If you are going to go through the long and sometimes frustrating process of preparing for the LSAT and applying to law schools, it’s probably a good idea to get into the best school possible. Rankings are not hard to come by. Tipping the Scales has one. So do Above the Law and the U.S. News.
These days, it’s a good idea to choose a law school based on employment. Where can you get a job? Who’s hiring? What schools are actually placing students into jobs? If big law is your route,The National Law Journal’s top 50 “go-to” law schools is the ranking for you..
The ranking is based solely on which law schools placed the most 2014 graduates as associates at the largest 250 law firms. The results are clear. If you want to work as an associate at a big law job, go to Columbia Law School. Columbia placed 66.24 percent (310 out of 468 graduates) of their graduates in an associate’s position at a large law firm.
Trailing closely behind were the University of Pennsylvania Law School with 63.67 percent (177 out of 278 graduates) gaining associate-level positions and the University of Chicago Law School with 61.14 percent (129 out of 211 graduates). Rounding out the top five were the New York University School of Law with 59.92 percent (287 out of 479 graduates) and Harvard Law School with 55.63 percent (326 out of 586 graduates).
Cornell Law School was sixth with 52.88 percent of graduates taking associate positions. Northwestern University School of Law (49.48 percent), Duke Law School (48.84 percent), University of Virginia School of Law (46.7 percent), and Stanford Law School (45.45 percent) closed out the top 10.
Despite being ranked the best law school inAmerica for nearly a quarterly century in U.S. News‘ rankings, Yale Law School failed to make the top 10, falling into 14th place at 35.71 percent. The top school outside of the Tier 14 came in 15th place and was the University of Southern California Gould School of Law (ranked 20th buy U.S. News) with 32.87 percent of their graduates taking associate positions.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the rankings was Howard University School of Law placing 22nd with 21.43 percent of their 2014 graduates taking associate positions. Howard is ranked as the 135th best law school in America by the U.S. News. In this measure, they ranked ahead of law programs like Notre Dame and Emory. Additionally, the award for “most bang for your buck” goes to the University of Texas-Austin School of Law. The school placed 16th with 32.19 percent of its graduates into big law jobs with a tuition price tag of $33,162.
The report was put together based on self-reported data from the largest 250 largest law firms in America.
The rankings (1-25)
|Rank||School||1st Year Associates in NLJ 250||2014 Class Size||Percentage at NLJ 250 Firms||Tuition||U.S. News Rank|
|1||Columbia Law School||310||468||66.24%||$60,274||4|
|2||University of Pennsylvania Law School||177||278||63.67%||$56,916||5|
|3||University of Chicago||129||211||61.14%||$55,503||4|
|4||New York University School of Law||287||479||59.92%||$56,838||6|
|5||Harvard Law School||326||586||55.63%||$55,842||2|
|6||Cornell Law School||101||191||52.88%||$59,360||13|
|7||Northwestern University School of Law||144||291||49.48%||$56,434||12|
|8||Duke Law School||105||215||48.84%||$55,588||10|
|9||University of Virginia School of Law||163||349||46.70%||$51,800||8|
|10||Stanford Law School||85||187||45.45%||$54,366||3|
|11||University of California-Berkeley School of Law||115||287||40.07%||$48,166||9|
|12||University of Michigan Law School||153||390||39.23%||$51,398||10|
|13||Georgetown University Law Center||239||625||38.24%||$53,130||13|
|14||Yale Law school||80||224||35.71%||$56,200||1|
|15||University of Southern California Gould School of Law||71||216||32.87%||$57,507||20|
|16||University of Texas School of Law||113||351||32.19%||$33,162||15|
|17||UCLA School of Law||102||336||30.36%||$45,226||17|
|18||Vanderbilt University Law School||56||194||28.87%||$49,722||16|
|19||Boston University School of Law||71||246||28.86%||$47,188||27|
|20||Fordham University School of Law||119||462||25.76%||$52,532||36|
|21||Boston College Law School||66||274||24.09%||$46,790||36|
|22||Howard University School of Law||24||112||21.43%||$33,732||135|
|23||University of Notre Dame Law School||38||179||21.23%||$50,520||26|
|24||George Washington University Law School||122||579||21.07%||$52,033||20|
|25||Washington University (St. Louis School of Law)||49||255||19.22%||$50,152||18|
Source: The National Law Journal
See next page for 26 through 50.