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10 Best Law Schools for Older Students

September 26, 2023
6 min read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 9/25/23

Age shouldn’t be a barrier to getting a law degree. Discover the best law schools for older students seeking a legal career. Pursue your passion for law with these institutions catering to adult learners' needs.

law school books in library

If you're an adult learner passionate about law, this article is tailored to help you navigate the perfect educational path. Choosing the right law school becomes crucial as older students seek a legal career and a JD degree. Our curated list highlights the best law schools for older students, offering a supportive environment and tailored programs that cater to the needs of adult learners. 

Join us as we explore top-rank law schools for adult students that provide a transformative experience, empowering you to achieve your legal aspirations while embracing your unique journey as a mature student.

Top 10 Law Schools for Older Students

Let’s dive into the best law schools for older students and what they offer!

Yale University Law School

Acceptance Rate: 9.7%
GPA: 4.19

Yale University campus in winter

As one of the premier law schools in the nation, Yale University Law School is a top choice for older students pursuing a legal education. Renowned for its rigorous academics and commitment to public interest law, Yale offers adult learners a supportive and inclusive environment. 

The school's rich history of producing influential legal minds adds to its allure. 

Yale's robust curriculum and diverse experiential learning opportunities cater to the unique needs of older students, empowering them to thrive in the legal profession.

Harvard University Law School

Acceptance Rate: 15.6%

GPA: 3.86

Harvard Law School

Harvard University Law School, known for its distinguished faculty and rich legal tradition, ranks high among the best law schools for older students. Harvard's flexible programs and welcoming atmosphere foster an environment where adult learners can excel. 

The commitment to clinical practice and pro bono work offers hands-on experiences for students with diverse backgrounds. Harvard's emphasis on interdisciplinary studies enables older students to explore various legal topics. 

With its vast alumni network and reputation for excellence, mature students who get into Harvard University Law School will acquire a transformative legal education that opens doors to promising career opportunities.

Columbia Law School

Acceptance Rate: 18.4%

GPA: 3.75

Columbia Law School

Source: Columbia Law School

Columbia Law School is committed to public interest law and global perspectives. These values align well with the interests of adult learners seeking to impact the legal field positively. 

Columbia's flexible curriculum and extensive clinical programs allow mature students to face real-world legal challenges. The vibrant city of New York serves as an enriching backdrop for legal studies, offering a wealth of networking opportunities. 

Columbia Law School remains a top contender for older students seeking a nurturing environment and a world-class legal education.

University of Chicago Law School

Acceptance Rate: 17.5%

GPA: 3.98

University of Chicago gargoyle statue

The University of Chicago Law School's intellectual rigor and collaborative culture make it a sought-after option for mature students aspiring to pursue law. The school's commitment to interdisciplinary research and policy advocacy creates a dynamic learning environment. 

The University of Chicago's renowned faculty and extensive law library provide valuable resources for adult learners seeking to delve deep into legal studies. The law school's supportive community and small class sizes ensure personalized attention for older students.

New York University Law School

Acceptance Rate: 23.6%

GPA: 3.69

Male student wearing graduation cap and gown outside Radio City Music Hall

New York University Law School's location in the heart of Manhattan presents many opportunities for older students seeking a vibrant legal education. The school's emphasis on public service and social justice aligns well with the aspirations of mature learners. 

NYU Law's robust clinical programs and externship opportunities allow students to engage with real legal cases while exploring their specific interests. The diverse and inclusive community at NYU Law provides a supportive network for adult learners to excel.

University of Pennsylvania (Carey) Law School

Acceptance Rate: 14.5%

GPA: 3.69

University of Pennsylvania campus

The University of Pennsylvania (Carey) Law School's strong focus on practical legal education appeals to older students seeking hands-on experiences. The school's commitment to experiential learning through clinics and internships allows adult learners to develop essential lawyering skills. 

The supportive and collegial environment at Penn Law fosters a sense of community among mature students. The school's emphasis on interdisciplinary studies enables older learners to explore various legal fields and tailor their education to their unique career goals.

University of Virginia Law School

Acceptance Rate: 19.9%

GPA: 3.86

University of Virginia campus on snowy day

The University of Virginia Law School's welcoming and diverse community creates an inclusive environment for older students seeking a legal education. The school's emphasis on legal writing and oral advocacy prepares mature learners for success in the legal profession. 

The University of Virginia's commitment to public service and pro bono work aligns well with the interests of adult students seeking to contribute positively to society. The school's small class sizes and supportive faculty provide personalized attention for older learners.

Stanford University Law School

Acceptance Rate: 9.1%

GPA: 3.89

Stanford University Campus

Stanford University Law School's reputation for innovation and interdisciplinary studies makes it an appealing choice for older students seeking a transformative legal education. The school's diverse and inclusive community fosters a supportive learning environment for adult learners. 

The law school's proximity to Silicon Valley also opens doors to unique opportunities for adult learners interested in legal issues related to technology and innovation. With its emphasis on practical learning and policy advocacy, Stanford University Law School offers an exceptional legal education for older students.

Duke University School of Law

Acceptance Rate: 20.2%

GPA: 3.78

Duke University campus

Duke University School of Law's collaborative and inclusive community attracts older students seeking a legal education emphasizing teamwork and interdisciplinary approaches. The school's experiential learning opportunities, such as clinics and legal externships, provide valuable practical experiences for adult learners. 

Duke's commitment to public interest and international law aligns well with the interests of mature students seeking to make a global impact. The supportive faculty and alumni network at Duke Law offers valuable mentorship and career guidance.

University of Michigan–Ann Arbor Law School

Acceptance Rate: 27.9%

GPA: 3.84

University of Michigan campus

The University of Michigan–Ann Arbor Law School's welcoming and collaborative environment appeals to older students seeking a supportive legal education journey. The school's extensive clinical and experiential learning programs offer hands-on experiences for adult learners to engage with real legal cases. 

The University of Michigan's commitment to public service and social justice aligns well with the interests of mature students aspiring to impact their communities positively. The law school's rich history and vibrant campus culture enrich the learning environment for older learners.

FAQs: Law Schools for Older Students

Here are answers to questions asked about outstanding law schools for mature students.

1. Is It Easier To Get Into Law School as a Mature Student?

Admissions criteria for law schools typically consider various factors, including academic achievements, work experience, and personal statements. While being a mature student may bring unique experiences, law schools assess applicants holistically. 

Getting into a top law school becomes easier with good preparation, a high LSAT score, and an amazing personal statement.

2. What Is the #1 Law School for Older Students?

The best law school for older students depends on individual preferences and career goals. Several top law schools, such as Yale University Law School, Harvard University Law School, and Stanford University Law School, offer excellent programs for mature learners.

3. What Should Older Students Look For in a Law School?

When choosing a law school, older students should consider several factors, such as flexible program options, supportive learning environments, and experiential learning opportunities. Schools with clinics, externships, and programs catering to adult learners can provide valuable practical experiences.

4. Is It Worth It To Go to Law School at 40?

Pursuing law school at 40 can be rewarding for individuals passionate about law and seeking a career change. As long as older students are committed to their goals and ready to invest time and effort into their studies, attending law school at 40 can lead to a fulfilling and successful legal career.

5. Are Scholarships or Financial Aid Options Available for Older Law School Students?

Yes, many law schools offer scholarships and financial aid opportunities to support students, including older learners. These scholarships may be merit-based or need-based, and some law schools have specific scholarships targeted toward non-traditional or adult students.

6. How Can Older Students Balance Law School With Other Responsibilities, Such as Work and Family Commitments?

Balancing law school with other responsibilities can be challenging but manageable with proper planning and time management. 

Law schools often offer flexible part-time or evening programs to accommodate adult learners' schedules. Time management, prioritization, and maintaining a strong support system can help older students navigate law school successfully while fulfilling other commitments.

Final Thoughts

Pursuing a legal education as an older student opens doors to new possibilities and meaningful career opportunities. Law schools for older students offer a supportive and inclusive environment, tailored programs, and experiential learning opportunities.

As older learners go on this transformative journey, their life experiences, diverse perspectives, and strong determination become valuable assets in the legal profession. 

Older students can thrive academically and professionally by choosing the right law school and staying committed to their goals. Embracing their unique paths, these aspiring legal professionals can impact society and exemplify the value of lifelong learning and pursuing one's passions.

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