For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Boston University School of Law.

Boston University School of Law

Boston University
School of Law
Parent schoolBoston University
School typePrivate law school
DeanAngela Onwuachi-Willig
LocationBoston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Faculty91 (full-time) 121 (part-time)[1]
USNWR ranking24th (2024)[2]
Bar pass rate91.82% (2023)[3]
ABA profile2022 Standard 509 Report

The Boston University School of Law (BU Law) is the law school of Boston University, a private research university in Boston. Established in 1872, it is the third-oldest law school in New England, after Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. Approximately 630 students are enrolled in the full-time J.D. degree program (approximately 210 per class) and about 350 in the school's five LLM degree programs. BU Law was one of the first law schools in the country to admit students to study law regardless of race or gender.


BU School of Law campus

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.[4] 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).[5]

BU Law's first buildings were 36 Bromfield Street, 18–20 Beacon Street and 10 Ashburton Place. The first year of courses commenced in 1872. 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.

In 1918, former United States President William Howard Taft lectured on legal ethics at BU Law until his appointment as chief justice of the Supreme Court two years later. In 1921, the Boston University Law Review was founded.[6]

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. The entire BU Law tower underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment from 2014 to 2018.[7]

In 1975, BU Law began publishing the American Journal of Law & Medicine.[7]

US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer delivered a notable BU Law lecture outlining an optimistic view of the judiciary and its power to use the United States Constitution to for good.[7]

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, CARB-X.[8] Professor Kevin Outterson, a health law specialist and researcher at BU Law, serves as executive director of the initiative, which is named CARB-X.[8]


Boston University School of Law offers a rigorous and broad selection of legal classes and seminars 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. With over 200 courses and seminars, BU Law's curriculum is one of the widest selections of any law school in the country. This curriculum covers in 18 different areas of legal study. The student to faculty is 6:1.

There are approximately 20 study abroad opportunities at BU Law, which most students partake in their second year, including dual-degree programs with international universities. The campus offers five moot court opportunities, seven academic concentration tracks, and legal writing on six academic journals.


BU Law's class entering in 2023 came from 34 states and the District of Columbia. The class represented 17 countries and 121 undergraduate institutions. Students of color comprised 44% of the class.[9]

Admission to Boston University School of Law is very competitive. For the class entering in 2023, BU Law accepted 1300 (17.82%) of applicants, with 220 of those accepted enrolling, a 16.92% yield rate. Eleven students were not included in the statistics. The average enrollee had a 170 LSAT score and 3.86 undergraduate GPA. Six students were not included in the LSAT calculations and four not included in the GPA calculations.[1] The BU Law Admissions office hosts a large alumni network. There are 25,000+ BU Law alumni worldwide.[citation needed]


Boston University School of Law was ranked 24th among American law schools in the 2024 list of best law schools compiled by U.S. News & World Report. It has ranked as high as 11th and as low as 27th in the same ranking.[10] U.S. News also ranked the school's Health Law program #5 and Intellectual Property Law program #11. BU Law was ranked # 8 for graduates with the best debt-to-salary ratio. In 2022, it was ranked #29 by the Above The Law Top 50 Law Schools list for post-graduate gainful employment.[11]

Attorney Skills Accelerator Program

The Attorney Skills Accelerator Program (ASAP)[12] 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[13] and/or Negotiation[14] courses. ASAP students will also have the opportunity to take part in a legal externship, or one of three clinics:

  • Entrepreneurship & IP Clinic[15]
  • Legislative Policy & Drafting Clinic[16]
  • Criminal Law: Prosecutor Clinic[17]

Law journals

  • 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.[18] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $243,230.[19]


According to BU Law's official 2019 ABA-required disclosures, 87.6% of the Class of 2017 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment ten months after graduation.[20] BU Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 11.3%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2019 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job ten months after graduation.[21]

For new graduates, the self-reported median starting salary for the class of 2019 was $176,000 in the private sector, and $79,000 in the public sector.[2] This ranked the school #9 on the US News list "Schools Where Salaries for Grads Most Outweigh the Debt".[22] BU placed 68 graduates from the class of 2019 at NLJ 100 firms, earning it the number 15 slot on the National Journal's law school rankings for large law firm employment.[23]

Notable people



Former faculty


  1. ^ a b "2023 Standard 509 Information Report -Boston University School of Law". American Bar Association. Retrieved April 10, 2024.
  2. ^ a b "Boston University School of Law". U.S. News & World Report.
  3. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ Babcock, Barbara Allen (1998). "Making History: Lelia Robinson's Index to American Women Lawyers". Stanford Law School. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  5. ^ "BU School of Law Kikuchi, Takeo". Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  6. ^ "BU School of Law Timeline". Boston University. Archived from the original on January 18, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Law Libraries". Boston University School of Law. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "HHS forges unprecedented partnership to combat antimicrobial resistance". U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. July 27, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  9. ^ Class Profile | School of Law
  10. ^ Best Law School Rankings | Law Program Rankings | US News
  11. ^ Best Law School Rankings | Law Program Rankings | US News
  12. ^ "Attorney Skills Accelerator Program". Boston University School of Law. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "Contract Drafting". Boston University School of Law. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "Negotiation". Boston University School of Law. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "Entrepreneurship & IP Clinic". Boston University School of Law. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "Legislative Policy & Drafting Clinic". Boston University School of Law. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  17. ^ "Criminal Law: Prosecutor Clinic". Boston University School of Law. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  18. ^ "Tuition, Fees, and Expenses".
  19. ^ "Boston University Profile".
  20. ^ "Class of 2015 Employment". Archived from the original on October 25, 2016.
  21. ^ "Boston University Profile".
  22. ^ 10 Law Schools that Pay Off
  23. ^ The National Jurist – Back to School 2015
  24. ^ "Obituary, Frederic W. Allen". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT. April 13, 2016.
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Boston University School of Law
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?