Harvard Law School was founded in 1817 and is the nation’s oldest law school. It enrolls just over 1,700 students. Approximately 60 percent of students choose to live off campus. The school offers popular student activities and events on the university campus with multiple restaurants, bars and shops.
Harvard Law School is respected for its difficult academic programs. The first-year students, or 1L group, are broken into seven groups. They participate in the Student Practice Organizations. Here, they can take advantage of opportunities to use their legal minds. Some experiences include advising musicians on copyright laws and representing state prison inmates at disciplinary hearings. Students in their second and third years can participate in legal clinics. Harvard offers the most clinics in the world. In order to graduate, students are required to complete at least 40 hours of pro bono work. There are no letter grades. Individuals can earn a distinction of Honors, Pass, Low Pass or Fail for each course.
Harvard Law does a remarkable job preparing its students for graduation. Harvard graduates have won more than 500 judicial clerkships over the past several years including one quarter of all Supreme Court clerkships! Students also frequently obtain tenure-track law teaching positions after graduation. Harvard Law School graduates make an average public service starting salary of $57,000 and a private sector starting salary of $160,000. Individuals can also gain renown for being published in the “Harvard Law Review.” (It was first published in 1887.) The Harvard Law Review Association also publishes “The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.” Harvard also has one of the longest-running law school newspapers called the “Harvard Law Record.”
With the largest academic library in the world and some of the most well-respected professors, Harvard Law School has much to offer law students. Notable alumni also form a supportive network for graduates. (The school boasts over 39,000 living alumni.) Students looking for an impressive law school should investigate all HLS has to offer.
Median Student Scores
LSAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
GPA Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
2018 acceptance rate: 12.86%
Number of 2018 applicants: 7,551
Number of 2018 matriculants: 484
LSAT (median): 173
GPA (median): 3.90
LSAT range (25 to 75 percentile): 170 to 175
GPA range (25 to 75 percentile): 3.80 to 3.97
Students with at least one year of work experience: 82%
Students with advanced degrees: 11%
The deadline is February 1 but we generally encourage applicants to apply earlier.
New HLS students must start in the fall.
Total Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance
Median Grants for Students
Harvard Law School offers the LIPP (Low Income Protection Plan) which helps graduates who accept qualifying jobs in low-paying fields such as non profits.
Tuition (2019-2020): $65,875
Room, board and other (2019-2020): $33,325
Total Estimated cost of attendance (2019-2020): $99,200
Students who receive grants: 46%
Median grant amount: $24,430
Harvard does not award law school scholarships that may be reduced or eliminated based on academic performance other than failure to maintain good academic standing.
Career Placement Results
Average Bar Passage Differential
Employed full-time, long-term, bar passage required: 86.7%
Employed full-time, long-term, JD advantage: 5.4%
Career Placement Results
Federal Clerkships: 15.9%
Net Transfers: +31
Transfers Out: 1
Average Bar Passage Differential (first time takers): 17.89%