Indiana law schools are up, down, unchanged in national rankings

The U.S. News & World Report 2022 law school rankings were released today and Indiana’s performance can be summarized as follows: IU McKinney jump up several spots to 111th; IU Maurer tumbled to the 43rd place; and Notre Dame did not budge from the 22nd position.

Each year U.S. News ranks the best graduate schools across the country in such areas as business, medicine, engineering and social science and humanities.

The “Best Law Schools” list rates institutions of legal education based on a variety of factors including the LSAT scores and grade point averages of the incoming class, bar passage rate and percentage of graduates who are able to find employment. Mixed into the formula are assessment scores given by other academic peers including law school deans and tenured faculty lawyers as well as scores given by legal professionals including practicing attorneys and judges.

Compared to the 2021 rankings released last March, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney leaped from 122 to 111 while Indiana University Maurer School of Law fell from 38 to 43. Notre Dame Law School remained unchanged at 22.

Valparaiso Law School, which closed in June 2020, had been listed in the rank-not-published category.

This year’s rankings also provided information on student loans. The 2022 list includes the proportion of 2020 graduates who borrowed at least one educational loan while in law school and the average indebtedness of the graduating class.

Of the 2020 Notre Dame graduates, 75.5% took out loans and graduated with an average indebtedness of $128,653. IU McKinney had 77.4% of its 2020 graduates borrow and end up with an average debt of $97,756, while 68.8% of IU Maurer’s 2020 graduates got a loan and left with an average debt of $96,220.

Based on the released data for the 2022 rankings, Indiana’s three law schools recorded few changes from the data used for the 2021 list.

IU Maurer, in particular, posted upticks in its LSAT scores and the percentage of graduates with jobs at graduation as well as overall bar passage rates. Also, the assessment scores from other law schools and from lawyers and judges remained unchanged from last year. Moreover, the Bloomington school’s overall score moved up two points to 63.

Likewise, IU McKinney posted improvements in the LSAT scores and the percentage of graduates who had jobs 10 months after receiving their J.D. degrees. Although the Indianapolis law school slipped in the overall bar passage rate and recorded marginal movement in its assessment scores, its overall score jumped seven points to 39.

Notre Dame posted stronger LSAT scores, jobs numbers both at the time of graduation and 10 months after and turned in pretty much the same overall bar passage rate. Also, similar to IU McKinney, the assessment scores were mostly unchanged but its overall rating jumped three points. Even so, the Fighting Irish’s ranking held steady.

The data included in the U.S. News & World Report 2022 rankings for each Hoosier law school is as follows:

Notre Dame

Rank: 22

Overall score: 71

2020 GPA 25th to 75th percentile: 3.34-3.88

2020 LSAT score 5th to 75th percentile: 161-168

2020 acceptance rate: 20%

2019 grads employed at graduation: 75.6%

2019 grads employed 10 months after graduation: 89.1%

School’s bar passage rate: 89.7% in Illinois

Average indebtedness of 2020 graduates’ incurred law school debt: $128,653

IU Maurer

Rank: 43

Overall score: 63

2020 GPA 25th to 75th percentile: 3.43-3.93

2020 LSAT score 5th to 75th percentile: 157-164

2020 acceptance rate: 43%

2019 grads employed at graduation: 60.8%

2019 grads employed 10 months after graduation: 83.5%

School’s bar passage rate: 88.0% in Indiana

Average indebtedness of 2020 graduates’ incurred law school debt: $96,220

IU McKinney

Rank: 111

Overall score: 39

2020 GPA 25th to 75th percentile: 3.23-3.7

2020 LSAT score 5th to 75th percentile: 150-157

2020 acceptance: 56%

2019 grads employed at graduation: 26.5%

2019 grads employed 10 months after graduation: 77.8%

School’s bar passage rate: 67.5% in Indiana

Average indebtedness of 2020 graduates’ incurred law school debt: $97,756

Topping the list was Yale Law School. The New Haven, Connecticut, school’s data is as follows:

Rank: 1

Overall score: 100

2020 GPA 25th to 75th percentile: 3.85-3.99

2020 LSAT score 5th to 75th percentile: 170-176

2020 acceptance: 7%

2019 grads employed at graduation: 83.9%

2019 grads employed 10 months after graduation: 83.4%

School’s bar passage rate: 96.4% in New York

Average indebtedness of 2020 graduates incurred law school debt: $135,680

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