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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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