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Best law schools in the nation


(AP Photo/Randy L Rasmussen, Pool)

While the top two schools are no surprise, California makes solid inroads into the top tier of law schools in the nation based on the US News and World Report rankings. Topping the list is Yale, followed by Harvard, with Stanford coming in third.

Stanford University, Law School (3) begins with the fundamentals but is then rich in interdisciplinary learning opportunities, clinics that teach law students how to be lawyers who make a difference, and programs and centers that catalyze scholarship, research, and dialogue on important issues — these are the forums through which Stanford Law shapes the future. Stanford University is followed by Columbia University and New York University in the ranking to round out the top five.

UC Berkeley School of Law (6) claims affordability in relation to its competitors with more than 90 percent of our students receiving some form of financial aid, Berkeley returns a higher percentage of its fees to students than any of its competitors.

UCLA School of Law (tied 15) is the youngest top law school in the nation. At fifty-five years old, UCLA created its own tradition - a tradition of innovation. UCLA maintains this tradition persistently, building off past successes to propel the school, and students, into a future of unparalleled distinction. While many law school deans, alumni, and students decry the disconnect between what goes on in the classroom and what lawyers do in the “real world,” UCLA School of Law has taken a leading role in bridging this gap.

The USC Gould School of Law (18) offers a forward-looking, interdisciplinary legal education guided by nationally renowned professors and informed by the diversity of a friendly and collegial student body. The school offers a myriad of opportunities to apply the law to real-world problems through partnerships with some of the world's leading companies and law firms. Through interdisciplinary academic training and practical application of skills, students acquire the experience necessary to succeed as leaders in a global environment, according to Dean Robert K. Rasmussen.

The remaining California schools ranked as follows: UC Davis (tied 35), UC San Francisco (39), Pepperdine (tied 55), University of San Diego (tied 61), Loyola Marymount (tied 71), Santa Clara (tied 85), and University of San Francisco (tied 98).

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Janelle Jalbert is the founder of Edusistance and the creator of the Race to College Success program. She has been an educator and advisor for more than a decade. You can reach Janelle, who welcomes suggestions for topics of interest for future articles, via email.