The 2023 U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Here – And the Results Are Shocking!
September 26, 2022
Law schools across the country have been anxiously awaiting the release of the 2023 U.S. News Law School Rankings, and today they were finally revealed! In this highly-anticipated list, we finally found out who was #1 and who was #2, and while there were some surprises along the way, it’s clear that one school stood head and shoulders above all the rest…
What is the U.S. News law school ranking system?
The US News law school ranking system is one of the most authoritative rankings in education for graduate-level programs. The rankings are based on surveys and interviews with administrators, student body members, other students, and alumni of a given school from recent years. There are numerous criteria that US News uses to rank schools such as:
LSAT scores of incoming classes, admissions selectivity, student-to-faculty ratio, undergraduate academic reputation (peer assessment), bar passage rates among graduates (for law schools only), and cost-living expenses per year based on where the school is located (among other factors).
The weighted combination of these important factors determines a graduate program’s ranking in the top tier by different degrees of prestige or within its respective peer grouping.
How does this affect applicants’ career prospects?
Of course, not all rankings are created equal, and each one will tell you something different about a law school depending on what they emphasize.
While they’re an important consideration, it’s important to do your research so that you know what questions to ask when determining which school is right for you.
The students most affected by the ranking movement are those who are in their final year of law school and are aiming to take a job upon graduation. Since many firms and corporations use rankings as a guide for employment, their outlook can change drastically depending on how each school fares from one year to another.
Make sure you’re prepared for what could happen if your target school drops in rank or if another law school that wasn’t on your radar suddenly shows up near the top of a list you’ve been using as a reference point for your career path.
Because of these developments, applicants should carefully consider which factors they value when selecting a law school so that they know what to look for when it comes time to apply.
What’s new in this year’s rankings?
This year, rather than ranking law schools 1-214, as they’ve done in years past, the rankings were separated into two different lists: Regional and National Universities; and Liberal Arts Colleges, Other Specialty Law Schools,
and Professional Schools. Breaking this ranking down into these categories allowed for a better understanding of which schools had particularly high employment rates for their graduates and which schools have strong placement opportunities relative to what kind of school they are (e.g., small liberal arts colleges may have higher employment rates with fewer slots).
The regional universities category includes schools like the University of Texas at Austin (#14), the University of California at Berkeley (#27), the University of Michigan Ann Arbor (#29), and Cornell University (#54). The national universities category includes schools like Columbia University (#2), Stanford University (#3), Harvard University (#4)
Why you should still apply to law school despite what people say about it
Legal education is an investment in your future that won’t pay off right away. However, law schools have many resources to help you prepare for what you’ll encounter once you enter the profession, and it’s always been clear that taking out a hefty amount of student debt has long-term benefits for people looking to make good money over their lifetime as well as better understand how our society functions.
While rankings might change or opinions might evolve, we think that going to law school can still be a worthwhile career decision. So think about why going to law school would be good for you – and only then decide whether or not it’s something you should do.
Keep browsing Law Scribd for more updates.