Boston University School of Law Profile, Boston, Massachusetts |

Boston University School of Law

Rank 23


765 Commonwealth Avenue,

Boston, MA 02215









Overview 2

Founded in 1872, Boston University School of Law has a rich history of diversity and accomplishment that continues today under the leadership of Dean Maureen A. O'Rourke. You are welcome to visit BU Law, which is housed in the brand Sumner M. Redstone Building and completely renovated law tower. Our facility features two modern law libraries, technologically advanced moot courtrooms, classrooms designed for optimal learning, and offices for faculty and administrative departments.

Student-Faculty Ratio 3


Admission Criteria 4

25th-75th Percentile 161-165 3.52-3.77
Median 164 3.67

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the fall 2016 entering class.

Director of admissions Alissa Leonard
Application deadline April 1

Admission Statistics 4

Approximate number of applications 4800
Number accepted 1409
Percentage accepted 29.4%

The above admission details are based on 2015 data.

Law School Cost 5

2017–2018 Student Budget—JD Students & Full-Time LLM Students

Tuition $52,000
Student Fees $1,236
Books and Supplies $1,462
Room and Board $13,375
Transportation $1,120
Personal Expenses $3,050
Direct Loan Fees $226
Total $72,469

Class Ranking and Grades 6

Grading scale and procedures

Letter Grades with Numerical Equivalents. The Faculty has established the following scale of numerical equivalents for letter grades:

Grade Honor Points
A+ 4.3
A 4
A– 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3
B– 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2
C– 1.7
D 1
F 0

Second- and third-year students may elect to register for up to eight credits of non-required coursework on a Credit/No Credit/Honors basis after first year, if the coursework qualifies. If a graded seminar or course is taken by a student on a Credit/No Credit/Honors basis, the student must earn a “C” or better on the graded work in the course or seminar to pass.

Grade Normalization (Curve)6

For all courses and seminars with enrollment of 26 or more students receiving grades, the following grade distribution is mandatory:

A+ 0-5%
A+, A, A- 20-25% (A+ subject to 5% limitation above)
B+ and above 40-60% (subject to limitations on A range above)
B 10-50% (subject to limitations above and below)
B- and below 10-30% (subject to limitations below on ranges C+ and below)
C+ and above 5-10%
D, F 0-5%

For seminars and courses with a graded enrollment of 25 or fewer, the above distributions are not mandatory, but a median of B+ is recommended.

Honors 7

2016-2017 Academic Year

Class of 2018

2L Mid-Year Rank Based on Fall 2016 Cumulative Average*

Cut-off point for top 5% 3.85
Cut-off point for top 10% 3.75
Cut-off point for top 15% 3.71
Cut-off point for top 20% 3.61
Cut-off point for top 25% 3.55
Cut-off point for top one-third 3.49

Class of 2017

2L Rank Based on Second Year Average Only

Cut-off point for top 5% 3.95
Cut-off point for Paul J. Liacos Distinguished Scholars 3.92
Cut-off point for Paul J. Liacos Scholars and top 10% 3.84
Cut-off point for top 15% 3.78
Cut-off point for top 20% 3.73
Cut-off point for top 25% 3.68
Cut-off point for top one-third 3.61

Awards 8

Name of Award Awarded for/to
Sebastian Horsten Prize To the LLM in American Law student who has achieved the highest cumulative average in the class of 2014.
American Law Outstanding Achievement Award For excellence in academic achievement, honorable conduct and contributions to the class.
Graduate Tax Program Academic Achievement Award For the highest cumulative average in the class of 2014.
Ernest M. Haddad Award To the graduating Graduate Tax Program student who best exhibits overall ability, taking into consideration academic achievement, character, and potential to serve the public interest.
A. John Serino Outstanding Graduate Banking and Financial Law Student Prize For overall performance, in terms of academic achievement and dedication to the highest standards of scholarship and service.
Dennis S. Aronowitz Award for Academic Excellence in Banking and Financial Law For the highest cumulative average in the class of 2014.
Faculty Award for Academic Accomplishment For the most scholarly progress in the third year.
William L. and Lillian Berger Achievement Prizes For exemplary scholastic achievement.
Faculty Awards for Community Service For exceptional dedication to the ideals of community service.
Peter Bennett Prize To the graduating third-year J.D. law student receiving the highest grade point average for that year.
Spencer R. Koch Memorial Award For outstanding contributions to achieving the goals of the Esdaile Alumni Center through alumni outreach.
Honorable Albert P. Pettoruto Memorial Award For excellence in the field of probate or family law.
Melville M. Bigelow Scholarship Awards To a members of the graduating class who show the greatest promise as scholars and teachers in law.
Warren S. Gilford Humanity and Law Prize To a student who shows humanitarian interest in law, primarily by taking a job in the public sector after graduation.
Alumni Academic Achievement Award For the highest cumulative average in the three-year program of law study.
Sylvia Beinecke Robinson Award For a significant contribution to the life of the School of Law.
Dr. John Ordronaux Prize Awarded to a member of the graduating class for the most exemplary academic performance and leadership.
Michael Melton Award For Excellence in Teaching is named for a longtime faculty member who taught in the tax area and was director of the Graduate Tax Program.
John Stephen Baerst Award For Excellence in Teaching.

Journals 9

You’ll find six nationally recognized law journals run by BU Law’s JD students. All place in the Top 25 of the Washington & Lee University Law School’s annual law journal rankings:

Boston University Law Review

Established in 1921, the Law Review provides analysis and commentary on all areas of the law. It is published five times a year, containing articles contributed by law professors and practicing attorneys from all over the world, along with notes written by student members. The wide cross section of topics published gives students broad exposure to issues of concern to the legal community.

American Journal of Law and Medicine

Published jointly with the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics since 1975, this is a quarterly, interdisciplinary periodical containing professional articles, student notes, and case comments; summaries of recent legislative and judicial developments; and book reviews in the area of health law and policy. The journal specializes in health care law, both domestic and international. Articles explore bioethics, health care financing, health policy, fraud and abuse, intellectual property, and other health-related fields.

Review of Banking & Financial Law

This scholarly journal of banking and financial law was founded in 1982 as the Annual Review of Banking & Financial Law. Prepared under the auspices of the Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law, the Review contains professional articles by academics and practicing lawyers, and student notes and comments on topics ranging from banking law and regulation to commercial law, bankruptcy, and administrative and constitutional law.

Boston University International Law Journal

A biannual journal established in 1980 that provides a forum for student interests and scholarship in the field of international law. It strives to publish groundbreaking and even controversial professional articles and student-written notes analyzing the most current issues of public and private international law, foreign and comparative law, and trade law.

Journal of Science and Technology Law

BU Law’s longstanding tradition as a leader in intellectual property law programs carries on in this twice-a -year journal. It provides the best scholarship regarding the intersection of science, technology, and the law. Subject matter encompasses biotechnology, computers, communications, intellectual property, the Internet, technology transfer, and business for science and technology-based companies. Professional articles, student notes, and legal updates appear in each print issue as well as online.

Public Interest Law Journal

Founded in 1990 and published twice a year, this journal is a non-partisan publication dedicated to academic discussion of legal issues in the public interest. It focuses on constitutional law, criminal law, family and legal ethics, environmental issues, education and civil rights law, and is particularly interested in submissions that combine theory and practical application.

Moot Court 10-12

Albers Moot Court Competition 2017

Edward C. Stone Moot Court Competition 2016

The Edward C. Stone Moot Court Competition is only open to all second-year JD students, and runs from late September through mid-November. Students work in teams of two on one of three moot court problems. The Stone participants with the highest combined brief and oral argument scores are invited to participate in the second semester Homer Albers Prize Moot Court Competition. (Note that the number of students invited to participate in the Homer Albers Prize competition may vary based on the number of students competing in Stone, but will be between 16 and 32 students.) Jen Taylor McCloskey, the Associate Director of the Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy Program, will hold an informational meeting for all interested participants on September 12 (see below). The competition prize winners and Albers invitees will be announced at an awards reception on November 17.

Jessup Moot Court Competition

The Jessup Competition is the world’s largest and most prestigious moot court competition, and the oldest moot court competition dedicated to international law. The competition attracts students from over 550 law schools in more than 80 countries.

Clinical Programs 13

Because there are so many clinical offerings, you should consult with the faculty and staff of the Clinical & Advocacy Programs Office as well as the Career Development & Public Service Office for advice and guidance on which programs will fit with your educational and career goals. Recognizing that acquiring professional skills and values in a real-world context is an essential component of legal education, BU Law guarantees every interested student at least one clinical opportunity during his or her second or third year of law school. All clinics have a class component to accompany the fieldwork.

In the Housing, Employment, Family & Disability Clinic, you can represent tenants in eviction defenses in housing court, claimants in unemployment compensation appeals, parties in divorces in probate court, and claimants in Social Security disability hearings.

In the Employment Rights Clinic, you can represent clients in unemployment compensation cases. You may also handle wage and hour disputes, discrimination/sexual harassment cases, and Family Medical Leave Act cases.

In the Criminal Law Clinical Program, you will learn firsthand what it means to be a criminal law attorney. You can conduct investigations to formulate trial strategy, file pre-trial motions, participate in plea bargaining, try cases, and make sentencing arguments. Students follow their cases from beginning to end; in recent years some clinic students have even taken their cases to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

In the Entrepreneurship & IP Clinic, you will assist MIT and BU student entrepreneurs starting new or growing existing businesses focused on innovative technologies, products, or services.

In the Technology & Cyberlaw Clinic, you will advise MIT and BU students on laws and regulations that may affect their innovation-related academic and extracurricular activities in areas that may include cyber crime, privacy issues, data security, and intellectual property.

In the International Human Rights Clinic, you can work on human rights projects, file briefs and amicus briefs on international human rights law issues in US domestic courts, and participate in universal jurisdiction claims in the US and other courts.

In the Wrongful Convictions Clinic, you will screen applications from prisoners claiming innocence: scrutinize transcripts, forensic evidence, motions and appeals, and report to the New England Innocence Project.

Placement Facts 14

Starting Salaries (2016 Graduates Employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile) $74,750 - $160,000
Median in the private sector $160,000
Median in public service $49,000

Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation 56.7%
Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation 78.4%

Areas of Legal Practice

Graduates Employed In Percentage
Law Firms 56%
Business and Industry 9.8%
Government 18.1%
Judicial Clerkships 5.7%
Public Interest Organizations 8.8%
Academia 1.6%
Unknown 0%



Take advantage of Boston’s large and diverse legal community by working for credit at a legal organization in Boston. The possibilities are endless: public interest organizations, government agencies, judicial chambers of state or federal judges, and in-house legal departments in Boston. You may deal with legal issues that range from affordable housing to health law, from criminal prosecution to government regulation. Externship options are:

Affordable Housing Externship

Work at a public or non-profit housing and community development agency to learn how various laws, tools, and programs come together in the real world – project by project and case by case – to provide affordable housing and sustainable community development.

Health Law Externship

Immerse yourself in the legal issues facing health care providers, biotech firms, or health advocacy nonprofits in Boston.

Independent Proposal Externship

Receive credit for an externship pursued in conjunction with an independent study project.

Judicial Externship

Intern at a trial or appellate court in the Massachusetts or federal court system and explore issues related to the roles of the judge and the judicial intern.

Legal Externship

Work at a range of organizations in Boston, such as MPM Capital, BU’s General Counsel’s Office, and Accion International.

Legislative Externship

Students work in the offices of a state senator, representative or legislative committee at the Massachusetts state house.


The American Law Internship Program

BU Law has established a program with the Academic Internship Council (AIC) to provide short-term, post-graduation law-related internships in the US for LLM in American Law students. Our program with AIC—called the American Law Internship Program—is designed to provide LLM graduates with short-term professional experiences (rather than permanent jobs) in the US legal market. Placements will help students further their understanding of US legal culture, gain practical exposure to US legal practice, refine their professional development skills, and expand their global networks.

Student Organizations 17

  • American Constitution Society
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
  • Black Law Student Association
  • Business Law Society
  • Communication, Entertainment, and Sports Law Association
  • Education and School Law Association
  • Employment & Labor Law Student Association
  • Entrepreneur & Finance Club
  • Environmental and Energy Law Association
  • Federalist Society
  • Health Law Association
  • If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice
  • Immigration Law and Policy Society
  • Intellectual Property Law Society
  • International Law Society
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Latin American Law Student Association
  • Lawyers Christian Fellowship
  • Legal Follies
  • Middle Eastern & Southeast Asian Law Students Association
  • Native American and other Indigenous Peoples Law Students Association & Peoples
  • OutLaw
  • Older Wiser Law Students
  • Public Interest Project
  • Radical Lawyers: BU's National Lawyers Guild Chapter
  • Real Estate Association
  • Softball
  • Student Government Association
  • Women's Law Association