Who wouldn’t want to study in a college with great campus placements?
Financial aid is generally considered insufficient, and there have been issues regarding communication between the management and students. But let’s face it, almost every single university in the world has those issues.
2.5 Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law
The Columbus School of Law has a large number of accomplished professors, who are experts in a diverse set of fields. It is probably due to this that the first-time bar passage rate for its graduates is 89.3%.
The university offers special certificate programs in specific areas of law, which are known to produce industry leaders in fields such as Public Policy, Law and Technology, International Law, and Compliance, Investigations, and Corporate Responsibility.
The Catholic University Columbus School of Law has moot court and trial teams that are nationally recognized, which provides opportunities for building and practicing your skills.
The law school is ranked at number 94 by US News, 2022. The average LSAT scores are 158, and the average GPA is 3.5. The acceptance rate is approximately 39.7%. The tuition fee is approximately $54,000 for full-time law students and $38,000 for part-time students.
The experienced faculty is one of their biggest advantages. They can provide students with up-to-date knowledge and tips in their areas of specialization. The expertise of the professors includes courtroom practice, authoring texts, and presenting at conferences.
The student-faculty ratio is pretty decent, so you’ll be able to interact on a personalized level with the faculty.
While the general acceptance rates are high, the special certificate programs are very selective, and take in only about 15 students per year.
The tuition is also pretty high, costing over $60,000 per year.
2.6 University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
The David A. Clarke School of Law is focused on experiential learning, imparted to the students through clinical centers. They have diverse faculty from a broad range of backgrounds. It’s also the only public law school in Washington DC.
They are very focused on public and community service, and students are encouraged to work alongside non-profit or government agencies. All the law students here have to complete a particular amount of pro bono cases. If you are at all interested in public service or public policy, this school of law is a great choice.
The acceptance rate here is about 52%.
The UDA David A. Clarke School of Law is a great place for getting an affordable legal education. The tuition is lower than the other law schools in Washington DC. Also, many of them receive scholarships or financial aid.
The tuition is about $13,000 a year for residents of Washington D.C., and about $25,000 for non-residents.
The ranking of this is a little lower than the other law schools on the list. Further, it drives home its passion for public interest. So, if that’s your goal, then great! If not, then it may not be the right fit for you. If you’re not sure about the field you want to work in, this school might limit your future career options.
3. Final Notes – Law Schools in Washington DC
The six law schools mentioned above are all accredited law schools in Washington DC. Also, you can check out their websites for more detailed information about the law schools.
One of the biggest questions people have is “How old is too old for law school?” You can also find the answer here.
Each of these law schools offers unique advantages, but you might be drawn to some law schools more than others. Also do your research well (after all, that is the most important skill you’ll need!) and also pick a law school that suits your needs and aspirations. You should carefully consider their priorities and goals when choosing a law school.
Final Notes – Law Schools in Washington DC
The six law schools mentioned above are all accredited law schools in Washington DC. Also, you can check out their websites for more detailed information about the law schools. One of the biggest questions people have is “How old is too old for law school?” You can also find the answer here. Each of these law schools offers unique advantages, but you might be drawn to some law schools more than others. Also do your research well (after all, that is the most important skill you’ll need!) and also pick a law school that suits your needs and aspirations. You should carefully consider their priorities and goals when choosing a law school.