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Harvard Law School

published April 10, 2012

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 387 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
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Langdell Hall at Harvard Law School

Michigan-Ann Arbor Logo
Established 1817
Mailing address 1563 Massachusetts Avenue, | Cambridge| MA 02138
Phone 617-495-1000
Student-faculty ratio 12.4:1
Number of students enrolled 1679
Acceptance rate 13.3.5%
Bar passage rate (first-time test takers) 94.8%
Law school cost (tuition and fees) $48,786 per year


The oldest law school in U.S.A., the Harvard Law School is a brand recognized across the world, in business houses, and among the academia and general public. The land of the school was granted by the will of Isaac Royal in 1781; in 1817, the formal first-year law curriculum of the school was developed. The law course at that time included classes in property, torts, contracts, civil procedure and ancillary subjects. A course that became ossified as a standard, is recently becoming more accommodative and undergoing changes with inclusions like international law, comparative legislation, and case-study classes focused on problem-solving.

Harvard's focus is entirely intellectual and geared to produce think tanks and thought-leaders. As the Dean's welcome page mentions succinctly, "Harvard Law School is a place for people who love ideas because ideas make a difference in the world; who want to think about the law's interaction with public policy, business information and biomedical technologies, and human needs and perceptions; who are fascinated by the power of institutions and rules while mindful of the unintended consequences of policy reforms; and who pursue the legal profession's service to society." The intention is clear - Harvard chooses candidates to prepare national leaders and those ready to think out-of-the-box. Very naturally, people who are looking for 'another court clerk' are sometimes disappointed by Harvard graduates.

Get advice from law students, prelaw students and others at: Top Law Schools


Rankings and reputation

Harvard Law School ranked third in the U.S. News law school rankings this year. Usually it is at the second spot after Yale, but this year Stanford overtook it in the law school rankings. Harvard Law School graduates have earned an industry reputation of being competitive, intelligent, performance-oriented, but weak in competencies required for primary legal research. This happens because of the school's greater stress on high-level research which is more academia and jurisprudence oriented than being court-functions oriented. The more famous research programs of the school include those on European law, East Asian law, and international financial systems etcetera.

Harvard consistently produces world leaders including the current president of US as also the challenger to that seat. The current president of the Republic of China is also a product of Harvard Law School. The Harvard law school has produced more than 568 judicial clerkships only in the past three years including approximately a quarter of Supreme Court Clerkships.

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Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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