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Top Law Schools on the East Coast

August 25, 2023


Reviewed by:

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

Reviewed: 05/12/23

If you’ve decided you’d like to begin your legal career in the East Coast, read on to learn more about the best law schools in this region!

New York is one of the most sought after places of employment by aspiring lawyers. This state can offer students limitless opportunities to work in large law firms, and with some of the most successful companies in the country.

New York is also home to some of the highest-ranking law schools, like NYU that is known for producing leading attorneys.

There are several other East Coast law schools that provide students with the education, resources, and experiences to thrive in the legal world. This guide will go over some of the top law schools on the East Coast and provide you with all the necessary admission details you need to decide which one is best for you!

Best Law Schools on the East Coast

While there are many great law schools in the East Coast, here are the top 10:

1. Yale University

Yale is located in Connecticut and ranks as not only the best law school on the East Coast, but also the best in the nation

This school is known for its constitutional law, commercial law, and international law programs. Yale also boasts of an unmatched environment of excellence, world-class faculty, and limitless opportunities for clinical training.  

As the best law school in the nation, Yale is highly selective. It has an acceptance rate of only 4.1% and expects LSAT scores of 174 and GPAs of 3.9. Tuition at this school also reflects its prestige; it’ll cost you $69,433 a year to attend. 

2. Columbia University

Columbia Law is another high-ranking, T14 law school situated in an ideal location for budding attorneys, New York City. With the highest tuition in the nation, Columbia Law costs $76,088 a year. Students can expect to invest more than just money into their legal education at Columbia. 

Considering their high score medians, students will also have to invest a lot of hard work and effort into getting admitted to this competitive law school. Columbia accepts under 12% of its applicants. Successful candidates tend to have LSAT scores of 174 or above and GPAs of 3.84 and above. 

3. Harvard University

Harvard Law is one of the most prestigious law schools in the nation. It is best-known for its corporate, constitutional, and health care law programs and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

To attend this school, tuition is around $68,962 a year. However, only about 7% of all applicants are accepted into Harvard and pay these high costs. Successful applicants typically have GPAs of 3.92 and LSAT scores of 174

4. The University of Pennsylvania

UPenn offers students a unique legal education that involves several disciplines to ensure they can launch impactful careers in any legal sector. To gain access to the myriad of resources and support this school offers, students will need LSAT scores of 171 and GPAs of 3.9

UPenn accepts around 9% of all applicants and has annual tuition costs of $70,042.

5. New York University

As a forefront institution for research and legal education, NYU offers its students some of the most comprehensive experiential learning opportunities, including over 40 clinics and more than 80 student organizations to begin getting involved in the real legal world.

These experiences ready students for their careers and make them stand out amongst other applicants. Simply graduating from this law school offers a high level of esteem to students! But, this prestige comes with a price tag! Students can expect to pay $73,414 a year to attend, making it one of the most expensive schools on this list. 

NYU has an acceptance rate of 14.5%. Students who get into NYU Law typically have a median LSAT score of 172, and median GPA of 3.86.

6. University of Virginia

UVA tends to make the top of the list for an overwhelming amount of students—and for good reason! This school ranks eighth in the nation and has an extensive track record of producing distinguished lawyers. Yet, only 9.7% of the thousands of UVA applicants have what it takes to gain acceptance! 

To be exact, they have LSAT scores around 171 and GPAs around 3.91

This school’s tuition costs $66,500 for in-state students and $69,500 for out-of-state students. 

7. Duke University

Duke is committed to being an ambitious, innovative, and forward-thinking law school that produces responsible and productive lawyers. With a strong emphasis on academics and building a bright community of scholars, Duke has high admission requirements.

Students interested in applying to this school should set their target LSAT score as 170 or higher. They should also do their best to maintain a GPA of around 3.82. Only about 14% of students can meet these rigorous demands.

It’ll cost $68,400 to attend this North Carolina based school.

8. Cornell University

Cornell has various impressive titles and rankings: it’s an Ivy league school, a T14 school, and ranks number one in job placement at large law firms, which comes as no surprise, as it’s located in one of the largest legal hubs, New York. 

Students that have this distinguished law school at the top of their list will need LSAT scores around 171 and GPAs around 3.86 to be considered competitive applicants.

Cornell has an acceptance rate of 15.6% and annual tuition costs of $71,608.

9. Georgetown University

Georgetown University also offers students unparalleled experiential learning, internship, and externship opportunities because of its ideal location. Situated in the nation’s capital, Georgetown students “learn the law in the place where laws are made.” 

The admission requirements to join this school are an LSAT score of 171 and GPA of 3.85. Georgetwon has an acceptance rate of 12.9% and tuition costs that reflect its reputation. Full-time students pay $69,280 a year to attend this law school. 

10. Boston University

The final best law school on the East Coast is Boston University. This law school ranks 17th in the nation but fifth for health care law and 11th for intellectual property law, making it an excellent option for students interested in pursuing these legal specialties.

Despite being the only law school on this list that is not a T14 school, Boston’s tuition costs remain in line with these high-ranking schools, at $60,718 a year

This school has an acceptance rate of 18.3%, a median GPA of 3.6, and a median LSAT score of 169, making it the least competitive school on this list!

FAQs: East Coast Law Schools

In this guide, we’ve covered the top 10 law schools on the East Coast and discussed their admission statistics and highlights. For any remaining questions, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about East Coast law schools.

1. Does the East Coast Have Good Law Schools?

Yes, the East Coast has excellent law schools! In fact, nine of the T14 law schools are located in the East Coast. These schools are the most prestigious in the nation, offer the highest quality of education, and produce alumni that are highly sought after by employers.

2. What Are the Benefits of Going to Law School on the East Coast?

The East Coast is home to some of the nation’s largest legal hubs, such as New York and Washington. Accordingly, it can offer students substantial opportunities for career development. 

3. What Is the Number One Law School on the East Coast?

The best law school on the East Coast is Yale University.

4. What Is the Number One Law School in New York?

Columbia Law is the top law school in New York.

5. How Much Does Law School Cost on the East Coast?

The best law schools on the East Coast will cost between $60,000 to $77,000 for tuition.

Final Thoughts

You’ll have to make a lot of decisions throughout your legal journey, one of the most important being the law school you choose to pursue your JD degree

This decision will influence your career trajectory, so it’s essential you consider your options! After going over the top law schools on the East Coast, you have the basic information you need to consider 10 of the finest law schools the country has to offer!

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