Boston College Law School aims at educating lawyers through theory and practice, shaping leaders prepared to grapple with society’s most important moral and ethical questions.
Boston College Law School (BC Law) is one amongst the six professional graduate schools at Boston College. Located approximately 1.5 miles from the main Boston College campus in Chestnut Hill, Boston College Law School is situated on a 40-acre wooded campus in Newton, Massachusetts. The School offers a full-time, three-year J.D. program, as well as a one-year LL.M. Master of Laws program primarily for international students.
A Culturally Vibrant Campus
At BC Law, a commitment to diversity is more than an institutional mandate: it is a cherished part of their Jesuit heritage. A truly just community embraces and celebrates a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and recognizes the value that comes from listening to every voice. BC Law has an associate dean for diversity, inclusion, and outreach that assists with recruitment, runs programs and workshops for a diverse student body, and ensures that everyone on campus understands the importance of cultural competency. The school runs hundreds of other programs each year as well, bringing speakers to campus on a multitude of topics.
At BC Law, challenging academics come with unparalleled support and encouragement. Faculty, staff and alumni are dedicated to help students thrive, inside and out of the classroom. The professors, mentors offer academic advice with an open-door policy, hosting extra-curricular activities which help the students both personally and professionally. The strong alumni network of BC Law allows students to connect over shared interests and gain information regarding the placement opportunities. The vibrant campus of this institution allows students to study and socialize together by sharing notes, and form relationships that will last forever. Such long lasting friendship has created a close-knit, inclusive community including more than 700 students, 13,000 alumni, and over 40 student organizations.
This renowned academy’s LAHANAS program celebrates the diversity of this institution. Welcoming students from all walks of life this program conducts annual retreats, workshops and social events that enhances and encourages the cultural competency and inclusion within all. The School is one of the only law schools in the country that has an associate dean position and an office for diversity and inclusion. The Law School is also part of a dynamic research university, with many services and programs available to diverse law students.
Brilliant Academic and Infrastructural Facilities
BC Law welcomes students with a wealth of professional and cultural opportunities. The campus is a quiet retreat, with beautiful grounds and modern classrooms. Students also take advantage of the University’s Chestnut Hill campus and facilities just a mile away. BC Law’s focus is on providing the building blocks for any successful legal career, from research and writing skills, to rock-solid case law training, to courtroom experiences, and a focus on experiential learning. The school is well known for its strength in its innovation and business curriculum, tax, immigration, public policy, and criminal and civil litigation. The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy provides a fellowship program, a dynamic speaker series, and a distinguished visiting professor position each semester, while the Center for Experiential Learning provides some of the most wide-ranging and exciting externships, clinical programs, advocacy programs, and skills-based courses in the country. The School’s new LEAPS (Leaders Entering and Advancing Public Service) program provides a wealth of experiences, both academic and extra-curricular, to enhance students’ commitment to leadership and public service.
About the Dean of BC Law
A vocal advocate for change in legal education, Dean Vincent Rougeau has led a reorganization in leadership structure at the law school that supports a more holistic approach to student services, expands the school’s national and international recruitment of a diverse student body through the Associate Dean for External Relations, Diversity and Inclusion, and enhances the school’s commitment to experiential learning and global engagement. Dean Rougeau serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Law Schools, and on the Council of the Boston Bar Association. His teaching interests are in contract and real estate law, as well as in law and religion. Before entering the academy, he practiced law at the Washington, DC office of Morrison & Foerster from 1988-1991.
Scholarship and Financial Assistance
The school not only provides quality education, but also assists students with financial support. Students can apply for financial assistance through a variety of scholarships, loans, stipends, and work-study opportunities. Loan repayment assistance programs also help make their education more affordable.
BC Law is ranked consistently among the top schools in terms of value provided—U.S. News has ranked the school the #1 private law school whose graduates’ salaries most outweigh debt. The institute’s graduates’ 2016 median private sector starting salary was $160,000, over 50% higher than the national average.
The majority—88%—of the students receive financial assistance, and 94% of the college’s incoming students received scholarships in FY 2018.
The Gateway to World Stage
BC Law offers a number of opportunities for students to study and work abroad, including the School’s flagship Semester-in-Practice: Dublin/International program, in which students are placed in Dublin in private businesses, law firms, and public organizations and participate in a weekly seminar. The program also offers externships throughout Europe, where students use videoconferencing to participate in the seminar. The School also offers two dual degree JD/LLM offerings, with the Sorbonne Law School and with Bucerius Law School in Germany. Finally, the school offers the following international exchange programs:
- Bucerius Law School Program (Hamburg, Germany): This first private law school in Germany offers a program in International and Comparative Business Law during the fall semester. The program is taught in English to a group of 90 students from all over the world. In addition, students whose knowledge of German is sufficient can take courses in the school’s regular curriculum. A preliminary course list can be found on Bucerius’ website. BC Law also offers a joint JD/LLM program with Bucerius.
- Paris HEAD Exchange: Students participate in an exchange program with HEAD law school in Paris, France, where they can take courses and have the option to work at the placements with businesses and law firms, and even participate in a reflective seminar. The Program provides students with critical insight into comparative legal institutions, and prepares them with the academic knowledge and practical skills of international law practice. Students develop further understandings of the similarities and differences between European and American law and institutions. The courses, seminar and externship experience combined with the daily aspects of life in a European environment broadens students’ legal education and global know-how.
- Trinity College School of Law: Established in 1740, Trinity is Ireland’s oldest and most internationally renowned law school. Trinity offers a broad range of law courses, from its advanced graduate offerings across law subjects in the international, EU and Irish law spheres. The students at BC can opt for any course offered here.
- Renmin University Law School: Renmin University Law School was the first law school founded after the formation of the People’s Republic of China. It is consistently ranked as one of the top law schools in the country. Students are able to take graduate level courses in either the English language program on Chinese Law or, if the student is fluent in Mandarin, in the regular graduate-level law courses taught in Chinese.
Career Opportunities and Exposures
The Law School has a tremendously successful career services operation, and consistently places among the top 20 law schools in the percentage of students who land real, JD-required or advantage positions. The Career Services Office runs hundreds of programs for students each year, from resume workshops to networking events to interviews with employers. The process begins almost immediately, with mandatory meetings with career advisors, and students have access to hundreds of potential summer positions from big law firms to corporations to public service and nonprofits.
The Success Roadmap
Consistently placed within the top 20 schools in the country, BC Law has a glorious history of its JD required/JD Advantage employment rates (i.e. real law jobs). That rate for the Class of 2017 was 86.1%, with a 90.8% overall employment rate. This school is currently ranked the #27 Best Law Schools by US News and World Report. Above the Law has ranked the school #20 in Top Law Schools, while ‘Princeton Review’ has ranked it #9 for both “Best Classroom Experience” and “Best Professors.”
Among the many other acclamations, Super Lawyers magazine has ranked the school #1 in New England for the number of “SuperLawyers” it has produced. U.S. News and World Report have ranked it as the #1 private law school where starting salaries for graduates outweigh debt. National Jurist/PreLaw Magazine has crowned the college as one of the top schools for public interest law.
However, the most notable accomplishment was when 124 students of the academic year 2017-18 worked in 104 different externship locations across the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Words of Trust
“I wanted to go to a law school that had a sense of community and could ignite my passion for justice. BC had the academic rigor but it also had heart. I visited in late April when everyone was cramming for finals, yet they were genuinely cheering for each other.” – James Bor ‘17, Law Clerk, MA Supreme Judicial Court
“BC Law has the reputation of being a friendly place. The mentality at BC tends to be, “we’re all in this together” rather than all in competition. Classmates help one another, creating a positive and effective learning environment.” – Erika Craven ‘20, Summer Law Clerk, Richard & Sencabaugh, LLP
“Much of my clerkship involved applying the skills that BC Law taught me. First thing on the job, I created a how-to guide like the one in my advanced legal research course. I still use a template from Legal Writing & Research.” – Alejandra Salinas ‘15, Associate, Susman Godfrey LLP; former clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit