The 2017 U.S. News Law School Rankings Leak: The Top 50

11 Mar



The 2017 U.S. News Law School Rankings Leak: The Top 50

via Above the Law

After U.S. News & World Report erroneously published a portion of its 2017 law school rankings yesterday — a segment that contained the top law schools in the nation — members of the legal profession, ranging from law students to law school deans, found themselves in a desperate position. Unfortunately, the only information available at the time related to the most elite law schools in the country, and many longed to find out whether their alma mater had improved its position or taken a hit in the latest edition of the rankings.

Fear not, because Above the Law has news you can use. The remainder of the U.S. News law school rankings aren’t due for publication until next week, on Wednesday, March 16, but we’ve got the unofficial Top 50 rankings for you to feast your eyes upon today.

Please note the UPDATE below.

Today’s U.S. News rankings leak comes to us courtesy of Mike Spivey of the Spivey Consulting Group, who broke the news. You can review them here, or at his blog here.

We’ve already discussed them, but here’s a quick refresher on the Top 14 law schools:

1. Yale (no change)
2. Stanford (no change)
2. Harvard (no change)
4. Columbia (no change)
4. Chicago (no change)
6. NYU (no change)
7. Penn (no change)
8. Berkeley (no change)
8. Michigan (+3)
8. UVA (no change)
11. Duke (-3)
12. Northwestern (no change)
13. Cornell (no change)
14. Georgetown (no change)

With that out of the way, let’s take a gander at the law schools outside of the T14. Like last year, we’re faced with yet another rankings orgy, with nothing but ties, ties, and more ties. There are five ties in this segment of the rankings alone (two two-way ties and three three-way ties), with more to follow. Here are the schools ranked 15 – 30:

15. Texas (no change)
16. Vanderbilt (+1)
17. UCLA (-1)
18. Washington University in St. Louis (no change)
19. USC (+1)
20. Boston University (+6)
20. Iowa (+2)
22. Emory (-3)
22. Minnesota (-2)
22. Notre Dame (no change)
25. Arizona State (+1)
25. George Washington (-3)
25. Indiana-Bloomington (+9)
28. Alabama (-6)
28. UC-Irvine (+2)
30. Boston College (+4)
30. Ohio State (+4)
30. UC-Davis (+1)

Both BU Law and Indiana-Bloomington soared in this edition of the rankings, while two law schools fell out of the Top 20 entirely. Emory and Minnesota, you’ve got some explaining to do. GW Law also has some excuses to make, seeing as this is the second year in a row that the school has taken a tumble in the rankings. Alas, it seems like the tide is rolling out for Alabama, which sank like a stone. What happened, Alabama? This law school took the largest rankings nosedive out of the entirety of the Top 50. Ouch.

On the other hand, Boston College and Ohio State are schools that are on the move, in a very positive way. Congratulations to these two law schools — we’re sure the class of 2016 is thrilled to be graduating from a Top 30 school. Another law school that did the right thing is UC-Davis, which finally clawed its way into the Top 30. Well done.

Also notable is UC-Irvine’s upward mobility. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky promised for years that his school would be in the Top 20, and in the school’s second year of being ranked by U.S. News, it’s still moving towards that goal. Don’t stop believin’!

Now, for the rest of the law schools in the Top 50, where there are two two-way ties, a three-way tie, a four-way tie, and two five-way ties. There was A LOT of movement: . . . .


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