Boalt Hall, Daniel Solove, Law Schools, Media and Journalism, Paul Caron, Ridiculousness, UVA Law

Please Do Not Wet Yourself With Excitement: The 2009 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US News World Report cover 2009 law school rankings ratings Above the Law blog.jpgRelax, folks. We are aware that the 2009 law school rankings of U.S. News & World Report have leaked, in advance of their official Friday publication date. They’re all over the blogosphere and the message boards (links collected below).
We’ve been sitting on this item for a little while — coordinating with our other posts this morning, taking into account our traffic patterns, etc. There is a method to our madness.
Ideally we’d hold this item even longer (which would allow us to do a more detailed write-up). But it’s clear that you’re all dying to talk about the rankings RIGHT NOW. And we don’t want to get any more emails and comments of the “why aren’t you writing about U.S. News” variety.
So here you go. Rankings and discussion, after the jump (i.e., click on the “Continue reading” link below).


Professor Paul Caron refers to the leaked rankings as the “purported” rankings. But their legitimacy has been confirmed by The Shark, part of the Cal Law / American Lawyer Media empire. Since an MSM organ has blessed them, they are legit.
Our apologies to Professor Brian Leiter, who has issued this plea to legal bloggers, asking us not to post the overall rankings. While we acknowledge Professor Leiter’s insightful criticisms of U.S. News’s methodology, their rankings have — for better or worse — become news, in and of themselves. Their influence — with law school deans, prospective (and current) law students, and legal employers — cannot be denied. This makes the overall rankings newsworthy, even if some people might not want them to be.
Here are the top 10 law schools, according to U.S. News:

1. Yale Law School
2. (tie) Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School
4. Columbia Law School
5. New York University School of Law
6. University of California – Berkeley (formerly Boalt Hall)
7. University of Chicago Law School / University of Pennsylvania Law School
9. Northwestern University School of Law / University of Michigan Law School (Ann Arbor) / University of Virginia School of Law

Below is an excerpt from the U.S. News table itself, showing the top 25 law schools. For the first full page of the rankings, going all the way down to #59 (Pepperdine), click here (PDF).
For Professor Leiter’s critical thoughts about the rankings, click here (and see generally Leiter’s Law School Reports). For interesting thoughts from Professor Dan Solove on how U.S. News could improve its rankings, click here.
U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT — TOP 25 LAW SCHOOLS (2009)
Top 25 Law Schools US News World Report.jpg
Law School Rankings: Top 100 Law Schools (PDF) [U.S. News. & World Report]
U.S. News Rankings Leaked Early? [First Movers (linkwrap)]
RATINGS HAVE LEAKED. ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. [Law School Discussion]
2009 USNWR rankings [Law School Discussion]
boalt triumphs over chicago and pennsylvania [The Shark]

ATL Law School Directory
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