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Best Pre-Law Schools - The Top 9 Schools in 2024

January 9, 2024
5 min read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

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

Reviewed: 11/2/23

degree to start your academic career? Keep reading for the best pre-law schools to attend. 

Columbia University

One way to kick-start a successful legal career is by graduating from a reputable law school. Many of the top law schools in the US have acceptance rates of less than 20%, so getting accepted into an accredited, reputable school can be very competitive. 

The first step to getting accepted into a top law school is graduating from a reputable school that offers strong undergraduate pre-law programs. Pre-law schools that offer valuable opportunities to network and practical experience will serve you well in your education and career.

Continue reading for an overview of some of the best schools for pre-law. 

Best Pre-Law Schools

Here is a list of some of the best pre-law schools that provide information on undergraduate programs and outline admissions statistics.

As you begin reading this list, you may notice that none of these schools have a ‘pre-law’ major. That is because, unlike med school, where you take pre-med, there is no specific pre-law undergraduate degree.

However, the schools listed below offer exciting undergraduate programs for aspiring lawyers to help kick-start their legal experience and law career before they even begin attending law school. 

Yale University

Acceptance rate: 6.2% 

Tuition cost per year: $64,700

Average GPA needed for admission: 4.0

Yale University is considered one of the best schools to attend and is known as an intellectual powerhouse, and Yale Law School is one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. 

Yale University offers great interdisciplinary programs for its undergraduate students, has a student-led Undergraduate Legal Aid Association, and amazing opportunities to network with the school’s phenomenal faculty and alumni. 

Harvard University

Acceptance rate: 3%

Tuition cost per year: $54,269

Average GPA needed for admission: 4.2

Like Yale, Harvard University and its law school are both considered one of the most prestigious schools to attend in the US. At Harvard University, first-year students get placed into residential houses that allow them to network and build relationships. 

These residential houses have on-site pre-law mentors and tutors for students. Mentors and tutors can provide advice and support and even walk students through the application process for law school. Residential law tutors also specialize in different areas of the law, including but not limited to race relations, Immigrant rights, and public service. 

Columbia University 

Acceptance rate: 3.9%

Tuition cost per year: $65,524

Average GPA needed for admission: 4.1 

Columbia University is also home to one of the best pre-law schools in the country. Their undergraduate program hosts a Pre-Law Society where students can receive direct advice from practicing attorneys, educators, and law students.

The Pre-Law Society helps students with the daunting law school application process with people who have applied and graduated from law school previously.  

Stanford University

Acceptance rate: 4% 

Tuition cost per year: $62,484

Average GPA needed for admission: 3.9 or higher

Located in Stanford, California with a beautiful campus, the university offers a great pre-law society that provides students a “source for high quality pre-law information, mentorship, and networking.” 

Stanford’s Pre-Law Society provides a Shadow Program and speaker series with lawyers and faculty to its undergrad members. If you need help writing a personal statement for getting into law school, Stanford’s Pre-Law Society will review your statement and provide suggestions.  

Princeton University 

Acceptance rate: 6%

Tuition cost per year: $59,710

Average GPA needed for admission: 3.9 or higher

Undergraduate students have various opportunities to explore their interest in law and gain practical experience in the field. The Princeton Internship in Civil Service provides students an exceptional summer internship opportunity where students engage with practical, meaningful work. 

University of Chicago 

Acceptance rate: 5%

Tuition cost per year: $63,801

Average GPA needed for admission: 4.2 or higher 

The University of Chicago recently introduced an innovative new program called “Careers In...” that allows students to gain experience in their interested career fields. As an aspiring lawyer, you would participate in the “Careers In Law” part of the program that offers one-on-one advising, workshops, job shadowing, internships, and the chance to explore various paths in law. 

Georgetown University 

Acceptance rate: 13%

Tuition cost per year: $65,082

Average GPA needed for admission: 4.01

Georgetown University offers a variety of pre-law programs and services to its students. The school offers pre-law advising appointments, pre-law workshops, and visits from law school admissions officers to prepare students for law school. 

New York University 

Acceptance rate: 8%

Tuition cost per year: $60,438

Average GPA needed for admission: 3.7 or higher

NYU is home to one of the top pre-law universities in New York. NYU Law, ranks in the top ten best law schools in the US. For undergraduate students, NYU offers advising on applying to and choosing law schools. 

The university also hosts a Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program where students can get one-on-one mentoring with established lawyers and NYU Law Alumni. The program even coaches students for the annual mock trial against competitor schools. 

Duke University 

Acceptance rate: 6%

Tuition cost per year: $66,172

Average GPA needed for admission: 4.1 

Duke University is home to Duke Law, an esteemed law school that covers diverse areas of the law. The university also hosts great pre-law programs for its undergrad students to prepare them for law school. 

One major program is the PreLaw Fellowship Program. The fellowship is a four-week residential program that targets students from underrepresented and underserved communities. The program aims to provide students with the resources to successfully start law school and a legal career. 

All of the schools listed here offer unparalleled undergraduate programs with immersive pre-law services, making them the best pre-law schools to attend. 

Remember, there are other schools out there with great pre-law programs, like Rice University, one of Texas’ top schools for pre-law. University of Florida is another great pick and one of Florida’s top pre-law schools.

You could also check out Cornell University, Northwestern University, or Michigan State University, one of Michigan’s leading pre-law schools. Overall, there are a ton of quality pre-law programs to choose from. 

Female student walking on college campus

Should You Go to Pre-Law School?

While attending any of the schools listed above is not required to apply for law school, you should seriously consider completing your undergrad degree at an institution that hosts a prestigious law school and offers strong pre-law programs. There are also tons of other great schools to choose from that are not listed here. 

Attending pre-law schools often gives you access to networking and internship opportunities, as well as one-on-one advising and counseling that will increase your chances of getting admitted into the top law schools in the country. 

FAQs: Best Schools for Pre-Law

You may still have questions relating to pre-law schools. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions that discuss some specifics about pre-law undergraduate programs. 

1. Who Has the Best Pre-Law Program?

All of the schools listed offer great pre-law programs. You should pick the school that offers the programs and services that most interest you and suit your legal interests. 

2. What Undergraduate School Is Best for Law?

There is no one university that is the best school for pre-law. Enrolling in an undergraduate program at a school where you intend to go to law school is most ideal, as law school applications require letters of recommendation from at least one faculty member. 

Your application will really stand out if you have a letter of recommendation from a current faculty member or alumni of the school you are applying to. However, this is not necessary to get accepted into a law school. 

3. Is Pre-Law a Difficult Major?

There is no specific ‘pre-law’ major like there is for pre-med. However, there are undergraduate degrees that will teach and train you to hone in on interdisciplinary skills that will be useful for you in law school and beyond. 

If you are interested in attending law school, some undergraduate majors to consider are: 

  • Political Science
  • English
  • History
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology

Degrees in the humanities and social sciences are usually the most common undergraduate degrees law students graduate with, but there is no specific undergrad degree requirement for getting admitted into law school. 

4. Which Ivy Is Best for Pre-Law?

Some consider Harvard University to be the best Ivy school for pre-law. The school offers various paths and programs for undergraduate students, including joint JD degree programs and opportunities to network with Harvard alumni. 

With that being said, your GPA, extracurricular activities, LSAT score, and demonstration of your commitment to your academic success and career are most important when applying for law schools. 

Attending a reputable university that offers programs and experiences that will look great on your resume and application is important. But if you, for example, attend Yale instead of Harvard but demonstrate strong academic capabilities and dedication to your career, you will not be sabotaging your future education and career. 

Essentially, there is no right answer when picking the best Ivy League school for pre-law - pick the school you feel will provide the best support and where you will succeed most! 

Final Thoughts

Deciding on which pre-law school to attend is a big decision to make; it’s the first major step towards building your academic and professional career. 

While it can be a nerve-wrecking decision, there is no one correct path to pick. Hopefully this list of some of the best pre-law schools will be helpful to you as you make your decision.

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