30 Law Schools with the Most to Do For Fun

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By Oscar Jenkins

Law schools in the United States have long been considered among the world’s finest – and perhaps most well situated – offering top-class training amid exciting cities and stunning scenery. What’s more, although the 21st century has undoubtedly brought a wealth of online opportunities in legal and paralegal training, a more in-person experience that caters to students’ educational needs and personal interests can be especially rewarding. Finding the right school, however, may be a challenge.

Here are 30 law schools that meet all tastes, opening doors to everything from vibrant metropolises and college towns known for live music, sports and cuisine, to picturesque campuses within easy reach of the great outdoors.

Methodology

The interesting challenge when creating this article was that different individuals have different ideas of what constitutes fun. For that reason, we looked at a broad range of law schools in diverse locations, offering either thriving social scenes or easy access to stunning natural scenery – or ideally both.

We considered factors such as happening entertainment, nightlife, cultural attractions, sports events, hip boutique stores and popular eating hotspots. Naturally, a selection of these schools fell within the country’s major cities and cultural hubs.

The United States also boasts some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, and this too was taken into account while selecting entries, since hiking, cycling, kayaking, surfing and other outdoor pursuits are all popular pastimes.

In choosing which law schools to include, we examined a range of widely-read list articles that cover all possible criteria. However, many of these lists were quite specific, such as “15 U.S. Cities for Outdoor Enthusiasts” or “America’s Coolest College Towns.” We wanted to pick places that offer a combination of fun activities but that also – crucially – feature reputable law schools. This last point was of course another touchstone.

Ultimately, because the definition of fun can be so widely interpreted, we settled on a range of options drawn from various resources, encompassing everything from beaches and the outdoors, to hip college towns, culturally dynamic cities and occasionally all of the above.

30. University of North Carolina School of Law – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

30. University of North Carolina School of Law – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Dating back to 1845, the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of its kind in the U.S. What’s more, from an entertainment point of view, the bustling bars, cafés and museums of Franklin Street are not far from campus. Sports fans are well catered for by North Carolina Tar Heels’ baseball, basketball, football and soccer teams, while foodies can take advantage of Chapel Hill’s growing culinary reputation. Local bar and music venue He’s Not Here is an iconic Chapel Hill feature, and acts from Ben Folds Five and James Taylor to Porter Robinson have all sprung out of the town’s music scene over the years. The school states that its academic program includes “a Juris Doctor degree, a Masters of Laws in United States Law for foreign students and a number of dual degree programs,” and its highest ranked specialty field is environmental law.

29. Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona

29. Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona

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Named after first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2006, Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law lies in the bosom of the school’s Tempe, Arizona campus in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Established in 1965, the institution has a mission to “educate,” “connect” and “develop” that places its students at the forefront, and it is known for its well-respected Native American law and legal writing specialty programs. Meanwhile, Tempe’s reputation as a buzzing college town with a thriving performing arts milieu means there’s plenty to do outside of class. An eclectic music scene – ranging from jazz to country and rock – has facilitated homegrown talent like Gin Blossoms and The Maine. Plus, the campus’ proximity to the Mill Avenue District, with its lively bars and restaurants, ensures a good night out is right on students’ doorsteps. Please note, however, that the law school is set to move to Phoenix in around 2016.

28. Michigan Law, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

28. Michigan Law, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Not only is the University of Michigan’s Michigan Law one of the best law schools in the country, but it’s also located in picturesque Ann Arbor. According to Livability.com, Ann Arbor “features a mix of restaurants, bars, local shops, art museums and parks that make it instantly appealing to both college students and those who are not pursuing a degree.” For sports fans, immense crowds of up to 115,000 – which is close to the city’s full population – pack themselves into Michigan Stadium, aptly known as The Big House, to watch football. Recognized for its liberal leanings, Ann Arbor also hosts a series of seasonal arts and cultural events, such as the Ann Arbor Art Fairs, which draw more than half a million people. Michigan Law’s highest-rated specialty courses include clinical training, environmental law, intellectual property law, international law and tax law.

27. University of Alabama School of Law – Tuscaloosa, Alabama

27. University of Alabama School of Law – Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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Not only does the University of Alabama feature a top-tier law school in the University of Alabama School of Law, but it’s also among the best party schools in the country, according to PubClub.com. Bustling student bars, restaurants and stores are within walking distance of the main Tuscaloosa campus. The Alcove International Tavern boasts more than 100 varieties of beer and “original ‘island style’ mixed drinks,” while the restaurant scene spans from traditional Southern fare to international dining. Tuscaloosa bursts into life on game day as fans make their way down The Strip to Crimson Tide’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. Meanwhile, for those in search of a more peaceful afternoon, the University of Alabama Arboretum has miles of trails and a tranquil wildflower garden. According to U.S. News & World Report, the law school “utilizes a broad legal curriculum with electives in specialty areas including environmental law and intellectual property law;” it also offers a well-established elder law program.

26. University of Montana School of Law – Missoula, Montana

26. University of Montana School of Law – Missoula, Montana

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Missoula, Montana has evolved into a fully-fledged college town with a thriving social and outdoors scene. In a vibrant melting pot described by Missoula-based creative Teshia Freseman as a city where “hippies, crazy college kids… creative entrepreneurs, activists… collegiate-sports aficionados… and everyone in between meet downtown on Thursday nights for two-for-ones,” there’s sure to be a place for University of Montana School of Law students. Urban attractions aside, Missoula is a hub for outdoor pursuits, offering access to mountain biking, kayaking and rafting, and with Snowbowl Ski Resort just a 20-minute drive away. As the law education institution’s website adds, “The atmosphere is enhanced by the surrounding Rocky Mountains, where wilderness and recreation offer a break from the rigors of law study.” Billing itself as “an alternative to big, urban law schools,” the University of Montana School of Law prides itself on preparing “competent practicing attorneys” by integrating “theory with practical experience.”

25. Harvard Law School, Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

25. Harvard Law School, Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Directly across the Charles River from Boston lies Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to Harvard Law School. Currently considered to be the second best legal training institution in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and boasting the world’s biggest academic law library, this school holds no small renown. Small wonder that those who graduate from here are among the brightest in the business. Still, it’s not all work and no play – despite the ideals of the city’s Puritan founders. In fact, Cambridge’s street scene has reinvented itself over the years. From the smart eateries and stores of Harvard Square to the buzzing pubs, boutiques and music venues of Inman Square, Cambridge offers a lively alternative destination to its sister city over the river. Harvard’s top-ranked specialty law programs include those in clinical training, dispute resolution, environmental law, health care law, intellectual property law, tax law and international law.

24. Maurer School of Law, Indiana University Bloomington – Bloomington, Indiana

24. Maurer School of Law, Indiana University Bloomington – Bloomington, Indiana

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Situated on the University of Indiana’s verdant Bloomington campus, the Maurer School of Law, founded in 1842, is considered one of the best legal training institutions in the nation. Bloomington may only be a city of just under 82,000 residents, but its students from all corners of the U.S. and beyond give what the school of law’s website describes as “a cosmopolitan and international flavor” to the campus and its surrounding community. The great outdoors is on inhabitants’ doorsteps – from the 202,000-acre Hoosier National Forest to hundreds of miles of nearby cycling and hiking trails. Over 40 breweries, bars and live music venues provide law students with plenty more to do in their spare time, and for those craving brighter city lights, Indianapolis is just 50 miles north. The school has a specialty intellectual property law program and in addition offers a “highly ranked” J.D. degree, according to its official site.

23. University of Virginia School of Law – Charlottesville, Virginia

23. University of Virginia School of Law – Charlottesville, Virginia

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The University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia was launched by one of America’s best known Founding Fathers: lead author of the Declaration of Independence and former U.S. president Thomas Jefferson. The school’s acclaimed parent institution was also voted the nation’s top party college by Playboy in 2012. Nestled on the border of the Blue Ridge Mountains and boasting easy access to hiking trails, tubing and canoeing spots, Charlottesville is perfect for those who work hard and perhaps play even harder. Natural beauty meshes with a vibrant urban scene, and live music and culinary excellence help define the happening eastern college town – home to around 44,000 people. The University of Virginia School of Law is also regularly ranked as among the country’s best. Its academic offerings include programs in subjects as diverse as animal, health and immigration law, while there is potential for professional training and ample extracurricular opportunities, too.

22. Georgetown Law, Georgetown University – Washington, D.C.

22. Georgetown Law, Georgetown University – Washington, D.C

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Established in 1870 in the heart of the nation’s capital, Georgetown University’s Georgetown Law is the second biggest law school in the country and sits less than a mile from the Supreme Court of the United States. Still, there’s far more to the vibrant, cosmopolitan wider city than government and politics. U Street blends D.C.’s rich African American heritage with hip boutiques and eclectic cuisine, while the historic Georgetown neighborhood is one of the most picturesque in town and includes M Street with its many bars, restaurants and stores. For those in search of something a little more highbrow, the world-leading museums of the Smithsonian Institution and the many iconic landmarks will not disappoint. Georgetown Law has a diverse range of highly ranked specialist programs, among them clinical training, environmental law, health care law, international law, tax law and trial advocacy. Georgetown University also runs a part-time paralegal studies program.

21. University of Washington School of Law – Seattle, Washington

21. University of Washington School of Law – Seattle, Washington

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According to Travel + Leisure, “Seattle is morphing into a true cosmopolis. Luxury hotels, high-end restaurants and art galleries are proliferating, and the city’s vaunted music scene never went away.” Little wonder, then, that law students flock to the University of Washington School of Law, U.S. News & World Report’s top law school in the entirety of the Pacific Northwest. The school features J.D., LL.M. and Ph.D. degrees among its academic programs, with J.D. concentrations available in areas including Asian law, environmental law and dispute resolution. One of the fastest growing major U.S. cities, Seattle also boasts hundreds of city parks and easy access to the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. Plus, as the city that gave us the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, Seattle’s music legacy remains indisputable – even if its grunge heyday has now passed.

20. Tulane University Law School – New Orleans, Louisiana

20. Tulane University Law School – New Orleans, Louisiana

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Founded in 1847, Tulane University Law School has the distinction of being among America’s oldest schools of law. It is set on the university’s main campus in Uptown New Orleans – a collection of neighborhoods known for their beautiful 19th-century buildings. Hence, the fabled sights and sounds of The Big Easy are never far off, and the world-renowned French Quarter is less than five miles away. New Orleans is popularly depicted as the birthplace of jazz, and music lovers revel in the city’s live scene. Meanwhile, foodies can experience some of the world’s most unique indigenous flavors – blending French and Creole influences. The annual Mardi Gras festival – a heady brew of parades and parties dating back to the French Colonial era – is also a must-see for locals and visitors alike. The school’s specialties include a highly ranked environmental law program, while Tulane University additionally offers a paralegal option for continuing students.

19. University of Illinois College of Law, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois

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Those seeking confirmation of whether the University of Illinois College of Law provides a fun environment to match its rigorous academic credentials need look no further than the school’s website, which proclaims, “The University of Illinois and the larger Champaign-Urbana community offer exceptional arts, music, entertainment, Big Ten Conference athletics, a lively nightlife and one of the nation’s most ethnically and internationally diverse campuses.” Backing up the university’s claims, Champaign has regularly been named among the ten best college towns in the U.S. by publications and websites including Livability.com, and the local area boasts hiking trails, music and kayaking. Academically, the University of Illinois College of Law is considered one of the best in the Midwest and beyond, featuring, as its website remarks, “highly respected faculty, innovative curriculum, cutting-edge interdisciplinary programs and distinguished alumni in the fields of law, business, teaching and public service.”

18. Boston University School of Law – Boston, Massachusetts

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Established back in 1872, the Boston University School of Law today offers a wide-ranging curriculum encompassing over 200 seminars and classes and an extensive study abroad program – although who’d ever want to leave Boston? Boston University School of Law students will discover first hand how far the Massachusetts state capital has come since it was founded by English Puritans in 1630. The city’s seaport is said to be “the oldest continually active port in the Western Hemisphere,” so it’s probably little wonder that Boston boasts a lively waterfront restaurant scene. World-class cultural staples such as the Museum of Fine Arts, boutique shops, quirky bookstores and the city’s thriving nightlife combine to ensure that Boston isn’t just a great city to excel in academically, but is also one of America’s most happening places in which to live.

17. Stanford Law School, Stanford University – Palo Alto, California

17. Stanford Law School, Stanford University – Palo Alto, California

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Opened in 1893, Stanford Law School has grown massively in terms of program offerings and become one of the best institutions of its kind in the U.S., but its core values and “dedication to the highest standards of excellence in legal scholarship” have always remained the same. The school is located in California’s Palo Alto, which Lonely Planet describes as “a quaint town [that] exudes that relaxed California affluence characterized by BMW convertibles and expensive sandals.” This affluent city is full of hip clubs, bars and restaurants, while those who love the great outdoors are also in luck, as Big Basin Redwoods State Park is just 30 minutes away, and Yosemite and Lake Tahoe can be reached in four hours. In 2014 U.S. News & World Report ranked Stanford Law School’s intellectual property law program as the best in the country. Other notable specialties include clinical training, environmental law and international law.

16. University of Mississippi School of Law – Oxford, Mississippi

16. University of Mississippi School of Law – Oxford, Mississippi

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The University of Mississippi School of Law is the fourth oldest state law school in the U.S., dating as it does back to 1854. In 2014 it was ranked tenth in the country by U.S. News & World Report, with the resource highlighting the school’s clinical training, international law, tax law and environmental law specialty courses. The Oxford-based institution’s website also proclaims, “With a thriving art, music and literary scene and a host of great dining establishments, Oxford has been named as one of the ‘top 10 coolest college towns in America.’” Gourmet cuisine, attractive architecture, stores and art galleries are all present and correct, while a lively college football tradition ensures that “tailgating at [Oxford] Grove is a one-of-a-kind experience,” according to U.S. sports network SB Nation. All this makes the school ideal for law students looking for a lively yet scholarly atmosphere amid picturesque surroundings.

15. University of Wisconsin Law School – Madison, Wisconsin

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Sitting on iconic Bascom Hill in the middle of the University of Wisconsin’s historic Madison campus, the acclaimed University of Wisconsin Law School was instituted in 1868. Since then, it has subscribed to a philosophy of “law in action,” which means that its students learn, as the school’s website states, “how the rules operate in the real world.” Outside the classroom, Wisconsin’s picturesque state capital offers attendees the perfect blend of tranquil scenery and energetic urban life – the latter showcased on State Street, with its fashionable stores and hip coffee shops. As Travel + Leisure explains, Madison “squeezes cafés, art galleries and the César Pelli-designed Madison Museum of Contemporary Art onto an invigorating pedestrian-only thoroughfare.” On top of its vibrant downtown area, thriving sports scene and proximity to the beautiful Mendota and Monona lakes, Madison provides hardworking law students with plenty of distractions to help them through their studies.

14. University of San Francisco School of Law – San Francisco, California

14. University of San Francisco School of Law – San Francisco, California

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Ranked tenth on website Graduate Programs’ “Top Law Schools for Social Life” list, the University of San Francisco School of Law “pursues excellence in a humane, diverse and intellectually vibrant learning community,” according to its official site. San Francisco itself hosts an eclectic combination of charming architecture, independent retailers, world-class museums, bohemian bookshops and a pulsing social scene. The City by the Bay boasts plenty of green spaces, most notably Golden Gate Park, along with popular tourist spots like Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz. And with local institutions to hand such as Buena Vista Cafe and Smuggler’s Cove – not to mention a myriad of neighborhoods infused with their own distinctive identities – busy law students have plenty to explore in their downtime. Set up in 1912, the school offers a well-regarded part-time law course and describes “intellectual property and technology law” as its “pioneering program.”

13. The University of Texas at Austin School of Law – Austin, Texas

University of Texas Austin campus at sunset-dusk - aerial view

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Set up in 1883, the University of Texas at Austin School of Law is regularly named one of the best law schools in the United States. It also boasts a plethora of specialist academic centers, institutes and clinics – the latter in such subjects as civil rights and capital punishment. However, it’s not just the school’s great academic reputation and variety that draws law students to the Lone Star State’s quirky capital. Austin is a music fan’s paradise, and its almost 200 live venues helped the city claim the official slogan, “Live Music Capital of the World.” Austin hosts several annual cultural events, notably the film and music extravaganza South by Southwest (SXSW), and is home to a thriving restaurant scene. Meanwhile, the nearby waterside Hippie Hollow Park is the only nudist park in Texas – although the city also offers more traditional outdoor pursuits, such as rock climbing, kayaking and hiking.

12. Brooklyn Law School – Brooklyn, New York

12. Brooklyn Law School – Brooklyn, New York

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Ranked number 22 on website Graduate Programs’ list of “Top Law Schools for Social Life” and situated near the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Law School is also only a brief subway trip from the bright lights of Manhattan. It’s located in the heart of prosperous Brooklyn Heights, named one of “America’s Most Beautiful Neighborhoods” by Travel + Leisure, thanks to what the publication describes as “brownstones and regal pre-war condos on leafy streets,” not to mention “more than 600 houses [that] date to before the Civil War.” With in excess of 2.5 million people calling it home, it’s no wonder the New York City borough has so much to offer – from the acclaimed Brooklyn Museum and the world-famous Brooklyn Academy of Music, to hip bars, bookshops and boutiques. Brooklyn Law School’s specialties include legal writing and part-time law, and according to About.com, it’s also “known for its public service law programs.”

11. University of Miami School of Law – Coral Gables, Florida

11. University of Miami School of Law – Coral Gables, Florida

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Set up in 1926, the University of Miami School of Law is situated a mere six miles from Miami in beautiful Coral Gables – which was ranked among the top six locations for Atlantic Coast Conference sports enthusiasts by Movoto. The study considered a range of factors, including sporting accolades and the number of sports bars per capita. Alongside the city’s quirky boutiques, bookstores and cuisine, plus its proximity to Florida’s spectacular Everglades, such ingredients combine to create an awesome student experience. A variety of cultural events occur on campus, and there’s also Coral Gables’ iconic Miracle Mile, a buzzing downtown stretch flanked by bars, restaurants and shops. The University of Miami School of Law offers an acclaimed tax law graduate program, and U.S. News & World Report states that students experience “hands-on training… through [a] clinical program, which includes training in health and elder law, human rights law and bankruptcy assistance.”

10. William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa – Honolulu, Hawaii

10. William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa – Honolulu, Hawaii

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Ranked 80th in the country by U.S. News & World Report in 2013, the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law is America’s most intimate top-tier law school. Furthermore, the university describes the school as embracing a “collaborative, multicultural community” ethos. Located in Honolulu on Hawaii’s Oʻahu island and surrounded by thriving urban and cultural hotspots, the school is a leading institution in native Hawaiian and environmental law. Alongside the opportunity to tap into the city’s burgeoning arts scene, students have access to world-class Pacific Ocean surf spots and breathtaking scenery. This setting includes Honolulu’s iconic Diamond Head State Monument, which features a magnificent volcanic crater dating back around 300,000 years. The city’s Waikiki district, meanwhile, draws millions of tourists in search of the best party destinations in Hawaii.

9. Pepperdine University School of Law – Malibu, California

9. Pepperdine University School of Law – Malibu, California

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Located in an area that has what A Luxury Travel Blog calls “the most perfect weather on the planet,” Pepperdine University School of Law ought to appeal to those looking to complete their studies in one of California’s most spectacular beach communities. The school’s position on the university’s main Malibu campus affords tantalizing views of legendary surf spot First Point, while Pepperdine students also have easy access to the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Meanwhile, fine dining and hip nightlife can be found amid Malibu’s affluent, celebrity-infused community of around 12,600 residents; the various beach bars and restaurants lining the Pacific Coast Highway are great starting points. According to U.S. News & World Report, the school itself boasts the top-ranked dispute resolution program in the country, and in addition it offers notable entertainment law teaching.

8. Northwestern Law, Northwestern University – Chicago, Illinois

8. Northwestern Law, Northwestern University – Chicago, Illinois

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Given that it’s one of the nation’s most crowded cities, it’s not surprising that Chicago is home to a number of colleges and universities. Northwestern University and Northwestern Law are located in the heart of the Windy City’s Near North Side Streeterville neighborhood, an area bordered by the famous Magnificent Mile. Affluent Rush Street plays host to some of Chicago’s top restaurants, hotels and bars, while the culturally rich Division Street – at one stage dubbed “Polish Broadway” – boasts many of the most happening pubs and clubs in town. Providing what the school’s website describes as “a spectacular setting in which to study law,” Northwestern Law is also itself considered among America’s top legal institutions. According to U.S. News & World Report, its top specialist programs are in dispute law and tax law, and the school additionally offers a pioneering accelerated J.D. degree course.

7. University of Chicago Law School – Chicago, Illinois

7. University of Chicago Law School – Chicago, Illinois

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The University of Chicago Law School takes a unique approach to teaching, offering “a rigorous and interdisciplinary professional education that blends the study of law with the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences.” In 2014 it was also ranked fourth in the country by U.S. News & World Report, which highlighted its international law specialty program. And if that weren’t enough, the school’s location in the middle of one of the U.S.’ most prominent and exciting cities makes for a student experience second to none. For one, the school is just over a mile from the acclaimed Museum of Science and Industry and Lake Michigan. The metropolis itself is the birthplace of a number of music genres – from house to Chicago blues and soul – and the annual Chicago Jazz Festival pulls crowds as big as 30,000. Meanwhile, the Windy City’s leisure spots run from dive bars to world-class restaurants and everything in between.

6. Levin College of Law, University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida

Campus scenics.

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The University of Florida’s Levin College of Law offers students a top-notch legal education through J.D., LL.M. and SJD programs in areas including taxation and environmental and land use law. However, the school is also based in a city that’s known for its social scene. Named “the best place to live and play” by National Geographic Adventure in 2007, Gainesville has a combined reputation as one of the United States’ top party destinations and as a city with an appreciation of culture – which is reflected by a thriving downtown area that’s both quaint and hip. University Avenue is packed with bars and music venues to suit all tastes, while foodies can delight in Gainesville’s evolved restaurant scene. The city in addition hosts several highly respected cultural events each year, most notably the Downtown Festival and Arts Show, which draws over 100,000 people each fall.

5. University of Georgia Law – Athens, Georgia

Main Library in Spring

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Host to the University of Georgia, Athens is a small city with a big reputation when it comes to homegrown musical talent, thanks to legendary alternative rockers like R.E.M. and The B-52s. It’s thus not surprising that the city is still known for its live music scene, boasting as it does the famous 40 Watt Club, where the U.S. punk and new wave movements flourished. There’s more to Athens than buzzing clubs and bars, though, as its famous nightlife mixes with gentle Southern charm, quaint buildings and beautiful surroundings – offering numerous outdoor activities. Moreover, there is easy access to the nearby Oconee National Forest, with its more than 116,000 acres of wilderness and in excess of 450 miles of trails. Students at University of Georgia Law can work towards J.D. and LL.M. degrees as well as a Master in the Study of Law and a joint J.D./MBA qualification, among others.

4. Cornell University Law School – Ithaca, New York

4. Cornell University Law School – Ithaca, New York

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Ithaca is a beautiful city situated in New York’s stunning Finger Lakes region, and around half of its more than 30,000 residents are students. It’s therefore not surprising that the college town is as well known for its happening social milieu as it is for its breathtaking gorges. Business Insider writes that “Ithaca has a great, student-oriented bar scene,” and this is mostly based in Collegetown and Ithaca Commons – a centrally-located pedestrian mall flanked by lively pubs, restaurants and stores. Cornell University Law School is among five prestigious Ivy League law schools. And as its website outlines, it offers the opportunity to “study with world-renowned scholars” on its J.D., JSD, Master of Laws and dual degree programs. The combination of academic excellence and a lively atmosphere – cemented by a diverse music scene and popular annual events – make Cornell one of the best law schools in the U.S. for mixing studies and play.

3. Berkeley Law, University of California – Berkeley, California

3. Berkeley Law, University of California – Berkeley, California

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Recognized as among the top law schools in the country, Berkeley Law proudly calls itself “a community of thinkers and doers exuberantly engaged in life.” Based on the University of California’s Berkeley campus, the law school offers students a top-notch legal education “at one of the world’s great universities, in one of the most vibrant places on the planet.” Not only that, but as U.S. News & World Report puts it, “Berkeley features tons of art, film, music and political activity, and it’s just a short drive across the bay to San Francisco.” The city is also active in environmental stewardship, planting trees and working to restore local wetlands, while law students looking to connect with nature can easily reach Tilden Regional Park in Wildcat Canyon. U.S. News & World Report in addition lists Berkeley Law’s intellectual law and environmental law programs second and third in the country respectively.

2. University of San Diego School of Law – San Diego, California

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Given that it’s ranked among the country’s “Best Weather Cities” by Farmers’ Almanac, it’s little wonder that people flock to San Diego, which is known for its consistently mild climate, world-class surf spots and buzzing city life. Nestled on the University of San Diego’s 182-acre Linda Vista campus, the University of San Diego School of Law offers students plenty to keep them occupied outside of class, including 70 miles of beaches, a renowned zoo, and a number of acclaimed museums covering art, natural history and more. Spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean are here, while the Gaslamp Quarter’s buzzing roof bars provide a perfect way to unwind after a hard week of studying. According to the law school’s official site, it is “best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law and taxation.”

1. Colorado Law, University of Colorado, Boulder – Boulder, Colorado

1. Colorado Law, University of Colorado, Boulder – Boulder, Colorado

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Boulder was named number one on Livability’s 2013 list of “Top 10 College Towns” – and for good reason. Ensconced beneath the foothills of the mighty Rocky Mountains and more than 5,000 feet above sea level, Boulder is a nature lover’s paradise and features over 100 miles of cycling trails. It’s additionally home to Colorado Law at the University of Colorado, Boulder, which occupies the striking LEED Gold-certified Wolf Law Building and showcases what the school describes as “nationally recognized programs” in American Indian and public service law, among other areas. Boulder’s thriving academic community can also enjoy the city’s food, microbreweries and arts events. From the independent bars and bookshops of Pearl Street to rock climbing, hiking and skiing in the 36,000 acres of wide-open space around the city, Colorado Law offers students an amazing both academic and recreational experience amid a neo-hippie community with a strong start-up culture.

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One thought on “30 Law Schools with the Most to Do For Fun”

  1. Al Moncrief says:

    THE COLORADO SUPREME COURT . . . “POLITICIANS IN BLACK ROBES.” (AS IT TURNS OUT.)

    For decades I refused to believe it, but it is now incontrovertibly established. The Colorado Supreme Court is indisputably a political actor. Our Colorado Supreme Court exists to serve Colorado political parties. At present, the Colorado Supreme Court is more rightly considered an adjunct of the Colorado Legislative Branch, than a check on the Colorado Legislative Branch. Rather than “truth-seeking,” the Colorado Supreme Court now sees its role as “political-outcome seeking.” Litigants successfully use the Colorado Supreme Court to achieve political purposes. In the Ralph Carr Justice Center, rather than meeting impartial guardians of the law, litigants meet their political allies on the bench.

    “I think there are many who think of judges as politicians in robes. In many states, that’s what they are.” “They seem to think judges should be a reflex of the popular will.”

    Sandra Day O’Connor

    In this article, I provide an example of the political and partisan role of the Colorado Supreme Court. I describe a case in which the Colorado Supreme Court summarily erases billions of dollars of debt owed by Colorado state and local governments. That is, one branch of Colorado state government relieves another branch of Colorado government of its legal debts.

    The case involves Colorado statutory contracts that create financial obligations on the part of Colorado governments. Over decades, political considerations induced the Colorado Legislature to mismanage those financial obligations. In recent years, the terms of those statutory contracts were deemed politically inconvenient and politically unpopular. The Legislative Branch asked the Colorado Supreme Court to discard the contracts.

    In 2010, the Colorado Legislative Branch requested that the Colorado Supreme Court grant this political favor by ignoring the Contract Clause of the US Constitution, ignoring the history of legislative mismanagement of these state financial obligations, and relieving Colorado governments of their accrued legal debts.

    In this article, I address the Colorado Supreme Court’s lack of independence, integrity, and impartiality. I provide a brief history of the efforts of the Colorado Legislature and the Colorado Supreme Court to escape Colorado governmental financial obligations. I comment on the recent (October, 2014) Colorado Supreme Court Decision itself, which summarily erased these billions of dollars of Colorado public sector debt. I highlight some of the numerous factual and logical errors that exist in the Colorado Supreme Court’s Decision in the case. I express incredulity at the Colorado Supreme Court’s willful ignorance of public pension administration, knowledge that was necessary to any court claiming to “seek truth” in the case.

    My intent in writing this article is to enhance the public record of, and further document, what I consider to be one of the greatest “crimes” in Colorado history.

    Visit the following link for the complete article:

    http://coloradopols.com/diary/64487/the-colorado-supreme-court-politicians-in-black-robes-as-it-turns-out

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