Category Archive: Law School Rankings

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Above the Law rankings? Below the bar.

The Above the Law rankings are out. Yawn.

Law School Transparency and NALP have made rankings pretty much obsolete these days. Why should you rank your schools by someone else’s formula, someone else’s priorities. Instead, head on over to Law School Transparency and look at the jobs and cost data yourself. Kudos to ATL for focusing on costs and employment, but it’s so much satisfying to see something like this:

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Above the Law’s 2015 Law School Rankings

The law school rankings game is competitive these days. While U.S. News and World Report is still House Lannister — they’ve got the money and the power — there have been a ton of pretenders to the throne cropping up in the last few years. Of these, Above the Law’s rankings might be House Stark in our Game of Thrones analogy: they’re in this thing for honor, not (only) for money or power.

Started three years ago as an alternative to U.S. News, Above the Law’s law school rankings are based almost solely on the employment prospects of each law school. They want students to have an accurate picture of what their degree is worth, to the point where they often discourage students from attending law school because of what a poor investment the bottom tier of degrees is. To that end, they don’t even bother ranking schools past number 50.

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The Law School Rankings Roundup

The release of the US News and World Report law school rankings always sets the internet abuzz, and this year was no different. With some shake-ups in the top 10, drops of over 25 spots further down the list, and the debut of a few new schools, concerned parties from all over the internet are weighing in with opinions and analysis.

With so much noise, it can be difficult and confusing to figure out what’s actually important, so we’ve collected some of the articles most relevant to pre-law readers.

Methodology: 2016 Best Law School RankingsU.S. News and World Report
With these particular rankings playing such a huge role in determining where many applicants decide to attend law school, you should at least know what goes into determining where schools place.

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Analysis: U.S. News Law School Rankings

U.S. News and World Report released its 2016 law school rankings yesterday, and it essentially looks like a huge game of chutes and ladders up in here.

Among the top tier of schools, the names remain familiar – for now. The top three schools are the same for the zillionth year in a row, although Stanford (formerly #3) moved up to share the #2 spot with Harvard. Whenever a school in the highest echelons of the rankings moves up or down, it’s treated as a Big Freaking Deal – but realistically, this change won’t make a huge difference, since Stanford hasn’t actually surpassed Harvard. They’ll get some bragging rights, sure, but essentially Stanford’s status is changing from “extremely well-regarded” to “still extremely well-regarded.”

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The 2016 US News Law School Rankings Are Here

US News and World Report just released their all-important law school rankings — a momentous occasion that will affect law school applications, admissions and hiring for the next year. We’ll have tons of analysis over the coming days, but for now here are the Top 150 law schools, along with their movement in the rankings.

Hat tip to Spivey Consulting, which was the first to report the new rankings.

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A Better Way to Measure Law School Job Numbers

Determining the “best” law schools has been a hotly contested field over the last few years, with everyone wanting to get a piece of the ranking action. U.S. News & World Report is the most common ranking system, incorporating various factors including selectivity, perception by peers, and job placement.  Above the Law has its own rankings with a much greater emphasis on employment outcomes, while Law.com created rankings focused on LSAT score, employment, and journal citations.

When it comes to students actually deciding which school to attend, however, employment prospects reign supreme. In a survey earlier this month, just over half of Blueprint LSAT students said that they valued “Prestige of Law School/US News & World Report ranking” above other factors when deciding which law school to attend, in part because they think attending a prestigious school will lead to a better job.

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Another Law School Ranking System: Any Good?

One thing no one has ever said: “You know, there just aren’t enough law school rankings out there.” U.S. News & World Report is the biggie, of course; it’s also criticized for many reasons, particularly for not placing enough emphasis on employment outcomes.

In response to the criticism, others have created their own system of rankings. Above the Law has its own system of rankings that places a higher emphasis on employment outcomes and alumni satisfaction. Thomas M. Cooley School of Law infamously has its own ranking system that emphasizes factors such as student body size and number of books in the library and, coincidentally, tends to place Cooley Law in the top 20 ahead of schools such as Duke and Stanford.

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Breaking Down Above the Law’s 2014 Law School Rankings

Above The Law’s (ATL) employment-based law school rankings are out. These are my favorite law school rankings. ATL’s rankings are a huge improvement on the U.S. News methodology. No one cares about how many books a law school has in its library, unless you can use them to heat your home after you strike out in the job market.

Here are the top 20 law schools according to ATL, with the change from last year in parentheses:

1. Yale (0)
2. Harvard (+1)
3. Stanford (-1)
4. Columbia (+4)
5. Chicago (-1)

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2015 U.S. News and World Report Law School Rankings Out

It’s that time of year again—the US News and World Report‘s annual law school rankings have arrived. As the biggest authority on rating academic institutions in the United States, the US News rankings are a subject of much consideration and consternation for prospective law students, law school administrations, and legal employers alike. For you, the prospective law student, these rankings could mean big things for your future admissions and job prospects. So let’s dive in and take a look, shall we?

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: The T14

Surprise, surprise: the Top 14 schools have once again reasserted their place at the top. From Yale (1st) to Cornell and Georgetown (tied for 13th), the T14 has pretty much stayed the same, with a few minor revisions.

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New Law School Rankings! Based on…Social Lives?

At first blush, most of you wouldn’t exactly consider law school and social life being in the same sentence, let alone the same physical space. After all, law school is meant to be the abandonment of all things social, forsaking fun for long evenings spent poring over casebooks and briefs. And yet, GraduatePrograms.com decided it’d