Legal blog launches its own law firm rankings

May 1, 2013
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Move over U.S. News & World Report, there’s a new law school ranking list in town. This one is brought to you by the popular legal blog, Above the Law.

ATL unveiled its rankings and reasons behind its decision to start rating law schools Wednesday morning. Unlike U.S. News & World Report’s rankings, ATL will only rank 50 schools and the ranking relies heavily on employment outcomes.

“Now more than ever, potential law students should prioritize their future job prospects over all other factors in deciding whether to attend law school. So the relative quality of law schools is best viewed through the prism of how they deliver on the promise of gainful legal employment,” the website says.

Law school deans pay close attention to how U.S. News ranks them, some even putting out press releases touting their rankings when they are pleased where they fall or discrediting the methodology when they are unhappy about their ranking. Time will tell how much weight students will give to ATL’s rankings and how much attention law school administrators will pay to them.

Now on to the rankings. Using the outcome-based methodology involving employment data, large firm placement, federal clerkship placement and tuition/cost, Yale Law came out on top. Yale also was No. 1 on U.S. News’ Best Law School’s list. In fact, the lists include most of the same schools, with a little variation in where they fall.

Notre Dame Law School was No. 23 on U.S. News’ list this year; it came in at No. 18 on ATL’s rankings. The school averaged a B+ from students and alumni. The ATL rankings break down the grading further, as well as employment and admissions data, and top big-law employers.

Indiana University Maurer School of Law was No. 25 on the U.S. News’ list; ATL ranks it at No. 40. The school earned an average grade of B from students, but an A+ from alumni.

Those are the only Indiana law schools to make the ATL rankings.

What do you think about the rankings? Are they more valuable to prospective law students than the U.S. News & World Report rankings?


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.