Black Guide to Law Schools 2023

The Black Guide to Law Schools 2023 is here!

For nearly a decade, Lawyers of Color (LoC) has ranked the “best” law schools for Black law students. However, we now realize that such rankings undermine equity in the legal profession. As a result, we will no longer rank law schools. Instead, LoC will present law school data in a way that makes it easy to compare to other law schools, thus allowing students to make informed choices based on their needs and desires.

While this publication centers Black students, the information presented is of value to all prospective law students as it presents law school data in a comprehensive, easy to understand manner.

We are marking this as the end of the rankings era. Of course, “rankings” have their 

place, but it is alongside transparency and equity. Any data that is objective and verifiable is appropriate to report. Its significance should be left to the students to decide. 

Never again will we subject law schools to the unfair and highly subjective process of using an opaque formula or methodology to create a one-size fits all “ranking.” We don’t believe we are the ones to decide what should be the MOST important factors for any student. Instead, we have taken data that is publicly available to everyone – in addition to providing comprehensive data on its website, the ABA requires each law school to publicly disclose its 509 report and bar passage rate statistics on its law school website – and converted this raw data into percentages to allow for accurate comparisons.

Below are the key categories and takeaways:

Black Law Deans, Black Students & Black JDs Awarded (Howard Law School Tops the Lists)

Tuition (University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law Among the Most Affordable Law Schools and 

Grants & Scholarships (Liberty University School of Law Among the Most Generous)

Employment – big law, judicial clerkships, public interest jobs among other categories. 

94 percent of Columbia Law School graduates have bar required jobs

Law Firm (50-250) Jobs – University of Detroit Mercy School of Law tops the list

Law Firm (251+) Jobs – Cornell Law School Tops the List

Government & Public Interest Jobs – CUNY School of Law Tops the List

Federal Clerkships – University of Chicago Law School Tops the List
State Clerkships – University of Chicago Law School Tops the List

While most of the law school data was compiled from the 509 required filings to the American Bar Association, Lawyers of Color did add two categories we thought vital:

Data on the major legal markets, which were determined by the number of federal courts, legislative houses, major law firms, and Fortune 1000 company headquarters in the law school’s area; 

Lawyers of Color also tallied the law school alma maters of honorees from our 2022 publications, including those listed in the Power, Caucus, Hot, and Law Firm Leader publications.