Top 20 Law School Part-Time Programs


The concept of law school part-time has emerged as an opportunity for aspiring legal professionals. This innovative approach caters to those balancing the relentless demands of their careers with the pursuit of legal education. Part-time law school programs are meticulously crafted to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, offering a harmonious blend of academic rigor and practical flexibility. These programs provide a viable path for individuals who are determined to expand their legal knowledge without pausing their professional momentum.

Recognizing the distinct needs of working adults, law school for working professionals represents a transformative journey in legal education. These part-time law school programs are a testament to the adaptability and resilience of modern education systems. By offering evening and weekend classes, these programs ensure that the dream of legal expertise is accessible and achievable, even amidst the complexities of everyday work life. 

As we delve deeper, we will uncover the intricacies and advantages of these part-time law school programs, highlighting how they pave the way for career advancement and personal development in the field of law.

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Part-Time Law School Rankings

The law school rankings are a vital resource, especially for evaluating the best part-time law school programs. Here are the top 20 part-time law schools among 70 accredited institutions, based on fall 2022 enrollment and admissions data.

Rank University
1 Georgetown University
2 George Washington University
3 Fordham University
4 George Mason University (Scalia)
5 Yeshiva University (Cardozo)
6 Temple University (Beasley)
7 University of Houston Law Center
8 University of Denver (Sturm)
9 University of Nevada–Las Vegas (Boyd)
10 Loyola Marymount University
11 Marquette University
12 Georgia State University
13 Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent
14 Seton Hall University
15 University of San Diego
16 American University (Washington)
17 Wayne State University
18 Loyola University Chicago
19 Santa Clara University
20 University of Connecticut

Factors Considered When Ranking Part-Time Law School Programs

Notably, less than half of U.S. law schools offer these programs, typically completed in four years. U.S. News & World Report plays a pivotal role in ranking these law school programs for working adults, focusing on three key factors: peer reputation, LSAT and GRE scores, and undergraduate GPAs of the entering class of fall 2022.

In its latest evaluation, U.S. News ranked 70 accredited schools offering the best part-time law school programs. To qualify for the ranking, schools needed at least 20 part-time students enrolled for two consecutive years and had to provide detailed admissions data. The rankings rely on data collected directly from nearly 200 American Bar Association-accredited law schools. These are important, especially for those considering law school online or part-time options. 

The ranking methodology emphasizes quality assessment (70% weight) and selectivity (30% weight). Quality is judged based on peer assessments from deans and faculty, with a 54.1% response rate in the latest survey. Selectivity combines LSAT and GRE scores with undergraduate GPAs, which often vary based on the majors for law schools chosen by students, reflecting the academic strength of part-time law students.

Overall, these rankings are calculated by standardizing and weighting each school’s scores. U.S. News now ranks the top 90% of part-time law programs numerically, while the bottom 10% are grouped in a ranking range and listed alphabetically. This approach helps applicants identify the most suitable part-time law programs, aligned with their professional and academic goals.

Weekend vs. Evening Law School

When considering a legal education that accommodates a busy schedule, many students find themselves choosing between a weekend law school program and law school night classes. Seton Hall University offers a weekend program for students who can’t study during the week due to work or other commitments. Loyola University Chicago also offers weekend-only part-time courses to accommodate individuals unable to attend classes during the week.

On the other hand, the option to attend law school at night is a practical solution for those who prefer to keep their days free. Schools like Rutgers Law School and UIC Law (University of Illinois Chicago) exemplify this approach. Rutgers Law School combines in-person and remote instruction for evening students, offering flexibility and convenience. 

Similarly, UIC Law’s evening program requires attendance only two nights a week downtown, with an additional online class, ensuring students can manage their professional and academic lives simultaneously. Evening programs are particularly suited for those who wish to integrate their law education seamlessly into their daily life, ensuring they can maintain their daytime responsibilities while pursuing their legal studies.

Pros and Cons of Law School Part-Time

Choosing to go to law school part-time offers the flexibility to balance work and study, a vital consideration for many working adults. However, it’s important to research part-time law school near me to understand the potential trade-offs, such as law school loans, extended time to degree completion, and varying opportunities for campus involvement.

Time Part-time programs offer flexible pacing, allowing for completion in three to four years. This caters to working adults who need to balance their professional and academic commitments. While providing flexibility, part-time programs typically take longer to complete compared to full-time programs, potentially delaying career advancement in law.
Money The extended duration of part-time programs allows students to spread out the financial burden over a longer period. Working while studying can help offset tuition costs, lower law school loans, and reduce overall debt. Part-time students may miss out on certain financial aid opportunities, such as academic scholarships, and might incur higher overall costs due to prolonged education.
Opportunities Part-time law programs can lead to better performance due to a lighter course load, allowing students to focus more on each class. Balancing work and study can also provide practical experiences that enhance learning. Part-time students often have limited involvement in law school activities and may miss networking opportunities and practical experiences like summer clerkships, which are crucial for career growth.
Selectivity Part-time law programs are typically more accessible, with admissions committees being more lenient towards applicants who have spent time in the workforce, recognizing the value of practical experience. The perceived lower prestige of part-time programs can impact career prospects. Graduates may face skepticism from potential employers, especially those from lesser-known law schools.

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Essential Tips for Admissions Requirements

Meeting the law school requirements is an important component of the application process. It’s critical to understand these requirements thoroughly since they explain what law schools look for in prospective students, both intellectually and personally.

1. Law School Resume

When applying to law school part-time, tailor your law school resume to emphasize experiences that align with the flexibility and commitment required for balancing work and legal studies. Highlight leadership roles, time management skills, and any legal-related experience.

2. Academic Transcripts

For part-time law programs, maintaining a strong GPA is crucial, but schools may also consider your professional experience. Show how your academic and work histories combine to prepare you for the rigors of law school.

3. Standardized Test Scores (LSAT)

Even for part-time programs, good LSAT scores are important. Creating a law school application timeline can help you stay organized and prepare effectively. Allocate time for consistent study, balancing it with your work schedule to ensure you are well-prepared for this key part of the application process.

4. Personal Statement

Your statement should reflect why you’re choosing a part-time path. Discuss your career goals, how a part-time law program fits into your life, and what unique perspectives you bring to the table.

5. Letters of Recommendation

Strong letters of recommendation can come from faculty who have taught you in significant courses or professionals who have supervised your work. Choose individuals who can provide detailed insights into your abilities and character. It’s helpful to provide them with your resume and personal statement to give them a fuller picture of your goals and accomplishments.

6. School-Specific Criteria

Each law school may have its unique set of requirements. These could include supplemental essays, specific prerequisite courses, or additional standardized tests. Regularly visit the law schools’ websites, and don’t hesitate to contact admissions offices for clarification. 

Get Accepted to Your Dream Law School with Expert Guidance

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LSAT Prep Course

Our course offers an in-depth understanding of the LSAT, covering all sections with detailed strategies and practice. Through a mix of structured lessons and flexible learning modules, students gain the skills to tackle the test confidently. Join our comprehensive LSAT prep course and open the doors to part-time law school success!

LSAT Tutoring

Personalized tutoring addresses your unique strengths and weaknesses. Our experienced tutors provide one-on-one sessions, customizing their teaching approach to fit your learning style, ensuring optimal improvement in your LSAT scores. Achieve the LSAT score of your dreams with the help of high-scorers and LSAT masters!

Law School Admission Consulting

Experienced admissions consultants, including former law school admission officers, provide guidance throughout the entire law school application process – from school selection and application strategy to essay editing and interview preparation – to help students submit the strongest possible application. Gain a competitive edge in your part-time law school application with expert guidance!

Final Thoughts: Is Part-Time Law School Worth It?

Opting for a law school part-time program stands as a strategic choice for those aiming to advance their careers while pursuing a legal education. These programs cater to the unique demands of working professionals, offering a more adaptable schedule without compromising the depth and quality of legal training. 

For individuals juggling career and education, part-time law programs provide an effective route to achieving their legal aspirations alongside their professional goals. Odyssey offers an LSAT Free Consultation to help you begin this journey on the right foot, ensuring you’re well-prepared to achieve your law school ambitions.

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