Already one of the most well-known and respected HBCUs in the nation, Howard University of Washington, DC now has another proud distinction.
In a recent National Law Journal & Legal Times article, Howard University School of Law was ranked among the top fifty law schools in the nation. Rankings were based on the number of promising young graduates with positions in top law firms around the country. Howard has the distinction of being the only HBCU on the list.
About Howard University
Howard University has a rich history, dating back to 1867. In that year, the First Congregational Society of Washington sought a charter for a school for African-American clergymen. Very shortly, their vision was expanded to a nonsectarian (open to both men and women of all races) university. The college was named for its founder, Oliver Otis Howard, a Civil War hero who later served as the university’s President.
Over the years the college expanded, with new buildings being added and the urban campus itself growing to its present 500-acre size.
About the Howard University School of Law
Howard University had a professional focus from the very beginning, with its Law School opening just two years after the college itself. The Howard University School of Law is not only one of the oldest law schools in the country, but the very first and oldest HBCU law school in the nation.
The Howard University School of Law has been setting precedents and breaking barriers since its inception. During its charter year, it declared the very first non-discriminatory admissions policy in the country. This policy’s spirit was one of universal opportunity, ensuring that every single applicant would be considered based on academic merit – not race, background or gender.
At the time, this was a radically different method of admissions, and it helped to set the extremely high standards by which Howard still abides.
During its earlier years, the Howard University School of law met at varying locations across campus. Its first graduating class of ten received their degrees in 1871. The school did not move into its current location – 2900 Van Ness Street NW – until 1974.
The Howard University School of Law was fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 1931. This step conferred upon Howard the ability to grant fully accredited law degrees. Currently, there are approximately 135 degrees awarded each year, both Jurist Doctorates and Masters of Law.
Is Howard Right for You?
If you’re an undergraduate or high school student dreaming of becoming an attorney, the Howard University School of Law is perhaps the best choice in the country. Getting accepted into this prestigious school is tough, but with dedication and drive it can be accomplished.
There are several prerequisites for admission consideration at the Howard University School of Law. Applicants must have previously earned a Bachelors degree from an accredited college. There is no specified degree or major, although Howard recommends that prospective students focus on courses and degrees which will enhance their analytical skills, as well as their oral and written expression skills.
Acceptance to Howard is highly selective. Admissions are based on a ‘whole picture’ basis – LSAT scores and GPA standings are helpful, but not enough on their own. Instead, Howard seeks to admit students whose entire academic background suggests superior future performance and dedication. Of those with the highest LSAT scores and GPA standings, the chosen students will be the most well-rounded and applicable. Factors for consideration include the difficulty and level of undergraduate courses, graduate studies (where appropriate), extracurricular activities, employment, educational diversity and service potential to the field of law.