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U.S. News Law School Rankings Leaked; NYU Down, Columbia Up

Posted Mar 26, 2008 12:35 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: U.S. News & World Report posted its new law school rankings today, but the blogosphere apparently beat the magazine to the punch.

Above the Law and The Shark are among the blogs that posted an advance look at the rankings (PDF posted by the Shark). Yale University is at the top of the list, the same as last year.

But several law schools have elbowed out close competitors this year. Among those trading places are New York and Columbia universities, with Columbia coming out on top this year at No. 4.

Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News, refused to confirm or deny whether the blogs' list was authentic.But when the U.S. News rankings were published today, they matched the list on the blogs.

The Shark highlights the news that the University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall law school has jumped into sixth place, ahead of the universities of Chicago and Pennsylvania. Duke University has dropped out of the top 10 while Northwestern, in the 12th spot last year, is back in.

Here are the top 10:

(1) Yale University

(2) Harvard University, Stanford University

(4) Columbia University

(5) New York University

(6) University of California at Berkeley

(7) University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania

(9) Northwestern University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of Virginia

The ABA Journal spoke to Morse about the rankings for its April 2008 cover story, "The Rankings Czar." His daughter graduated from one of the top 10 schools—New York University—but he feels certain she didn’t use the rankings to make her law school choice.

“Any student or parent who uses the rankings as the No. 1 reason to go to a school, well, that’s exactly the wrong way to use them,” he told the Journal.

Updated at 5:29 a.m. to reflect that U.S. News has posted its rankings today.

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