What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)
Timothy Peck
12 College Lists

The 30 Best Pre-Law Schools

What’s Covered:


Many undergraduates proclaim themselves as “pre-law” students—but pre-law isn’t a major, and what students are describing is their intention to apply to law school after graduation. There are no prerequisites for law school students and they come from a variety of academic fields. The best pre-law schools help students to build the skills they need to succeed in law school, offer opportunities to gain firsthand experience in law-related fields, and provide personalized advice about applying to and attending law school.


How We Made This List


Because there is no specific pre-law major and no prerequisites for admission to law school, we created our list of the 30 best pre-law schools by considering the strength of common pre-law majors—such as political science, psychology, criminal justice, English, history, and economics—along with the size of the programs relative to school size. Additionally, we factored in the number of students from a school accepted to top law schools and the number of a school’s students accepted at leading law schools relative to their size. 


The 30 Best Pre-Law Schools


1. Yale University


Location: New Haven, CT  

Undergrad Enrollment: 5,900 

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1560/31-35


Yale University is commonly counted among the best law schools in the nation. For its class of 2024, the school offered admission to just 214 students from a pool of 5,296 applicants and had an 87% yield rate. The median GPA of students accepted to Yale Law School was 3.94 and their average LSAT score was 174.


Yale’s Office of Career Strategy has a pre-law advisor who can help students navigate the law school application process. Outside of the classroom, Yale is home to numerous law-related extracurricular programs, including, the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association, Yale Mock Trial Association, and Yale Undergraduate Moot Court


2. Harvard University


Location: Cambridge, MA 

Undergrad Enrollment: 9,900 

Acceptance Rate: 5%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1580/33-36


Attending a prestigious and selective college like Harvard is a boon to the chances of any student hoping to gain admission to law school. Another benefit to Harvard undergraduates is the school’s residential system, which places students into “houses” at the end of their first year. Each house has its own pre-law advisors, who are generally current law school students themselves and can provide firsthand insight and valuable information about the law school admission process.


Harvard’s Office of Career Services can assist students with more general needs, such as writing a resume, building a college activities list, and researching fellowships and internships. 


3. University of Chicago


Location: Chicago, IL  

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,600 

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1510-1560/33-35


The University of Chicago’s Careers in Law program features a variety of resources to aid students in gaining admission to law school and makes them one of the best pre-law schools in the country. The Careers in Law program allows students to explore different career paths in the legal field through activities like workshops, panels, job shadowing, and internships. Additionally, the program provides one-on-one advising and assists students in preparing strong successful applications to law school. 


4. Princeton University


Location: Princeton, NJ

Undergrad Enrollment: 5,400 

Acceptance Rate: 6%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1470-1560/33-35 


Princeton University provides numerous opportunities for students looking to pursue a career in law. Princeton’s Center for Career Development offers pre-law advising for current students and helps students through the entire law school admission process—from exploring their interest in law to reviewing law school applications to critiquing application materials.


On campus, students are treated to information sessions from law school representatives along with pre-law workshops and panels. Princeton even offers one- to three-day “Princetonships,” which pair students with alumni members working in the legal field.


5. University of Pennsylvania | UPenn


Location: Philadelphia, PA  

Undergrad Enrollment: 11,800 

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1570/33-35 


Thanks to its abundance of resources and a stellar record of placing students in top law schools, UPenn is often thought of as one of the best pre-law schools in the nation. UPenn students have access to everything they require to make a strong case for admission to law school—from pre-law advisors to groups like the John Marshall Pre-Law Honor Society to a pre-law newsletter that is distributed once or twice a week.


In 2020-2021, UPenn had double-digit former students studying law at prestigious schools like Harvard, Yale, and NYU.   


6. Georgetown University


Location: Washington, D.C. 

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,400 

Acceptance Rate: 17%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1380-1530/32-35


There is a multitude of opportunities available to Georgetown University students planning to attend law school. Georgetown’s Cawley Career Education Center provides a pre-law guide to students, covering everything from applications to the LSAT to resumes.


Pre-law advisors are available to assist students from start to finish of the application process—helping them with tasks such as building a list of law schools that meet their needs, writing their personal statements, and reviewing their applications. The college also offers workshops aimed at pre-law students, while representatives from top law schools regularly visit the campus.


7. Columbia University


Location: New York, NY

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,200 

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1560/33-35 


Columbia University is home to one of the best law schools in the U.S., which makes it a fantastic environment for those aspiring to attend law school to meet and network with talented law students. Columbia University’s Pre-Law Society allows undergraduate students to interact with practicing attorneys, educators, and law students and provides a forum for them to inquire about the law school admissions process, law schools, and legal practice in general. 


8. Duke University


Location: Durham, NC 

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,600

Acceptance Rate: 8%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1560/34-35 


Although there is no pre-law program at Duke, there is a pre-law process—it involves identifying an appropriate pathway and cultivating essential skills like research, negotiation, and mediation. Duke’s Pre-Law Advising Office provides students with advising and programs aimed at helping students better understand careers in law.


Duke is also home to organizations (like the Duke Bench & Bar Pre-Law Society) that host a variety of activities and events. Another opportunity for pre-law students at Duke is the Duke PreLaw Fellowship Program, a four-week residential program that introduces rising college sophomores and juniors to the study of law and to the legal profession. 


9. Stanford University


Location: Stanford, CA 

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,000  

Acceptance Rate: 5%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1470-1560/34-35 


Stanford University offers a number of majors that instill essential skills needed to excel in law school, such as communication and critical thinking. Pre-law advisors support Stanford students, providing one-on-one appointments and covering topics including where to apply to law school, when to apply to law school, how to prepare for the LSAT, and even reviewing personal statements.


Other programs that support pre-law students include shadowing Stanford alumni working in the legal profession, visits from law school deans of admission, and informational panels. Students will find further support from on-campus organizations like the Stanford Pre-Law Society.  


10. Dartmouth College


Location: Hanover, NH  

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,400  

Acceptance Rate: 9% 

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1430-1550/32-35


Dartmouth offers a variety of majors that provide good preparation for law school, such as economics, government, history, and philosophy. Dartmouth has a pre-law coordinator, who provides personalized attention to students aiming to pursue a career in law—assisting them with the decision of where and when to go to law school, exploring legal careers, preparing for the LSAT, crafting personal statements, and ultimately supporting them through the admission process. Dartmouth students are afforded a variety of opportunities to gain firsthand experience in the legal field through clerkships, internships, and work with nonprofits. 


11. Cornell University


Location: Ithaca, NY 

Undergrad Enrollment: 15,100 

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1450-1540/33-35


Cornell University is a popular destination for students interested in attending law school. Cornell’s Graduate and Professional School Day is an event that brings representatives from a variety of graduate and professional schools to campus—including law schools—and gives students a chance to meet with them informally.


The university is home to numerous programs—like the Cornell Prelaw Program & Internship in New York City, Cornell in Washington, and Capital Semester—designed to provide students with real-world experience and bolster their odds of admission to professional programs like law school. 


12. Brown University


Location: Providence, RI 

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,000 

Acceptance Rate: 8%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1440-1570/33-35


Brown University provides students with the broad course of study required to forge the essential skills and abilities needed to succeed in law school. The university offers one-on-one advising and hosts a multitude of events and programs about the law school application process, legal education, and law careers.


On Brown’s campus, students will find a variety of student groups dedicated to law and advocacy, such as the Brown Pre-Law Society and the Brown University Black Pre-Law Association. Over the past decade, Brown students have significantly exceeded the national law school admission rate and outperformed their peers on the LSAT.


13. Washington University in St. Louis | WashU


Location: Saint Louis, MO  

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,700 

Acceptance Rate: 16%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1560/33-35


Washington University in St. Louis is a great choice for students planning to attend law school. The university has dedicated pre-law advisors to help guide students through the entirety of the admissions process and has created a pre-law handbook to give students a step-by-step guide to preparing for and applying to law school.


Students can find further support through the WashU Pre-Law Society. WashU doesn’t offer a law major, however, they do offer a legal studies minor—an interdisciplinary program in which students learn about law through courses in fields such as anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, and political science. 


14. Northwestern University


Location: Evanston, IL

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,600  

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1490-1550/33-35


Northwestern University believes the best preparation for law school is to get the best liberal arts education possible and has earned a reputation for placing its undergraduates in top law schools across the nation. Pre-law advice is available to Northwestern students through Northwestern Career Advancement and Northwestern undergrads can gain valuable personal experience while linking their academic and professional interests in the legal fields through a Chicago Field Studies law internship. Northwestern also offers a legal studies major, an interdisciplinary program that explores law from historical, cultural, and empirical viewpoints. 


15. Amherst College 


Location: Amherst, MA 

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,800  

Acceptance Rate: 12%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1440-1540/32-35


Amherst College offers many majors that serve as common pathways to law school, like political science and economics. Amherst also offers a unique program ideal for students with an interest in attending law school: a major called Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, which provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study, contextualization, and theorizing of law. Pre-law advisors are available to Amherst students and assist with everything from the application process to identifying law-related internships and selecting relevant extracurricular activities.   


16. University of California, Berkeley | UC Berkeley


Location: Berkeley, CA 

Undergrad Enrollment: 30,800  

Acceptance Rate: 17%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: Not reported—UC Berkeley has test-free admissions 


UC Berkeley provides a variety of majors that instill the essential skills students need for success in law school, such as communication, critical thinking, and research. The university does offer a legal studies major, an interdisciplinary liberal arts major that engages the meanings, values, practices, and institutions of law and legality. UC Berkeley provides students with pre-law advising through its career center. Students can participate in a variety of pre-law-related extracurriculars at Cal Berkeley, including the Pre-Law Society at Berkeley and Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity


17. Swarthmore College


Location: Swarthmore, PA 

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,500 

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1440-1540/33-35 


Swarthmore’s rigorous academics are excellent preparation for law school, building foundational skills such as the ability to read, analyze, critique, write, persuade, and speak clearly. The school has a dedicated pre-law office and offers one-on-one pre-law advising to its students.


Over the last five years, 94% of Swarthmore students who applied to law school were accepted (the national average over that time is just 77%), and Swarthmore graduates are found at some of the most prestigious law schools in the U.S., such as Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, and Yale.


18. Williams College


Location: Williamstown, MA

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,000 

Acceptance Rate: 15% 

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1470-1550/33-35


Williams College provides a multitude of opportunities to pre-law students—the college offers advising through its career center and a host of law-related extracurricular activities are available, including the Williams Law Society, Moot Court, and alumni-sponsored internships. In the 2020-21 admissions cycle, Williams graduates had an 85% acceptance rate to law school, a much higher rate than the national average.


19. University of Michigan


Location: Ann Arbor, MI  

Undergrad Enrollment: 30,300

Acceptance Rate: 26%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1360-1530/31-35


The University of Michigan offers many majors that foster the skills needed to succeed in law school, such as critical thinking, logical reasoning, and effective writing. The university provides pre-law advising to its students and can help them determine if law school is right for them, identify extracurricular opportunities, and build a file of strong references. Academic advisors and career professionals within the University of Michigan’s schools, departments, and programs may also assist students with class choice, LSAT preparation, and creating connections to law school representatives. 


20. Pomona College


Location: Claremont, CA 

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,500 

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1550/33-35


Pomona’s rigorous academics serve as excellent preparation for law school, as students build vital analytic, reading, writing, and speaking skills and are challenged by demanding coursework. Pomona provides pre-law advising to assist students in assessing whether they’re a good fit at law school and to guide them through the application process. Pomona is home to numerous opportunities and programs that can enhance a student’s readiness for law school, like The Writing Program, Model U.N., internships, and other experiential learning opportunities.


21. University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA


Location: Los Angeles, CA  

Undergrad Enrollment: 31,500 

Acceptance Rate: 14% 

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1290-1510/29-34


UCLA hosts Law Jump Start annually—a program that allows students to learn about the law school admissions process from a panel of admissions staff and professionals working in a variety of legal careers. UCLA also produces a series of workshops covering topics like how to write an effective personal statement, preparing for and applying to law school, and researching your dream law school. Pre-law advisors are available to UCLA students and can help guide them through the law school application process. 


22. Rice University


Location: Houston, TX

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,900  

Acceptance Rate: 11% 

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1490-1570/34-35


Rice University’s curriculum can help students develop the breadth of skills required to succeed in law school and a legal career—such as the ability to think, write, and speak clearly, along with an understanding of moral and ethical issues. The university provides pre-law advising to its students and sponsors informational programs for those considering careers in law. The Rice Pre-Law Society provides further support to students interested in law. 


23. New York University | NYU


Location: New York, NY 

Undergrad Enrollment: 26,700 

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1390-1510/31-34


NYU provides students with pre-law advisors to help them determine whether law school is the right fit, assist them in the application process, and help assess their chances of admission into their desired schools. NYU is home to a variety of programs that allow pre-law students to build valuable skills and professional networks.


For example, NYU’s Lunch with a Lawyer program invites NYU alumni to discuss their legal work, while the Lawyer Alumni Mentor Program pairs pre-law students with alumni for the academic year. NYU graduates are found in some of the top law schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Columbia. 


24. University of Virginia | UVA


Location: Charlottesville, VA  

Undergrad Enrollment: 16,700 

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1400-1510/32-35


UVA offers a pre-law minor which is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to gain acceptance to (and succeed in) law school. UVA offers individual pre-law advising and maintains a dedicated pre-law blog.


Numerous student organizations are available to legal-minded UVA students, including the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society and the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity. Undergraduate students can receive mentoring from UVA Law School students through the school’s Legal Advisory Workshops for Undergraduate Students


25. University of Southern California | USC


Location: Los Angeles, CA  

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,900 

Acceptance Rate: 16%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1330-1520/30-34


USC provides an enormous amount of support to its students planning on attending law school. Pre-law advisors are available for one-on-one consultations and to aid in all aspects of the law school application process. Every semester, USC hosts a variety of workshops focused on preparing students for success in the law school admissions process.


USC also sponsors events such as an annual law school fair and a law school personal statement and resume review. USC publishes a weekly pre-law newsletter to keep students up-to-date on everything they need to know about getting accepted to law school.  


26. Claremont McKenna College | CMC


Location: Claremont, CA 

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,300 

Acceptance Rate: 13%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1440-1500/32-35


CMC students can take a legal studies sequence, a series of courses related to law that cuts across disciplines within the liberal arts curriculum. The CMC Pre-Law Society is one of the best resources for pre-law students at Claremont McKenna—providing them with a better understanding of the law school admission process and the legal profession while helping them build a network of similarly minded peers. 


27. Vanderbilt University


Location: Nashville, TN  

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,800  

Acceptance Rate: 12%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1570/34-35


Vanderbilt has a dedicated pre-law advisor that provides students with personally tailored assistance in preparing for law school. The university’s challenging curriculum is ideal for building core skills needed to succeed in law school and the school maintains a list of suggested courses for students planning to attend law school that strengthen analytical reading, reasoning, and writing skills. Vanderbilt graduates are well represented at esteemed law schools such as Harvard, Columbia, and Georgetown. 


28. Wesleyan University


Location: Middletown, CT 

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,000

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1310-1490/31-34


A dedicated pre-law advisor is available to Wesleyan students and provides them with strategic guidance throughout the law school application process, assisting them with everything from the selection of target schools to personal statement reviews and resume critiques. The annual acceptance rate for Wesleyan seniors applying to law school is higher than the national average and Wesleyan graduates are represented at many of the nation’s best law schools, including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. 


29. University of Notre Dame


Location: Notre Dame, IN  

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,600 

Acceptance Rate: 19% 

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1410-1550/32-35


The University of Notre Dame offers pre-law advising and provides programming throughout the year to students interested in attending law school. Notre Dame’s Pre-Law Student Board is an important resource for undergraduates interested in a career in law—it hosts workshops, provides guidance on the application process, and offers the chance for students to attend a class at Notre Dame Law School and meet individually with Notre Dame law school students. Notre Dame publishes a pre-law newsletter to keep students informed of opportunities like internships, promote upcoming events, and provide them with helpful resources.    


30. Bowdoin College


Location: Brunswick, ME

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,800 

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1330-1510/31-34


Bowdoin has a rich history of graduates going on to careers in law—the college is known for instilling numerous beneficial attributes in students with an interest in attending law school, such as strong written and verbal communication, critical thinking and analytical skills, research ability, and leadership. Bowdoin provides pre-law advising to guide students through every step of the law school admission process, from finding a good-fit school to preparing an application. 


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance to these Top Pre-Law Schools?


Wondering what your odds of admission are at the nation’s best pre-law schools? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing calculator uses metrics such as GPA, test scores, and extracurricular activities to predict your odds at the country’s best schools for pre-law, along with 600 other schools across the country. It can also help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your college profile, showing you areas where you can improve your profile and your odds of admission.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.