Fluctuations in Law School Rankings

Law School Expert Blog

William and Mary offers a good example of how a law school as a whole doesn’t change from year to year, but it’s ranking in US News fluctuates. I offer this to prove a point – if you choose a school because it’s 26th, rather than going to one that is 35th, you may end up disappointed in your reasoning rather quickly. (William and Mary has been through the ringer with its leadership of late and yet climbed in the ranking?)

I know my readers have been waiting for my overall analysis of this year’s rankings – I am working on it and will post this week.

14 Responses

  1. Dear Law School Expert,

    What is your track record with clients aiming for a place at a Top 3 law school? Are you familiar with their admissions/application policies?

  2. Also, for both Fall 2007 and Fall 2008 admission cycles I have clients accepted by Harvard Law School. If you call for a consultation, I’m happy to provide references. Thanks for reading the blog.

  3. A great statistic that I used this year in determining which schools to apply is the normalized ranking of law school journals compiled by Washington and Lee University. That statistic plus bar passage rate, median salary, and student-faculty ratio (I dig deeper and look at the ratio between full-time faculty and adjunct faculty) give me a better picture of how strong these schools really are.

  4. What is your prediction for William and Mary in next year’s rankings given their change in leadership at the school? Secondly, do you think there is any significant difference in the quality of its law school compared to Washington and Lee?

  5. what’s your prediction for William and Mary in next year’s rankings? In your opinion is there much difference in the quality of its law school compared to Washington and Lee?

  6. How much of a difference do you feel admission to a somewhat higher ranked school makes in terms of job prospects? For example, I have been admitted to two schools ranked in the 19-22 range, and have received substantial scholarship money from both of them (enough to pay ~3/4 of tuition). However, I am also on the priority waiting lists at several schools ranked 8-12. Am I better off taking the scholarship money at a lower-ranked school, or jumping at an offer (were I given one) from a higher ranked school that would presumably not come with any free money?

  7. The answer to your question depends on where you hope to practice law (in relation to the location of the law school) and what kind of law you hope to practice. If you want BigLaw, does the school with the scholarship send a certain percentage of it’s class to BigLaw. One of my clients last year did some research and found that BigLaw might take 2 from Fordham each year, but was also taking 1 from Cardozo, and he picked the scholarship from Cardozo. If you want to do public interest work, or if you want the freedom to have choices with your family and career after graduation, the scholarship may be more tempting…

  8. that’s good to know!

    but how much can a good personal statement/resume make to a T3 application – especially if I don’t have any heart-breaking sob story or earth-shattering achievements?

  9. I was wondering what your view is on ranking. I am personally looking at attending Northeastern University in Boston because of their dedication to public interest law; however, after looking at the US News ranking I discovered that Northeastern University School of Law was ranked 86th. While I greatly admire the work done at Northeastern, I wonder if I should not aim for a higher ranked school. I was wondering if you might have an opinion on this issue?

    I am also very interested in your services as I currently do not have anyone to aid me in the process of selecting a law school as well as guide me through the process.

  10. I would be happy to talk with you about your goals and to help you through the law school process. Please contact me through my web site at http://www.lawschoolexpert.com or by phone at 877-LAW-SKOL.
    I will be posting more about the rankings by the end of the week; I haven’t completed my analysis yet.

  11. About the Tier 3 personal statement question – that’s when your essay truly matters! We need to find what makes you stand out – you don’t have to overcome paralysis to increase your chances of acceptance to law school. The personal statement matters for every law school.

  12. Thanks! When everyone uses “Anonymous” it’s difficult to know which comments are posted by the same people.
    For the Top 3, Personal statement makes ALL the difference. Yale has thousands of people applying with perfect and near perfect LSATs and GPAs. The essay is THE way to set yourself apart. It’s absolutely crucial. You won’t get into these schools with anything less than stellar.

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