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4 world-class U.S. law schools

Getting into the most elite law school in the U.S. and earning a prestigious degree no longer has the clout it once had with an increasing flood of graduates all seeking jobs in the market.

According to the Business Insider, only 40 percent of graduates from 2010 had jobs in law firms in 2015 and 20 percent had jobs that did not require a law license. The key therefore to seeking a university course is not necessarily about joining the most traditional school with the hardest entry requirements, but to seek one that has a proven high conversion rate to those coveted full-time working positions.

This means looking for schools that offer a real world curriculum alongside a ‘learn by doing’ course structure, opportunities to study abroad and provide established pathways to legal careers.


Image courtesy of McGeorge School of Law

That may sound like a lot, but famous American statesman, President and lawyer Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you are absolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is almost half done already.”

Prospective students can gain access to the American Bar Association statistics from all schools that list their bar success rate and the percentage of graduates that gain employment within nine months of study.

Concentrating on these statistics and finding rankings that give additional weighting to those with job success at the end of the career can lead to quite unexpected results. It can also mean those coveted degrees from places like Harvard and Yale can come out quite different in the end.

Many students seek to enter the legal field to make something of themselves, to solve injustices or simply become important. And it certainly is a gateway to success and human achievement of all kinds with notable lawyers including American president Bill Clinton, U.S. Foreign Secretary and Presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton, U.S. Statesman Robert F. Kennedy, famous author John Grisham, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi.

Whatever your dreams or ambitions, students should consider any one of the following world class U.S. law schools that have excellent working prospects for international graduates:

MCGEORGE SCHOOL OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC – CALIFORNIA

The McGeorge School of Law is located in California’s Capital, Sacramento and just a short drive to many famous attractions, such as Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Napa Valley, San Francisco, making it a prime location for any prospective student to live and learn. A degree from McGeorge has long been considered a gateway to a legal career both within the U.S. and abroad with its JD, JSD and LL.M. offerings.


Image courtesy of McGeorge School of Law

Over the past ten years, U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked the International Law program among the top programs in the country. This is largely due to an innovative and experiential curriculum that enables study of foundational core subjects with simulation-type courses, clinics, and internships.

Yanging Li of the LL.M. class of 2009 said the program was “life-changing”. Her internship at an international law firm in Phoenix, Arizona was a stepping stone towards a career at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

McGeorge focuses on where lawyering is heading, not where it’s been. The programs are designed to get students to think beyond traditional legal silos and be prepared for an ever-evolving legal landscape. The school hosts a series of international guest lecturers and speakers through the International Jurist Series, and organizes summer abroad programs in Austria and Guatemala

McGeorge students get a true international and customized experience to meet their career goals.

THE LAW SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME – INDIANA

The University of Notre Dame law school offers a diverse curriculum that enables students to take core legal courses along with speciality study in various fields. Students are also encouraged to study abroad with Notre Dame programs in London, Chile, and Italy.


Image courtesy of the University of Notre Dame

Successful graduates include Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano. According to the UK Business Insider, 33 percent of graduates attain highly coveted job positions and there’s a dedicated career development office set up to help graduates achieve this.

The bar pass rate is an impressive 84 percent.

NEBRASKA COLLEGE OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN – NEBRASKA

At the University of Nebraska—Lincoln College of Law students can concentrate their studies in anything from space and telecommunications law to issues facing solo and small law firms.

There are also eight joint degree programs to choose from where students can earn their master’s in subjects such as journalism, business and community planning or even a joint degree in Law/Psychology or an MBA. Nebraska also provides study abroad programs at Cambridge and offers hands-on legal training in the College of Law clinics where students learn how to handle immigration, criminal prosecution, and other issues.


Image courtesy of Nebraska College of Law

The school boasts a 90 percent success rate for the bar exam and in 2014 64.5% of the graduating class had obtained full-time, long-term within nine months of graduation. Notable alumni include federal judges, governors and mayors.

BEASLEY SCHOOL OF LAW, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY – PENNSYLVANIA

The Temple University – Beasley School of Law in Pennsylvania is well recognised as one of the most prominent law schools in the US and offers a diverse range of study fields including trial advocacy, international law, business and tax law, public interest law, intellectual property and technology law.

It is particularly well ranked for trial advocacy, legal writing and international law by U.S. News & World Report and offers study abroad programs in Rome and Tokyo. The Beasley School has a choice of over 180 courses each year, meaning students can tailor their study to suit their interests.

In 2015 221 of the 253 graduates from Beasley were employed within 10 months of graduation.

Feature image via Shutterstock

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