LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS SOME USEFUL LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS
SOME MAJOR LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS
JUDGING THE LAW SCHOOLS
COMMENTS ABOUT TOP LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS
SOME WEBSITES THAT DO NOT APPROVE OF LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS
LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS SOME MAJOR LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS
Their are many law school rankings, all of which are flawed in some respects. It may be a good idea to ignore all rankings over three years old and to ignore all rankings that do not have Yale as number one. In our mind, there is no doubt that Yale has the number one law school. Note that I have no connection to Yale. In our opinion, the best source for law school rankings is U.S. News and World Report (USN). If Brian Leiter's Faculty Quality Rankings of Scholarly Reputation is ever updated, I would recommend obtaining a new ranking using a weighted average of these two rankings.
U.S. News & World Report (USN) annually (every April) ranks the top law schools; their methodology uses twelve measures of quality to obtain an overall score. We like USN emphasis on quality assesment (40 percent), LSAT scores and UGPA of the entering class (22.5%), and some of their other criteria. Like it or not, this is the law school ranking closest to the truth. The USN RANKING is partially available on the internet I would recommendPURCHASING **********
Faculty Quality Rankings: SCHOLARLY REPUTATION, one of Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings (LLSR), is based on a March, 2003, survey of more than 150 leading legal scholars. It gives a ranking of their top fifty US Law Schools and it is based on the intellectual quality and scholarly accomplishments of the faculty as a whole. Unfortunately this ranking is getting to be outdated. Outdated or not, this ranking and the USNews ranking usually agree on the top law school (Yale), the top six law schools, and the top eighteen law schools although not necessarily their ranking within these groups. .
The Education and Social Science Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign lists several LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS.
Internet Legal Resource Guide has LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS (Scroll down to Academia and then look at III Law School Rankings); it is quite useful.
JUDGING THE LAW SCHOOLS (Seventh edition, 2005), a/k/a the Brennan Report, uses 32 selected factors to rank law schools. An eighth edition (2006) is out. See our COMMENTS about why we shall make no use of this book. Also see below.
PRELAW HANDBOOK JUDGING THE LAW SCHOOLS
The Cooley Law School News & Events (July 25, 2005) indicates that Judging the Law Schools was created in 1999 by Thomas E. Brennan. Brennan, a former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, was, in 1999, Thomas M. Cooley Law School President. Judging the Law Schools is now prepared annually by Brennan and current Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc. The July 25, 2005 article goes on to say that Judging the Law Schools compares all accredited law schools based on a wide variety of objective criteria identified as significant to consumers by the American Bar Association (ABA), the organization that does the law school accrediting. The claim is also made that Judging the Law Schools is a nationally-known publication. Check with AMAZON to see if this claim appears to be true.
Interestingly enough, Judging the Law Schools (Seventh edition, 2005) ranks the Thomas M. Cooley Law School eighteenth among law schools, up from twenty-fourth last year. It is a shame that a "high-ranking law school," like the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, cannot even buy students since, even offering scholarships ranging from 25 percent off tuition for students with an LSAT of 150-152 to a full tuition scholarship to students with a LSAT of 163 or higher, less than one-fourth of the Thomas M. Cooley students have an LSAT of at least 150. The Thomas M. Cooley Law School may rank eighteenth among law schools but this is the case if and only if you do your counting from the bottom. Our ranking of the law schools in the FOURTH TIER (lowest tier) of the USN Rankings puts the Thomas M. Cooley at the bottom.
Apparently the Thomas M. Cooley Law School has trouble correctly sending data to the 2006 Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools. According to the information in the 2006 Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School received applications from 828 students seeking part-time admission. Of these 305 were admitted and, amazingly enough, 1041 matriculated. We make no use of Judging Law Schools. One has to admit that the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law School has impressive library numbers.
PRELAW HANDBOOK COMMENTS ABOUT TOP LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS
The University of Kentucky Law School gives a favorable opinion of law school rankings. They say that ''Ratings have become a popular way of judging value in all of higher education. Keep in mind, however, that the companies publishing ratings do so to make money. A ratings system that is static from year to year does not create news or make money for those who publish ratings. Do not decide where to apply looking only at published ratings and without doing your own research on individual schools. Having said that, it is true that most ratings are based at least in part on hard information about a particular school and that school's reputation, and so can give you some help when deciding among the options that interest you after doing your own research on law schools.''
The Pre-Law InfoCenter at the University of Chicago gives a qualitative answer to the question: What makes some schools arguably better than others? Their answer is ''What makes some schools arguably better than others are the caliber of students they admit, their faculty and academic traditions, persistent ability to remain on the forefront of legal studies through faculty hires and expertise in a variety of legal fields, and commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to legal studies. Some law schools are distinguished by certain academic predilections, but in all schools legal training remains an arduous and rigorous endeavor.''
''It goes without saying that employment opportunities often go hand in hand with the perceived quality of the law school and your academic performance as a law student. Employers seek students at top law schools because of their intelligence, training, and work ethic. The competition for promising law graduates can be fierce, which translates into staggeringly lucrative offers for those students courted by major law firms. Salaries for first-year associates at some top law firms now start at about $125,000, with annual bonuses of up to $40,000. These jobs, as you might surmise, place Herculean demands upon law graduates, and you must weigh carefully the advantages and disadvantages of working in such high-pressure environments.''
PRELAW HANDBOOK SOME WEBSITES THAT DO NOT APPROVE OF LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS
LAW SCHOOL DEANS SPEAK OUT against commercial enterprises that promote law school ranking systems. The deans state that, ''These [law school] ranking systems are inherently flawed because none of them can take your special needs and circumstances into account when comparing law schools." Clearly these commercial enterprises that promote law school rankings systems should take a lesson from these law school deans; this would involve coming up with a ranking system for each relevant individual; for example, a person with a 4.00 UGPA and a 180 LSAT may have Yale, Harvard, and Stanford as the top three but a person with a 2.75UGPA and 140 LSAT may have Yale, Harvard, and Stanford as the bottom three. Do there exist ranking systems, not necessarily law school ranking systems, that meets the objections of these deans? This warning against commerical enterprises does not apply to us since this website does not carry advertisements and has no income.
The Indiana University School of Law has the RANKING GAME. .