Paul L. Caron

Friday, January 10, 2014

Religious Law School Rankings

PreLawBest Law Schools for the Devout: We Identify the Best Law Schools for Devout Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Mormons, preLaw  28 (Winter 2014):

Many law schools, obviously, have strong religious ties. ... But some schools have evolved from their roots and don't place the same emphasis on religion as generations ago. The faculty and student body, for instance, may have become more diverse over the years, creating a more secular environment. ...

So which schools should a student of faith seek to attend -- if that is a pivotal factor in one's life? To answer that question, The National Jurist, preLaw's sister publication, undertook a detailed look at how much emphasis law school place on religion in their curriculums, faculty makeup, and campus lives.

We first identified the 52 law schools that are affiliated with a religious faith. We then gathered detailed information from the schools and from other sources. We also gathered information on non-faith schools with large populations of Muslims, Jews and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons.

From that data, we compiled a ranking based on the following: percentage and activity of students who belong to the faith; percentage and activity of faculty who belong to the faith; number of religion-focused courses and other ways the school incorporates the faith into the curricula; religion-based journals, centers and clinics; religious services and clergy at the law school; mission of the law school.

The end result: we rank the top ten law schools for devout Catholics, and the top 5 for devout Christians of other denominations, Jews, Muslims and Mormons.

Top 10 Law Schools for Devout Catholics:

  1. Ave Maria (U.S. News & World Report Rank:  Tier 2)
  2. University of St. Thomas (#124)
  3. St. John's (#98)
  4. Catholic (#80)
  5. Fordham (#38)
  6. Boston College (#31)
  7. Notre Dame (#23)
  8. Gonzaga (#113)
  9. Loyola-Chicago (#76)
  10. St. Louis (#102)

Top 5 Law Schools for Devout Christians (Other Than Catholics):

  1. Liberty (Tier 2)
  2. Trinity (n/r)
  3. Regent (Tier 2)
  4. Pepperdine (#61)
  5. Baylor (#54)

Top 5 Law Schools for Devout Jews:

  1. Cardozo (#58)
  2. Touro (Tier 2)
  3. Emory (#23)
  4. American (#56)
  5. George Washington (#21)

Top 5 Law Schools for Devout Muslims:

  1. UCLA (#17)
  2. Michigan State (#80)
  3. George Washington (#21)
  4. Michigan (#9)
  5. Yale (#1)

Top 5 Law Schools for Devout Mormons:

  1. BYU (#44)
  2. Creighton (#119)
  3. Gonzaga (#113)
  4. George Washington (#21)
  5. Utah (#41)

Update:  Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA), Best Law Schools for Devout Catholics: Where's UCLA? More Important, Where's Georgetown?

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink


Faith = belief, even in the absence of evidence.

Why should we trust anyone with this world view to practice law, a discipline that values evidence, and drawing conclusions based only on that evidence, above all else?

Posted by: Halifax | Jan 13, 2014 9:55:15 AM

This assume that the best law school for someone is one where other people are more or less similar to them. That's a debatable proposition. Can't one sometimes learn more from people who are different?

Posted by: michael livingston | Jan 11, 2014 2:58:16 AM

At least judging by the list for Jews, this is an exceedingly dumb list. Unlike many other universities with law schools, AU and GW don't even have a kosher dining place.

Posted by: Anon22 | Jan 10, 2014 2:45:03 PM