Boston University School of Law
School typePrivate
Parent endowment$2.179 billion[1]
DeanAngela Onwuachi-Willig
LocationBoston, Massachusetts, United States
Enrollment769 FT-JD[2] 350 LLM
USNWR ranking20th[2]
Bar pass rate94.50%[4]

Boston University School of Law (BU Law) is the law school of Boston University, a private university in Boston, Massachusetts.[5]

BU Law was one of the first law schools in the country to admit students regardless of race or gender. It is the second-oldest law school in Massachusetts, and a charter member of the American Bar Association. More than 700 students are enrolled in the full-time J.D. degree program and about 350 in the school's five LLM degree programs.


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.[6] 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).[7]

BU Law's first homes were 36 Bromfield Street, 18–20 Beacon Street and 10 Ashburton Place. 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. Former United States President William Howard Taft lectured on legal ethics from 1918 until his appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1921.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10] Professor Kevin Outterson, a health law specialist and researcher at BU Law, serves as executive director of the initiative, which is named CARB-X.[10]


BU Law Tower
BU Law Tower

Boston University School of Law offers a broad selection of legal classes and seminars (approximately 200) 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.


BU Law's most recent entering class comes from 39 states and the District of Columbia. These students represent 16 countries and 155 undergraduate institutions.[11]

Admission to Boston University School of Law is very competitive. There were 284 students who matriculated in the fall of 2018 out of a pool of 5,891 J.D. applicants. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2018 entering class were 160 and 167, respectively. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.49 and 3.84, respectively, with a median of 3.74.[12]


Boston University School of Law ranks 20th among American law schools in the 2021 list of best law schools compiled by U.S. News & World Report.[13] U.S. News also ranks the School's Health Law Program #4 and Tax Law #7.

Attorney Skills Accelerator Program

The Attorney Skills Accelerator Program (ASAP)[14] 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[15] and/or Negotiation[16] courses. ASAP students will also have the opportunity to take part in a legal externship, or one of three clinics:

Law journals


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.[20] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $243,230.[21]


According to BU Law's official 2017 ABA-required disclosures, 78.8% of the Class of 2017 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment ten months after graduation.[22] BU Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 14.3%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2017 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job ten months after graduation.[23]

For new graduates, the self-reported median starting salary for the class of 2017 was $160,000 in the private sector, and $54,000 in the public sector.[2] This ranked the school #9 on the US News list "Schools Where Salaries for Grads Most Outweigh the Debt."[24] BU placed 52 graduates from the class of 2015 at NLJ 100 firms, earning it the number 16 slot on the National Journal's law school rankings for large law firm employment.[25]

Notable alumni

Main article: List of Boston University School of Law alumni


Former Faculty


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d Boston University | Best Law School | US News
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-13. Retrieved 2016-10-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "BOSTON UNIVERSITY - 2018 - First Time Bar Passage". American Bar Association. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Boston University School of Law | Official Guide". Archived from the original on 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "BU School of Law Kikuchi, Takeo". Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  8. ^ "BU School of Law Timeline". Boston University. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Law Libraries | School of Law". Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  10. ^ a b Division, News (2016-07-27). "HHS forges unprecedented partnership to combat antimicrobial resistance". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  11. ^ Class Profile | School of Law
  12. ^ "Boston University - 2013 Standard 509 Information Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 1, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  13. ^ Best Law School Rankings | Law Program Rankings | US News
  14. ^ "Attorney Skills Accelerator Program | School of Law". Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  15. ^ "Contract Drafting | School of Law". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  16. ^ "Negotiation | School of Law". Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  17. ^ "Entrepreneurship & IP Clinic | School of Law". Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  18. ^ "Legislative Policy & Drafting Clinic | School of Law". Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  19. ^ "Criminal Law: Prosecutor Clinic | School of Law". Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  20. ^ "Tuition, Fees, and Expenses".
  21. ^ "Boston University Profile".
  22. ^ "Class of 2015 Employment". Archived from the original on 2016-10-25.
  23. ^ "Boston University Profile".
  24. ^ 10 Law Schools that Pay Off
  25. ^ The National Jurist - Back to School 2015
  26. ^ "Obituary, Frederic W. Allen". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT. April 13, 2016.