Boston University School of Law Program Overview
The Boston University (BU) School of Law sits in the heart of Boston, with the city’s vast resources at its doorstep. Notable alumni include William S. Cohen, former US secretary of defense; Maria Lopez, the first Latin American woman appointed both to the bench in Massachusetts and to the Massachusetts Superior Court; and David E. Kelley, the writer and producer of such acclaimed television series as The Practice, Boston Legal, and Big Little Lies.
As the state capital, Boston is a major center of law, business, technology, and government, providing BU Law students hands-on legal experience and easy access to professional networking. Students also receive free membership to the Boston Bar Association as well as connections to numerous law firms and several levels of the judiciary, from the local level to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Clinics, externships, and practicums also tap into the wide array of local organizations, enabling students to represent clients in a variety of real-life settings.
Most BU Law students choose to live in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville—neighborhoods that are easily accessible to the school via public transportation. Students spend much of their free time enjoying the area’s vibrant cultural and entertainment offerings, as well as its wildly enthusiastic pro sports scene. With around 100 colleges and 250,000 students, Boston also provides BU Law students a great opportunity to meet others from around the country and the world.
Each entering class at BU Law consists of approximately 230 students (253 in the Class of 2023), divided into three first-year sections. Students in each section take all classes together, and at least one of the required first-year courses is taken in a smaller section of about 40 students. The first-year curriculum comprises a foundational course load, including a “Lawyering Lab” that introduces transactional skills. Upper-class students have the option to concentrate in a specific area of law, such as Health Law and Intellectual Property Law. In addition, upper-class students are required to complete “Introduction to Business Fundamentals,” an online, self-paced program covering business basics, corporate finance, and accounting.
BU Law offers 17 dual-degree programs in conjunction with other graduate schools at Boston University as well as several international universities. Most dual degrees can be completed faster than pursuing each degree independently, saving students time and money. Among BU Law’s more unique dual degrees are the JD/MA in Law & Preservation Studies, JD/MA in Law & International Relations, and JD/MS in Law & Mass Communication.
The Boston University Law study abroad program offers 20 foreign study opportunities with universities in Asia, Europe, South America, and the Middle East. Most are one-semester programs that are offered in English, but several are taught in the native language of the host country.
When awarding academic honors, BU Law ranks its students in the following percentage groups: top 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, and one-third.
Clinical and Experiential Learning
BU Law requires students to complete six experiential credits through clinics, externships, or simulation classes. In clinics, students complete projects and casework under the supervision of faculty, while externships and practicums allow students to conduct fieldwork on-site at Boston-area organizations. Simulation classes provide students a chance to practice their lawyering skills and receive feedback from their peers and instructors. The school’s numerous experiential offerings also include the Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property & Cyberlaw Program; Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking Program; Legislative Policy & Drafting Clinic; Environmental Law Practicum; and Wrongful Convictions Practicum.
Class Profile (Class of 2024)
Class Size: 318
Average Age: 24
Students of color: 41%
Median LSAT: 169
Median GPA: 3.77
Career Placement (Class of 2020)
- Law Firms: 60.00%
- Public Interest: 11.428%
- Judicial Clerkships: 10.476%
- Business and Industry: 10.476%
- Government: 7.619%