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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