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Harvard Law School is the prince among higher learning institutions of the world. Few lawyers don’t dream of displaying a Harvard diploma on their walls. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard is the country’s second oldest law school in the country. Not only that, but it also houses the largest law library in the world, says A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and founder. Let’s take a look at the breakdown that makes up this prestigious learning institute.

First things first, says the founder. If you want to submit an application, be sure to send the fee, which is $75 for each application, along with your package. This, of course, is likely the lowest fee you’ll spend after acceptance and for many, it’s a real bargain. Harvard’s an expensive school, and rightfully so. The private ABA Accredited school was founded in 1817 and defined the standards in first year curriculums for the country’s other law schools to follow. These include contracts, property, torts, criminal law and civil procedures. This, by the way, has been in place since 1870 when Dean Christopher Columbus Langdell defined it. It’s still in practice in current day, too.

In 2009, Harvard Law School received 6,630 applications and admitted a mere 834, which averages out to around 13%. 558 matriculated, as well. Think you want to pursue your legal degree on a part time basis? If so, knock Harvard off your list; it offers no part time JD programs and likely never will. A. Harrison Barnes says there are approximately 127 full time faculty on board and 28 part timers. The student to faculty ratio in 2007 was 10.5. Those are quite the numbers, no doubt.

Clearly, there’s a reason Harvard grads can write their own fate as they apply to various law firms around the world. They, as potential students, are carefully chosen from pools of many potential candidates. They’re also quickly pursued the closer they get to graduation. Wasting the opportunity is simply not an option. Just as the parents who are footing the bill, says the founder. Speaking of tuition, not quite 40% are receiving grant aid and tuition for one year is around $40,000. Living expenses run close to $20,000 per year. Cambridge is, after all, one of the more costly places to live in the U.S. Nearly 14% are receiving half tuition rates, 25% are attending on scholarships and 1.3% are attending without having to pay the tuition rates.

The college does offer on campus housing, law school dorms and other graduate dorms and a fully 96% of the graduates from 2005 went to work after graduation.

Sounds impressive, yes? It’s a realistic goal if you’re considering applying to Harvard. Difficult, overwhelming – but as Barnes says, always a possibility.

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