Law Schools

Yale Law School Tops US News Rankings; University of Texas Makes Top 14

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The University of Texas at Austin has jumped one spot in the new law school rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report, but the symbolic significance is great.

UT has broken into the top 14, known as the T14, which has had the same 14 schools since 1990 when U.S. News introduced its more comprehensive rankings, U.S. News reports. UT is now tied with Georgetown for 14th place. Other schools making significant climbs in the rankings include the University of Maryland, jumping from 48th place to 42nd, and the University of California at Davis, moving from 28th place to 23rd.

Yale has retained its top spot in the law school rankings. The top five are the same as last year:

1) Yale Law School

2) Harvard Law School

3) Stanford Law School

4) Columbia Law School

5) University of Chicago Law School

Above the Law cites a Constitutional Daily blog post another big change in the rankings: U.S. News is now ranking the top three-fourths of the law schools, rather than ranking the top 100, and it is putting the rest of the schools into a second tier section called “rank not published.” The ranked list ends after the 143rd law schools, a three-way tie between Campbell University, Loyola University at New Orleans and the University of New Hampshire. There is no third tier. U.S. News explains the change in the second online page of its methodology.

U.S. News has also changed the way it computes employment rates of schools’ graduates, according to an accounting of its methodology. Those pursuing additional graduate education or whose status is “unknown” are no longer counted as employed. (Previously, 25 percent of the unknowns were counted as employed.) The publication considered both employment at graduation as well as employment nine months after graduation, although greater weight was given to the later statistic.

TaxProf Blog has a chart comparing the top law schools’ overall rankings with their academic peer rankings. On the academic peer list, Harvard was No. 1, followed by Yale and Stanford, which were tied for second place.

The National Law Journal has additional coverage.

Story updated to say that UT has not been in the top 14 since U.S. News introduced more comprehensive rankings in 1990. An alum pointed out that UT was in 11th place in 1987, spurring a query to U.S. News and a clarification by the magazine.

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