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Penn Carey Law

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is one of the top law schools in the United States, according to US News & World Report. It is part of the University of Pennsylvania and is known for its rigorous academic program. Students at the school can choose to participate in several law journals, including the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the oldest law review in the country. The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School was renamed on November 8, 2019, after the W. P. Carey Foundation donated $125 million. This is the largest private donation in the school's history.



The University of Pennsylvania Law School has a long and distinguished history dating back to 1790. James Wilson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and a Supreme Court Justice, delivered a series of lectures on law at the school, which President George Washington and his cabinet attended. Penn Law is now one of the most prestigious law schools in the world and is very competitive to get into.

Formal Establishment

Penn Law has been a leading law school in the United States since it was founded in 1850. Under the leadership of George Sharswood, the school began offering a full-time law program that quickly became highly regarded. In 1852, Penn Law added two more instructors and began granting the degree of LL.B. The school has continued to innovate in legal education, making it a top choice for students seeking to enter the legal profession.

In the early days of law in America, would-be lawyers typically apprenticed with an experienced attorney. This was often a paid position, generating income for many established lawyers. There were few law schools then; some were independent, while others were affiliated with a college or university. A law degree was not required to practice law, and courts often did not give weight to time spent in law school.

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School did not initially require students to have a college degree. College degrees were not seen as necessary for entrance into the school. The school also did not have any formal examinations for matriculation. This meant that admission into the school was based on the student's willingness to learn and ability to pay tuition rather than any academic achievement. Over time, though, the standards for admission into the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School changed, and it eventually became necessary for students to have a college degree to be accepted.

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School courses were mainly focused on legal specifics rather than general principles. The subjects covered property law, admiralty law, equity jurisprudence, and international and constitutional law. However, these courses were more theoretical than practical and did not cover the details of working as a lawyer. A course on "practice" became required only at the turn of the century, and it has since been irregularly included in the curriculum.

Rise to National Prominence

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is a national law school that was established in 1896. The school's first full-time faculty member was William Draper Lewis, who is credited with helping to establish the school as a national player in legal education. The school suffered underfunding for many years but was able to build a new law school building in 1900. The school has been repeatedly recognized for its excellence in legal education and nationally diverse faculty. The school almost closed during World War I due to a decrease in the number of students but was able to rebound and continue operating. The school continues to be a top law school in the United States.


Admissions Stats
Class of: 2020-2021 2021-2022
25th - 50th - 75th percentile LSAT 164 - 170 - 171 167 - 171 - 173
25th - 50th - 75th percentile GPA 3.57 - 3.89 - 3.95 3.56 - 3.90 - 3.96
Acceptance rate 14.3% 9.4%
Applications received 6148 8383
Acceptances 879 787
Matriculants 2265 1795
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School1.jpg

The law school admitted 14.6 percent of applicants to its JD program for the fall of 2023. A total of 6,146 people applied to the school, with 249 being offered admission. The class of 2023 had an LSAT score range of 164-171, with a median score of 170. The undergraduate GPA range for admitted students was 3.57-3.95, with a median GPA of 3.89.

About 13 percent of first-generation college students and 29 percent of first-generation professional school students were admitted to the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

The school received over 1,250 applications from students in 70 countries for its LLM program in the fall of 2019. The 126 students accepted into the program come from more than 30 countries. The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School typically enrolls around 250 students yearly. Admission to the school is highly competitive, and its first-time bar passage rate for July 2018 was 92.09%. The law school is consistently ranked within the top 14 schools in the country by US News & World Report and is considered one of the best in the nation. In the class I entered in 2018, over half of the students were women, and more than a third were people of color. Additionally, 10% of students enrolled with an advanced degree.

Letters of Recommendation

The law school requires two recommendations, but it accepts up to four. Letters must be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service, and those using the LSAC evaluation service must submit at least two letters. Letters can come from professors, employers, or anyone else who attests to an "ability to succeed in a rigorous law school program." To get some additional advice on obtaining letters of recommendation, click here.

Supplemental Essays

Penn Law allows applicants to submit one additional, optional essay. The most recent application lists four topic choices. The first, a diversity statement, can touch on background issues (race, sexual orientation, age) or experience (academic expertise or employment history). The second invites applicants to write about what defines them and how this matches up with Penn's "core strengths." The third prompt asks applicants to discuss an example of working with a team. The fourth presents an opportunity to explain standardized test scores or previous academic records. For more information on personal statements and application essays, check out the TLS Guide to Personal Statements.

Binding Early Decision Application

Applicants who are certain Penn is the best fit for them can apply under one of two binding Early Decision options. The first round, which guarantees a decision by Dec. 31, requires applications to be submitted by Nov. 15 and completed by Dec. 1. The second round requires applications by Jan. 7, complete files by Jan. 15, and guarantees decisions by Jan. 31. Dean Post has cautioned applicants with financial concerns against applying ED since they will not have the chance to compare aid offers from different schools. Conventional wisdom also holds that applying Early Decision puts candidates out of the running for significant merit-based aid. To read a TLS article about deciding between ED and RD (or Regular Decision), click here.

Applicants should note that in recent years, application numbers for even the top law schools have been in free fall. In a buyer's market, applicants should be extremely wary of applying for early decision anywhere. Even if your heart is set on Penn, it would be well worth your while to compare and try to leverage scholarship offers from its peer schools.

Transfers, Waitlists, and Deferrals

Dean Post says that Penn Law selects between 20 and 30 transfer students each year from around 200 applicants. (The most recently published ABA data lists 24 transfers in and six transfers out.) The most important factors differ from traditional J.D. admissions: Instead of undergraduate GPA and LSAT, first-year law school grades and the strength of applicants' current institutions are most heavily weighted. (Anecdotally, one TLS user noted that most transfers in a recent year came from schools ranked in the top 30 by U.S. News & World Report, or from nearby schools ranked slightly lower.) Letters of recommendation written by law professors and personal statements are also crucial. The administration specializes to accommodate transfer students, reserving on-campus interview slots, and allowing transfers to write journals. The law school also admits a significant number of waitlisted applicants each year, 30 to 40 out of a pool of several hundred. Waitlist review begins in May, and candidates are sometimes accepted late into the summer. The committee invites waitlisted candidates to remain in contact and submit additional materials, including letters of recommendation, new grades, and updated resumes. Penn Law grants accepted students one-year deferrals in most reasonable cases, although applicants must submit their requests in writing. The school grants two-year deferrals for a narrower range of reasons, including military service or multi-year service programs like Teach for America. To read a fantastic article about transferring, click here.

Public Interest Support

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Penn Law makes an effort to enable students to pursue public interest-minded careers despite the financial burdens of legal education. Penn was the first nationally prominent law school to institute mandatory pro bono service and continues to encourage all students to consider the greater good in their careers.

The Toll Public Interest Scholars Program funds a few students in each class who demonstrate commitment to the public interest and provide as much grant assistance as the Levy Scholars Program. The program supports each scholar's public interest development through funded summer internships, seminars, and mentor relationships. As with other merit scholarships, no special application is required. The program covers the tuition for 1L year and two-thirds of the tuition for the next two years. Penn also offers guaranteed funding to all students working public interest internships over the summer-around 175 each year.

The law school also provides public interest support to recent graduates through its Toll Loan Repayment Assistance Program. Graduates in qualifying employment (legal work that primarily benefits the public interest, such as direct services or many government posts) can have part or all of their law school debt forgiven. "TolLRAP" covers annual loan payments up to $14,000 for those making less than $48,000 and dispenses decreasing aid for those making more. Adjustments are made for spousal income and dependent children.

Tuition and Living Expenses

The cost of attending the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School for the 2022 academic year is estimated to be $97,270. This total cost of attendance includes tuition fees of $70,042 and other necessary expenses such as rent, food, and insurance.

Most costs of living indices put Philadelphia well above the national average but below other large, northeastern cities like New York and Boston. Compared to its most oft-mentioned rivals, Michigan and Virginia-Penn Law's cost of living is higher: approximately 24% greater than Ann Arbor's and 18% higher than Charlottesville's. Still, this increased cost will be more than worth it to some who would rather live in a major city than a college town.

When it comes to a law student's biggest expense-housing-Penn advises that students living off-campus should be able to find a studio for between $750 and $900 per month in University City (one-bedrooms are likely to be $100 to $200 more). In Center City, high-rise studio rents start at about $1,000 but can go much higher (studios at 2400 Chestnut, popular among law students, are in the $1,300 range). Cheaper options like brownstones and more expensive luxury apartments are also available. Groceries, entertainment, and transportation expenses are significantly higher than the national metro area average but will depend on each student's lifestyle.

As always, check with potential housing options for the most updated rates. To learn more about obtaining a fee waiver, click here.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

A Penn Law education represents a significant financial undertaking, with a cost of attendance soaring beyond $70,000 per year in a rough economy that has hurt job prospects across the board. The school offers significant merit-based aid-mostly based on GPA and LSAT numbers-as, well as some need-based grant aid and institutional assistance in securing and handling student loans. Roughly half of each class qualifies for grants. All applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships; those who wish to apply for need-based aid must submit additional paperwork, including parental resource information for most applicants. The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School offers several scholarships to assist students with attendance costs and encourage academically talented students to enroll. Additionally, the school offers scholarships to encourage students to explore different areas of law.

  • Levy Scholar Program
  • James Wilson Scholarship
  • Torys Scholarship
  • Public Interest Scholars Program

The law school's highest award for incoming students is a spot in the Levy Scholars program, which covers full tuition for all three years. The program also provides additional resources to encourage interdisciplinary scholarship and growth. Other named scholarships include the James Wilson Scholarship, which provides around $20,000 of support a year, and the Silverman-Rodin Scholars program, which covers all tuition costs for 1L year and half tuition for the second year. Many Dean's Scholarships also provide students with grant aid in amounts from $4,500 to $60,000 over the course of three years.


Loans are available to qualified students enrolled in the ML program. Terms of interest and repayment vary. The Law School refers students to the Federal Direct Student Loan program, Graduate Federal PLUS Loan program, and various other alternative private student loan programs. Student loans may be used to cover tuition, fees, books, and other living expenses. For eligibility, students who borrow government loans must maintain half-time status (two classes per semester). Also, loans will enter into repayment after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Most students will have a 6 month grace period before repayment begins. More information on these loans can be found on the Penn Student Registration & Financial Services website.

Student Body

The school administration will officially "recognize" a new student activity organization once they have reviewed the group's mission statement and collected a petition signed by at least twelve members of the current student body. This recognition allows the group to request funding from C.S.R. (the campus Student Council) and the Dean's Speakers Fund and use school resources such as mail folders and meeting space. Students interested in starting a new organization should present their purpose, goals, and planned activities to the Dean of Students, along with the signatures of twelve supporting students.

The Law School's student body consistently ranks as one of the most diverse in the country. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked Penn Carey Law as the 6th most diverse law school in 2019. Students come to Penn Carey Law from all over the United States and the world. The Class of 2022 is made up of students from 27 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 9 countries.


The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is home to several legal journals, with the University of Pennsylvania Law Review being the oldest journal in the United States. Established in 1852 as the American Law Register, it was renamed its current title in 1908 and is highly cited by law professionals worldwide. The Penn Law Review articles document significant historical moments of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the amendment of the 19th Amendment, World Wars I and II, the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War. Other law journals include:

  • University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, one of the top 50 law journals in the United States based on citations and impact.
  • University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, formerly known as Journal of International Economic Law, formerly known as Journal of International Business Law, formerly known as Journal of Comparative Business and Capital Market Law
  • University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, formerly known as Journal of Business and Employment Law
  • University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change
  • Asian Law Review, formerly known as East Asian Law Review, formerly known as Chinese Law and Policy Review
  • Journal of Law & Public Affairs



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First-year students take a traditional set of courses: civil procedure, contracts, property, torts, criminal law, and constitutional law. They also take two semesters of Legal Writing, which is graded on a pass/fail basis. The class includes large lectures and small "cohort" meetings of about 15 students. Penn first-years can choose two electives, one from a list of Regulatory offerings and the other from a Perspectives list of survey courses like Jurisprudence and Chinese Law.

Second- and third-year students freely select classes to complete the remaining required credits, and have a wide variety to choose from. Upper-level students can also take advantage of the university's other graduate offerings and a range of experiential learning opportunities. To graduate, all Penn Law students must complete at least 70 hours of pro bono service, take a professional responsibility course, and satisfy a senior writing and research requirement.

Joint Degree Programs

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is known for its joint degree programs, which allow students to earn two degrees in less than the usual amount of time. The school has established programs with many other academic departments, including the Wharton School of Business and the Fels Institute of Government. Undergraduate students at Penn can also take law school courses before graduation through the sub-matriculation program. In addition to the existing programs, students can create their custom joint degree program. The Levy Scholars Program encourages students to consider pursuing a joint degree. Some of the most common programs are:

  • J.D./M.Bioethics, Department of Medical Ethics in the School of Medicine
  • J.D./M.B.A. The Wharton School
  • J.D./M.C.P., City & Regional Planning, Penn Design
  • J.D./M.A./M.S. Criminology, Department of Criminology
  • JD/M.S.Ed. Educational Policy or Higher Ed, Graduate School of Education
  • J.D./M.E.S. Institute for Environmental Studies
  • J.D./M.G.A., Fels Institute of Government
  • J.D./A.M. Islamic Studies, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
  • J.D./M.A. International Studies, The Lauder Institute (Wharton) and School of Arts & Sciences
  • J.D./M.A. Philosophy, Department of Philosophy
  • J.D./M.P.H., Graduate Program in Public Health Studies, School of Medicine
  • J.D./M.S.W., School of Social Policy and Practice
  • JD/Ph.D. American Legal History, Department of History
  • J.D./Ph.D. Communication, Annenberg School for Communication
  • JD/Ph.D. Economics, Department of Economics
  • JD/Ph.D. Philosophy, Department of Philosophy
  • J.D./D.E.S.S., Global Business Law, Université Paris 1 Panthéon- Sorbonne Law School and the Institut d'Études Politiques (credits earned enable a graduate to apply for a French law license)
  • J.D./B.A., or B.S. Submatriculation programs with The Wharton School, the Nursing School, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania

Study Abroad

Penn Law students have several opportunities to take their education overseas. Traditional, semester-long study-abroad programs allow students to take classes at law schools in Barcelona, Bangalore, Beijing, and Tokyo. Each program can be completed mostly or fully in English. Students who want a more immersive experience can spend their third year studying in Paris or Hong Kong. The Paris program, taught in English and French, confers a JD and Master in Economic Law degree. In Hong Kong, students take English-language courses and earn an LL.M. However, those who actually want to practice in Hong Kong will need additional training and certification.


Unsurprisingly, Penn's law faculty is distinguished and highly credentialed. Its ranks include scholarly heavyweights such as Christopher Yoo (technology law) and Paul Robinson (criminal law). Many of the school's most cited professors have also won accolades for their Socratic savvy: For example, David Skeel, one of the most important names in corporate law and bankruptcy, is a two-time recipient of the Harvey Levin award for distinguished teaching (chosen annually by the graduating class).

In 2022, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School's student-faculty ratio is 4.8:1. The school has 850 full-time and 200 part-time students. Carey Law students have access to several unique academic opportunities. The school offers joint degree programs with other graduate schools at the University of Pennsylvania, including the Wharton School, engineering school, and medical school. Carey Law also offers a semester abroad program at the University of Oxford. The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is one of the top law schools in the United States. The school offers high-quality legal education, and its graduates have gone on to successful careers in various fields.

Student Activities

Clinics and Externships

Penn Law offers nine direct clinical experiences in which students can gain firsthand experience, as well as a Lawyering in the Public Interest seminar that combines readings, speakers, and court observations with students' law school public interest experience and discussions of issues faced by public interest lawyers. Penn students can directly represent clients in civil or criminal-defense cases; they can help small businesses through the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic or disadvantaged kids through the Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic. The Legislative Clinic gives opportunities to policy-minded students, and the Mediation Clinic explores non-litigation methods of conflict resolution.

Penn's Supreme Court Clinic allows students to research and contributes to actual cases to be argued in front of the nation's highest court. Participants work in the clinic for a full academic year and take a one-semester seminar that complements the hands-on experience. Two former clerks to Justice Anthony Kennedy conduct the clinic, and faculty members teach the seminar with extensive experience arguing Supreme Court cases.

The Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies also facilitates externship placements with Philadelphia-area legal employers, ranging from public interest organizations and governmental agencies to law firms arguing federal cases. Oversight by externship supervisors and clinical faculty expands the value of these experiential opportunities.

Moot Court

Penn 2Ls compete in an intramural moot court competition, Appellate Advocacy II, which includes a written brief and oral arguments. The top performers from this competition are eligible for 3L positions, including competitive spots on the Keedy Cup or National Moot Court Competition teams and membership on the Moot Court Board. Penn students also enter several national and international competitions, for which they make their own teams.

Student Organizations

Along with moot court and journals, a wide range of interest- and affinity-based groups allow students to socialize and work with like-minded peers. Groups range from identity groups, such as the Black Law Students Association and Christian Legal Society; to serious special interests, like Penn Law for Reproductive Justice; to fun, activity-based organizations, like the Iron Chef Club and various intramural sports. Unsurprisingly, many groups have a cross-disciplinary focus (the Penn Law Association for Law and the Arts, Law and the Brain). Finally, students give back through well over a dozen pro bono projects, including direct service organizations like Advocates for the Homeless and outreach programs like Street Law, which teaches local children about constitutional and legal issues.


The law school currently comprises four buildings encircling a courtyard. Silverman Hall, a beautiful flagship building dating to the turn of the 19th century, houses the Great Hall, faculty offices, classrooms, a trial courtroom, and a conference center. Gittis Hall principally contains larger classrooms. Tanenbaum Hall's rooms include journal offices as well as the Biddle Law Library.

The fourth building is the new Golkin Hall, a 40,000-square-foot facility that includes a new moot courtroom and auditorium as well as seminar rooms, offices, and common areas. The new facility also includes a rooftop garden and will be certified as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building.

Penn Law Employment Outcomes

The class of 2020 at the University of Pennsylvania's Carey Law School had an impressive 99.6% employment rate after graduation, with the median salary for 2019 graduates being $190,000. Many students pursue law firm careers or judicial clerkships, but the school also has a strong tradition in public service. The school was the first top-ranked law school to establish a mandatory pro bono requirement and has won the American Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award. Many students pursue public interest careers with the support of fellowship grants such as the Skadden Fellowship.

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is known for its students' success in securing employment at top law firms. In 2020, the school placed more than 70 percent of its graduates into these firms, maintaining Penn's rank as the number one law school in the nation for this statistic. The Law School was also ranked #4 by Law.com, sending the highest percentage of 2021 graduates to the largest 100 firms in the US (55 percent). These rankings are a testament to the school's commitment to preparing its students for success in their chosen fields.

In 2022, JD graduates from the University of Pennsylvania make a median salary of $190,000 upon graduation if they work in the private sector. If they go into the public sector, a grad can expect to make $60,000. Of law graduates from the University of Pennsylvania, 73.5% go directly to work for law firms, while 10.1% clerk for a judge. 7.8% of graduates go into public interest. Passing the bar on their first try, 95.4% of University of Pennsylvania graduates are successful.

Office of Career Planning and Professionalism

CP&P, Penn Law's career services office, provides students with a host of resources, including employer and alumni databases, career-planning workshops, resume sessions, mock interviews, and one-on-one career counseling. The office also coordinates two types of interview programs: the on-campus interview program (OCI) in late August, which targets rising 2Ls seeking summer positions, and regional off-campus interviews, which match up interested students and employers in markets such as California, Chicago, and Atlanta. Fall OCI usually brings about 300 employers to campus, although those numbers have decreased somewhat recently. The school also holds a Public Interest/Public Service Career Fair to attract less corporate-minded employers.

Private Practice

The immediate goal of most Penn Law students seems to be working for a big law firm. There are many reasons for this preference: prestige, high-level training and networks, exit options, the chance to work on interesting or high-stakes cases, and (perhaps most important) a paycheck large enough to pay down sizable student debt. The hiring process for large firms is also streamlined, with OCI and high offer rates for summer associates making biglaw the path of least resistance for students at elite schools.

Judicial Clerkships

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School provides excellent support to students seeking judicial clerkships, resulting in an impressive number of placements in recent years. From 2015-2020, 386 students and alumni secured clerkships at all levels, thanks to the help of staff and faculty.


The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School offers a competitive salary for its graduates. The 25th percentile salary is among the highest in the nation at $190,000. The school's graduates also have a strong chance of securing high-paying positions upon graduation.

First-year Summers

Summer internships are crucial for helping law students build legal resumes. Many Penn Law students spend their first summers interning for government entities or nonprofit organizations. The law school distributes public interest funding and work-study money to fund many of these experiences. Working as a research assistant for a professor (usually paid on an hourly basis) and interning for a judge (often unpaid) are also popular options. Penn 1Ls also spread out geographically during the summer, with many staying at Penn or working in nearby markets such as D.C., and others heading home to cities across the country or even finding opportunities overseas. One TLS member reported: "Everyone has a job [for 1L summer]. … I doubt most people are doing what they want,' but everyone is getting some sort of experience which is all that matters." Another writes, "Everyone seems to have gotten something legal by the time summer came around, usually with some sort of funding."

With the economic downturn, some of the most sought-after 1L jobs-summer associate positions with large firms-have become rare, though not unheard of. These internships represent a significant cost to the firms since 1L summer associates are often paid on the same scale as full-time first-year associates and are less likely to join the firm after graduation than 2L summer associates.


The University of Pennsylvania provides some furnished, on-campus housing to law students in the Sansom Place East high-rise, which also houses other graduate students and some undergrads. The building has single rooms (shared bathroom, no kitchen; approximately $750/month), single apartments (kitchen, living area, private bath; approximately $1,300/month), and double apartments (two bedroom apartments, kitchen, private bath; approximately $800/month per person). While the location and provided furniture are convenient, most students decide to live off-campus.

Those who decide to live off-campus choose between two neighborhoods: University City, the West Philadelphia neighborhood surrounding the campus, and downtown Philadelphia. Downtown-or "Center City"-begins about a mile east of campus, and many Center City neighborhoods are a reasonable walk's distance from UPenn. These areas provide a wide range of accommodations, as one TLS member attested:

University City is cheaper but Center City is "nicer." It really depends on what you're looking for. Some people want to live in brownstone walk-ups; others want to live in high rises with doormen. There are lots of options. You can spend anywhere from $500/month total to over $2,000. Philly is a pretty diverse place for housing. Also, people with families tend to live out in the suburbs and commute in.

Another TLS user and 1L ventures that a "plurality of [students] live between 20th and 24th in Center City." Living downtown, while farther away from campus, carries proximity to a greater number of restaurants, bars, cultural attractions, and entertainment options. More information about off-campus housing can be found on the university website.

Quality of Life

Living in one of the country's most populous metro areas, Penn Law students should not have trouble filling their free time. The area is steeped in history: The principal city of the late Colonial and early Federal periods, Philadelphia is home to landmarks such as Independence Hall. The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin, whose presence still looms large on the UPenn campus and the city as a whole.

The city boasts a wealth of cultural offerings from myriad art museums and galleries. The latter are open late once a month for First Friday, a celebrated Old Town tradition to an award-winning orchestra and the Academy of Music, which hosts ballet and opera companies. Sports fans can watch teams in all four major leagues. Culinary options from world-class fine dining to Philly's famous cheesesteaks and hoagies promise to please any palate, and various nightlife options abound.

Parts of Philadelphia have a bad reputation for safety: According to Business Insider, Philadelphia does rank among the top dozen U.S. cities for violent crime. However, the city ranks fairly low on property crime metrics, and many report that areas around campus frequented by Penn Law students have grown markedly safer in recent years. Still, prospective students may want to consider safety when choosing between housing options.

Winters can be cold and summers muggy, but Philadelphians enjoy pleasant spring and fall seasons. The city is centrally situated near other flagship cities on the eastern seaboard-Washington and New York can be reached in about two hours in light traffic, while Boston is a manageable half-days drive-convenient for those who want to get away for a weekend or visit friends.

Contact Information

University of Pennsylvania Law School
Admissions Office
3400 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: 215-898-7400
Fax: 215-898-9606
Email: contactadmissions@law.upenn.edu


Established 1850
Location Philadelphia, PA
Dean Theodore W. Ruger
2021 US News Ranking 7th
LSAT Median Score 171
GPA Median Score 3.90
Bar Passage Rate 95% (2022)
Employment Rate 91% (2022)
Cost $70,042
Average Debt $163,262
Application Deadline March 1, 2023

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