Law Schools

Which law schools are choosiest? Washington University is in top five, while Yale is mostly No. 1

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Yale Law School is No. 1 based on ABA admissions data showing that it is the choosiest law school in terms of acceptance rate and median LSAT scores for fall 2022.

But Yale Law falls to No. 2 in a tie with two other law schools based on the median undergraduate grade-point average of its fall 2022 admittees, according to Paul L. Caron, dean of the Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law who published his findings at the TaxProf Blog here, here, here and here. Above the Law covered the findings.

No. 1 for the highest median undergraduate grade point average is the University of Alabama School of Law, which accepted students with a 2022 median undergrad GPA of 3.95. Yale Law’s undergrad GPA was 3.94, putting it in a tie with the University of Virginia School of Law and the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. In fifth place is the Texas A&M University School of Law.

The top five in terms of median LSAT are Yale Law (175), followed by Harvard Law School (174). Tying for third place are the University of Chicago Law School, Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School (173).

The top five in terms of acceptance rate are Yale Law (5.72), followed by Stanford Law (6.88), the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School (9.74), Harvard Law (10.06) and the Boston College Law School (10.16).

The TaxProf Blog noted that U.S. News & World Report is revising its rankings system after most of the top law schools stopped providing data to the publication, partly because of concerns that the rankings disincentivize support for public-interest careers.

In the new rankings, the acceptance rate will count 1%, median undergraduate GPA will count 8.75% and median LSAT will count 11.25%.

The TaxProf Blog combined the rankings using the above weights and a Z score calculation to standardize data and approximate U.S. News & World Report’s methodology.

Based on those measures, these are the top 14 law schools by admissions data:

    1. Yale Law School

    2. Harvard Law School

    3. Stanford Law School

    4. The Washington University School of Law in St. Louis

    5. The University of Virginia School of Law

    6. The University of Chicago Law School

    7. The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

    8. The University of California at Los Angeles School of Law

    9. Columbia Law School

    10. The Vanderbilt University Law School

    11. The Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

    12. The New York University School of Law

    13. Cornell Law School

    14. The University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law

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