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Early Report on Law School Rankings

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on February 21, 2019 10:20 AM

U.S. News & World Report has not released its law school rankings for 2020, but the odds-makers are already placing bets on who's Number 1.

Chances are Yale will win top honors again, with Stanford and Harvard close behind. They are the usual suspects in the annual sweepstakes.

Meanwhile, other organizations will weigh in with their own "best" law schools. Like they say, it's anybody's bet.

Other Top Categories

U.S. News will release its "best graduate schools" rankings on March 12. That includes law schools, based on factors the schools report such as peer assessment, admission test scores, undergraduate grades, acceptance rates, and placement success.

But not everybody cares about all that. Some people look at schools differently, like their:

Paul Caron, dean of Pepperdine University School of Law, lists dozens more law school rankings. He has looked at everything from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Not-Top Rankings

For example, two years ago U.S. News listed Pepperdine as "unranked" because of a reporting error. Pepperdine self-reported the mistake and corrected it before publication, and would have ranked 62nd or 64th with the corrected information.

It was an awkward footnote in the venerable rankings. Caron said U.S. News punished Pepperdine for being honest.

"Much like Steve Martin once said in 'A Wild and Crazy Guy,' this is a 'death penalty for a parking violation.'" he wrote. "It deters people from reporting honest mistakes."

At least Caron didn't compare U.S. News to "The Jerk."

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