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U.S. News Releases Law School Rankings Report for 2020

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on March 12, 2019 2:51 PM

U.S. News & World Report released its law school rankings with the top spots going to the usual suspects -- Yale, Stanford, and Harvard.

The race was closer this year in the top 10 with three law schools sharing the tenth spot -- Duke, Northwestern, and Berkeley. Through the top twenty, Virginia switched places with Michigan and USC stepped over Vanderbilt.

But the most interesting news depends on your point of view. After all, the U.S. News report is not the only way to look at law schools.

Top Ten

U.S. News ranks law schools by a methodology that includes peer assessment, admission test scores, grand point averages, acceptance rates, and more. With those factors considered, here are the "top 10 law schools" this year:

  • Yale University (1)
  • Stanford University (2)
  • Harvard University (3)
  • University of Chicago (4)
  • Columbia University (5)
  • New York University (6)
  • University of Pennsylvania (7)
  • University of Virginia (8)
  • University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor (9)
  • Duke University (10)
  • Northwestern University (10)
  • University of California -- Berkeley (10)

In the next tier, Florida, UC Davis, and Georgia jumped up 10, six, and five spots respectively. But then, it is a matter of perspective.

Different Level

Paul Caron, editor of the TaxProf Blog, looks at it differently. He ranks the "top ten" by peer review scores:

  • Stanford (1)
  • Harvard (1)
  • Yale (3)
  • Chicago (4)
  • Columbia (4)
  • NYU (6)
  • Penn (7)
  • Virginia (7)
  • Michigan (7)
  • UC-Berkeley (7)

Once you do the math, it still adds up to the usual suspects. Speaking of numbers, here are the best bargains in the U.S. News top 25:

  • University of Alabama ($23,920)
  • University of Texas -- Austin ($35,715)
  • University of Minnesota ($44,919)

That's for residents, so you have to pay more if you don't live there. But it still beats $64,000, which is the cost at most of the "top ten" law schools.

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