Best Law Schools in Pennsylvania: Being a lawyer entails fighting for justice to benefit the less fortunate. This line of work entails serving society, whether it is through defending a company’s intellectual property or working for a non-profit. In addition to having stimulating occupations, lawyers are well-respected by their colleagues.
Prospective lawyers must graduate from law school and pass the bar exam in order to practice law. Students are taught the complexities of the law and how to think like a lawyer at the best universities. Critical thinking abilities, communication skills and the capacity for original problem-solving are prerequisites for working as a full-time lawyer. A lot of times, experience learning is used to develop these skills. Externships, clinics, mock trials, and student clubs are available at the top law schools to aid in students’ professional development.
Studying Law in Pennsylvania
It should come as no surprise that Pennsylvania is an excellent location for both legal education and practice given its nine highly renowned law schools. Nearly every practice area has prospects in the thriving legal sector. There are many more alternatives in addition to the litigious, financial, and corporate legal areas of specialization. With an 8.5% increase over the last ten years, the state now has over 50,000 practicing attorneys.
Many Fortune 500 organizations with locations in Pennsylvania are also looking to hire exceptional graduates. Pennsylvania has a wage average for attorneys of $117,000 per year, which is 126% higher than the national average. Choosing the best educational path for you can be difficult with so many possibilities. Here is a list of Pennsylvania’s top law schools.
Best Law Schools in Pennsylvania
Widener University is at the forefront of legal education and offers both current students and alums unique possibilities. It was named among the top 10 law schools by The Princeton Review for 2020 state and local judge clerkships. To fill the coveted places, the school works with elite pupils through a tough application procedure.
Also at the top of the list for employment results are Widener grads. PreLaw magazine named the law school the top school for the Employment Honor Roll. This list of law schools examines those that don’t get in the top 1% of applicants but nonetheless place their graduates in rewarding positions.
Widener has launched a legal incubator program in collaboration with the Dauphin County Bar Association. This program gives recent graduates the tools and skills they need to start modest, profitable businesses working alone in the neighborhood. About 30% of Widener graduates want to launch small businesses that gain from the university’s support and skill development.
8. Duquesne University School of Law (Pittsburgh, PA)
More than 8,000 former students of Duquesne are working professionals in all 50 states as well as abroad. It has produced the most judges seated in the Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, and Court of Common Pleas of all Pennsylvania’s law schools.
It is hardly surprise that Duquesne ranks among the best law schools in the country for bar passage with such illustrious alumni. The program’s strict requirements have led to the school’s excellent 93% final bar clearance record. The admissions staff looks beyond statistics to assess each applicant’s ability.
Duquesne boasts a nationally recognized trial advocacy curriculum that equips students to be courtroom-ready attorneys in addition to an exceptional alumni network. The skills of case analysis, trial preparation, witness preparation, and case presentation are practiced by law students. The top students are given the chance to participate in regional and national competitions and receive coaching from practicing lawyers. The team has won several national championships, including the Buffalo-Niagara Invitational Mock Trial Competition and the American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition.
7. Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
The Kline School of Law was established to meet the demand for recent law school grads with practical experience. Each student enrolled in the co-op program must complete at least one co-op or clinical placement and an extra 50 hours of volunteer work. Co-op positions match each student’s area of interest, enabling graduates to join the workforce prepared to handle the demanding tasks of a lawyer. Also, students establish connections with business experts, selecting from more than 200 of Drexel’s co-op partners.
According to Law School Transparency, Drexel is among the top 25 law schools in the US for job placement because it develops skilled attorneys. Students can work for a number of employers, including public interest groups, businesses, and government entities. The ACLU, the US Army JAG Corps, the US Department of Justice, IBM, and Pfizer are among the major employers.
The Thomas R. Kline Institute for Trial Advocacy, a facility where law students can hone their abilities in a professional atmosphere, is located at Drexel. The structure features a ceremonial courtroom, numerous trial practice rooms, and cutting-edge technology.
6. University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Pittsburgh, PA)
The law school at Pitt is dedicated to provide scholarships to students for the full three years. After considering job placement, tuition, debt, and bar passage rates, The National Jurist placed it among the Best Value Law Schools. To maintain an exceptional cost-to-value ratio, scholarships are awarded to the great majority of Pitt students.
At Pitt, law students have access to a wide range of resources, including the university’ interdisciplinary centers. Centers for Bioethics and Health Law, Centers for International Legal Education, Centers for Community Legal Services and Clinical Legal Education, and Centers for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security are a few of them. Together with teachers, students can conduct research and interact with policymakers to influence change.
The Future Law Project at Pitt looks into how cross-disciplinary research should influence legal policy and practice. To assess the future of law as a subject of study and a foundation for social order, the center consults professionals in research, academia, and legal practice.
5. Penn State Law (University Park, PA)
Graduates from Penn State join a network of more than 700,000 alumni who work in various industries when they enter the workforce. Law students acquire in-depth legal knowledge, as well as the confidence, communication, and legal practice abilities necessary to succeed in their careers.
The business startup accelerator program is only one of the many integrated learning options available to law students at Penn State. Students can gain the fundamental legal knowledge needed to find and interview potential clinics by participating in the Entrepreneur Help and Intellectual Property clinics. In a setting akin to a small law practice, law students get the chance to represent business owners, startups, and nonprofit organizations. Participants in the IP clinic draft Patent & Trademark Office paperwork under the guidance of practicing attorneys.
Law students can spend a semester working in any legal practice worldwide thanks to Penn State’s Externships Anywhere program. Students can work for courts, governmental institutions, nonprofit organizations, corporations, or legal firms that best suit their career objectives to earn credits and obtain useful experience.
4. Pennsylvania State University Dickinson Law (Carlisle, PA)
Graduates of Dickinson Law have success in all fields thanks to the demanding curriculum and involvement possibilities. Nine months after graduation, 95% of the class of 2019’s law graduates were working in positions that required passing the bar exam or a JD.
The Dickinson Law Review, one of the nation’s oldest continually published law school periodicals, is a well-liked extracurricular activity. It is the responsibility of law students to publish essays and discussion on pertinent legal issues. The compilation of articles, essays, reviews, and commentary is frequently cited in treatises and in judicial proceedings. The group also sponsors symposia and academic discussions with well-known legal writers.
Dickinson law students can choose from a wide range of organizations to get active with the school community other from publications. The associations aid in the professional and personal growth of law students. The Student Bar Association creates new groups and organizes activities that reflect the interests of students.
3. Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law (Villanova, PA)
Students at Villanova are well-prepared academically, professionally, and practically. Six on-campus clinics and more than 275 externships that are catered to certain professional goals reflect the university’s “Where Law Meets Business” concept.
With the Lawyering Together initiative, which unites lawyers, law students, and pro bono groups in a creative cooperation, students can also get practical experience. Villanova takes pride in selecting legal students who are dedicated to public service and training them in the abilities needed to assist the underprivileged. To give free legal aid to individuals in need, those who wish to dedicate their careers to public service are paired with active attorneys.
Villanova has a diverse group of distinguished graduates, including federal and state judges, teachers, entrepreneurs, and many of the top lawyers in the country, thanks to the practical experience it offers. Our network, which includes general counsels and senators, is devoted to assisting all Villanova Law students in succeeding.
2. Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (Philadelphia, PA)
Students at Temple University can flourish in any sector thanks to their comprehensive legal education. This is demonstrated by the fact that their program ranked first nationally in both legal writing and trial advocacy according to US News. The university teaches trial advocacy to both practicing attorneys and law students. Temple University graduates have received a cutting-edge education, making them prepared for the courtroom.
Temple University’s law school offers excellent preparation for future legal jobs. In contrast to the average passing percentage of 78%, first-time test takers in 2020 passed the bar at an 83.6% rate.
Also, Temple has had considerable success in moot court trials. The group just won the chance to represent the nation for the fourth consecutive year in the Hague’s International Criminal Moot Court Competition. Faculty members with competence in appellate advocacy serve as coaches for the squad. Depending on how well they perform in appellate advocacy briefs and oral arguments, law students are invited to join the team.
As an Ivy League institution, UPenn offers the tools and reputation to help students get ready for a successful legal profession. When US News started releasing rankings, it has continuously been listed among the top 14 law schools.
As a prestigious institution, UPenn is a top source of hires for the Top 100 law firms. After graduation, 95.3% of the class of 2020 found full-time employment, with a median annual salary of $180,000.
The UPenn Law Review, the first in the nation and established in 1852, is run by law students. The organization examines about 2,000 applications yearly and selects 18 articles for each edition as a venue for superior legal research.
UPenn’s success is attributable to its multidisciplinary approach. According to the school, the new generation of attorneys will receive training in legal and allied subjects that will supplement and advance their legal knowledge. In order to achieve this goal, the law school offers more than 20 joint and dual degree programs. Nearly 50% of its courses are interdisciplinary.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best Ivy for Law?
Yale is a member of the Ivy League and has the greatest law school in the country, earning it a stellar reputation in the legal community. The constitutional law program at this law school is its strongest, and it also ranks first in business and international law.
What is a Pennsylvania lawyer’s beginning salary?
How much does a Pennsylvania entry-level lawyer make? In Pennsylvania, the average yearly salary for an entry-level lawyer is $43,252 as of February 8, 2023.
Can a 3.0 GPA get admission to law school?
Every applicant for a legal degree must have a GPA of 3.0 or above (grade point average). However, the best law schools in the country require a GPA median of 3.9 or higher. These schools are followed by the second- and third-tier schools, which have requirements of 3.8 and 3.7 GPAs, respectively.
Can I work while studying Law?
Many people juggle full-time employment with nighttime classes at law schools. Numerous legal schools provide programs that are especially designed for students who are also working full-time while enrolled. You should only enroll in classes part-time if you must work full-time.