Criminal Law Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Students interested in criminal law typically attend law school and earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Most J.D. programs can be completed within three years of full-time study, and students can focus on criminal law by choosing relevant advanced courses after completing the core requirements.

How to Select a Criminal Law School

Criminal law is a field of law focusing on criminal acts such as drug use, fraud, abuse, assault, theft, murder or robbery. To break into this field of law, students must first complete their bachelor's degree and do well on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Strong writing, speaking, research and analysis skills are needed to succeed as a law student and as a lawyer.

Consider the following when choosing a law school:

  • Select a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association.
  • While typical law school classes include constitutional law, criminal procedures, criminal law and evidence, you may want to consider a school that offers advanced classes related to criminal law.
  • Research what percentage of graduates actually pass the Bar Exam, which confers the certification necessary to become a practicing attorney in one's state.

Top Ten Law Schools

Law SchoolInstitution Type
Yale University - College of Law Private
Harvard University Private
Stanford University - Law School Private
Columbia University - Law School Private
University of Chicago - Law School Private
New York University - School of Law Private
University of Pennsylvania Private
Duke University - School of Law Private
University of California, Berkley - School of Law Public
University of Virginia - School of Law Public

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