Finding the top law schools in North Carolina makes it easy for you to realize your career dreams of being a lawyer or a judge. It all starts with finding the schools that offer the law programs needed. Once you graduate with your law degree, you can sit for the Bar Exam so that you can be well on your way to practicing law. Quite a few colleges and universities have law schools within them, allowing you to get your undergraduate and graduate degree from the same place.
What to Know About Law School
Applying for law school generally means that a person wants to become a lawyer. They will earn a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from a law school. Applications to law schools may require various things, though some kind of undergraduate degree is required.
While many schools don’t require a “prelaw” degree, many will have at least some requirements as to the type of courses that have been taken. Many students will have obtained an undergraduate degree in an area that will help them, such as Political Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, History, or Business.
Top 5 Law Schools in North Carolina
|1||Duke University||Durham, North Carolina|
|2||University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, North Carolina|
|3||Wake Forest University||Winston-Salem, North Carolina|
|4||Elon University School of Law||Greensboro, North Carolina|
|5||North Carolina Central University||Durham, North Carolina|
Career Options with a Law Degree
Most students who graduate with a law degree work as a lawyer. Some will choose to work for the government while others will work in private practice. It is possible to become a district attorney for a city, work as a judge, or even go to work as a lawyer by starting up a boutique firm.
Additionally, there are various aspects of the law that a student can choose to practice, including:
- Criminal law
- Probate law
- Admiralty/maritime law
- Entertainment law
- Family law
- Environmental law
- Personal injury law
The earnings van vary dramatically depending on where a person works as well as what type of law is practiced. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average lawyer earns a median salary of $122,960.
While there are only a few law schools in North Carolina, each of them has quite a bit to offer students. We have ranked the six schools based on the student to teacher ratio, with smaller class sizes receiving a higher score. We also ranked them based on total enrollment.
The cost of tuition was not factored in since many students are able to obtain scholarships when applying for law school.
Best 6 Law Schools in North Carolina
- Durham, North Carolina
TheDuke University School of Lawoffers an extensive list of programs. It is possible for students to start up conversations with Duke Law faculty during office hours. Students will engage in intensive and collaborative ways to explore the law. Duke University is considered one of the top schools in the country for those who wish to practice law – and the campus is located in Durham, North Carolina.
Students can pursue an array of degrees – dual degrees, a Doctor of Juridical Science, as well as a Juris Doctor. The application process is extensive, requiring recommendation letters, a personal statement, and essays. Standardized testing and academic transcripts will also be required.
Duke University embraces itself as a community of lawyers. Students have the ability to focus on intensive students, research, and public service. Students get to create their own adventure and partake in conversations with those who are already a part of the community. Every student will have access to courses and programs that ensure they’re able to not only meet academic goals but also be able to lead within the law and beyond following graduation.
Students at Duke University will have access to a long list of student resources, organizations, and events. The Pro Bono program also allows students to learn outside of the classroom while learning to work in governmental and non-profit organizations.
Student to Teacher Ratio: 5:1
Enrollment Total per Year: 15,984
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The School of Law at theUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel Hilloffers a variety of programs to explore. Students can choose to partake in JD and dual degree programs and there are plenty of options for international applicants, too.
The requirements for getting into UNC include having already taken the LSAT (Law School Admission test) within the last five years as well as having a bachelor’s degree from a fully accredited school. It will also be necessary to have a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and complete the application form. The acceptance is strict, with less than 15% of applicants being accepted into the School of Law.
UNC prides itself on providing an education beyond the core legal subjects. Students will hone their research skills, their writing, and their analytical skills. There are more than 100 externships to explore, over 50 student organizations to choose from, nine clinical programs, and five journals. Students can also explore hands-on opportunities with trial advocacy and mock trail programs as well as a pro bono program.
The School of Law has a reputation for offering a high education with a low cost of attendance. Many resources are available to help students cover the cost of tuition. Additionally, there is a career center that will help students to explore legal careers upon graduating – before and after passing the Bar Exam.
Student to Teacher Ratio: 17:1
Enrollment Total per Year: 29,084
Wake Forest University
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Wake Forest Universityis located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As one of the top-ranked law schools, the School of Law offers a variety of programs for students to explore. Students can choose to pursue a Juris Doctor degree as well as LLM and SJD programs for international attorneys. Various professional programs are also in place for professionals who need to learn more about navigating the law without the need to practice it.
The Pro Bono Project at WFU makes it possible for law students to get the hands-on experience navigating the law. NC residents are able to get free legal help as it pertains to unemployment insurance and other issues that are plaguing them.
Students will have access to on-campus and online symposiums, seminars, and workshops throughout the time they spend getting their degree. It allows students to listen to legal experts talk about legal and ethical issues surrounding important topics. Many of these events also have a Q&A segment so that students can ask questions.
WFU stands out by providing the traditional classroom experience with service-based learning. They pride themselves on being a supportive community where students can form professional relationships with faculty, alumni, and fellow students.
5 concurrent and dual degree programs are available, 30+ student organizations invite students to get involved, thousands of hours are offered in pro bono experience. Approximately 5% of the students who apply are actually enrolled at the school. Students will need to submit LSAT or GRE scores, register with the SLAC Credential Assembly Service, and complete the online application.
Student to Teacher Ratio: 10:1
Enrollment Total per Year: 7837
Elon University School of Law
- Greensboro, North Carolina
Located in Greensboro, North Carolina, theElon University School of Lawoffers an experiential learning program. Full-time students are often able to finish their law degrees faster than at other schools and get a better value for their money. One of the reasons for this is by offering a combination of classroom learning and hands-on labs.
Students will enroll in a 2.5-year program and enjoy a low cost of living. A variety of scholarships are offered to make it easier for students to pay for the tuition. The school ranks high in a number of areas, including the ability to provide students with faculty-directed residency as well as being the Recipient of the American Bar Associations’ top national award for legal professionalism education.
Those wishing to apply to Elon Law can do so without paying an application fee. The application will involve submitting LSAT scores and completing an online application through the Law School Admission Council.
Law students will engage in first-year lab courses, team-based legal projects for nonprofits, and moot court. There will also be attorney shadowing as well as full-time residencies where students can enjoy more hands-on experience than many other law schools around the country. prelaw Magazine has also identified Elon Law as one of the “most innovative law schools” twice within the past decade.
Internships and judicial clerkships also provide summer employment opportunities that can also enhance one’s resume. Various career opportunities are available upon graduating from Elon University.
Student to Teacher Ratio: 9:1
Enrollment Total per Year: 6631
North Carolina Central University
- Durham, North Carolina
Established in 1939 in Durham, theNorth Carolina Central University School of Lawprovides a quality, personalized, practice-oriented legal education to students from diverse backgrounds at an affordable cost. NCCU Law trains a diverse cadre of students to become lawyers and leaders in their local communities, their states, and the world.
An NCCU Law education provides a challenging course of study designed to stimulate intellectual inquiry of the highest order and to foster in each student a deep sense of professional responsibility and personal integrity to produce competent and socially responsible members of the legal profession.
NCCU Law offers two programs: a full-time day program and a part-time evening program. The part-time program is best-suited for those students looking to juggle their legal studies, life, and work.
While enrolled, students may elect to study in joint degree and/or certificate programs. NCCU faculty are committed to providing the community with legal services through its legal clinics like the Criminal Defense Clinic, Civil Litigation Clinic, Family Law Clinic, Intellectual Property Clinic, Juvenile Law Clinic, and Veterans Clinic that provide students with real life practical experience while representing real people with real legal problems.
NCCU Law alumni work across the United States in large and small law firms, as federal and state attorneys, as prosecutors, as corporate counsel, as in-house counsel, as elected officials as well as other legal jobs. NCCU Law alumni assist current students with mock interviews, serve as mentors, and provide vast networking for job opportunities.
NCCU Law has been recognized by the prelaw Magazine as one of the Best Law Schools for Practical Training and one of the Most Diverse Law Schools in the United States. This dedication to service can be traced back to the North Carolina Central University motto, “Truth and Service.”
Student to Teacher Ratio: 15:1
Enrollment Total: 405
- Buies Creek, North Carolina
Campbell Universityis a private school found in downtown Raleigh. The Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law provides students with experiential learning in the capital city. The Christian school believes that all are created in the image of God, and the application process ensures everyone is treated with respect using a holistic approach.
Applying to the school is an online process. Students will need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited and approved school and also take the LSAT. Students will also need to decide whether they want to enroll in a full-time program or the FLEX program. There are employment restrictions for students who are in the full-time program where they are not permitted to work during the first year of school. Second- and third-year students can work no more than 20 hours per week.
Students in the law program will work in a collaborative environment to develop practice-ready skills. Additionally, there will be opportunities to serve the community while gaining hands-on experience. The “legal learning laboratory” at the downtown Raleigh campus is filled with faculty that is not only experienced but that also offer unique perspectives.
Students will be able to choose from traditional, FLEX, and clinical programs based on the time in which students can dedicate to their degree. International opportunities also exist for those who wish to seek a global perspective.
Campbell University has five clinics, an award-winning externship program with 300 placements, numerous dual degree programs with NC State and others, and a robust Pro Bono Council that has 13 projects and we have 30 active student organizations. They are also known for theirhigh bar passage rate.
Sinceits founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having thenation’s top Professionalism Programandby the American Academy of Trial Lawyers and U.S. News for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,300 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2021, Campbell Law is celebrating 45 years of graduating legal leaders and a dozen years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.
Student to Teacher Ratio: 8:1
Enrollment Total per Year: 513
Our Ranking Methodology
The methodology we used to rank the school is the student to teacher ratio and the enrollment numbers. Each school was first given a score based on the student to teacher ratio, with smaller class sizes receiving a higher score. Then, schools were scored based on the enrollment numbers, with larger enrollment totals receiving a higher score. The scores were added together in order to establish the ranking order.
Notice an Error?
Our goal is to use the most accurate information possible when ranking the schools. If you work for a school and notice an error in the data we’ve shared, please contact us so that we can make the necessary updates.
If you’re exploring law school, let us help you find the right program for your needs.
What is the cheapest law school in North Carolina? ›
|School||In-State Fees||Out-of-State Fees|
|North Carolina Central University, Durham||$11,387||$23,222|
|CUNY – Queens College||$21,802||$13,802|
|Southern University Law Center||$10,990||$18,590|
|University of Alabama School of Law||$15,760||$28,070|
Economics majors have the highest average LSAT score, as well as the highest acceptance rate into law school. For those interested, there were 632 applicants who majored in pre-law, and they had an average LSAT score of 148 and an acceptance rate of 64%.Is North Carolina a good law school? ›
University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill is ranked No. 23 (tie) in Best Law Schools.What happened to Charlotte School of Law? ›
In 2016, the American Bar Association put Charlotte Law on probation, citing compliance issues relating to the school's admission policies and practices, which ultimately led to the school closing down the following year.What LSAT score do I need for Duke? ›
|GPA 25/75 percentile||3.73 / 3.94|
|LSAT 25/75 percentile||168 / 171|
|Hold a graduate degree||10%|
1. Southern University Law Center. The most affordable school of law in the U.S. (both when it comes to the out-of-state and in-state student tuition) is Southern University Law Center. It's part of the Southern University System, which is the only HBCU system in the nation.Is going to law school worth it? ›
The highest 10% of lawyers earned median annual earnings of more than $208,000 in 2019. Some law school graduates forgo serving as a lawyer in order to have more work-life balance. There are many jobs you can do with a law degree and legal-related roles where having a J.D. may be an asset.What degrees do law schools prefer? ›
- Political Science - 9,612 admitted. ...
- Other - 2,917 admitted. ...
- Psychology - 2,960 admitted. ...
- Criminal Justice - 2,220 admitted. ...
- English - 2,564 admitted. ...
- History - 2,657 admitted. ...
- Economics - 2,373 admitted. ...
- Philosophy - 1,858 admitted.
In 2017-2018, 2,238 law school applicants held an undergraduate degree in philosophy. Of those who applied, 83% were admitted to law school. Philosophy majors also tended to score higher on their Law School Admission Test (LSAT) compared to other majors.Do law schools care what college you went to? ›
No, law schools do not care where you went to undergrad as long as it is a legitimate university. Whether you attended Harvard University or a state university, it doesn't really matter in the eyes of the admissions department. Law schools will overwhelmingly focus on your undergrad GPA and LSAT score.
Is law school difficult? ›
In summary, law school is hard. Harder than regular college or universities, in terms of stress, workload, and required commitment. But about 40,000 people graduate from law schools every year–so it is clearly attainable.What is the No 1 law school in the world? ›
- Harvard University.
- University of Oxford.
- University of Cambridge.
- Yale University.
- Stanford University.
- New York University.
- London School of Economics and Political Science.
- Columbia University.
- Location. Location is arguably the single most important factor in choosing a law school. ...
- Admitted Student Profile. ...
- Cost and Financial Aid. ...
- Academic Programs. ...
- Faculty. ...
- Size. ...
- Student Culture. ...
- Career Support and Job Placements.
A public consultation into Charlotte's Law, which would restrict parole for killers who refuse to disclose the location of their victim's body, is to begin in a matter of weeks. It follows a review of current law in relation to disclosure of information in murder cases where the body has not been recovered.How many law schools are NC? ›
There are 7 law schools in North Carolina. Below are the admissions statistics for each of North Carolina's law schools.Is Charlotte laws still married? ›
We do not have a minimum LSAT requirement. Our median LSAT in recent years was 161. We do not have a minimum GPA requirement.How much do Duke Law graduates make? ›
|Private Practice||Govt., Public Interest, Military|
|Class of 2019|
The LSAT scale ranges from 120 to 180, with 120 being the lowest possible score and 180 being the highest possible score.What law school is easiest to get into? ›
- Concordia University School of Law, Idaho. ...
- Roger Williams University School of Law, Rhode Island. ...
- John Marshall Law School, Chicago. ...
- Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego.
Are there any free law schools in the US? ›
Yale Law School has become the first law institution to erase tuition for J.D. students living below the poverty line. On Monday, the Yale Law School became the first and only law school in the country to make a law degree tuition-free for students with the greatest financial need.How many law schools should you apply to? ›
A good rule of thumb is to apply to at least a dozen law schools: five reaches, five midrange schools and two safety schools. Reach law schools are highly competitive, admitting applicants with average GPAs and LSAT scores that may be a bit higher than your own.How can I pay for law school without a loan? ›
- Earn scholarships and grants. You don't have to repay scholarships and grants, making them the best option to pay for law school — if you qualify. ...
- Work part-time. Law students can earn federal work-study funds by working part time. ...
- Use military financial aid. ...
- Take out student loans.
In 2019, the average cost of tuition and fees (not including cost-of-living expenses) at a private law school was $49,312 per year. For out-of-state students at public law schools, tuition and fees (not including cost-of-living expenses) averaged $41,628 per year.Why should you go to law school? ›
Lawyers and law students derive satisfaction from being in a position of prestige. The prospect of working in a well known law firm or for a famous client excites many law students and lawyers who anticipate being respected by other adults.Is 60 too old for law school? ›
It's never too late in life to apply to law school. Although most applicants are under 25, roughly 20% are 30 or older, according to the Law School Admission Council. Many older law graduates build fulfilling second careers that draw upon both preexisting skills and experiences and those that law school provides.Is being a lawyer worth it in 2022? ›
Being a lawyer is a better job than being a speech-language pathologist but not quite as good as being a statistician. That's the conclusion of U.S. News & World Report, which rated working as a lawyer the ninth best job on its list of 100 Best Jobs of 2022.Can you fail law school? ›
When law students don't study properly, there is a good chance they'll underperform and unfortunately, fail.” Blasser set out a by-the-numbers list of what a student has to do in order to flunk out of law school: 1. Apply to law school to make someone besides yourself happy.What is a lawyer major called? ›
A Juris Doctor degree is the required legal degree for professionals who are pursuing a career as a practicing attorney.What is a good LSAT score? ›
According to U.S. News, law school admissions experts recommend striving for at least a 150; however, for a top-ranking law school, you should aim for a 160 or better. For a Top 10 law school, a 170 or more is desired. Of course, this all depends on which schools you are applying to.
What matters most in law school admissions? ›
Your GPA and LSAT score are really important
Your undergraduate GPA and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score will be two of the most important components of your law school application. The LSAT is offered six times a year (beginning in 2018), and it is administered by the Law School Admission Council.
Dear Grade Point Analysis: Initial evaluation of your application will be based on your cumulative GPA and LSAT score. Thus, your 3.3 GPA – or 3.5 if you improve it – will be what admissions committees consider.What do admissions officers look for in law school? ›
There's really no way around it—your LSAT score, GPA, and the rigor of your undergraduate course work are basically the most important things law schools are looking for. Also keep in mind that your LSAT score and GPA can make a huge difference in the scholarships and grants you'll be eligible for.Do law schools look at your last 2 years? ›
We consider all years of study and, as a general rule, applicants with strong cumulative averages will be preferred. However, we will place greater weight on the last 2 years of full-time (or equivalent) undergraduate study in appropriate circumstances, typically where the cumulative average falls below 3.7.Do law school grades matter? ›
Firms can also judge how much they like you. Nevertheless, in terms of judging how serious you are about law school and how much aptitude you show for the practice of law, grades are generally the most important standard that firms use in the hiring of law students.
While LSAT is the most important factor, GPA is still significant. When you get down into schools lower in the rankings (outside the top 10 schools), numbers alone become an even better predictor of how likely you are to get into a specific school. LSAT is still the more important number than GPA.Does North Carolina have a law school? ›
There are 7 law schools in North Carolina. Below are the admissions statistics for each of North Carolina's law schools.Does UNC Charlotte have a law school? ›
program here at UNC Charlotte and we believe that through its recent awarding of full accreditation by the American Bar Association, the Charlotte School of Law is an ideal partner,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois.Does UNC have a law school? ›
UNC School of Law | The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Does NC State have a law school? ›
Campbell Law School and NC State both enjoy solid reputations nationally, as well as within the local community.
Is law school difficult? ›
In summary, law school is hard. Harder than regular college or universities, in terms of stress, workload, and required commitment. But about 40,000 people graduate from law schools every year–so it is clearly attainable.Is a top 10 law school worth it? ›
The highest 10% of lawyers earned median annual earnings of more than $208,000 in 2019. Some law school graduates forgo serving as a lawyer in order to have more work-life balance. There are many jobs you can do with a law degree and legal-related roles where having a J.D. may be an asset.How many law schools should you apply to? ›
A good rule of thumb is to apply to at least a dozen law schools: five reaches, five midrange schools and two safety schools. Reach law schools are highly competitive, admitting applicants with average GPAs and LSAT scores that may be a bit higher than your own.What is Charlotte's law? ›
A public consultation into Charlotte's Law, which would restrict parole for killers who refuse to disclose the location of their victim's body, is to begin in a matter of weeks. It follows a review of current law in relation to disclosure of information in murder cases where the body has not been recovered.How long is law school in NC? ›
175 years of producing lawyers with a strong commitment to justice and service. UNC School of Law was founded in 1845 and is North Carolina's oldest professional school. Our three-year J.D. program prepares outstanding lawyers and leaders to serve the people and institutions of North Carolina, the nation and the world.Is UNC Chapel Hill law school good? ›
UNC School of Law cracks the Top 25 ranked law schools this year. Carolina Law moved up three spots to No. 24 out of 193 law schools ranked in the U.S. News & World Report's 2022 edition of “America's Best Graduate Schools,” released on March 30.What LSAT score do I need for UNC Chapel Hill? ›
We do not have a minimum LSAT requirement. Our median LSAT in recent years was 161. We do not have a minimum GPA requirement.How much does law school cost in NC? ›
|Tuition and Fees||$24,492|
|Room and Board||$19,268|
|Student Health Insurance Estimate||$2,616|
According to U.S. News, law school admissions experts recommend striving for at least a 150; however, for a top-ranking law school, you should aim for a 160 or better. For a Top 10 law school, a 170 or more is desired. Of course, this all depends on which schools you are applying to.What is North Carolina law known for? ›
Home to numerous centers and initiatives, the school offers strong expertise in civil rights, banking, environmental law, intellectual property, entrepreneurial and securities law, critical studies, bankruptcy and constitutional inquiry.
Is NC Central a good law school? ›
North Carolina Central University is ranked No. 147-192 in Best Law Schools. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.What law schools are in Charlotte North Carolina? ›
|Charlotte School of Law||Charlotte||North Carolina|
|Duke University School of Law||Durham||North Carolina|
|Elon University School of Law||Greensboro||North Carolina|
|North Carolina Central University School of Law||Durham||North Carolina|