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'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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