Ranking Howard University School of Law

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Do you think Howard Law should be ranked higher than 108 on US News and World Report?

It's ranked where it should be
Total votes: 19


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Ranking Howard University School of Law

Post by FutureisFintech » Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:43 pm

DISCLAIMER: Saw this on reddit and wanted to copy it on here. Although I do not attend the school, as a POC with friends at Howard Law, I'm curious about how the school is viewed by potential applicants. It's not ranked very highly but, anecdotally, everything the original author posted, for the most part, lines up with the things I've seen my friends at Howard accomplish. Do you think the school should be ranked higher? If so, where do you think they should be ranked?

The 2nd Annual "Go-To-Howard-If-You're-A-POC-And-Have-Not-Been-Accepted-At-A-Top-20-School" Post


Both Howard University and Howard University School of Law are located in DC but in separate places; Howard undergrad is located near Columbia Heights (NorthEast DC) while Howard Law (or HUSL) is located in Van Ness (NorthWest DC). Van Ness is an affluent and residential area; there's not a lot going on, but there's a ton of affordable apartments near the school.

Additionally, Howard's presence within DC allows for direct and unrestricted access to the vaunted DC legal market and various year round internship and externship opportunities within government agencies (like the SEC, DOJ, FTC, FCC, EPA) as well as Non Profits and NGO like the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign etc. Recently, a HUSL student received a position as a law clerk Vice President Kamala Harris.


Everybody knows that law school is expensive- duh! The total cost of attendance for an entire school year (both semesters people!) is $68,462. To put that in comparison to other school in the DC area, GW's cost of attendance is $91,725, Georgetown Law's is $97,500 and American University Washington College of Law's is $76,566*.

Typically, students that earn scholarships are above at least at or above the 75th median percentile for either GPA or LSAT. Additionally, you can earn a scholarship after the year ends if you perform well enough.


Okay, so HUSL is in a great location and costs less than other schools in the area, but is it worth it?

Absolutely- with a caveat.

250+ law firms, including every Big Law firm from 100-1 on Vault recruit at Howard. Graduates at the school practice across the country, including in major legal markets like NYC, DC, LA, SF and Chicago. Additionally, 3% of the graduating class of 2020 earned Federal Clerkship opportunities. The opportunities open to the top 1/3 of the class are in line with, if not greater than, most schools ranked 20 and below. However, these opportunities are largely limited to the top 1/3 of the class. Below this, opportunities are more in line with Howard's rank as a T3 school. But, Howard's phenomenal network helps to mitigate some of these concerns for those under the top 1/3. Furthermore, Howard prides itself on being a school focused on Civil Rights and Social justice. A large portion of students self select into careers in public interest; the school has connections deep connections with organizations like the Innocence Project and Equal Justice Initiative. One of the most prominent civil rights attorneys today, Prof. Justin D. Hansford, engages in critical civil rights work through the school's Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center. *(Editor's Note: I also believe one of their Professors was just tapped to work for the Biden Administration.)

15% of graduates from the class of 2019 were unemployed. The average weighted first time bar pass rate for the school sits at 76.65%; it has room for improvement.

The Vibes

As a person of color, I've found the experience of being surrounded by a group of educated, thoughtful diverse individuals to be extremely refreshing. It can be tough and alienating to be the only diverse person in situations or fields where there is a dearth of representation. At Howard, the vast vast majority of us are extremely uplifting of one another and we make it a point to cherish the diverse experiences and viewpoints that have lead us to HUSL. My Professors, in addition to being extremely knowledgeable about their fields, make it a point to not only teach the law, but also the objective context and impact of the law, as applied to people of color. Upperclassmen are super helpful and are more than willing to share outlines, practice hypos or do interview prep with 1Ls. Gunners, do exist but they are relatively rare. It is not a cutthroat school in the slightest; however, everybody gives their all inside and outside of class.

The school's demographics, in terms of gender, are roughly 70% women and 30% men. Class sizes are small, typically under 150, so it's pretty easy to connect with your professors. The majority of the student body identifies as Black; however, students of all ethnicities, colors, races etc. are welcomed to attend. In my class, out of 156 individuals roughly 10% are nonblack .


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Re: Ranking Howard University School of Law

Post by crazywafflez » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:16 am

I think Howard lines up pretty well with schools like UTk. I'd rank Howard as a borderline T1 school?
I think it is better than its rank would suggest.
I wouldn't put it on par with somewhere like BU or BC. I could be wrong on that though.
It is a fine school and has many well established alums and places decently.
I'm a minority but not an AA. I personally would not choose Howard over somewhere like BC or BU. Also, for me, it doesn't really make a big difference if a school is majority white or black.
Regardless, the most important thing is debt and job placement. Howard does a respectable job, especially given its rank. I would personally rank it higher.


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Re: Ranking Howard University School of Law

Post by CanadianWolf » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:38 pm

Doesn't the "H" in HYS stand for "Howard" ?

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