Best 10 Law Schools: Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law concerns the protection of ideas, dealing with copyright, trademark, and patent law. Intellectual property lawyers work in a vast array of industries from the arts to pharmaceuticals, and the field is growing more complex daily with scientific and technological advancements. Most law schools have at least some elective courses in intellectual property law to give students a foundational overview, but some law schools have developed strong national reputations for their intellectual property law programs.

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Here are the top 10 (actually, 12 this year, because of ties) law schools for intellectual property law as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, along with the median LSAT scores and median undergraduate GPAs of recently enrolled students.


8. (tie) University of Pennsylvania


Intellectual Property & Technology Law is one of the academic specialty areas at Penn Law. Students can take foundational courses such as “Intellectual Property Law & Policy” in their first year and then elect to take higher-level courses and seminars in the law school or across the University—for example, at Wharton or the Annenberg School for Communication. There are three course pathways for students interested in intellectual property law at UPenn: patents, copyrights/trademarks, and an internet track. The Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic and the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic both give law students practical experience working with scientists, entrepreneurs, and artists to protect intellectual property.

The Penn Law Class of 2022 had a median LSAT score of 170 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.89.

8. (tie) Texas A&M University


Texas A&M’s Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP) is a hub for intellectual property law education and offers a concentration in Intellectual Property for JD students. Law students completing the concentration must take three core courses, one elective course, one writing seminar, and must participate in at least one clinic or externship. Texas A&M has two clinics certified by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (the Patent Clinic and the Trademark & Copyright Clinic) as well as an Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, giving students several opportunities to practice intellectual property law under the direction of faculty.

The entering class in fall 2019 at Texas A&M University School of Law had a median LSAT score of 159 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.62.

8. (tie) Duke University


Duke Law identifies Intellectual Property as one of its eight academic strengths, offering a breadth of coursework to interested law students in the topic. The school’s annual David L. Lange Lecture in Intellectual Property was started in 2017 and features a scholar or practitioner from the field each year. Intellectual property policy analysis and research are done in Duke Law’s Center for Innovation Policy, the Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, and the Center for the Study of the Public Domain, and the school also publishes the Duke Law & Technology Review.

The Duke Law Class of 2022 had a median LSAT score of 169 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.78.

8. (tie) Boston University


Boston University School of Law’s Concentration in Intellectual Property & Information focuses on five core areas: copyright, patent, trademark, computer, and information law. The concentration consists of about seven courses, and students can build a curricular track that aligns with their interests. Some higher-level intellectual property courses at BU include: “Strategies for Bringing Technology to Market,” “Intellectual Property and the Internet,” and “Information Risk Management.” Law students advise student entrepreneurs and innovators from MIT and BU in the Startup Law Clinic and the Technology Law Clinic.

The BU School of Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 166 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.74.

8. (tie) American University


American University Washington School of Law has curricula in intellectual property, technology law, communications law, and privacy law. The school also hosts two intellectual property summer sessions—one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Geneva, Switzerland. Law students work with real clients on public interest issues in the year-long Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic. Extracurricular activities include participation in any of the five relevant law societies, such as the Intellectual Property Law Society or the Information Security & Privacy Law Society. The American University Intellectual Property Brief also has junior staffer positions open to WCL students.

The entering full-time WCL class in 2019 had a median LSAT score of 159 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.51. The school also has a part-time division—the median LSAT score for the part-time WCL class entering in 2019 was also 159 and the median undergraduate GPA was 3.41.

7. University of Houston


The University of Houston Law Center’s Institute for Intellectual Property & Information Law offers dozens of courses annually to students, and hosts a semi-annual lecture and annual symposia. The Institute also offers several study abroad opportunities, with past law students traveling to Europe to study at the Max Plank Institute in Munich, and to tour the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Students can get involved in IPSO, the organization for students of intellectual property and information law, and also participate in activities sponsored by the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association.

The Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 160 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.61.

5. (tie) University of New Hampshire School of Law


The University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law’s Intellectual Property Law Program has been ranked in the top 10 nationally every year since the rankings began. The Program offers more than a dozen degrees and certificates focused on intellectual property, including the Intellectual Property Law JD Certificate, administered through the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, which “prepares the next generation of lawyers for practice in a global economy based primarily on intellectual property,” according to the Center. The program has global reach—graduates currently work in more than 80 countries.

The UNH Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 156 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.46.

5. (tie) George Washington University


According to the school, the George Washington University Law School “has been a leader in intellectual property education and scholarship for more than a hundred years,” having first developed a Master’s of Patent Law in 1895. The school hosts an intellectual property law speaker series throughout the academic year, hosting lectures several times a semester. In addition to foundational intellectual property courses, GW Law School has dozens of advanced courses students can elect to take, including “Genetics and the Law,” “Design Law,” and “Trade Secrets Law.” 

The fall 2019 entering JD class at GW Law had a median LSAT score of 166 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.73.

4. Santa Clara University


Santa Clara University School of Law identifies a career pathway in High Tech & Intellectual Property Law and has coursework to train future lawyers to work with technology companies. The school’s location in California’s Silicon Valley places students in the middle of a major American hub of technological advancement. Law students completing the requisite coursework receive a High Tech Law Certificate and can specialize in Intellectual Property, International, or Corporate specializations. Outside of class, students can get involved with the High Tech Law Journal or with the Student Intellectual Property Law Association. 

The Santa Clara University School of Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 155 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.32 for its full-time program. For its part-time program, the entering class in 2018 had a median LSAT score of 154 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.30.

3. New York University


NYU Law offers courses in all aspects of intellectual property and innovation, including courses taught by faculty from non-intellectual property specializations to cover subjects including fashion, entertainment, and biotechnology. Its Technology Law and Policy Clinic gives students real-world experience representing clients in public interest issues. Students participating in the clinic also get to work with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project and on National Security Project cases. NYU Law encourages students interested in intellectual property litigation or transactional work to pursue a summer associate position with a law firm between their second and third years.

The NYU Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 170 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.8.

1. (tie) University of California—Berkeley


According to the University, Berekely Law offers “the most comprehensive instructional program in law & technology” through its Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, established in 1995. Students take foundational courses taught by Berkeley Law faculty, advanced courses taught by faculty and practitioners, and analytic writing and research-oriented courses. Cross-disciplinary offerings are available in conjunction with other Berkeley schools and departments, including the Haas School of Business and the Goldman School of Public Policy. JD students have the option of pursuing a Law & Technology Certificate, with a curriculum focused on technology law. 

The Berkeley Law Class of 2022 had a median LSAT score of 168 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.81.

1. (tie) Stanford University


Stanford Law School’s top-ranked intellectual property law program is housed within the Stanford Program in Law, Science, & Technology, which addresses “the many questions arising from the increasingly prominent role that science and technology play in both national and global arenas,” according to the school. The program features four joint degrees in bioengineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and management science and engineering. Students work with clients on intellectual property law cases and regulatory policies in the Juelsgaard Intellectual Property and Innovation Clinic. In addition to coursework, students can participate in any of the four related student organizations or work on the Stanford Technology Law Review.

The Stanford Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 171 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.93.