SECTION NINE 
LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS 

 

TOP2000-2008: LAW SCHOOL RANKINAGS
TOPICS
  

 
  • THE TOP LAW SCHOOLS OF THE NEW MILLENIUM
  • QUASI-INVARIANTS WITHIN THE TOP EIGHTEEN
  • MOVING UP AND MOVING DOWN WITHIN THE TOP FORTY
  • BUBBLING UNDER THE TOP FORTY LAW SCHOOLS OF THE NEW MILLENIUM
  • RANKING THE TOP FIVE STATE LAW SCHOOLS



THE TOP LAW SCHOOLS OF THE NEW MILLENIUM 

 
  • See the LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS BEFORE THE YEAR 2000.
  • All law schools that have been ranked at least once by U.S. News are included below.
  • NR stands for NOT RANKED.
  • The Rank Average (last column) is the average of the rankings the law school received from April 2000 to April 2008.  
  • The color coding tells us, for example, that, at least since April 2000, the law schools ranked two or three have been Stanford or Harvard.

 

 

April

April

April

April

April

April

April

April

April

    

Rank

LAW SCHOOL

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

    

Aver

Yale U (CT)

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

   

1.00

Harvard U (MA)

3.0

3.0

3.0

3.0

2.0

2.0

3.0

2.5

2.5

 

2.69

Stanford U (CA)

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

3.0

3.0

2.0

2.5

2.5

 

2.31

Columbia U (NY)

5.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.5

5.0

4

 

4.28

New York U 

4.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

4.5

4.0

5.0

 

4.72

UC Berkeley 

8.5

9.0

8.5

10.5

13.0

12.0

9.0

8.5

6.0

 

9.44

U Chicago 

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.5

7.5

 

6.22

U Pennsylvania 

12.5

10.5

8.5

7.5

7.5

7.0

7.0

6.5

7.5

 

8.28

Northwestern U (IL)

12.5

13.0

11.0

12.5

10.5

10.0

12.0

12.0

10.0

 

11.50

U Michigan

7.0

7.5

8.5

7.5

7.5

8.5

9.0

8.5

10.0

 

8.22

U Virginia 

8.5

7.5

8.5

9.0

9.0

8.5

9.0

10.5

10.0

 

8.94

Cornell U (NY)

10.5

12.0

13.0

10.5

12.0

12.0

13.0

13.0

12.5

 

12.06

Duke U (NC)

10.5

10.5

12.0

12.5

10.5

12.0

11.0

10.5

12.5

 

11.33

Georgetown U (DC)

14.0

14.0

14.0

14.0

14.0

14.0

14.0

14.0

14.0

 

14.00

Vanderbilt U (TN)

18.0

17.0

17.0

17.0

17.0

17.0

17.5

16.5

15.0

 

16.89

U Texas, Austin 

15.0

15.0

15.0

15.0

15.0

15.5

16.0

18.0

16.5

 

15.67

UCLA

16.0

16.0

16.0

16.0

16.0

15.5

15.0

15.0

16.5

 

15.78

U Southern California

17.0

18.0

19.5

18.0

18.0

18.0

17.5

16.6

18.0

 

17.84

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U Minnesota, TC 

19.0

19.0

19.5

19.5

19.0

19.0

20.0

20.5

23.0

 

19.83

Washington and Lee U

20.0

20.5

19.5

19.5

24.5

22.5

23.5

26.0

25.0

 

22.33

U Iowa 

21.0

20.5

19.5

21.0

24.5

22.5

23.5

24.0

28.0

 

22.72

George Washington U

24.0

24.5

27.5

23.0

21.0

20.5

20.0

22.5

20.0

 

22.56

U Notre Dame (IN)

27.0

29.0

24.0

23.0

21.0

24.5

23.5

29.0

23.0

 

24.89

Washington U, St. Louis 

30.0

29.0

27.5

25.5

21.0

24.5

20.0

19.0

19.0

 

23.94

Boston College 

24.0

22.0

22.5

23.0

29.5

29.0

29.0

29.0

26.0

 

26.00

U Illinois, UC

24.0

24.5

27.5

25.5

27.5

26.0

29.0

26.0

28.0

 

26.44

Boston U 

33.5

29.0

27.5

29.0

24.5

20.5

23.5

20.5

21.0

 

25.44

Emory U (GA)

27.0

29.0

22.5

27.0

24.5

33.0

26.0

22.5

23.0

 

26.06

U North Carolina

22.0

24.5

31.0

29.0

27.5

29.0

29.0

39.5

39.5

 

28.94

C William and Mary

30.0

34.5

33.5

29.0

29.5

29.0

29.0

32.0

30.5

 

30.78

U Washington 

27.0

24.5

27.5

47.0

35.5

29.0

29.0

29.0

30.5

 

31.00

U Georgia 

30.0

29.0

33.5

33.0

31.5

37.0

35.0

39.5

33.5

 

33.56

Fordham U (NY)

33.5

32.5

33.5

33.0

35.5

29.0

32.5

26.0

28.0

 

31.50

U Wisconsin, Madison 

36.0

36.5

27.5

33.0

31.5

33.0

32.5

32.0

36.5

 

33.17

UC Davis 

41.5

32.5

33.5

33.0

33.0

33.0

35.0

34.5

44.5

 

35.61

Brigham Young U (UT)

33.5

38.5

37.5

33.0

35.5

35.0

35.0

44.5

48.0

 

37.83

Wake Forest U (NC)

38.5

34.5

36.0

36.0

35.5

37.0

39.5

39.5

42.5

 

37.67

UC Hastings

33.5

36.5

41.0

37.0

38.5

39.5

46.0

39.5

39.5

 

38.94

Indiana U, Bloomington

38.5

41.5

39.0

38.5

40.5

37.0

37.5

39.5

36.5

 

38.72

Ohio State 

38.5

41.5

37.5

38.5

42.0

39.5

39.5

32.0

33.5

 

38.06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulane U (LA)

43.5

41.5

43.5

47.0

57.0

43.5

46.0

48.5

44.5

 

46.11

U Alabama, Tuscaloosa 

46.0

46.0

47.5

47.0

40.5

43.5

46.0

39.5

33.5

 

44.50

U Arizona 

38.5

41.5

41.0

44.0

44.5

43.5

46.0

44.5

39.5

 

42.94

U Colorado, Boulder

45.0

38.5

41.0

41.5

51.0

48.0

46.0

39.5

33.5

 

43.81

U Connecticut 

41.5

44.0

43.5

41.5

44.5

50.0

50.0

48.5

48.0

 

45.72

U Utah

43.5

45.0

45.5

41.5

48.0

50.0

57.0

58.0

51.0

 

48.83

George Mason U (VA)

NR

48.0

47.5

41.5

38.5

43.5

37.5

34.5

39.5

 

41.57

Southern Methodist U

NR

48.0

50.0

50.0

48.0

53.5

46.0

46.0

48.0

 

48.79

U Cincinnati

49.5

52.0

NR

52.5

60.5

60.0

54.5

58.0

53.0

 

55.00

U Florida

NR

48.0

45.5

47.0

44.5

43.5

41.0

48.5

48.0

 

45.43

U Kentucky 

NR

52.0

50.0

52.5

51.0

56.5

67.0

62.5

60.5

 

56.50

U Tennessee, Knoxville

47.5

52.0

NR

55.5

54.0

53.5

62.0

54.5

53.0

 

54.00

American U

NR

NR

50.0

55.5

57.0

47.0

46.0

48.5

48.0

 

50.67

Arizona State U

47.5

NR

NR

61.0

54.0

60.0

54.5

51.0

53.0

 

54.43

Baylor U (TX)

49.5

NR

NR

52.5

51.0

53.5

51.5

54.5

56.5

 

52.08

U Houston

NR

52.0

NR

73.0

60.5

66.5

73.0

62.5

56.5

 

64.58

U Maryland

NR

52.0

NR

47.0

44.5

43.5

42.0

39.5

42.5

 

44.75

Brooklyn

NR

NR

NR

61.0

69.0

60.0

58.5

62.5

64.0

 

62.50

Cardozo-Yeshiva U (NY)

NR

NR

NR

57.5

54.0

60.0

54.5

52.0

56.5

 

55.75

Case Western Reserve U

NR

NR

NR

57.5

57.0

50.0

51.5

54.5

64.0

 

55.75

Florida State U

NR

NR

NR

66.0

69.0

56.5

54.5

54.5

56.5

 

59.50

Georgia State U

NR

NR

NR

93.5

91.0

87.0

98.5

83.0

79.0

 

88.67

IIT Chicago-Kent 

NR

NR

NR

73.0

64.5

66.5

62.0

62.5

66.5

 

65.83

Indiana U-Indianapolis

NR

NR

NR

66.0

64.5

97.0

78.0

87.5

70.0

 

77.17

Lewis and Clark C

NR

NR

NR

73.0

79.0

79.5

78.0

83.0

74.5

 

77.83

Louisana State U

NR

NR

NR

98.5

91.0

92.0

89.5

93.5

91.0

 

92.90

Loyola U Chicago

NR

NR

NR

73.0

69.0

70.5

73.0

73.0

84.5

 

73.83

Loyola, Los Angeles

NR

NR

NR

73.0

60.5

60.0

67.0

67.5

64.0

 

65.33

Mercer U

NR

NR

NR

93.5

101.5

101.0

89.5

102.0

102.0

 

97.50

Northeastern U

NR

NR

NR

89.5

79.0

87.0

89.5

87.5

91.0

 

86.50

Rutgers U , Camden

NR

NR

NR

80.5

74.0

66.5

67.0

73.0

79.0

 

73.33

Rutgers U , Newark

NR

NR

NR

80.5

74.0

74.5

83.0

79.0

79.0

 

78.33

Seattle U

NR

NR

NR

93.5

101.5

97.0

94.5

87.5

84.5

 

93.08

Seton Hall U

NR

NR

NR

87.0

91.0

83.5

73.0

73.0

66.5

 

79.00

St. John's U

NR

NR

NR

73.0

79.0

79.5

83.0

73.0

91.0

 

77.50

Temple U

NR

NR

NR

66.0

60.5

66.5

58.5

62.5

60.5

 

62.42

U Buffalo-SUNY

NR

NR

NR

87.0

85.0

79.5

83.0

79.0

102.0

 

85.92

U Denver

NR

NR

NR

80.5

79.0

97.0

73.0

79.0

91.0

 

81.70

U Hawaii

NR

NR

NR

87.0

85.0

83.5

94.5

93.5

84.5

 

88.00

U Kansas

NR

NR

NR

66.0

64.5

101.0

73.0

67.5

74.5

 

74.42

U Miami

NR

NR

NR

84.5

79.0

74.5

67.0

73.0

84.5

 

77.08

U Missouri, Columbia

NR

NR

NR

61.0

64.5

70.5

62.0

67.5

60.5

 

65.10

U Nebraska

NR

NR

NR

66.0

91.0

79.5

73.0

79.0

74.5

 

77.17

U New Mexico

NR

NR

NR

73.0

101.5

70.5

78.0

73.0

70.0

 

77.67

U Oklahoma

NR

NR

NR

61.0

69.0

79.5

83.0

73.0

70.0

 

72.58

U Oregon 

NR

NR

NR

80.5

74.0

70.5

73.0

83.0

84.5

 

77.58

U Pittsburgh

NR

NR

NR

52.5

48.0

53.5

62.0

58.0

74.5

 

58.08

U Richmond

NR

NR

NR

80.5

74.0

74.5

83.0

79.0

70.0

 

76.83

U San Diego

NR

NR

NR

61.0

69.0

63.5

67.0

87.5

84.5

 

72.08

U South Carolina

NR

NR

NR

80.5

85.0

92.0

98.5

93.5

96.5

 

89.90

Villanova U (PA)

NR

NR

NR

73.0

74.0

63.5

62.0

62.5

70.0

 

67.50

Catholic U of America

NR

NR

NR

84.5

85.0

87.0

NR

98.0

91.0

 

89.10

Marquette U

NR

NR

NR

93.5

96.0

101.0

NR

98.0

96.5

 

97.00

Pepperdine U

NR

NR

NR

NR

101.5

79.5

89.5

67.5

60.5

 

79.70

Santa Clara U

NR

NR

NR

93.5

96.0

NR

89.5

93.5

79.0

 

90.30

St. Louis U

NR

NR

NR

NR

85.0

74.5

83.0

87.5

96.5

 

82.50

U Louisville

NR

NR

NR

73.0

85.0

87.0

NR

98.0

102.0

 

85.75

U Mississippi

NR

NR

NR

89.5

96.0

87.0

98.5

NR

NR

 

92.75

U San Francisco

NR

NR

NR

98.5

96.0

NR

94.5

102.0

NR

 

97.75

Pennsylvania State U

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

92.0

89.5

93.5

79.0

 

88.50

U Nevada-Las Vegas

NR

NR

NR

NR

85.0

92.0

NR

102.0

91.0

 

93.00

U of the Pacific

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

92.0

98.5

102.0

96.5

 

97.50

U Toledo

NR

NR

NR

NR

96.0

NR

94.5

87.5

NR

 

92.67

Depaul U, (Chicago)

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

83.0

93.5

91.0

 

88.25

Hofstra U

NR

NR

NR

NR

91.0

97.0

NR

NR

99.0

 

94.00

Syracuse U

NR

NR

NR

98.5

NR

97.0

NR

NR

102.0

 

97.75

U Arkansas-Fayettville

NR

NR

NR

93.5

101.5

NR

NR

NR

NR

 

97.50

U Missouri, Kansas City

NR

NR

NR

NR

101.5

NR

NR

NR

NR

 

101.50

Wayne State U 

NR

NR

NR

98.5

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

 

98.50

Stetson U

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

102.0

102.0

 

102.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Law Schools Ranked

51

54

51

100

104

102

100

104

104

 

 


PAST AND PRESENT INVARIANTS
WITHIN THE TOP EIGHTEEN

 

Rank 

 

Law Schools

 

Began

 

Ended

  Resumed 
                 
Number 1   Yale   March 1990   In progress    
Numbers 2 and 3  

Stanford and Harvard

  March 1992    In progress    
Numbers 4 and 5   Columbia and New York U   March 1999    In progress    
Number 6   U Chicago    March 1999   April 2007:
U Chicago
in a tie for
sixth place
   
Numbers 6-13   Cornell, Duke, Northwestern,
UC Berkeley, U Chicago,
U Michigan, U Pennsylvania, 
and U Virginia
  March 1993   In progress    
Number 14   Georgetown U   March 1999   In progress    
Numbers 15-16   U Texas and UCLA   April 2000   April 2007:
U Texas
drops to
eighteenth.
  April 2009
Numbers 17-18   Vanderbilt and
U Southern California 
  April 2000   April 2007:
Both tie for
sixteenth.
  April 2009
Number 1-18   Same 18 law schools   April 2000   In progress    

We have the following:   
  • The top law school is Yale (since March 1990).
  • The top three law schools are Yale along with Stanford and Harvard. Stanford was ranked outside the top three only three times (4.5 in November 1987, 4 in April 1991, and March 1997) while Harvard has ranked in the top three except for March 1990 (ranked number five).
  • The top five law schools (since March 1999): The top three law school along with Columbia University and New York University.
  • The top thirteen USN law schools (since March 1999): The top five schools along with Cornell, Duke, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, U Chicago, U Michigan, U Pennsylvania, and U Virginia.
  • The top fourteen USN law schools (since March 1993): The top thirteen law schools and Georgetown Univerity.
  • The top eighteen law schools (since April 2003): The top fourteen law schools along with UCLA, U Southern California, U Texas, and Vanderbilt. 

LAW SCHOOLS MOVING UP
AND DOWN WITHIN THE TOP

 

Top Forty Gainers from
April 2000 to April 2007

 

Top Forty Gainers from
April 2003 to April 2007

 

Top Forty Gainers from
April 2005 to April 2007

         
Boston U (33.5 to 20.5)
U Washington (47 to 29)   Emory (33 to 22.5)
Washington U (30 to 19) Boston U (29 to 20.5)   Ohio State (39.5 to 32)
Fordham (33.5 to 26) Fordham (33 to 26)   Washington U (24.5 to 19)
UC Davis (41.5 tro 34.5) Washingteon U (25.5 to 19)   UC Berkeley (12 to 8.5)
Ohio State (38.5 to 32)   Ohio State U (38.5 to 32)   Fordham U (29 to 26)
U Pennsylvania (12.5 to 6.5)   Emory U (27 to 22.5)   Duke U (12 to 10.5)
Emory (27 to 22.5)   UC Berkeley (10.5 to 8.5)   U Southern Cal (18 to 16.5)
U Wisconsin (36 to 32) Duke U (12.5 to 10.5)   New York U (5 to 4)
         
         

Top Forty Losers from
April 2000 to April 2007

 

Top Forty Losers from
April 2003 to April 2007

 

Top Forty Losers from
April 2005 to April 2007

         
U Michigan (7 to 8.5)   U Virginia (9 to 10.5)   U Virginia (8.5 to 10.5)
U Virginia (8.5 to 10.5)   Cornell U (10.5 to 13)   Northwestern U (10 to 12)
Cornell (10.5  to 13)   U Texas (15 to 18)   George Washington U (20.5 to 22.5)
U Texas (15 to 18)   U Iowa (21 to 24)   U Texas (15.5 to 18)
U Iowa (21 to 24)   William and Mary (29 to 32)   U Georgia (37 to 39.5)
Boston C (24 to 29)   Boston C (23 to 29)   Wake Forest (37 to 39.5)
UC Hastings (33.5 to 39.5)   U Notre Dame (23 to 29)   C William and Mary (29 to 32)
Washington and Lee (20 to 26)   Washington & Lee (19.5 to 26)   Washington and Lee U (22.5 to 26)
U Georgia (30 to 39.5)    U Georgia (33 to 39.5)   U Notre Dame (24.5 to 29)
Brigham Young (33.5 to 44.5)   U North Carolina (29 to 39.5)   Brigham Young (35 to 44.5)
U North Carolina (22 to 39.5)   Brigham Young (33 to 44.5)   U North Carolina (29 to 39.5)


 

LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS
RANKING THE
TOP FIVE STATE LAW SCHOOLS

 

The three highest ranking USN state university law schools are, in order, UC Berkeley, U Michigan, and U Virginia. In the April 2006 USN ranking, these three law schools were tied, ranking strictly between U Pennsylvania (ranked 7) and Duke (ranked 11). In the April 2007 USN ranking, UC Berkeley and U Michigan were tied for eighth and ninth while U Virginia was tied for tenth and eleventh with Duke. In the April 2008 USN ranking, UC Berkeley established itself as the top state-university law school by moving ahead of the April 2007 sixth and seventh top law schools (U Chicago and U Pennsylvania) to rank sixth while U Michigan and U Virginia found themselves in a three-way tie with Northwestern for ninth, tenth, and eleventh. In the April 2009 USN ranking, UC Berkeley maintained its position as the number one state-university law school even though it dropped to a tie for sixth and seventh (with U Chicago). U Michigan gained some ground ranking ninth whereas U Virginia found itself in a three-way tie with Duke and Northwestern for ninth, tenth, and eleventh. What does the April 2010 USN ranking hold? UC Berkeley and U Chicago will be six or seven in some order. U Pennsylvania, U Michigan, Duke, Northwestern, and U Virginia will rank eighth through twelfth in some order.

 
      The USN rank of a law school depends directly on the law school's USN overall score. Looking at some April 2008 relevant USN overall scores, we see that U Berkeley has 81, each of U Chicago and U Pennsylvania has 80, and all three of Northwestern, U Michigan, and U Virginia each has 79. Thus we have a very close race for USN rankings 6 to 11. UC Berkeley does not have much hope of ranking fifth or fourth in the near future since the present holders of these ranks (New York University and Columbia) has a USN overall score of 85 or 88. Note that the overall scores are the true overall score round to the nearest integer. For example, UC Berkeley' overall score of 81 could actually be, before rounding to the nearest integer, 80.51 and U Chicago's overall score of 80 could actually be 80.49.

The fourth and fifth highest ranking USN state university law schools are, in some orde, UCLA and U Texa. Probably its best to say, as US News does, it is a tie.  



Home
2015 LAW SCHOOL RANKING
Is Law School for You?
Sources of Information
Preparing for Law School
Prelaw Enrichment Programs
2013 Law School Rankings
2012 Law School Rankings
UGPA
LSAT
UGPA and LSAT: Together
Other Admission Factors
When and Where To Apply
Applying to Law School
Choosing the Law School
APPENDICES
Improving LSDAS and LSAC
Inforrmation for Prelaw
MBA Rankings
Historical Rankings
  
Law School Rankings: 1987-1999
Law School Rankings: 2000-Present
Top 25: 1987-1993
Law School Ranking: USN History
Law School Rankings: Useful Ones
Improving Law School Rankings
Best Research Universities
FAQ
2208 Ranking Realtors
For Law School Advisors
Score
2009-2012 Changes
Number of Visitors
Financing Law School
Copy 0.3 inflatin
Links
New prototype