Those students looking to train for a career as a lawyer often turn to the prestigious U.S. News and World Report annual ranking of the best law schools in the country. US News ranks law schools in the U.S. based on tuition, enrollment, LSAT scores, GPA, acceptance rate, assessment scores by lawyers and judges, and graduates that are known to be employed within nine months of graduating with their Juris Doctorate degree.
A rundown on the top five picks for 2011 by U.S. News and World Report:
- Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale is a prestigious Ivy League university that only accepts the best of the best. In 2011, there were 629 full time law students attending Yale. Yale is exclusive and expensive. Annual tuition fees for Yale were the highest in the top five law schools ranked by U.S. News – with students paying a hefty $50,750 per year to attend. Famous folks who attended Yale Law School include both former Presidents Bush, as well as former presidents William Clinton, Gerald Ford, and William Howard Taft. Yale also includes a former German leader among its alumni – Karl Carstens, Germany’s fifth president and a Swedish crown princess Victoria.
- Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The number two slot in the U.S. News law school rankings goes to one of the world’s most prestigious schools, Harvard. Harvard is infamously exclusive and super-expensive. Harvard accepted 1,733 full-time students in 2011, nearly three times that of Yale. Harvard is also considered an Ivy League school, although it is a tad more affordable than the top contender in this list. Harvard is the alma mater of First Lady Michelle Obama, and students can follow in her footsteps by plunking down just $45,450 per year.
- Stanford University, Stanford, California. Such is the dream of many folks browsing the U.S. News law school rankings to attend Stanford University. In 2011, 571 full-time students realized this dream, and they paid $46,581 for the privilege.
- Columbia University in New York, New York. Consistently ranked as a top law school, 2011 was no different for historic Columbia University, one of the jewels of the Big Apple. For just $50,428, around 1,343 students called Columbia home in 2011. It is notable that nine Supreme Court justices attended Columbia University at one point in their lives.
- University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. Rounding out the top five, the University of Chicago is fifth-ranked on the U.S. News law school rankings for 2011. $45,405 got 634 students in the door in 2011 for full-time studies, but only after they blew out the roof on the LSATs and wrote a stellar admissions essay.