Best Law Schools for Getting Rich as a Lawyer

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on August 01, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

We get it, you want BigLaw despite advice that you should be careful what you wish for. You've made it your aim to get into some of the most corporate of firms, and now you want to know which schools will best increase your chances. After all, BigLaw is where the money's at.

After taking some of the stats from the American Bar Association, the folks over at Business Insider ran some comparisons against their own list in order to create a list with a second opinion, so to speak. Let's take a look at the top five schools for landing a high-paying BigLaw job.

1. Columbia University Law

There must be something magical about Columbia University Law. Either students who apply self-select to be BigLaw shark-types, or BigLaw just turns consistently to Columbia first. In either case, more than three-quarters of grads score either a BigLaw job or a coveted federal clerkship under a judge, according to Business Insider. That's pretty impressive. You'll pay for it, though. Tuition is still $67,000 per year. Throw in books, lodgings, rent, and your soul you'll top out at around $263K.

2. UPenn

According to Above the Law, UPenn is not (gasp) on the list of the most expensive law schools in the nation. But they are strategically situated in one of the most coveted spots geographically when it comes to law: Philadelphia. There's a reason they use the term "Philadelphia lawyer." Business Insider figures that 75 percent of grads secure federal clerkships or get BigLaw seats, just a hair beneath Columbia. The number is so small that it could be a rounding error.

3. University of Chicago

The BigLaw prize goes to our soon to President Obama's alma mater, the University of Chicago. As far as we can tell, as soon as the school slaps the J.D.s into the hands of grads, they pretty much get funneled into BigLaw jobs. The number of successful BigLaw hunters is around 80 percent. It's official. If you want BigLaw, go to the University of Chicago Law.

4. Pritzker (Formally Northwestern) University

It's gonna take us at least another few months to get used to calling this institution Pritzker School of Law. This respectable school is lodged nicely in the T14 and boasts that half of its grads make it into the BigLaw with employees beyond 500 in number. You can't really go wrong with this school.

5. NYU

NYU is one of the other get rich, BigLaw schools in New York and its certainly no slouch. Cost of attendance is about $245,000, which is pretty up there on the lists of costs. Details aren't exactly overflowing, but if Business Insider gives this school the nod, then we certainly know that NYU couldn't be a bad choice for landing a healthy paycheck.

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