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by Travis Whitsitt | April 01, 2022


For those who are invested in such things, be they prospective students assessing which school to attend or alumni wondering how the prestige of their alma mater is faring, the new US News law rankings released on March 28. There was one extremely significant event in the ranking shifts this year, as some predicted given the changes in US News' methodology over last year. Without further ado, the list, starting with the t14:

1) Yale University (Last year: 1)

2) Stanford University (Last year: 2)

3) University of Chicago (Last year: 4)

4) Columbia University (Last year: 4)

4) Harvard University (Last year: 3)

6) University of Pennsylvania (Last year: 6)

7) New York University (Last year: 6)

8) University of Virginia (Last year: 8)

9) University of California-Berkeley (Last year: 9)

10) University of Michigan Ann Arbor (Last year: 10)

11) Duke University (Last year: 10)

12) Cornell University (Last year: 13)

13) Northwestern University (Last year: 12)

14) Georgetown University (Last year: 15)

I am personally slightly dismayed to see the slippage of my own alma mater, Northwestern. That being said, congratulations are in order to another Chicago law school-the cracking of the top three and the ending of the HYS band by the University of Chicago is an absolute triumph. (Nothing against Harvard, but we like to see things shaken up every now and then!) There's also movement at the bubble, with UCLA leaving the t14 and Georgetown returning. The order is different, but the t14 itself is now the same as when I was in law school. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I suppose. Here are the remainder of the new top 50 US law schools:

15) University of California: Los Angeles (Last year: 14)

16) Washington University in St. Louis (Last year: 16)

17) Boston University (Last year: 20)

17) University of Texas-Austin (Last year: 16)

17) Vanderbilt University (Last year: 16)

20) University of Southern California (Last year: 19)

21) University of Florida (Last year: 21)

21) University of Minnesota (Last year: 22)

23) Brigham Young University (Last year: 29 (!))

23) University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill (Last year: 24)

25) George Washington University (Last year: 27)

25) University of Alabama (Last year: 25)

25) University of Notre Dame (Last year: 22)

28) University of Iowa (Last year: 29)

29) University of Georgia (Last year: 27)

30) Arizona State University (Last year: 25)

30) Emory University (Last year: 29)

30) George Mason University (Last year: 41 (!))

30) Ohio State University (Last year: 40 (!))

30) William & Mary Law School (Last year: 35 (!))

A pause just to make a few noteworthy observations on the top 30. We're curious whether it was just the change in methods that led to such a massive bump for BYU, George Mason, Ohio State, and William & Mary, each ascending by at least five and up to a whopping eleven positions in the rankings. We also wonder just how legit that five-way tie is. (We're kidding; we in no way mean to impugn US News' integrity. We just think getting rid of the tie in hockey was the best move the sport ever made.)

35) University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Last year: 29)

35) Washington and Lee University (Last year: 35)

37) Boston College (Last year: 29)

37) Fordham University (Last year: 35)

37) University of California-Davis (Last year: 35)

37) University of California-Irvine (Last year: 35)

37) University of Utah (Last year: 43)

37) Wake Forest University (Last year: 41)

43) Indiana University-Bloomington (Maurer) (Last year: 43)

43) University of Wisconsin-Madison (Last year: 29 (!))

45) University of Arizona (Last year: 46)

46) Texas A&M University (Last year: 53 (!))

47) Florida State University (Last year: 48)

47) University of Maryland (Last year: 50)

49) University of Colorado-Boulder (Last year: 48)

49) University of Washington (Last year: 45)

There you have it, folks. Easily the most consequential rankings release since I started paying attention around 2009. We'll have another post in a day or two interrogating these rankings and analyzing why the big movers had such big shifts, as well as discussing the repercussions of Harvard dropping out of the top three. Until then!