Law school

A law school (also known as a law centre or college of law) is an institution specializing in legal education, usually involved as part of a process for becoming a lawyer within a given jurisdiction.

Juris Doctor diploma
A typical juris doctor diploma, here from Suffolk University Law School

Law degrees


To practice in Australia, one needs to graduate with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Juris Doctor (JD), or Diploma-in-Law issued by the Legal Profession Admission Board, followed by an internship for 12 months or an extra course in practical legal training (PLT) depending on the jurisdiction and university, and be admitted as a lawyer of one of a state's Supreme Court.


In Brazil, the legal education begins between 1827/28 in Olinda/PE and São Paulo/SP where the first schools of law were established by the new Empire using the Coimbra Faculty of Law as an educational model.

The current legal education consists of a 5-year-long course after which the scholar is granted a bachelor's degree.[1]

The practice of law is conditioned upon admission to the bar of a particular state or other territorial jurisdiction (Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil - OAB [2]).

Before practicing as public attorneys, public prosecutors or magistrates (judges), candidates must successfully pass an entrance examination and complete a constitutionally-mandated three years of legal experience. Second degree courts and higher must have at least one-fifth of their judges be members of a lawyers' association, and also from federal/state/labour prosecutors (ministério público) regarding the court jurisdiction. Electoral and military courts do not have this requirement.

After achieving the bachelor's degree in law, it is possible to specialize (lato sensu) or to follow an academic law path (stricto sensu), or both.

The stricto sensu postgraduate program consists of a master's degree, which is usually a two-year degree, followed by a doctorate degree, which can take up to another four years.[3]


The oldest civil law faculty in Canada offering law degrees was established in 1848 at McGill University in Montreal, and the oldest common law faculty in Canada offering law degrees was established in 1883 at Dalhousie University in Halifax. The typical law degree required to practice law in Canada is now the Juris Doctor,[4] which requires previous university coursework and is similar to the first law degree in the United States. There is some scholarly content in the coursework (such as an academic research paper required in most schools).[5] The programs consist of three years, and have similar content in their mandatory first year courses. Beyond first year and the minimum requirements for graduation, course selection is elective with various concentrations such as business law, international law, natural resources law, criminal law, Aboriginal law, etc.[6] Some schools, however, have not switched from LL.B. to the J.D. – one notable university that still awards the LL.B is McGill University.

Given that the Canadian legal system includes both the French civil law and the Anglo-American common law, some law schools offer both an LL.B. or J.D. (common law) and a B.C.L., LL.L. or LL.B. (civil law) degree, such as McGill University, University of Ottawa and the Université de Montréal. In particular, McGill University Faculty of Law offers a combined civil law and common law program, which has been called "transsystemic."[7] At other faculties, if a person completes a common law degree, then a civil law degree can be obtained with only an extra year of study. This is also true for civil law graduates who wish to complete a common law degree.

Despite changes in designation, schools opting for the J.D. have not altered their curricula. Neither the J.D. or LL.B. alone is sufficient to qualify for a Canadian license, as each Province's law society requires an apprenticeship and successful completion of provincial skills and responsibilities training course, such as the British Columbia Law Society's Professional Legal Training Course,[8] the Law Society of Upper Canada's Skills and Responsibilities Training Program.[9] and the École du Barreau du Québec.

The main reason for implementing the J.D. in Canada was to distinguish the degree from the European counterpart that requires no previous post-secondary education,[10] However, in the eyes of the Canadian educational system, the J.D. awarded by Canadian universities has retained the characteristics of the LL.B. and is considered a second entry program, but not a graduate program.[11] (This position is analogous to the position taken by Canadian universities that the M.D. and D.D.S. degrees are considered second entry programs and not graduate programs.) Nevertheless, disagreement persists regarding the status of the degrees, such as at the University of Toronto, where the J.D. degree designation has been marketed by the Faculty of Law as superior to the LL.B. degree designation.[12]

Some universities have developed joint Canadian LL.B or J.D. and American J.D programs, such as York University and New York University,[13] the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy,[14] and the University of Ottawa and Michigan State University program.[15]


Law school is usually entered to at the undergraduate level in a university. There is an intermediate bachelor's degree (oikeusnotaari), but the target is the master's degree in law (oikeustieteen maisteri; until 2005 oikeustieteen kandidaatti). Once university education is complete, the title of varatuomari (VT) is obtained with an one-year externship in a district court. This is the basic qualification to practice law. With further experience, the candidate may be admitted to the Finnish Bar Association and licensed with the legally protected title asianajaja, similar to barrister.


In France, the legal education is a three tier system. The student may study for a LLB (licence de droit), then a LLM (master de droit) and, for those interested in Law theory, a PhD in Law (doctorat de droit).

Many French universities offers Law courses in department labelled as Research and Education Units (unité de formation et de recherche) and/or Faculties of Law or Law Schools.

A LLM-level is a prerequisite for some legal professions, but is combined with vocational education, such as the école nationale de la magistrature for judges and the Certificat d'aptitude aux fonctions d'avocat for advocates.


Law Degree in Indonesia consists of three tier systems. The first tier is the Degree of which carries the title of Sarjana Hukum/S.H. (Bachelor of Law). This can be obtained in 4–7 years after they enter Law School straight from Senior High School.

The second tier varies depending on the legal specialties taken after the first tier. The general title for this tier is Magister Hukum / M.H. (Master in Law). Although it is also common to see other title for secondary tier such as Magister Kenotariatan / M.Kn. (Master in Notary) for Notarial professionals line of work. The second tier can be obtained normally in 1-2 year.

The third tier in Indonesian Law Degree is Doctor / DR. (Doctor in Law).

To work in legal professions of choice in Indonesia, a Bachelor Law Degree (S.H.) is obligatory. Graduates can pursue their career as Legal in-house counsel, Judge profession (requires admission and further training at Supreme Court Educational Center), Public Prosecutor (requires admission and further training at Public Prosecutor Educational and Training Center), other legal-related work and Advocate.

To become an Advocate, Law Graduate should attend an Advocate Special Course (1–2 months) and pass the Bar exam. The title Advocate can be obtained after a graduate passes the Bar exam and fulfill several obligation and requirements created by the Indonesian Advocates Association (PERADI), and is a prerequisite for practicing trial law in Indonesia.

List of some School of Law in Indonesia

  • University of Indonesia Faculty of Law, Depok, West Java
  • Gadjah Mada University Faculty of Law, Jogjakarta, Jogjakarta
  • Diponegoro University Faculty of Law, Semarang, Central Java
  • Padjadjaran University Faculty of Law, Bandung, West Java
  • Airlangga University Faculty of Law, Surabaya, East Java
  • Brawijaya University Faculty of Law, Malang, East Java
  • Hasanuddin University Faculty of Law, Makassar, South Sulawesi
  • Andalas University School of Law, Padang, West Sumatera
  • Darma Cendika Catholic University Faculty of Law, Surabaya, East Java


West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (front entrance, 2006)
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, in Kolkata is one of the autonomous law schools in India

In India, legal education has been traditionally offered as a three-year graduate degree. However, the structure has been changed since 1987. Law degrees in India are granted and conferred in terms of the Advocates Act, 1961, which is a law passed by the Parliament both on the aspect of legal education and also regulation of conduct of legal profession.[16] Under the act, the Bar Council of India is the supreme regulatory body to regulate the legal profession in India and also to ensure the compliance of the laws and maintenance of professional standards by the legal profession in the country.

To this regard, the Bar Council of India prescribes the minimum curriculum required to be taught in order for an institution to be eligible for the grant of a law degree. The Bar Council also carries on a periodic supervision of the institutions conferring the degree and evaluates their teaching methodology and curriculum and having determined that the institution meets the required standards, recognizes the institution and the degree conferred by it.

Traditionally the degrees that were conferred carried the title of LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) or B.L. (Bachelor of Law). The eligibility requirement for these degrees was that the applicant already have a Bachelor's degree in any subject from a recognized institution. Thereafter the LL.B. / B.L. course was for three years, upon the successful completion of which the applicant was granted either degree.

However, upon the suggestion by the Law Commission of India and also given the prevailing cry for reform, the Bar Council of India instituted upon an experiment in terms of establishing specialized law universities solely devoted to legal education and thus to raise the academic standards of legal profession in India. This decision was taken somewhere in 1985 and thereafter the first law University in India was set up in Bangalore which was named as the National Law School of India University (popularly 'NLS'). These law universities were meant to offer a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach to legal education. It was therefore for the first time that a law degree other than LL.B. or B.L. was granted in India. NLS offered a five-year law course, upon the successful completion of which an integrated degree with the title of "B.A.,LL.B. (Honours)" would be granted.

Thereafter, other law universities were set up, all offering five-year integrated law degrees with different nomenclature. The next in line was National Law Institute University set up in Bhopal in 1997. It was followed by NALSAR university of law in 1998. The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in Delhi offered a five-year integrated law degree course of LL.B (Honours) from 1998 and subsequently from 2007 started to award the B.A.,LL.B / B.B.A.LL.B (Honours). The Mysore University School of Justice set up by the University of Mysore in Mysore offered a five-year integrated law degree course of B.A.,LL.B (Honours) from 2007. The course for three years LL.B. is also regularized in University of Delhi as an option for post graduation after the completion of graduation degree. The National Law University, Jodhpur offered for the first time in 2001 the integrated law degree of "B.B.A, LL.B. (Honours)" which was preceded by the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences offering the "B.Sc., LL.B. (Honours)" degree. Gujarat National Law University established in Gandhinagar also offers LL.B.

However, despite these specialized law universities, the traditional three-year degree continues to be offered in India by other institutions and are equally recognized as eligible qualifications for practicing law in India. Another essential difference that remains is that while the eligibility qualification for the three year law degree is that the applicant must already be a holder of a bachelor's degree, for being eligible for the five years integrated law degree, the applicant must have successfully completed Class XII from a recognized Boards of Education in India.

Both the holders of the three-year degree and of the five-year integrated degree are eligible for enrollment with the Bar Council of India upon the fulfillment of eligibility conditions and upon enrollment, may appear before any court in India.[17]

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, which generally follows the English common law system, an undergraduate L.L.B. is common, followed by a one or two year Postgraduate Certificate in Laws before one can begin a training contract (solicitors) or a pupillage (barristers).

Law Schools in Hong Kong

City University of Hong Kong -

The Chinese University of Hong Kong -

The University of Hong Kong -


In Iran, the legal education has been influenced both by civil law and Islamic Shari'ah law. Like many countries, after high school, one can enter the law school. The first law degree is LL.B. It takes about four years to get LL.B. The first graduate program in law is LL.M. It takes about two to three years to earn an LL.M. The LL.M. is a mix of course work in a specific field of law and a dissertation. The Ph.D. in law is the highest law degree offered by some law schools. It takes about 5–7 years depending on the school as well as the students.


See Legal education#Japan.


Law degree programs are considered graduate programs in the Philippines. As such, admission to law schools requires the completion of a bachelor's degree, with a sufficient number of credits or units in certain subject areas.[17]

Graduation from a Philippine law school constitutes the primary eligibility requirement for the Philippine Bar Examination, the national licensure examination for practicing lawyers in the country. The bar examination is administered by the Supreme Court of the Philippines during the month of September every year.

As of 2011 the bar examinations were held during November.

The University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law was the first secular faculty, and hence the oldest law school in the Philippines.


In Singapore, the primary route for obtaining a legal education to qualify as a practicing lawyer is via a 4-year Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from either the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, or the Singapore Management University School of Law. A third law school affiliated to the Singapore University of Social Sciences will commence its first intake in 2017, aimed primarily at producing law graduates focused on family, criminal and community justice law, as there is a pressing need for lawyers practicing in these areas.

Additionally, the SMU School of Law offers the 3-year Juris Doctor degree for aspiring candidates who have already completed a prior undergraduate course of study and who have been award a bachelor's degree in another field. The SMU J.D. is recognised for qualification to the Singapore Bar.

There are several private law schools in Singapore that are run by private education providers and which also award the Bachelor of Laws degree. These private law schools are neither recognised nor supported by the government and their graduates are, in the vast majority of cases, ineligible for qualification to the Singapore Bar.

Law Schools in Singapore

National University of Singapore

Singapore Management University

Singapore University of Social Sciences

Stansfield College


In Serbia, prospective students are required to pass an admission test for enrollment in a law school. The legal education is a three tier system – 4-year bachelor's degree studies, 1-year Master of Law and 5-year doctoral studies. The Belgrade Law School is the most distinguished and largest by capacity in Serbia. Courses are offered in Serbian and English.

South Korea

On July 3, 2007, the Korean National Assembly passed legislation introducing 'Law School', closely modeled on the American post-graduate system.[18] Moreover, naturally, since March 2, 2009, 25 (both public and private) 3-year professional Law Schools that officially approved by Korean Government, has been opened to teach future Korean lawyers.[19] The first bar test to the lawschool graduates was scheduled in 2012.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka to practice law, one must be admitted and enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. This is achieved by passing law exams at the Sri Lanka Law College, which are administered by the Council of Legal Education and spending a period of six months under a practicing attorney of at least 8 years standing. To undertake law exams students must gain admission to the Sri Lanka Law College and study law or directly undertake exams after gaining a LL.B. from a local or foreign university.[20]


In Sweden, the route for obtaining a legal education to qualify as a practicing lawyer is via a 4-and-a-half-year Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree (270 ECTS).

Law schools in Sweden


In Taiwan, law is primarily studied as an undergraduate program resulting in a Bachelor of Law (B.L.).[21] Students receive academic rather than practical training.[21] Practical training is arranged after the individual passes the lawyer, judge, or prosecutor exams.

A degree in law (bachelor, master or doctor) is a pre-requisite for Taiwan's bar examination. According to Ministry of Examination figures, the pass rate for the 2011 exam was 10.6%. Since the bar exam is conducted in Chinese, a native level of language fluency is expected.

A non-citizen may take the Attorney Qualification Examination.[22] According to Articles 5 and 20 of the Regulations on Attorney Qualification Examination (Bar Exam), non-citizens are allowed to participate in the bar examination with a degree in law earned in Taiwan. Non-citizens are not allowed to sit in the prosecutor or judge examinations unless they are naturalized citizens of Taiwan. Once a non-citizen is approved to practice law in Taiwan, he or she must abide by all statutes related to the legal practice, Codes of Legal Ethics, and the Articles of Incorporation of the Bar Association to which they are members.[22]

United States

Austin Hall, Harvard University
Founded in 1817, Harvard Law School is the oldest continuously operating law school in the United States.

In the United States, law school is a postgraduate program usually lasting three years and resulting in the conferral upon graduates of the Juris Doctor (J.D.) law degree. Some schools in Louisiana concurrently award a Graduate Diploma in Civil Law (D.C.L.). To gain admission to a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), applicants must usually take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT),[23][24]:33 and have an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree in any major.[24]:38 Currently, there are 203 ABA-approved law schools that grant the JD degree.[25] There currently are eight law schools that are unaccredited by any state bar or the ABA but registered by the State Bar of California, 21 law schools accredited solely by the State Bar of California[26], 2 law schools accredited solely by statute in Alabama and 1 law school accredited solely by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Non-ABA approved law schools have much lower bar passage rates than ABA-approved law schools,[27] and do not submit or disclose employment outcome data to the ABA.

According to a study by labor economists Michael Simkovic and Frank McIntyre, a law degree increases the present value of lifetime earnings in the U.S. by $1,000,000 compared to a bachelor's degree.[28][29][30][31][32] According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average salary for lawyers in 2012 was above $130,000, albeit in a bimodal distribution.[33] Salaries vary by geography, with higher average salaries in big cities—especially New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles—and lower salaries in rural areas. An unpublished table produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that unemployment rates among experienced lawyers are lower than those for most high-income occupations.[34] BLS data also suggests that lawyer employment has grown slightly faster than other occupations, with lawyers comprising a growing share of the work force over the last decade.

However, not all recent law graduates work as lawyers. According to Simkovic and McIntyre's study of U.S. Census Bureau data, around 40 percent of U.S. residents with law degrees do not practice law.[28] Law graduates are disproportionately represented in leadership positions in business and government.[28] The National Association for Legal Career Professionals produces an annual report summarizing the employment of recent graduates of U.S. law schools at a single point in time, 9 months of graduation. Employment at that point is typically around 90 percent, although from 2009 to 2011, the numbers have been lower, at around 86 to 88 percent.[35] Approximately 2 percent of graduates were employed in non-professional jobs.[35] Approximately 75 to 85 percent work in jobs classified by NALP as "JD required" or "JD preferred", and another 5 percent work in other professional jobs.[35] However, a law degree increases earnings, even including those who do not practice law.[28]

Postgraduate and professional study

Some schools offer a Master of Laws (LL.M.) program as a way of specializing in a particular area of law. A further possible degree is the academic doctoral degree in law of Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) (in the U.S or Canada)., or the Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) in Canada or the UK, or the Ph.D. in Law from European or Australasian universities.

In addition to attending law school, many jurisdictions require law school graduates to pass a state or provincial bar examination before they may practice law. The Multistate Bar Examination is part of the bar examination in almost all United States jurisdictions. Generally, the standardized, common law subject matter of the MBE is combined with state-specific essay questions to produce a comprehensive bar examination.

In other common law countries the bar exam is often replaced by a period of work with a law firm known as articles of clerkship.

Alternative legal education systems

UK and Europe

While law schools in the U.S. and Canada are typically post-graduate institutions with considerable autonomy, legal education in other countries is provided within the mainstream educational system from university level and/or in non-degree conferring vocational training institutions.

In countries such as the United Kingdom and most of continental Europe, academic legal education is provided within the mainstream university system starting at the undergraduate level, and the legal departments of universities are simply departments like any other rather than separate "law schools". In these countries, the term "law school" may be used, but it does not have the same definition as it does in North America. The same is true for private Law Schools, e.g. in Germany two private law schools have been established, Bucerius Law School in Hamburg and EBS Law School in Wiesbaden which are termed law schools but follow the usual German path of legal education.

There are also sometimes legal colleges that provide vocational training as a post-academic stage of legal education. One example is the University of Law in the United Kingdom, which provides certain professional qualifications lawyers in England and Wales must obtain before they may practice as solicitors or barristers.


In Australia, law schools such as the Melbourne Law School, the Adelaide Law School, and the Sydney Law School have emphasised a combination of the British and American systems. However, other universities such as the University of New South Wales, the Australian National University and Monash University are known for their practical work.[36]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "OAB - Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil - Conselho Federal".
  3. ^ Capes, Coordenação de Comunicação Social da. "Legislação específica". Archived from the original on 2016-05-04.
  4. ^ The practice of law in Canada Archived 2009-01-31 at the Wayback Machine. FLSC. Accessed September 16, 2008
  5. ^ University of British Columbia. Requirements for Graduation and Evaluation of Work (LL.B.). Accessed June 28, 2008
  6. ^ Canadian law school concentrations, certificates and joint-degree programs "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2017-04-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
  7. ^ Where Law and Pedagogy Meet in the Transsystemic Contracts Classroom "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2016-05-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link). Accessed April 26, 2013.
  8. ^ Law Society of British Columbia PLTC "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-01-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
  9. ^ "Law Society of Upper Canada Law Licensing Process". Archived from the original on 2009-01-10.
  10. ^ University of British Columbia Board of Governors approves request for LL.B to be renamed J.D. [1].
  11. ^ University of Toronto. law Archived 2009-01-23 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed April 7, 2008. Queens University. Memorandum, Law Students Society. Accessed April 7, 2008.
  12. ^ University of Toronto. Faculty of Law: Prospective Students Archived 2011-08-28 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed April 7, 2008.
  13. ^ NYU/Osgoode Joint LL.B/J.D. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-06-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
  14. ^ University of Windsor / University of Detroit. J.D./LL.B. Program Archived 2008-02-16 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed June 1, 2008.
  15. ^ Michigan State University School of Law and the University of Ottawa. Joint J.D. – LL.B. Degree Program Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed June 1, 2008.
  16. ^ "Advocates Act, 1961" (PDF). Bar Council of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  17. ^ a b Major Legal Systems in the World Today: An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Law, by René David, John E. C. Brierley, Contributor René David, John E. C. Brierley, Edition: 2, (Published by Simon and Schuster, 1978)ISBN 0029076102, ISBN 978-0-02-907610-1 [2]
  18. ^ Assembly okays shift to law schools from state bar exam Archived 2007-10-22 at the Wayback Machine, The Hankyoreh, Retrieved on July 4, 2007
  19. ^ Korean Law School List Announced Archived 2011-07-30 at Wikiwix, Korean Law Blog, January 31, 2008
  20. ^ "SRI LANKA LAW COLLEGE". Archived from the original on 2010-08-29.
  21. ^ a b Chang-fa Lo, Driving an Ox Cart to Catch Up With the Space Shuttle: The Need For and Prospects of Legal Education Reform in Taiwan, 24 Wis. Int'l L.J. 41 (2006).
  22. ^ a b "Laws & Regulations Database and The Republic of China".
  23. ^ Kitroeff, Natalie (24 February 2015). "The First Two Law Schools to Drop the LSAT Could Be Just the Beginning". Bloomberg Business. Archived from the original on 7 August 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  24. ^ a b "Admissions and Student Services" (PDF). American Bar Association. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  25. ^ "ABA-approved law schools". External link in |website= (help)
  26. ^ "State Bar-approved law schools".
  27. ^ "Unaccredited registered schools" (PDF). State Bar of California.
  28. ^ a b c d Simkovic, Michael; McIntyre, Frank (13 April 2013). "The Economic Value of a Law Degree" – via
  29. ^ Solomon, Steven Davidoff. "Debating, Yet Again, the Worth of Law School". Archived from the original on 2017-07-09.
  30. ^ Matthews, Dylan (18 July 2013). "Ignore the haters. Law school is totally worth the cash". Archived from the original on 23 August 2017.
  31. ^ Weissmann, Jordan. "Is Law School a Good Deal After All?". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20.
  32. ^ "Brian Leiter's Law School Reports". Archived from the original on 2015-05-02.
  33. ^ "Lawyers". Archived from the original on 2006-05-07.
  34. ^ "Who's Got the Biggest Salary?". 30 July 2012. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.
  35. ^ a b c "NALP - National Association for Law Placement - Class of 2011 Has Lowest Employment Rate Since Class of 1994". Archived from the original on 2015-04-13.
  36. ^ For a discussion on the practical training in Australian law schools see Margaret Castles and Anne Hewitt 'Can a law school help develop skilled legal professionals' (2011) ALTERNATIVE LAW JOURNAL; 36 (2) 2011: 90–95. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2011-10-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)(subscription required)

Further reading

  • Duncan Kennedy: Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy, New Edition, New York Univ Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8147-4778-7
Bob Graham

Daniel Robert Graham (born November 9, 1936) is an American politician and author who served as the 38th governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States senator from Florida from 1987 to 2005. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Born in Coral Gables, Florida, Graham won election to the Florida Legislature after graduating from Harvard Law School. After serving in both houses of the Florida Legislature, Graham won the 1978 Florida gubernatorial election, and was reelected in 1982. In the 1986 Senate elections, Graham defeated incumbent Republican Senator Paula Hawkins. He helped found the Democratic Leadership Council and eventually became Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Graham ran for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, but dropped out before the first primaries. He declined to seek reelection in 2004 and retired from the Senate.

Graham served as co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and as a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the CIA External Advisory Board. He works at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Florida. He also served as Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism. Through the WMD policy center he advocates for the recommendations in the Commission's report, "World at Risk." In 2011, Graham published his first novel, the thriller The Keys to the Kingdom. He has also written three nonfiction books: Workdays: Finding Florida on the Job, Intelligence Matters, and America: The Owner's Manual.

Columbia Law School

Columbia Law School (often referred to as Columbia Law or CLS) is a professional graduate school of Columbia University, a member of the Ivy League. It has always been ranked in the top five law schools in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. Columbia is especially well known for its strength in corporate law and its placement power in the nation's elite law firms.Columbia Law School was founded in 1858 as the Columbia College Law School, and was known for its legal scholarship dating back to the 18th century. Graduates of the university's colonial predecessor, King's College, include such notable early-American legal figures as John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States, and Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, who were both co-authors of The Federalist Papers.

Columbia has produced a large number of distinguished alumni, including US presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt; nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States; numerous U.S. Cabinet members and presidential advisers; US senators; representatives; governors; and more members of the Forbes 400 than any other law school in the world.According to Columbia Law School's 2013 ABA-required disclosures; 95% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment within nine months of graduation, with the 25th percentile median, and 75th percentile starting salary for graduates all being $180,000 (including the standard first year associate bonus of $15,000, this figure rises to $195,000). The law school was ranked #1 of all law schools nationwide by the National Law Journal in terms of sending the highest percentage of 2015 graduates to the largest 100 law firms in the US (52.6%).

Cornell Law School

Cornell Law School is the law school of Cornell University, a private Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. It is one of the five Ivy League law schools and offers three law degree programs (J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D.) along with several dual-degree programs in conjunction with other professional schools at the university. Established in 1887 as Cornell's Department of Law, the school today is one of the smallest top-tier JD-conferring institutions in the country, with around two-hundred students graduating each year. Since its inception Cornell Law School has always ranked among the top law schools in the nation (the "T-14").

Cornell Law alumni include business executive and philanthropist Myron Charles Taylor, namesake of the law school building, along with U.S. Secretaries of State Edmund Muskie and William P. Rogers, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Samuel Pierce, the first female President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, federal judge and first female editor-in-chief of a law review Mary Donlon Alger, former President of the International Criminal Court Song Sang-Hyun, as well as many members of the U.S. Congress, governors, state attorneys general, U.S. federal and state judges, diplomats and businesspeople.

Cornell Law School is home to the Legal Information Institute (LII), the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, the Cornell Law Review, the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy and the Cornell International Law Journal. The current dean of the law school is Eduardo Peñalver, who assumed the role in 2014.

Elena Kagan

Elena Kagan (; born April 28, 1960) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was nominated by President Barack Obama in May 2010, and confirmed by the Senate in August of the same year. She is the fourth woman to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court.

Kagan was born and raised in New York City. After attending Princeton University, the University of Oxford, and Harvard Law School, she clerked for a federal Court of Appeals judge and for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. She began her career as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, leaving to serve as Associate White House Counsel, and later as policy adviser under President Bill Clinton. After a nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which expired without action, she became a professor at Harvard Law School and was later named its first female dean.

In 2009, Kagan became the first female Solicitor General of the United States. President Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy arising from the impending retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens. The United States Senate confirmed her nomination by a vote of 63 to 37. She is considered part of the Court's liberal wing, but tends to be one of the more moderate justices of that group. She wrote the majority opinion in Cooper v. Harris, a landmark case restricting the permissible uses of race in drawing congressional districts.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Ann Warren (née Herring; born June 22, 1949) is an American politician and former law school professor serving as the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts since 2013. She was formerly a prominent scholar specializing in bankruptcy law. A progressive, she has focused on consumer protection, economic opportunity, and the social safety net while in the Senate. Some commentators describe her position as left-wing populism.A graduate of the University of Houston and Rutgers Law School, she taught law at several universities, including the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. She is the author of three books and coauthor of six.

Warren's initial foray into public policy began in 1995 when she worked to oppose what eventually became a 2005 act restricting bankruptcy access for individuals. Her national profile rose during the late 2000s following her forceful public stances in favor of more stringent banking regulations following the 2007–08 financial crisis. She served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and was instrumental in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for which she served as its first Special Advisor.

On February 9, 2019, Warren announced her candidacy for the 2020 United States presidential election at a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

George Washington University Law School

The George Washington University Law School (abbreviated as GW Law) is the law school of The George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. Founded in the 1820s, GW Law is the oldest law school in the national capital and one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. GW Law has offerings in business and finance law, environmental law, government procurement law, intellectual property law, international comparative law, litigation and dispute resolution, and national security and U.S. foreign relations law.GW Law is famous for its numerous prominent alumni, primarily within the fields of law and government, including the current U.S. Attorney General, the current U.S. Secretary of the Interior, foreign heads of state, judges of the International Court of Justice, ministers of foreign affairs, a Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Directors of the CIA, members of U.S. Congress, U.S. State Governors, 4 Directors of the FBI, and numerous Federal judges.

The 2020 U.S. News & World Report University Rankings ranks GW Law as 5th best in the U.S. for its international law program, 5th best for intellectual law, 2nd best for part-time law, and as the 22nd best law school in the United States. The National Law Journal ranked GW Law 21st for law schools that sent the highest percentage of new graduates to NLJ 250 law firms, the largest and most prominent law practices in the U.S.

Georgetown University Law Center

The Georgetown University Law Center is one of the professional graduate schools of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Established in 1870, it is the second largest law school in the United States by student body and receives more full-time applications than any other law school in the country.Georgetown consistently ranks among the top law schools in the United States and the world. For both 2017 and 2018, the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranked Georgetown Law as the 6th-best law school in the world. According to the 2019 QS World University Rankings, Georgetown Law is the 8th-best law school in the U.S. and 17th best in the world. In the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Georgetown Law was ranked 12th in the U.S. and 26th in the world.From 1996 to 2017, Georgetown has held an average rank of 13.82 on the U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of best law schools. According to the 2019 USNWR's rankings by sub-category, Georgetown is #1 in the country for clinical programs, #2 in tax law, #3 in international law, and #5 in trial advocacy. In 2017, Georgetown ranked 6th in the U.S. in terms of graduates with the highest salaries. Georgetown has been recognized as a "feeder school" to large law firms in the U.S.

Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1817, it is the oldest continuously operating law school in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. It is ranked first in the world by the QS World University Rankings and the ARWU Shanghai Ranking.Each class in the three-year J.D. program has approximately 560 students, among the largest of the top 150 ranked law schools in the United States. The first-year class is broken into seven sections of approximately 80 students, who take most first-year classes together. Harvard's uniquely large class size and prestige have led the law school to graduate a great many distinguished alumni in the judiciary, government, and the business world.

According to Harvard Law's 2015 ABA-required disclosures, 95% of the Class of 2014 passed the Bar exam. Harvard Law School graduates have accounted for 568 judicial clerkships in the past three years, including one-quarter of all Supreme Court clerkships, more than any other law school in the United States.

Harvard Law School's founding is traditionally linked to the funding of Harvard's first professorship in law, paid for from a bequest from the estate of Isaac Royall, Jr., a colonial American landowner and a slaveholder. Today, it is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The current dean of Harvard Law School is John F. Manning, who assumed the role on July 1, 2017. The law school has 328 faculty members.

Juris Doctor

The Juris Doctor degree (J.D. or JD), also known as the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree (J.D., JD, D.Jur. or DJur) and sometimes erroneously rendered as "Juris Doctorate," is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degrees. The Juris Doctor is earned by completing law school in Australia, Canada, the United States, and some other common law countries. It has the academic standing of a professional doctorate (in contrast to a research doctorate) in the United States, a master's degree in Australia, and a second-entry, baccalaureate degree in Canada (in all three jurisdictions the same as other professional degrees such as M.D. or D.D.S./D.M.D., the degrees required to be a practicing physician or dentist, respectively).The degree was first awarded in the United States in the early 20th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree (such as the Dottore in Giurisprudenza in Italy and the Juris Utriusque Doctor in Germany and central Europe). Originating from the 19th-century Harvard movement for the scientific study of law, it is a degree that in most common law jurisdictions is the primary professional preparation for lawyers. It traditionally involves a three-year program, although some U.S. law schools offer a two-year accelerated program in which students complete courses over two additional summer semesters.To be fully authorized to practice law in the courts of a given state in the United States, the majority of individuals holding a J.D. degree must pass a bar examination. The state of Wisconsin, however, permits the graduates of its two law schools to practice law in that state, and in its state courts, without having to take its bar exam—a practice called "diploma privilege"—provided they complete the courses needed to satisfy the diploma privilege requirements. In the United States, passing an additional bar exam is not required of lawyers authorized to practice in at least one state to practice in the national courts of the United States, courts commonly known as "federal courts". Lawyers must, however, be admitted to the bar of the federal court before they are authorized to practice in that court. Admission to the bar of a federal district court includes admission to the bar of the related bankruptcy court.

Law School Admission Test

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized test administered six times each year at designated testing centers throughout the world. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT for prospective law school candidates. It is designed to assess reading comprehension as well as logical and verbal reasoning proficiency. The test is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada (common law programs only), the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a growing number of other countries.

The test had existed in some form since 1948, when it was created to give law schools a standardized way to assess applicants in addition to their GPA. The current form of the exam has been used since 1991. The exam has six total sections that include four scored multiple choice sections, an unscored experimental section, and an unscored writing section. Raw scores are converted to a scaled score with a high of 180, a low of 120, and a median score around 150. When an applicant applies to a law school all scores from the past five years are reported and the highest score is used.

New York University School of Law

The New York University School of Law is the law school of New York University. Established in 1835, it is the oldest law school in New York City. The school offers J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in law, and is located in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan.

NYU Law is regarded as one of the most prestigious law schools in the world. U.S. News & World Report currently ranks NYU Law 6th in the nation. It is currently ranked the 4th best law school in the world by Shanghai's Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) by subject Law. NYU Law is also consistently ranked in the top 10 by the QS World University Rankings. Nationally, it is ranked 1st in the country in both international law and tax law by U.S. News & World Report. NYU Law boasts the best overall faculty in the U.S. according to a recent study, with leading renowned experts in all fields of law.NYU Law is well known for its orientation toward public interest law; its Root-Tilden-Kern program is a public interest law fellowship. According to the school's ABA-required disclosures, the NYU Law's bar passage rate was 97.5% in 2017. An analysis by in 2019 ranked NYU Law 6th for employment outcomes, with 89.74% of graduates obtaining employment within ten months.

Rutgers Law School

Rutgers Law School is the law school of Rutgers University located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It is the largest public law school in the United States by enrollment and the 10th largest overall, with each class in Rutgers Law's three-year J.D. program enrolling approximately 300 students. Founded in 1908, Rutgers offers the J.D. and foreign lawyer J.D. Rutgers has over 20,000 alumni practicing in all 50 U.S. states. In 2015, Rutgers School of Law–Newark and Rutgers School of Law–Camden were unified into a single law school with two campuses.U.S. News & World Report, in its 2018 rankings of Best Graduate Schools, ranked Rutgers Law School 62nd among 197 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association. Above the Law ranked Rutgers 43rd on its 2017 list of top law schools According to Rutgers Law School's 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 93.7% of the Class of 2016 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required or JD-advantage employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (, born Joan Ruth Bader; March 15, 1933) is an American lawyer and jurist who is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O'Connor) of four to be confirmed to the court (along with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who are still serving). Following O'Connor's retirement, and until Sotomayor joined the court, Ginsburg was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents, which were noted by legal observers and in popular culture. She is generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the court. Ginsburg has authored notable majority opinions, including United States v. Virginia, Olmstead v. L.C., and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc.

Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her older sister died when she was a baby, and her mother, one of her biggest sources of encouragement, died shortly before Ginsburg graduated from high school. She then earned her bachelor's degree at Cornell University, and became a wife and mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class. Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated tied for first in her class. Following law school, Ginsburg turned to academia. She was a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School, teaching civil procedure as one of the few women in her field.

Ginsburg spent a considerable part of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women's rights, winning multiple victories arguing before the Supreme Court. She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsels in the 1970s. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she served until her appointment to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg has received attention in American popular culture for her fiery liberal dissents and refusal to step down; she has been dubbed the "Notorious R.B.G." in reference to the rapper Notorious B.I.G.

Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School (also known as Stanford Law or SLS) is a professional graduate school of Stanford University, located in Silicon Valley near Palo Alto, California. Established in 1893, Stanford Law has been ranked one of the top three law schools in the country, with Yale Law School and Harvard Law School, every year since 1992. Since 2016, Stanford Law has been ranked 2nd. Stanford Law is consistently regarded as one of the most prestigious law schools in the world.Stanford Law School employs more than 90 full-time and part-time faculty members and enrolls over 550 students who are working toward their Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree. Stanford Law also confers four advanced legal degrees: a Master of Laws (LL.M.), a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), and a Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.). Each fall, Stanford Law enrolls a J.D. class of approximately 180 students, giving Stanford the smallest student body of any law school ranked in the top fourteen (T14). Stanford also maintains eleven full-time legal clinics, including the nation's first and most active Supreme Court litigation clinic, and offers 27 formal joint degree programs.Stanford Law alumni include several of the first women to occupy Chief Justice or Associate Justice posts on supreme courts: current Chief Justice of New Zealand Sian Elias, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the late Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court Rhoda V. Lewis, and the late Chief Justice of Washington Barbara Durham. Other justices of supreme courts who graduated from Stanford Law include the late Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist, retired Chief Justice of California Ronald M. George, retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos R. Moreno, and the late California Supreme Court Justice Frank K. Richardson.

Stephen Breyer

Stephen Gerald Breyer (; born August 15, 1938) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. A lawyer by occupation, he became a professor and jurist before President Bill Clinton appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1994; Breyer is generally associated with its more liberal side.After a clerkship with Supreme Court Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg in 1964, Breyer became well known as a law professor and lecturer at Harvard Law School, starting in 1967. There he specialized in administrative law, writing a number of influential textbooks that remain in use today. He held other prominent positions before being nominated for the Supreme Court, including special assistant to the United States Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust and assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973. He also served on the First Circuit Court of Appeals from 1980 to 1994.

In his 2005 book Active Liberty, Breyer made his first attempt to systematically lay out his views on legal theory, arguing that the judiciary should seek to resolve issues in a manner that encourages popular participation in governmental decisions.

Tim Wu

Tim Wu is an American lawyer, professor at Columbia Law School, and contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He is best known for coining the phrase network neutrality in his 2003 paper Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination, and popularizing the concept thereafter. Wu has also made significant contributions to antitrust policy and wireless communications policy, most notably with his "Carterfone" proposal.Wu is a scholar of the media and technology industries, and his academic specialties include antitrust, copyright, and telecommunications law. Wu was named to The National Law Journal's "America's 100 Most Influential Lawyers" in 2013, as well as to the "Politico 50" in 2014 and 2015. Additionally, Wu was named one of Scientific American's 50 people of the year in 2006, and one of Harvard University's 100 most influential graduates by 02138 magazine in 2007. His book The Master Switch was named among the best books of 2010 by The New Yorker magazine, Fortune magazine, Publishers Weekly, and other publications.

From 2011 to 2012, Wu served as a Senior Advisor to the Federal Trade Commission, and from 2015–2016 he was senior enforcement counsel at the New York Office of the Attorney General, where he launched a successful lawsuit against Time-Warner cable for falsely advertising their broadband speeds. In 2016 Wu joined the National Economic Council in the Obama White House to work on competition policy.

University of Chicago Law School

The University of Chicago Law School is a professional graduate school of the University of Chicago. It employs more than 200 full-time and part-time faculty and hosts more than 600 students in its Juris Doctor program, while also offering the Master of Laws, Master of Studies in Law and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees in law. It is consistently ranked among the top law schools in the world, and has produced many distinguished alumni in the judiciary, academia, government, politics and business.

The law school was conceived in 1902 by the President of the University of Chicago, William Rainey Harper, who requested assistance from faculty at Harvard Law School in setting up the new school. Harper and the law school's first Dean, Joseph Henry Beale, designed the school's curriculum with inspiration from Ernst Freund's interdisciplinary approach to legal education. The construction of the school was financed by John D. Rockefeller and the cornerstone was laid by President Theodore Roosevelt. The law school opened for classes in 1903.

In the 1930s, the law school's curriculum was transformed by the emergence of the law and economics movement. Economists Aaron Director and Henry Calvert Simons taught courses integrated with the antitrust curriculum taught by statesman Edward H. Levi, leading to the development of the Chicago school of economics and the Chicago School approach to antitrust law. The law school expanded rapidly in the 1950s under Levi's leadership and, in the 1970s and 1980s, many scholars with connections to the social sciences were attracted to the school's influence in law and economics, including Nobel laureates Ronald Coase and Gary Becker and the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century, Richard A. Posner.The law school's flagship publication is the University of Chicago Law Review. Students edit two other independent law journals, with another three journals overseen by faculty. The law school was originally housed in Stuart Hall, a Gothic-style limestone building on the campus's main quadrangles. Since 1959, it has been housed in an Eero Saarinen-designed building across the Midway Plaisance from the main campus of the University of Chicago. The building was expanded in 1987 and again in 1998. It was renovated in 2008, preserving most of Saarinen's original structure.

University of Michigan Law School

The University of Michigan Law School (Michigan Law) is the law school of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Founded in 1859, the school offers Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws (LLM), and Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree programs. The school has an enrollment of about 920 as well as 81 full-time faculty members (60 tenured and tenure-track and 21 in clinical and legal practice).Michigan Law School consistently ranks among the highest-rated law schools in the United States and the world. In the 2019 U.S. News ranking, Michigan Law is ranked 8th overall. Notable alumni include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Frank Murphy, William Rufus Day, and George Sutherland, as well as a number of heads of state and corporate executives. Approximately 89% of were employed within ten months, its bar passage rate in 2017 was 92.5%.Michigan Law has placed 41 of its alumni on United States Circuit Courts, over 100 of its graduates on federal trial courts, and 36 of its graduates on the Michigan Supreme Court, including 16 who served as Chief Justice. More than 170 Michigan law graduates have served in the United States Congress, including 20 United States Senators and more than 150 Congressional representatives. Additionally, numerous graduates have served as state legislators.

Yale Law School

Yale Law School (often referred to as Yale Law or YLS) is the law school of Yale University, located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Established in 1824, Yale Law offers the J.D., LL.M., J.S.D., M.S.L., and Ph.D. degrees in law.

The school's small size and prestige make its admissions process the most selective of any law school in the United States, with an acceptance rate of 6.7% in the 2017-18 cycle. Its yield rate of 85% is consistently the highest of any law school in the United States. Yale Law has been ranked the number one law school in the country by U.S. News and World Report every year since the magazine began publishing law school rankings. Widely considered to be the preeminent law school in the nation, it is one of the most prestigious law schools in the world.Yale Law has produced a significant number of luminaries in law and politics, including United States presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and former U.S. secretary of state and presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. Former president William Howard Taft was a professor of constitutional law at Yale Law School from 1913 until he resigned to become chief justice of the United States in 1921. Alumni also include current United States Supreme Court associate justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Brett Kavanaugh, as well as a number of former justices, including Abe Fortas, Potter Stewart and Byron White; several heads of state around the world, including Karl Carstens, the fifth president of Germany, and Jose P. Laurel, the third president of the Republic of the Philippines; five current U.S. senators; the former governor of California and current governor of Rhode Island; and the current deans of three of the top fourteen-ranked law schools in the United States: Virginia, Cornell, and Georgetown.

Each class in Yale Law's three-year J.D. program enrolls approximately 200 students. Yale's flagship law review is the Yale Law Journal, one of the most highly cited legal publications in the nation.

According to Yale Law School's 2014 ABA-required disclosures, 88.3% of the Class of 2014 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required or JD-advantage employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.

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