top law schools in california

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Housed in a Frank Gehry-designed building near Los Angeles’ Financial District, Loyola Law School first opened its doors in 1920. The school’s LL.M. programs are quite well-established; in particular, its LL.M. in Taxation is listed as one of the top 10 LL.M.s for US Tax Law by LLM GUIDE. Beyond covering many core topics—Loyola offers LL.M.s in Civil Litigation, Criminal Justice, and Entertainment & Media Law—the school is also branching out into new territory: in 2015, it announced the launch of a new LL.M in Cybersecurity.

Law SchoolsGraduatesPercent of Total
Loyola Law School Los Angeles68115%
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law45510%
Southwestern Law School3678%
University of Southern California Gould School of Law3217%
Pepperdine University School of Law1964%
University of California Berkeley School of Law1884%
University of California Hastings College of the Law1694%
Harvard Law School1543%
University of San Diego School of Law1183%
Western State University College of Law1032%

With the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, this Malibu, California-based law school has established itself as a thought leader in the alternative dispute resolution space. And as such, Pepperdine’s LL.M. in Dispute Resolution is highly regarded and listed by LLM GUIDE as one of the top 10 LL.M.s in the world for Alternative Dispute Resolution. The school also offers LL.M.s in International Commercial Arbitration, International Commercial Law & Arbitration, United States Law, and Entertainment, Media & Sports.

Established in San Francisco in 1878, UC Hastings has the honor of being the first law school in the University of California system. Its LL.M. in US Legal Studies allows students to specialize in topics like Criminal Law, Environmental Law, and Science, Technology, and Intellectual Property, among others.

Founded in 1965, UC Davis is typically ranked as one of the top five California schools in US News’ law school ranking. Its location—situated between the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, the state’s capital—means that students can network with a range of professionals and government representatives. The school allows students to focus their LL.M. with a preplanned specialization, such as Business Law, Private or Public International Law, and Intellectual Property Law, among others.


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