CHAPTER EIGHT 
RANKINGS 2007-2012 


LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS:
A SHORT HISTORY
 

 

The first U. S. News and World Report (USN) ranking of law schools appeared in the November 2, 1987 issue. In this issue, USN ranked their top twenty law schools, their top twenty engineering schools, their top ten medical schools, and their top twenty national business schools. The seond US News ranking appeared in the March 19, 1990 issue and with this issue the ranking became an annual event ocurring in March or April. The number of law schools ranked was twenty-five from March 1990 to March 1993, fifty from March 1994 to April 15, 2002, and one-hundred since April 14, 2003. In some years, ties increased the number of law schools ranked. Also, from year to year, the number of law schools in each category often changed.




PARTITIONING THE LAW SCHOOLS
BEFORE THE TOP 100 WAS INTRODUCED

 
November 2, 1987    Top 20.
March 19, 1990   Top 25. 
April 29, 1991   Top 25.
March 23, 1992   Top 25 with rest of Quartile 1 (19), Quartile 2 (44),
Quartile 3 (44), and Quartile 4 (43).
March 22, 1993   Top 25 with rest of Quartile 1 (19), Quartile 2 (44),
Quartile 3 (44), and Quartile 4 (44).
March 21, 1994   Top 50 with Tier 3 (38), Tier 4 (44), and Tier 5 (44).
March 20, 1995   Top 50 with Tier 3 (39), Tier 4 (44), and Tier 5 (44).
March 18, 1996   Top 51 with Tier 3 (39), Tier 4 (44), and Tier 5 (40).
March 10, 1997   Top 50 with Tier 2 (38), Tier 3 (43), Tier 4 (43)
March 2, 1998   Top 51 with Tier 2 (39), Tier 3 (46), Tier 4 (38)
March 29, 1999   Top 53 with Tier 2 (36), Tier 3 (46), Tier 4 (41))
April 10, 2000   Top 50 with Tier 2 (47), Tier 3 (41), Tier 4 (36)
April 9, 2001   Top 54 with Tier 2 (34), Tier 3 (45), Tier 4 (41)
April 15, 2002   Top 51 with Tier 2 (39), Tier 3 (45), Tier 4 (40)
     



PARTITIONING THE LAW SCHOOLS
AFTER THE TOP 100 WAS INTRODUCED

 

Since April 14, 2003, US News and World Report has partitioned law schools into the three categories: Top 100, Third Tier, and Fourth Tier.

US NEWS ISSUE

 

   Top 100   

 

  Third Tier  

 

  Fourth Tier 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APRIL 14, 2003 

 

100

 

37

 

40

APRIL 12, 2004 

 

104

 

29

 

44

APRIL 11, 2005

 

102

 

35

 

43

APRIL 10, 2006 

 

100

 

36

 

44

 APRIL 9, 2007          104           35            45
           104           37            42

THE ORIGINAL USNews TOP TWENTY
NOVEMBER 2, 1987

 

In their November 2, 1987 issue, U.S. News and World Report gave its first law school ranking; this issue ranked their top twenty law schools. We shall follow the progress (or lack of it) of these twenty law schools.
     The March 19, 1990 issue, U.S. News and World Report ranked their top twenty-six law schools; neither the University of Minnesota nor the University of Wisconsin made the top twenty-six. 
     The top ten and the top sixteen of the November 1987 ranking of law schools are the same as the top ten and the top sixteen, respectively, of the April 2006 ranking of law schools; this statement does not extend to April 2006 because the University of Texas dropped to eighteenth. As we shall now see, there have been some changes within the top ten and within the top sixteen; two law schools have dropped out of the top twenty. Comparing the November, 1987 ranking to the April, 2006 ranking, we see that
     The big winners during this time period were
          Stanford University: Rose from being tied for fourth to tied for second
          New York University: Rose from ninth to fourth
          University of Pennsylvania: Rose from tenth to tied for sixth
          Northwestern University: Rose from sixteenth to twelfth
     The big losers during this time period were
          Harvard University: Dropped from being tied for first to being tied for second
          University of Michigan: Dropped from third to tied for eighth
          University of Texas: Dropped from eleventh to eighteenth 
          University of Illinois: Dropped from being tied for seventeenth to twenty-sixth
          University of Wisconsin: Dropped from twentieth to thirty-second.

   Law School    Rank
 Nov
1987
   Rank
March
1990 
   Rank
March
1995
  Rank
April
2000
  Rank
April
2005
  Rank
April
2006
  Rank
April
2007
                       

 

 

 

Yale

 

   1.5

 

    1

 

1

 

   1

 

   1

 

   1

 

 1

Harvard

 

   1.5

 

    5

 

2.5

 

   3

 

   2 

 

   3

 

 2.5

U Michigan

 

   3

 

    7

 

9

 

   7 

 

   8.5

 

   9

 

 8.5

Stanford U

 

   4.5

 

    3

 

2.5 

 

   2

 

   3

 

   2

 

 2.5

Columbia U

 

   4.5

 

    4

 

5

 

   5 

 

   4

 

   4.5

 

5

U Chicago

 

   6

 

    2

 

4

 

   6 

 

   6

 

   6

 

6.5

UC Berkeley

 

   7

 

   13

 

9

 

   8.5

 

 12 

 

   9

 

8.5

U Virginia

 

   8

 

   10

 

7

 

   8.5

 

   8.5

 

   9

 

10.5

New York U

 

   9 

 

    6

 

 6

 

   4 

 

   5 

 

   4.5 

 

4

U Pennsylvania

 

  10

 

    9

 

11.5

 

 12.5

 

   7 

 

   7

 

6.5

U Texas, Austin

 

  11

 

  16

 

17 

 

 15

 

 15.5 

 

 16

 

18

Duke U

 

  12 

 

    8

 

9

 

 10.5

 

 12 

 

 11 

 

10.5

Georgetown U

 

  13

 

  12

 

13

 

 14

 

 14

 

 14 

 

14

UCLA

 

  14

 

  18

 

24

 

 16

 

 15.5

 

 15

 

15

Cornell U

 

  15 

 

  14

 

14

 

 10.5 

 

 12 

 

 13 

 

13

Northwestern

 

  16

 

  11

 

 11.5 

 

 12.5 

 

 10

 

 12 

 

12

U Illinois

 

  17.5 

 

  25.5

 

20

 

 25

 

  26 

 

 29

 

26

U Southern CA

 

  17.5

 

  17

 

15

 

 17

 

 18

 

 17.5

 

16.5

U Minnesota

 

  19

 

 

 

18 

 

 19

 

 19

 

 20 

 

20.5

U Wisconsin

 

  20

 

 

 

23

 

 36

 

 33

 

 32.5

 

32



 




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