Top Law Schools in the U.S.

law-schoolWhen determining which law school you want to attend it’s important to look at multiple variables so you can feel confident in our decision. There are many things to consider and taking a look at some of the best law schools in the country might help in your research phase and maybe even help you figure out what you don’t want in a law school. To give you readers a little more help I have compiled a list of some of the top law school in the United States. Please feel free to share and let me know if I missed any that deserve honorable mentions.


Located in beautiful Stanford, California the law school at Stanford University is rated highest among the law schools in the country as it offers exceptional learning opportunities and has brilliant professors to help guide students. There is a 9.1% acceptance rate and the median GPA is 3.9. The standards are high at Stanford but the rewards are higher if you succeed at this brilliant institution.


One of the top ranked Ivy League schools in the country, Yale is a clear choice for a future legal professional, especially if they are located on the east coast. Yes the winters may be cold but the campus at New Haven, Connecticut offers students endless opportunities for growth and challenge. The acceptance rate is 8.9% and the median GPA is 3.91.


One of my personal favorite schools and campuses is the Harvard Law School located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are some schools where you will receive valuable education and there are others like Harvard that will give you an invaluable education that will propel you into a successful career. The acceptance rate is 15.4% and the median GPA is 3.87.

University of Chicago:

The University of Chicago is nestled right in Chicago, Illinois and has been widely appraised as one of the best universities in the entire country Each and every year the University of Chicago Law School brings in the best of the best and graduates future upstanding legal professionals. The acceptance rate is 18.4% and the median GPA is 3.9.


Moving down to a warmer atmosphere we have Duke University’s Law School located in Durham, North Carolina. Duke is well known for taking in top talent both inside the law school and outside. If you enjoy top-tier sports with your legal textbooks then Duke is the place for you. The acceptance rate is 20.9% and the median GPA is 3.77.

University of Pennsylvania:

The University of Pennsylvania is a fantastic institution that has been around forever. Well known for their business school and the law school, UPenn is a definite mention for this list and a school to aspire to attend for countless students. The acceptance rate is 16.4% and the median GPA is 3.89.


Thank you for reading!

Joshua Stubbins

More Men Demand Stigma-Free Family time

joshua-stubbins-lawyerTraditionally, women have had the option to take time off from their careers to raise their children.  Meanwhile, men put in long hours at the office; bringing home the bacon, the breadwinner.  The wife’s covers the “life” aspect of the man’s “work/life” balance, taking care of the home, children, and hobbies.

Yet, as we launch into the 21st century, the lines defining gender roles are drastically shifting. Responsibilities within the household are more equally shared, men have been demanding more time off.

According to a recent publication in The Atlantic, the values of young lawyers have drastically shifted from old standards.  Men are demanding a more appropriate work/life balance.  In addition, they want to the opportunity to ask for time off without the prejudice that desiring family time is only appropriate for women.

New law firms are developing to suit the needs of a younger generation.  In a U.C. Hastings report on New Model law firms, Joan Williams says “men must commit to full-time schedule on their own terms instead dropping hours at work.”  In an arrangement called “full-time flex,” lawyers work from home and distribute their hours across the day as they choose.

In the past, men were expected to be working for hours and in business outings every weekend.  But times have changed.  We now live in a society where men want to be able to tell their families, ‘You can count on me to be home for dinner and take my vacations.”

However, finding time in the busy schedule of a lawyer is a constant struggle.  Everyone hopes to spend time with loved ones and cultivating interests outside of work, but its still a major obstacle to ask supervisors to understand these needs. Male lawyers tend to internalize the stigma that finding work/life balance is for women, even when they want to be present for their families.  Plus, not all law firms  are so accepting of lawyers who want to practice flexibility in their careers.  A better work/life balance, however, would benefit both our employees and their children (our next generation).  Hopefully more law firms will consider the need to be flexible with their lawyers: without the stigma.

Thank you for reading!

Joshua Stubbins

Family Law 101 Pt: 1

family-lawWhether you have heard of family law or not, it is a vital piece of our country’s legal system and plays a major part in many people’s lives. Family law concentrates its focus to surround anything and everything relating to a family and the courtroom. I have taken the liberty of giving you a brief description of certain pillars that make up the family law section of our legal system. Enjoy and please feel free to share!

Marriage Law:

When looking at marriage law its vital to look at all aspects of a marriage for better or for worse. When a couple decides to get married it changes everything in terms of the scope of their respective lives. There are many things to look at with a marital union such as property, prenuptial agreements, changing of names, postnuptial agreements, and more.


On the flip side of the coin divorce is also a reality that many people face these days. Divorce is a highly involved process for lawyers and the legal system as a whole. Divorce is also a very busy time that requires rather quick action between the two parties to settle on things like money, allocation of assets, alimony, property, and more.

Child Custody:

Child custody tends to go almost hand in hand with divorce and is all too frequent in today’s society. Should a family, that has children, become divorced there is usually a dispute on whole should get full custody of the child or children. The results of child custody can include sole custody, joint custody, physical custody, legal custody, and grandparent visitation & custody.

Child Support:

Upon the completion of a divorce, child support becomes a reality for the parents of the child. When looking into child support there are tons of variables to consider. Knowing the proper steps, the dos and don’ts, and calculating support amounts are just the beginning. Having a valued and trusted lawyer will help mediate the arrangements between parental parties to ensure an even relationship to best provide the children with financial support.


In recent years adoption has grown in popularity all over the world. Parents that either choose to adopt because they prefer it or choose to adopt due to natural reasons look to homes and centers for guidance and fulfillment of their family wishes. Consulting with a lawyer regarding adoption will mean proper document gathering, eligibility information, adoption laws per each state, and much more.

Please be sure to check back again soon for part II!


Thank you for reading

Joshua Stubbins

Intellectual Property and Small Businesses

shopping-cart-joshua stubbinsIntellectual Property is an important legal concept for small business owners. This is especially so because of the internet and the increase of competition between businesses. Here are a few explanations:

Business owners should pursue gaining intellectual property rights for their company.

The Kind Plus bars were one of the highest ranked products at the Natural Products Expo. While the chief executive was proud of this accomplishment, he started to hear some startling news. Someone was imitating the brand image of his products. Prior to this event, the CEO thankfully gained rights to some very important elements of intellectual property. These included the trade dress, trademark, and web addresses that relate to his company name. Items like these are much less expensive than a patent and can be gained without the help of a lawyer. Ultimately, the CEO was able to use these items as proof of his product’s branding. With some follow through, the other company was successfully required to stop their production.

Having a patent does not eliminate the chance of someone releasing a similar product, but increases your ability to fight.

The nature of a patent is that it gives you the ability to keep someone from producing your product. Anyone interested in using the idea must pay a determined amount to the originating company to continue business. In the event that another product was already created without permission from the creators, a patent can be used to take legal action. Cryptography Research was a small company in San Francisco. It noticed that Visa was using technology that they created. After Cryptography merged with a larger company, it used its existing patent to take legal action against Visa. The two companies reached a financial settlement.

To learn more about intellectual property, visit the New York Times here.

Counterfeit Food & China’s Food Safety Laws

wine-joshua stubbinsCounterfeit food is an issue in the country of China. A popular example is the sale of fake wine. Customers are gradually becoming more cognizant of which products are good. Many have learned to check the packaging or even do a quick search on their smartphone. Additionally, revealing counterfeiters has grown to be more lucrative with the present incentives available. Nonetheless, this problem is ongoing in China.

Since 1949, when the People’s Republic was founded, food safety has been a concern for the country. A central struggle was to maintain both the quantity and quality of food based on demand. In the country’s battle against remaining self-sufficient, food quality has decreased.

Poor food quality is too often the product of the bad environmental controls for heavy industries. This is a concern but the counterfeit epidemic for food has China’s residents in a greater sense of worry. New parents, for example, struggle just to find baby food suitable for their child. They know that they need to find nourishment made in any other country but China. More samples of the counterfeit foods from China can be seen all across social media.

In terms of law, China has attempted to hold a high standard of food safety. However, after several laws and regulations, the standard has not been kept. Today, it is important for people to know how to read the risks in order to stay safe. This is a key aspect of the proposed alterations to China’s law regarding food safety. Regulators want better labels for consumers that contain more information.

Other proposed changes to the food safety law target the wholesalers, retailers, and producers of China’s food. Greater food inspection will be required along with more detailed record keeping. More significant fines will also be the consequence for failing to comply. Overall, more transparency and liability is upcoming for China’s food industry.

To learn more, visit here.

Law School Trends in 2015

joshua stubbins 2015In viewing today’s trends for interest in law school, a decline has become apparent in the number of applications. 2015’s upcoming fall semester is likely to be a new applicant low in fifteen years. By the Law School Admission Council releasing this information, it has also brought attention to how law schools are responding to this drop in numbers over the years. Their main interest is in attracting students. The National Conference of Bar Examiners shared that most law schools are lowering their standards for admissions, including accepting students with lower LSAT scores.

Alternatively, the number of LSAT test takers has risen since last year. When viewing the numbers of the past few years, this increase comes as a surprise. While the rise in test takers is up from 2014, it still doesn’t compare to the February high for 2009. Steve Schwartz, an LSAT blog author stated that more students may feel encouraged to take the test due to law schools suffering from a decline in applications. Many may have a better chance of being accepted to a top school since standards are being slightly decreased for now.

The cost of law school is still very high and students who get in may still be faced with large amounts of debt. Thomas Jefferson School of Law is currently number one for the highest percent of students who have debt. 91% of their alumni have debt totaling up to $172,445. New York Law School comes in second with 83% of graduates with debt up to $166,622. Pace Law School, on the other hand, has a different plan to bring in more students. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, out of state students whose LSAT scores near the median of current Pace students will receive a financial break. The school will match the price of a public law school in the state where the student currently has residence.

For more information on these topics, visit the ABA Journal here.

Mentor Advice for Aspiring Lawyers

Eboni Blenman is a current New York University Law student. With her graduation in sight for 2017, she reflects on some helpful lessons that have guided her through her time in the program. Although Eboni was an undergraduate alumni of Howard University with post-grad experience in teaching, she never had a real mentor. As a scholarship student at NYU, it became required of her to be paired with someone to assist in her academic journey. She overcame some feelings of angst at the idea of gaining a mentor and began to embrace and utilize the opportunity to the fullest extent. Her mentor-mentee relationships have grown to be genuine and valuable. Eboni shares a few tips of how to make the most out of a mentor experience.

scales-of-justice joshua stubbinsBe truthful in your mentor communications.

Contracts for Eboni were a challenge. Upon confessing her struggle in this area, her mentor was able to provide her with tools that provided help. However, it took several times of her mentor asking before EBoni decided to open up. Be honest and allow the mentors to do their best to guide you to success.

Don’t back down from new opportunities.

Another one of Eboni’s mentors invited her to meet his supervisor. Attending the meeting resulted in a new career opportunity for Eboni. She obtained a job as a campus representative for a top bar review preparation company known as BARBRI. Once again, she was initially hesitant to attend this meeting but decided to step outside of her comfort zone and trust the wisdom of her mentor.

Dedicate time to interact with your mentor.

As a law student, time management is key. With the proper planning, one will realize that there is no need to feel that enjoyable outings can’t happen. Look to your mentor to engage in career related activities and social activities. Eboni has done both with her mentors and recommends other students do the same. The more you interact, the more opportunity you have to know this person on a greater level. In addition to broadening your career network, you may make a new friend.

For NYU specifically, there are several groups that provide the chance to work with a mentor. Some organizations include BALSA, Law Women, and the Christian Legal Fellowship. Be sure to look into groups like these on campus to delve into the benefits of mentorship.

Alternative Areas of Work for Lawyers

worker-joshua stubbinsMany students head to law school with dreams of working in one of the most popular and successful firms out there. To everyone’s dismal, there are just not enough spots available for every law student to achieve that dream. A lack of legal jobs is a problem acknowledged by the industry. The solution lies in educating new lawyers and current law students about careers in areas different than a standard firm.

Professional counseling as a career is one option. This individual can speak to and motivate other law students. They will be able to relate on a higher level because they share many of the same experiences. Conflict resolution and negotiation is another area where legal mediation skills may be useful. Countries who work with nongovernmental organizations also need the knowledge of law to successfully carry out their plans. On a related note, government is certainly an area where a law degree is valuable. Politicians such as President Obama and others began in law. While this parallel makes sense, there is a reduction in the number of law graduates going into politics. Aspects of finance such as taxes, estates, and small businesses benefit from having a legal understanding.

Other unsuspecting areas that can be positively influenced by someone with a law degree include entrepreneurship and academia. An important factor that joins law and entrepreneurship include the ability to understand and negotiate business contracts. Next, participating in research or teaching law in schools may be a beneficial direction for lawyers.

If you are interested in learning more about other areas that law graduates may work, visit Forbes online here.

Entrepreneurship & Law

small business joshua stubbinsSome law students are interested in pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors and not necessarily practicing law. Although, there are a few avenues of law that benefit from the mindset of entrepreneurship. These two areas include solo practice and work as a for-profit attorney in a legal office.

In the past, law students were more likely to become a part of the state bar and open a practice directly after school. Today, it is more common that J.D. graduates work for an established company to build experience before stepping out as their own entrepreneur. Solo practitioners are essentially small business owners who are promoting legal advice. While law skills are important, in this case general small business practices also become paramount. Skills in marketing, budgeting, and staff management are all key. The second area that benefits from entrepreneurial thinking is a position in a for-profit legal office. These corporate entities look for lawyers who have the ability to bring in more business and can organize relationships with clients.

Budding entrepreneurs can benefit from law school. Law studies teach what is necessary for running a business. Common subjects may include contracts and corporate law. However, there are other courses offered that will give more insight into a career as a business owner. These other areas may consist of corporate taxation and employment law. Involvement in extracurricular activities that focus on business and law will be highly beneficial.

Studying law as a business owner also means that the hiring of a lawyer can be avoided. In situations such as creating contracts with employees or suppliers, the law school graduate will already have the trained ability to oversee such documents. Business issues based on legal matters will also be more easily analyzed by the law trained entrepreneur.