Best schools for public interest law

The National Jurist has announced 25 law schools that stand above and beyond the rest when it comes to public interest law.

"Law schools have significantly improved their offerings during the past 25 years for students interested in working in public interest law," said Jack Crittenden, Editor In Chief and founder of The National Jurist. "In recent years, schools have really improved loan repayment programs - especially the school's with large endowments."

The magazine looked at curriculum (which includes courses, clinical opportunities and faculty), cost of legal education (tuition, debt and loan repayment options) and placement (the percent of graduates who work in public interest and public service)

The National Jurist last ranked the top schools for public interest law in 2011, with City University of New York School of Law and Yale Law school taking top honors. It did a similar, but different ranking in 2012, when it focused on public service. It also ranked schools for public interest law in 2008. That year, Northeastern University School of Law took top honors.

This years’ weight is stronger on curriculum than in past years thanks to more readily available data. But more than half of the score is based on experiential opportunities. On the flip side, the impact of affordability was lowered primarily because of income-based repayment programs.

While the top 25 schools have been announced, the order will not be released until the March issue of The National Jurist ships in early March.

"Any of these schools would be an excellent choice for a prospective student interested in a public interest career," Crittenden said. 

The list in alphabetical order:

Albany Law School
American University
Boston University School of Law
Case Western University
Columbia Law School
CUNY School of Law
Duke University
Emory University
Florida State University
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
New York University
Northeastern University
Pace University
Roger Williams University
Seattle University
Stanford University
University of Colorado
University of Maryland
University of Oregon
University of the District of Columbia
University of Virginia
Yale Law School