Law schools are looking to smash the glass ceiling. Most of the highest-ranked institutions have achieved gender parity or are close to, while many have exceeded that threshold. But the highest proportion of women tend to be found at lower-tier schools, and especially public institutions.
Many law schools have sought to raise the proportion of female students through boosting the provision of financial aid including scholarships, reflecting the stubborn gender pay gap. Many institutions will point out that the legal sector, which remains male-dominated, limits the pool of potential female students. Through rigorous academic education, and career programming alongside networking events and mentorship, many law schools are seeking to improve the balance of genders in the legal profession.
Many law schools have student-led women’s societies that seek to create a more inclusive environment on campus too.
This list is based on both the proportion of women in the student population, but not every school publishes this information. So the list is also based on their wider efforts to improve the balance of genders and support women in the legal sector.
Northeastern University’s law school in Boston, has among the highest female student populations overall, according to ABA, nearly 70 percent. The school runs a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, Sexuality and the Law that is available to LL.M. students. There’s also the Women’s Law Caucus (WLC), a student-led group focused on creating a support system that empowers women in the legal profession. The Northeastern LLM program is globally recognized too.View School Profile
Howard University School of Law, in Washington DC, was founded on the principles of diversity and fairness in the legal profession. Nearly 66 percent of students today are women. Among notable alumni include the fourth woman admitted to practice law in the US. The law school also seeks to employ a large proportion of female faculty, which helps in creating an inclusive environment on campus.View School Profile
New England Law in Boston was founded in 1908 as the only law school for women. Today, almost 65 percent of students are female. The school runs the Portia Pipeline to Practice Program, which supports diversity candidates including women to form relationships and make connections. Five law firms in the Boston area have joined the program, and they offer summer fellowship opportunities to outstanding students.View School Profile
The Dickson Poon School of Law, in London, UK, has been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognizes good practices in higher education towards gender equality. The school has a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, chaired by Gillian Douglas, executive dean of the law school, one of relatively few female leaders of academic institutions. The Dickson Poon School puts on a women’s mentoring scheme, the Mother Daughter Network, and runs events to highlight the success of high-profile women in the legal sector.View School Profile
American University Washington College of Law is highly diverse, with almost 64 percent of students being female. The school’s LL.M. programs are also world-renowned. It also runs the Women and the Law Program, which supports students who want to use their law degree to fight for gender justice. There’s also the Women’s Law Association (WLA), a student-led group that puts on a diverse, feminist forum that addresses legal, social, political, and educational issues facing women today. It also seeks to create a community in which students support each other, and it provides networking opportunities.View School Profile
About 60 percent of students at UC Berkeley’s law school are women. Berkeley Law is one of America’s premier law schools, located in California. Among the 50 active student organizations is the Womxn of Berkeley Law, which hosts social events and academic and career programming. It also matches members with mentors to help them navigate law school and succeed in a legal career.View School Profile
York Law School received the Athena Swan bronze award in 2021 in recognition of its commitment to gender balance. The law school in the UK aims to increase the number of female professors, expand mentoring schemes and create a more inclusive LL.M. curriculum. York has its Women and Non-Binary Students’ Network, which supports students and seeks to create an inclusive environment on campus. There’s also the Feminist Society, which hosts events and seeks to create a safe space to explore feminism.View School Profile
Seattle University Law School is home to the one of most diverse student bodies in north-western America, with 63 percent of students being women. The school’s Women’s Law Caucus is dedicated to supporting the academic and career development of women in the legal sector. There’s also the school’s Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, in which students can advance justice and equality through research, advocacy and education.View School Profile
UC Davis is home to one of the best law schools in the world. And the School of Law, part of the University of California, has a student population that is highly diverse, with 63 percent female students. The school offers a wide variety of funding options, and generous merit and needs-based grants that make an LL.M. degree more financially accessible.View School Profile