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Top Law Schools in Illinois

Trying to decide on the best law school in Illinois? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to! From the bustling city of Chicago to the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, we are detailing what makes each of these schools special and highlighting the information you’ll want to know as a law school applicant.

These Illinois law schools are considered some of the top law schools in the U.S. and have top-ranked law programs. Keep reading to see what makes each school stand out. 

Top Law Schools in Illinois

  1. 1. University of Chicago
  2. 2. Northwestern University (Pritzker)
  3. 3. University of Illinois –Urbana-Campaign
  4. 4. Loyola University Chicago
  5. 5. Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent)
  6. 6. DePaul University


  1. 1. University of Chicago

U.S. News Top Law School Ranking: #4

Tuition: $69,975 (full-time)

Average GPA: 3.89

Average LSAT Score: 171

Acceptance Rate: 17.9%

Bar Passage Rate: 98.7%

As the third-largest city in the United States, Chicago offers a ton of opportunities for prospective lawyers! It is also home to the #4 ranking law school by U.S. News and World Reports, University of Chicago. With impressive stats like a 98.7% bar passage rate and a 95% rate of employment at graduation, University of Chicago is consistently considered one of the most prestigious law schools in the world. 

With those noteworthy rates, it isn’t surprising University of Chicago is such a desired law school. If you’re gunning to attend, you’ll want to make sure your law school application is compelling enough to stand out in the crowd, especially with a tough acceptance rate of 17.9%.

  1. 2. Northwestern University (Pritzker)

U.S. News Top Law School Ranking: #12

Tuition: $68,800 (full-time)

Average GPA: 3.85

Average LSAT Score: 169

Acceptance Rate: 19.2%

Bar Passage Rate: 94.1%

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law has been ranking in the T-14 law schools ever since U.S. News and World Reports began publishing its top law school rankings. Fun fact: It was founded in 1859 and was the first ever established law school in Chicago! Notable law figures such as Arthur Goldberg of the United States Supreme Court justice and Harold Washington, the first African American mayor of Chicago, attended the school. 

Not only does the school offer an impressive number of student organizations to join (over 30 to be exact!) but they also offer attractive program options such as their accelerated J.D. program that only takes two years to complete. In addition, students have the option of enrolling in joint degrees including a J.D./MBA in conjunction with the Kellogg School of Management or a J.D./Ph.D. with the Northwestern Graduate School.

Regardless, if you’re thinking of applying to Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, keep in mind that it is strongly recommended that you interview with the Admissions Committee on campus — the only school in the country that encourages such an interview. 

  1. 3. University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign

U.S. News Top Law School Ranking: #29

Tuition: $49,912 (in-state)

Average GPA: 3.64

Average LSAT Score: 162

Acceptance Rate: 42.5%

Bar Passage Rate: 92.4%

Located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (also known as UIUC) is the flagship institution of the University of Illinois. It is also rated as one of the top public universities located in Champaign. The campus is also home to two National Historic Landmarks and several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

UIUC is known for its Engineering and Business, however those wishing to attend law school here will still need a compelling application to get accepted. With  their average accepted GPA score at 3.64, you’ll likely need to be above average in your high school class to get in. 

  1. 4. Loyola University Chicago

U.S. News Top Law School Ranking: #78

Tuition: $50,613

Average GPA: 3.41

Average LSAT Score: 159

Acceptance Rate: 44.4%

Bar Passage Rate: 84.7%

Loyola University Chicago has a beautiful campus overlooking the water, and it is also located in the heart of downtown Chicago meaning students who go here have a ton of access to diversity, city life and networking opportunities — what more could you want? Plus, Loyola University Chicago offers over 30 different clubs and organizations that are particularly beneficial for law students, including sports and entertainment law society and art law society. The school also has numerous journals and publications including the International Law Journal and the Loyola Consumer Law Review.

Loyola University Chicago has an extensive list of partners and institutional connections including the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy, the Civitas ChildLaw Center and Trinity Health. They also offer a highly ranked part-time option and online degree programs. 

5. 5. Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent)

U.S. News Top Law School Ranking: #91

Tuition: $49,155

Average GPA: 3.48

Average LSAT Score: 158

Acceptance Rate: 47%

Bar Passage Rate: 81.1%

Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent) is the second oldest law school in the state of Illinois and is known as a national leader in environmental law, having established one of the first environmental programs ever back in the 1980s. Other environmental related concentrations include energy law, public interest law, and intellectual property law. Plus, every returning student is eligible for a scholarship which is reviewed based on class performance and rank. 

The school also offers several journals that students may consider getting involved in including Chicago-Kent Law Review, the Journal of Environmental and Energy Law, and the Journal of Intellectual Property. 

  1. 6. DePaul University

U.S. News Top Law School Ranking: #111

Tuition: $48,780

Average GPA: 3.41

Average LSAT Score: 155

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Bar Passage Rate: 69.8%

DePaul University is the largest Catholic university in the U.S. and private institution in Chicago — it was actually founded by the Vincentians in 1898. The school offers two campuses, Lincoln Park and the Loop, but law students will enjoy their time at the Loop campus where the approximate 7,900 graduate/law students attend class. 

Students have the option to select a legal concentration from a variety of areas including business law and taxation, intellectual property law and information technology, criminal law, and health law. Plus, DePaul University has several options for those students interested in earning two degrees at the same time, such as a J.D./M.B.A. The school also offers full-time and part-time law programs. 

How Do I Get Accepted to a Law School in Illinois?

Whether you’re applying to the best law school in Illinois or another part of the country, the process is the same. The first step in the law school admissions timeline is to take the LSAT. Although there are no required LSAT scores for law school, all of them have median LSAT scores that give you a pretty good indication of how you compare to their previous incoming class. Remember, law schools want to attract the best of the best, so make sure you give yourself the ultimate shot by getting a high LSAT score.

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