If you are considering studying law in the United States, there are a large number and diversity of universities where you can do so and become a lawyer. In this article I will tell you which are the 10 best law schools in the United States.
Undoubtedly, not all academic offers are the same, taking into account the reputation of the institution, the costs that its study will demand and the subsequent insertion as a professional in the legal field.
According to the specialized site “US News”, these are the 10 best law schools in the United States in 2020:
- Yale University
- Stanford University
- Harvard University
- University of Chicago
- University of Colombia
- New York University
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Virginia
- Michigan University
- Duke university
How to Get into America’s Best Law School
You should know that compared to Europe, law schools in the United States have different requirements. Here are the steps you need to follow during admission to law school:
- Completing a Bachelor’s Degree – It may be related to law studies, but that is not required. Law schools accept all candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree, regardless of their former fields of study.
- Take the LSAT exam, an official exam that assesses your critical and analytical skills, necessary for further study in law.
- Pick two or three law schools and start applying.
Types of law degrees in the United States
All law schools in the United States , both public and private, grant the title of JD (Juris Doctor) that is required to practice law in the country.
A JD program involves three years of study for full-time law students and four years for part-time students.
Master of Laws (LLM)
A Master of Laws is a one-year full-time course of study after completing a JD program.
An LLM is designated for those students who wish to further emphasize knowledge of a particular area of law or for foreign students who need to further adjust to the United States legal system.
Doctor of Legal Sciences (SJD)
The Doctor of Judicial Sciences degree is similar to a regular doctoral program and is the highest academic degree in the legal field.
A doctorate lasts three years and is most followed by students interested in teaching law. However, most law schools in the United States offer a small number of SJD programs.
Teaching Style and Curriculum in United States Law Schools
During your three to four years of law study, you will have classes covering topics such as administrative law, legal theory, analytical legal methods, bankruptcy, business law and ethics, civil rights, constitutional law, and much more.
Between the second and third year, most local and international students in the United States participate in an internship program to gain practical experience that can sometimes lead to future work after graduation.
As of the third year, you can choose elective courses adapted to the specialization of private law that will define your future career.
The specializations in law in the United States include:
- International right
- Public Law
- Criminal law
- Business Law
- Patent Law
Graduate studies in law use the Socratic method
A popular practice in terms of teaching and learning style in all law schools in the United States is called the Socrates method.
Following the premises of the anti-philosopher who was in the habit of asking and debating different philosophical ideas, it is known that law professors in the United States challenge students to analyze and present arguments on various legal topics, in a similar way to expounding a case in court.
Although this is not an easy task for students, American teachers consider it the best tool to prepare future legal professionals to be critical, analytical, and quick to solve problems.
Pass the bar exam to become a lawyer in the United States
After successfully finishing law school, you need to take one more step that will help you become a genuine lawyer, and that is passing the bar exam.
You can take the California bar exam or in any other state, but you must select the exact state in which you want to practice law.
Each state in the United States has its own rules for admission to the bar, and once you enter a state, most of the time you will only be able to work as a lawyer only in that state.
There are some exceptions, as some states have signed agreements to this effect, granting legal professionals the right to practice without having to take another bar exam.