US News logo.JPGThe 2010 U.S. News law school rankings leaked over the weekend were not fake. Bob Morse — the rankings guru — essentially confirmed the results to the Wall Street Journal today, ahead of the magazine’s official release tomorrow.

Here’s the official list of the top 20 law schools:

1. Yale
2. Harvard
3. Stanford
4. Columbia
5. NYU
6. (Tie) Berkeley, University of Chicago
8. Penn
9. Michigan
10. (Tie) Duke, Northwestern, UVA
13. Cornell
14. Georgetown
15. (Tie) UCLA, Texas
17. Vanderbilt
18. USC
19. Wash U
20. (Tie) Boston University, Emory, Minnesota

As many of you have already pointed out, one school in particular experienced a precipitous drop out of the top 20. George Washington’s surprising fall, after the jump.


George Washington University Law School fell eight spots to 28th in this year’s rankings. For the first time, U.S. News ranked part-time programs as part of the main data set for law schools. GW has the second best part-time program, but dropped anyway.

But GW didn’t suffer the biggest drop among the top 50 law schools. That distinction belongs to Colorado. On the flip side, the Maurer School of Law (IU-Bloomington) jumped 13 spots to number 23. Tax Prof Blog collects the biggest movers in this year’s rankings:

* Indiana-Bloomington #23 (+13)
* UC-Davis #35 (+9)
* North Carolina #30 (+8)
* Utah #45 (+6)
* Cardozo #49 (+6)
* BYU #41 (+5)
* Washington & Lee #30 (-5)
* Arizona #43 (-5)
* George Washington #28 (-8)
* Colorado #45 (-13)

The WSJ Law Blog reports another important change in the methodology used by U.S. News:

For the reputation surveys sent to lawyers and judges, the staff used a calculation aggregated over the last two years, rather than just using a one-year snapshot. “We tried to reduce any volatility caused by having a low response rate in one year or another.”

We’ll know all of the numbers tomorrow. But this is the list that law school administrators wait for. Whether or not these rankings actually say anything about the educational excellence offered by these top institutions is always an open question.

Here It Is: The 2009 U.S. News Law-School Ranking [WSJ Law Blog]

Early Release of 2010 U.S. Law School Rankings [Tax Prof Blog]

Earlier: U.S. News Law School Rankings Leaked Don’t Forget to Take Your Grain of Salt


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