Let’s continue our march through the U.S. News law school rankings. Today we finish up the traditional top-14 — and we’ll throw in the schools tied for 15th, because we’re pretty sick of hearing UT and UCLA students whine. To refresh your memory, here’s the next group of schools:

6. NYU
7. Berkeley
7. Penn
9. Michigan
10. UVA
11. Duke
11. Northwestern
13. Cornell
14. Georgetown
15. UCLA
15. Texas

All joking aside, dropping to #6 is really not that big of a deal. NYU Law students will be fine — check out how the kicked it on the basketball court just after the rankings came out…

The annual Dean’s Cup basketball game between Columbia and NYU took place just after the rankings were released. Early on, the teams posted very representative scores:

Columbia 4, NYU 6. But, I think it’s important to remember how things turned out in the end:

NYU won by ten, in the end.

Moving away from the gangs of New York, there are some other interesting things going on in this group of schools. Last year, Duke, Northwestern, and UVA were all tied at #10. This year, UVA separated itself ever so slightly from the other two schools.

Why? It’s particularly interesting because if you go by student outcomes, UVA did worse compared to Duke and Northwestern. Sure, we don’t have to believe the “employed at graduation” statistics reported to U.S. News — but arguably the U.S. News people do. Shouldn’t U.S. News place a greater emphasis on graduate outcomes?

Finally, we come to the schools tied for #15. Once again, UT and UCLA are just outside the top-14. What do those schools need to do in order to overcome Georgetown or Cornell? One possibility is that UCLA and UT just need more time to develop their reputations as national law schools instead of regional powerhouses.

For instance, everybody knows that UT is a great law school to go to if you want to get a job in Texas. But what if you don’t know where you want to practice when you graduate? Doesn’t Georgetown still keep more options open than UT?

Let us know what you think. The bottom line is that if you go to any of these schools, you’re putting yourself into a good position to get a job.

Earlier: Open Thread: 2011 U.S. News Law School Rankings (1 – 5)


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