|Boston University School of Law|
|Parent endowment||$2.179 billion|
|Location||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Enrollment||769 FT-JD 350 LLM|
|Bar pass rate||87.91%|
BU Law was one of the first law schools in the country to admit students regardless of race or gender. It is the second-oldest law school in Massachusetts, and a charter member of the American Bar Association. More than 700 students are enrolled in the full-time J.D. degree program and about 350 in the school's five LLM degree programs.
The Boston University School of Law was founded in 1872. It was one of the first law schools to admit women and minorities, at a time when most other law schools barred them. In 1881, Lelia J. Robinson became the first female BU Law graduate. Then, women lawyers were less than half of one percent of the profession. Upon graduation, she successfully lobbied the Massachusetts legislature to permit the admission of women to the state bar, and in 1882, became the first woman admitted to the Massachusetts bar. Her classmate, Nathan Abbott, would later become the founding dean of Stanford Law School. Another prominent female alumna at the time, Alice Stone Blackwell, would go on to help found the League of Women Voters and edit the Woman's Journal. Takeo Kikuchi (1877), the school's first Japanese graduate, was co-founder and president of Tokyo's English Law School which grew into Chuo University. Clara Burrill Bruce (1926) was the first black woman elected editor-in-chief of a law review (the Boston University Law Review).
BU Law's first homes were 36 Bromfield Street, 18–20 Beacon Street and 10 Ashburton Place. In 1895, the university's trustees acquired 11 Ashburton Place, which was refurbished and named Isaac Rich Hall in honor of the third founder of Boston University. The dedication speaker was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. whose historic speech The Path of the Law was delivered in 1897. Former United States President William Howard Taft lectured on legal ethics from 1918 until his appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1921.
Isaac Rich Hall housed BU Law until 1964. In 1964 BU Law occupied the bottom half of the current building, 765 Commonwealth Avenue on the Charles River Campus, colloquially known as the "Tower." BU Law shared the Tower with the School of Education for some years but now occupies the entire building. The School of Law's legal library, the Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries, occupies three floors in the Law Complex, spanning both the Law Tower and the Redstone Building. The Libraries also include two floors of closed stacks in the basement of the adjacent Mugar Memorial Library, BU's main library.
In July 2016, the United States Department of Health and Human Services announced a new partnership allowing BU Law to serve as headquarters for a $350 million initiative researching and combating antibiotic-resistant diseases. Professor Kevin Outterson, a health law specialist and researcher at BU Law, serves as executive director of the initiative, which is named CARB-X.
Boston University School of Law offers a broad selection of legal classes and seminars (approximately 200) with a student to faculty ratio of 12:1. It offers the J.D. and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees as well as numerous dual degrees.
BU Law's most recent entering class comes from 39 states and the District of Columbia. These students represent 16 countries and 155 undergraduate institutions.
Admission to Boston University School of Law is very competitive. There were 284 students who matriculated in the fall of 2018 out of a pool of 5,891 J.D. applicants. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2018 entering class were 160 and 167, respectively. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.49 and 3.84, respectively, with a median of 3.74.
Boston University School of Law ranks 20th among American law schools in the 2021 list of best law schools compiled by U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News also ranks the School's Health Law Program #4 and Tax Law #7.
Attorney Skills Accelerator Program
The Attorney Skills Accelerator Program (ASAP) at Boston University School of Law offers summer classes, clinics, and externships for qualified J.D. students enrolled in accredited law schools. During Summer 2017, ASAP students will be able to enroll in Contract Drafting and/or Negotiation courses. ASAP students will also have the opportunity to take part in a legal externship, or one of three clinics:
- Entrepreneurship & IP Clinic
- Legislative Policy & Drafting Clinic
- Criminal Law: Prosecutor Clinic
- Boston University Law Review
- American Journal of Law & Medicine
- Review of Banking & Financial Law
- Boston University International Law Journal
- Journal of Science & Technology Law
- Public Interest Law Journal
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at BU Law for the 2017–18 academic year was $74,689. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $243,230.
According to BU Law's official 2017 ABA-required disclosures, 78.8% of the Class of 2017 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment ten months after graduation. BU Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 14.3%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2017 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job ten months after graduation.
For new graduates, the self-reported median starting salary for the class of 2017 was $160,000 in the private sector, and $54,000 in the public sector. This ranked the school #9 on the US News list "Schools Where Salaries for Grads Most Outweigh the Debt." BU placed 52 graduates from the class of 2015 at NLJ 100 firms, earning it the number 16 slot on the National Journal's law school rankings for large law firm employment.
- Frederic W. Allen, LLB 1951, Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court (1984-1997)
- Lincoln C. Almond, JD 1961, governor of Rhode Island
- George W. Anderson, LLB 1890, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
- Consuelo Northrup Bailey, LLB 1925, first woman elected as lieutenant governor in the United States
- F. Lee Bailey, LLB 1960, disbarred criminal defense lawyer; represented Sam Sheppard & O.J. Simpson, among others
- Albert Brown, LLB 1904, governor of New Hampshire
- Fred H. Brown, LLB 1884, governor of New Hampshire, U.S. Congressman
- Edward W. Brooke, LLB 1948, LLM 1949, Attorney General of Massachusetts; first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote; one of only five African Americans to serve in the U.S. Senate; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- William M. Butler, LLB 1884, U.S. Senator (MA)
- Norman S. Case, LLB 1912, Governor of Rhode Island
- Martha M. Coakley, JD 1979, Massachusetts Attorney General (2007–2015), District Attorney for Middlesex County, Massachusetts (1999-2007)
- William S. Cohen, LLB 1965, U.S. Secretary of Defense, U.S. Senator from Maine
- Paul A. Dever, LLB 1926, Governor of Massachusetts
- Joshua Eric Dodge, 1877, Wisconsin Supreme Court
- Samuel Felker, JD, Governor of New Hampshire
- Michael F. Flaherty, JD 1994, President of the Boston City Council
- Michael D. Fricklas, JD 1984, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Viacom, Inc.
- Richard Graber, JD 1981, former United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic
- Judd A. Gregg, JD 1972, LLM 1975, U.S. Senator, Governor of New Hampshire
- Jeff Jacoby, JD 1983, Boston Globe opinion/editorial columnist
- Dr. Barbara C. Jordan, LLB 1959, first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress from a southern state, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994, first woman to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 1976
- David E. Kelley, JD 1983, Emmy winning television producer
- Robert Khuzami, JD 1983, Director of Enforcement, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Gary F. Locke, JD 1975, US Ambassador to China, United States Secretary of Commerce, Governor of Washington, and the first Asian-American governor in the mainland U.S.
- Maria Lopez, JD 1978, first Hispanic appointed a judge in the Massachusetts, current television jurist on the U.S. syndicated television show Judge Maria Lopez.
- Sandra Lynch, JD 1971, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- Frederick William Mansfield, LLB 1902, 46th Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, and 38th Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts
- Elizabeth (Sadie) Holloway Marston, LLB 1918 - co-creator of the comic book character Wonder Woman
- J. Howard McGrath, LLB 1929, Sixtieth Attorney General, 1949-52 U.S. Senator, 1940–45Governor of Rhode Island
- Thomas McIntyre, LLB 1940, U.S. Senator (NH)
- F. Bradford Morse, LLB 1949, director of the United Nations Development Program
- Markos Moulitsas, JD 1999, founder of the popular blog, Daily Kos
- Shannon O'Brien, JD 1985, first woman to hold the office of treasurer and receiver general of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Irving H. Picard, JD 1966, Trustee in the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC
- Shari Redstone, JD 1979, LLM 1981, President of National Amusements and vice-chair of CBS Corporation and Viacom
- Chase T. Rogers, JD 1983, Chief Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court
- Greg Griffin, LLM 1984, Judge, Alabama 15th Judicial Circuit Court, First African American General Counsel of an Alabama State Agency
- William Russell, LLB 1879, Governor of Massachusetts
- Sabita Singh, JD 1990, Associate Justice of the Appeals Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Robert T. Stafford, LLB 1938; HON 1959, U.S. Senator, father of the Robert T. Stafford Student Loan (Stafford Loan) program, the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) and co-sponsor of the Wilderness Protection Act
- Niki Tsongas, JD 1988, Congresswoman for Massachusetts's 5th congressional district
- Robert Upton, LLB 1907, U.S. Senator (NH)
- David I. Walsh, LLB 1897, U.S. Senator, Governor of Massachusetts
- Myrth York, JD 1972, Rhode Island State Senator, first female chair of the Senate Health, Education and Welfare Committee (RI)
- Owen D. Young, LLB 1896, founder of RCA, 1929 Time Magazine's Man of the Year Chairman and CEO of General Electric
- David Zaslav, JD 1985, President and CEO, Discovery Communications, Inc.
- Howard Moore Jr, LLB 1960, General Counsel Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Federation of Southern Cooperatives
- George Annas
- James Bessen
- James E. Fleming
- Tamar Frankel
- Ahmed Ghappour
- Wendy Gordon
- Keith Hylton
- Gary Lawson
- David Lyons
- Wendy Mariner
- Linda McClain
- Maureen O'Rourke
- Kevin Outterson
- Christopher T. Robertson
- Jay Wexler
- David H. Webber
- William G. Young
- Randy Barnett
- Janis M. Berry
- Danielle Citron
- Archibald Cox
- Edwin W. Hadley
- George Stillman Hillard
- Boyd B. Jones
- Rikki Klieman
- David A. Lowy
- Frank Parsons
- Arthur Holbrook Wellman
- Henry A. Wyman
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