The 2015 'Go-To' Law Schools

Columbia LawThe Top 50 ‘Go-To’ Law Schools

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)

RankSchool1st Year Associates in NLJ 2502014 Class SizePercentage at NLJ 250 FirmsTuitionU.S. News Rank
1Columbia Law School31046866.24%$60,2744
2University of Pennsylvania Law School17727863.67%$56,9165
3University of Chicago12921161.14%$55,5034
4New York University School of Law28747959.92%$56,8386
5Harvard Law School32658655.63%$55,8422
6Cornell Law School10119152.88%$59,36013
7Northwestern University School of Law14429149.48%$56,43412
8Duke Law School10521548.84%$55,58810
9University of Virginia School of Law16334946.70%$51,8008
10Stanford Law School8518745.45%$54,3663
11University of California-Berkeley School of Law11528740.07%$48,1669
12University of Michigan Law School15339039.23%$51,39810
13Georgetown University Law Center23962538.24%$53,13013
14Yale Law school8022435.71%$56,2001
15University of Southern California Gould School of Law7121632.87%$57,50720
16University of Texas School of Law11335132.19%$33,16215
17UCLA School of Law10233630.36%$45,22617
18Vanderbilt University Law School5619428.87%$49,72216
19Boston University School of Law7124628.86%$47,18827
20Fordham University School of Law11946225.76%$52,53236
21Boston College Law School6627424.09%$46,79036
22Howard University School of Law2411221.43%$33,732135
23University of Notre Dame Law School3817921.23%$50,52026
24George Washington University Law School12257921.07%$52,03320
25Washington University (St. Louis School of Law)4925519.22%$50,15218

Source: The National Law Journal
See next page for 26 through 50.