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About Harvard Law School

ac56Harvard Law School is consistently ranked as one of the top 3 law schools in the United States. It’s located in Cambridge, MA, and was founded in 1817, which makes it the oldest law school in the country. Harvard Law’s rich history of tradition, excellent programs and prestigious alumni make admission a worthy goal.

The Students

Harvard Law School has an estimated 1,900 students in attendance each year. Most are Juris Doctor candidates, which an average of 1,680. Another 160 are LL.M. (Master of Laws) students. Harvard also offers a S.J.D. degree, which is an academic doctorate degree. That program, which is not offered at most law schools, has 50 candidates in attendance on average.

ac57Gaining acceptance into Harvard Law is not an easy task. In 2012, the school received 5,438 applications and granted admission to 865 applicants, which constituted an acceptance rate of just under 16%. The grade point averages of accepted students were very high: the 75/25 percentiles were 3.95/3.77. LSAT score 75/25 percentiles were 175/170.

Harvard Law students come from a diverse background. Last year’s entering class came from 43 states and 16 foreign countries.

Once students start their law school educations at Harvard Law, they tend to succeed: the 2012 graduating class had a 99% graduation rate. Harvard Law graduates earn the second-highest starting incomes (right after those at Columbia). Graduates from the 2012 graduating class earned a median $143,000 salary.

Notable Harvard Law alumni include a long list of:

  • Senators
  • United States Representatives
  • Supreme court judges
  • Federal judges
  • State judges
  • State governors
  • U.S. Ambassadors
  • U.S. Attorneys General
  • University Presidents
  • Law School Deans
  • Activists
  • Writers
  • Actors
  • Musicians
  • Business Executives
  • Media Commentators

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are also Harvard alumni.

The Faculty

During the 2012-2013 school year, Harvard employed 109 full-time law professors. There were 33 visiting professors in attendance, and another 98 professionals serving as lecturers, professors emeriti and instructors. The student to faculty ratio is low at Harvard Law, just 12:1.

Student Life

There are dozens of student organizations at Harvard Law: everything from Law Review to the HLS chapter of the NAACP to the Tennis Club. No matter what their interests, backgrounds or special talents, law students will find organizations in which to participate.

Study abroad programs are available to law students, as well. The Cambridge University program enables 3L students to attend school in England. Single semester study abroad programs are available at institutions all over the world, including:

  • Geneva
  • Seoul
  • Johannesburg
  • Syndey
  • Tokyo
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Sao Paulo
  • Shanghai
  • Santiago
  • Paris

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