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The Best Law Schools in North Carolina

Best Law Schools in North Carolina: States like California or Massachusetts come to mind while considering law schools. After all, they are the location of some of the most esteemed educational institutions in the country and the globe. Harvard, Yale (in Connecticut), and even Stanford come to mind when one thinks about elite universities.

But, North Carolina’s law schools are distinct from others in a number of ways. Several of them have historical significance since they were established during a time when many communities were denied access to chances for education and employment.

The founders of these law schools responded by creating a similar curriculum and training in order to provide possibilities to the underprivileged and oppressed. Even today, the same universities uphold that history by integrating a sense of justice and concern for the common good into their commitment to academic excellence and training.

Others have their roots in particular cultural and spiritual ideals that produce a distinctive campus ambiance and culture.

Because of the illustrious alumni who came before them, students at these institutions have excellent employment chances. Both the resident and visiting professors include eminent academics, many of whom have years of relevant professional experience. These schools’ programs place equal emphasis on challenging, in-depth classroom instruction and useful, hands-on learning.

The reality of theory in practice is a common issue. One institution clearly places a very high value on practical education, but not at the expense of excellent classroom instruction.

The order in which each institution appears on the US News Law School list is the basis for this article’s ranking. The Top Law Schools in North Carolina are proudly displayed here.

Best Law Schools in North Carolina

6. North Carolina Central University School of Law (Durham, NC)

Best Law Schools in North Carolina
Best Law Schools in North Carolina

Numerous notable graduates from the North Carolina Central University School of Law include Mickey Michaux, the first African American to hold the position of US Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, and Maynard Jackson, the youngest and first African American to hold the office of mayor of Atlanta.

The law school has a long series of historical firsts and is ready to make history. Prior to the Civil Rights era, it was established as the only in-state option for African Americans and continues to be a top institution for the state of North Carolina’s African American community and other underrepresented groups in the legal profession.

NCCU Law has received accolades and recognition over the years for its multicultural faculty and student community. It has consistently been on top 20 lists thanks to its bar preparation curriculum, clinical opportunities, and emphasis on public interest law. One of the school’s most recent initiatives to increase minority representation in many legal fields is the Intellectual Property Law Institute (IPLI).

Many of the faculty members also have years of real-world expertise in a variety of legal fields, including family law, patent law, and trade law. Under the direction of these outstanding and experienced faculty members—many of whom oversee the school’s substantial clinical education program—NCCU Law students get all-encompassing instruction and direction.

Its primary goal has been to develop the next generation of capable, socially conscious lawmakers and attorneys who place a priority on public service. The NCCU Law will maintain its position as one of North Carolina’s reputable law schools due to its historical heritage, together with its strong curriculum and dedication to the common good.

5. Elon University School of Law (Elon, NC)

Best Law Schools in North Carolina
Best Law Schools in North Carolina

Each student who wants to start a career in law should look at institutions that lead to the best job and practical training outcomes. The American Bar Association has given the top national prize for “Legal Professionalism Education” to the Elon University School of Law. Its inclusion on the most recent US News and World Report listings for best Trial Advocacy and Legal Writing programs rounds out its enviable reputation.

The “learning by doing” methodology used in the school’s curriculum is its most notable feature. First-year students are required to spend one full term in legal practice as part of Elon Law’s ground-breaking 2.5-year program, with faculty supervision. Students are assigned to legal clinics run by the school, such as the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, public and private law firms, or judicial clerkships.

One of the few law schools in the nation to host a functioning court is Elon Law, which raises the bar for legal professionalism by housing the North Carolina Business Court. Students can see how a professional court operates firsthand and learn about it there.

Elon Law offers a few highly competitive fellowships to those with an interest in trial advocacy, business law, public policy, and public interest law in order to draw the most talented students. In order to support training and study all year long, the fellowships pay for tuition and some even provide summer stipends.

The school’s overall post-graduation employment rate of 85% demonstrates that it fulfills its commitment to giving prospective lawyers the most thorough, practical instruction possible.

4. Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law (Raleigh, NC)

The excellent 97.86% bar passage percentage for the 2020 class at Campbell University’s Norman Wiggins School of Law places it among the top colleges nationwide, not just in North Carolina. In recent years, within a year of graduation, about 75% of graduates find employment in the legal field.

Likewise, the 2017 US News and World Report list ranked the Trial Advocacy program at Campbell Law among the top 21.

Any prospective student will be impressed by the statistics and data presented here. They do not, however, tell the whole story, as Campbell Law is also a fantastic option for aspiring attorneys for other reasons.

The only law school in Raleigh, the state’s capital, is Campbell. The site is not far from the state Supreme Court, legislative chambers, city hall, county courthouse, and numerous other legal offices and organizations. Together with enrolling in basic courses in one of the many possible practice areas, students have access to plenty of options for clerkships and externships. In 2018, 85% of graduates in Raleigh finished their externships with various public and private firms.

One of a school’s most distinctive assets might be its culture. Campbell Law is included among the “Most Devout Law Schools” on preLaw’s website. The institution offers classes on topics including Christian concepts of justice and Christian perspectives on legal theory, among others. Here, Christian principles and legal education are integrated; potential students wishing to grow professionally and spiritually will feel at home at Campbell Law.

Students who want to balance their studies, personal obligations, and employment might find a home at Campbell Law. For working professionals who desire to advance their careers or further their education without devoting full-time to their studies, Campbell FLEX is a pathway.

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3. Wake Forest University School of Law (Winston-Salem, NC)

The Wake Forest University School of Law is one of the top 50 law schools in the nation, according to the most recent US News and World Report. With an admittance rate of roughly 34% and a renowned legal writing program, it is now the most selective law school on this list. Several members of the resident faculty are eminent experts in many different subjects. One such professor, Christine Coughlin, is a well-known expert in bioethics and biotech law and has won multiple prizes for her outstanding teaching.

With the school’s six legal clinics, Wake Forest Law students get the opportunity to counsel or represent actual clients. For instance, the Veterans Legal Clinic offers free legal assistance to veterans who were medically discharged due to PTSD or mental illness. Veterans make up the eighth-highest percentage of the state’s population, which highlights the urgent need for legal and mental health assistance.

Students who work pro bono for the Veterans Legal Clinic can develop their talents while also benefiting the neighborhood. With field experiences across the county and simulation classes, students can also improve their experiential learning.

The North Carolina Business Court is housed within the school. Students can observe a functioning court in operation right on their campus thanks to this special facility. All four of the state’s business courts have clerks who are Wake Forest graduates.

More than 80% of Wake Forest Law graduates find full-time work each year, which is a highly positive employment statistic.

2. University of Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law (Chapel Hill, NC)

One of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the nation is Carolina Law, or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. About half of North Carolina’s practicing attorneys are graduates of this school, which is ranked #24 among the “Best Law Schools.” John Edwards, the vice presidential candidate in 2004, and three of the state’s Supreme Court justices are notable alumni.

By ten months of graduation, a staggering 92% of the 2018 graduating class had found full-time employment. 46 students from the 2019 and 2020 classes were given judicial clerkships with judges in the federal, state, and local levels. For new lawyers with degrees from Carolina Law, things look promising.

The delivery of a “rigorous blend of academic and practical skills” is something Carolina Law takes great pleasure in. Students can gain valuable legal experience through clinic programs, more than 100 externships annually, and numerous simulated trial and trial advocacy programs.

Each year, the clinics handle approximately 100 cases for the region’s poor and marginalized customers. Each year, more than 90 Carolina Law students take part in these clinics and are allowed a lot of freedom in handling cases, albeit a faculty supervisor retains the final say.

Almost 11,000 alumni from the school are currently working in all 50 states as well as many other countries. For recent graduates looking for social and professional ties worldwide, alumni networks are crucial.

1. Duke University School of Law (Durham, NC)

The best law school in North Carolina and one of the best in the nation is Duke University School of Law. It consistently ranks among the top 15 on the annual rankings published by US News and World Report; it is presently placed at number 10. Duke is also recognized as one of the “T14” law schools, a small group of institutions that dominates law school rankings.

Duke Law is constantly at the forefront of legal scholarship, instruction, and assistance. Professor Blocher’s study, which was published in the Atlantic, and Professor Fletcher’s testimony regarding “meme stocks” both serve as examples of how Duke faculty are frequently at the forefront of discussions on the most important legal issues of the day.

Students benefit from some of the most engaging, hands-on instruction any institution has to offer. A Wrongful Conviction Clinic and a Startup Ventures Clinic are two opportunities for students who want to work with legal problems faced by startup businesses. The school’s clinical and experiential learning offerings are extensive.

It is astonishing how many different externship possibilities there are. Students have previously interned at organizations including the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the ACLU of North Carolina, to mention a few. In comparison to Ivies, Duke Law boasts one of the greatest post-graduation employment rates in the nation and one of the highest bar passage rates. It is understandable why Duke is frequently mistaken for an Ivy given its top-notch faculty, statistics, and the caliber of its students and alumni. This list demonstrates that obtaining the best instruction, knowledge, and experience the world has to offer does not require a degree from an Ivy League institution.

Best Law Schools in North Carolina
Best Law Schools in North Carolina

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best GPA for law school?

The median GPA for accepted students in 2021 at the top 20 law schools according to U.S. News was 3.86.

Do Americans need lawyers?

From 2021 to 2031, there will be a 10% increase in the number of lawyers employed, which is quicker than the average for all occupations. Over the next ten years, there are expected to be, on average, 48,700 openings for lawyers.

Can a foreign national practice law in the USA?

Each of the 50 states in the US has complete control over the laws governing bar admission. Some states allow LL. M.-educated foreign lawyers to sit for the bar exam and be admitted to practice.

Which law is in the most demand?

Security law, marijuana law, labor law, elder law, energy law, intellectual property law, and health law are the primary practice areas in high demand.


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