Welcome back to our series of open threads on the latest batch of U.S. News law school rankings. Last time, readers weighed in on the law schools that made up the bottom third of the traditional first tier. Unfortunately, as we mentioned in our last open thread, some law schools got knocked off of their prestigious pedestals and descended downwards into previously uncharted territory: the traditional second tier.
Today, we’ll take a look at those law schools, as well as their new rankings rivals — the schools that have traditionally been known to dwell in this part of the U.S. News list. Welcome to the top… of the second tier….
As a refresher, here are the schools ranked #51 through #69, according to U.S. News & World Report:
51. Florida State
51. Loyola Marymount
51. SMU Law
57. University of Houston
58. Georgia State
58. Lewis & Clark
58. University of Richmond
62. University of Kentucky
65. Brooklyn Law
65. University of San Diego
67. Case Western
67. Loyola – Chicago
69. Seton Hall
69. University of Cincinnati
69. University of Denver (Sturm)
69. University of Miami
69. University of New Mexico
69. University of Pittsburgh
69. University of Tennessee
Well, this list certainly starts off in a controversial place. Baylor Law moved up five spots from last year (and based on the credentials of its incoming class, we all know why), and it is now in a five-way tie for 51st place in the rankings with three of the schools that dropped out of the Top 50 (Florida State, SMU Law, and Tulane). Just a thought, but maybe the other schools in this rankings gang bang should accidentally release the numbers for their incoming classes so we can see what happened.
In other news, this year, tons of law schools are dropping like flies in the rankings. In this group alone, the following schools made disappointing finishes, and one law school dean suffered the terrible consequences of his rankings transgressions. Let’s have a look:
Cardozo (dropped 6 spots), UConn (dropped 6 spots — say bye-bye to Dean Jeremy Paul), Case Western (dropped 6 spots), Seton Hall (dropped 8 spots), University of Cincinnati (dropped 8 spots), and University of Tennessee (dropped 13 spots). Yikes!
There were also some notable gains in this part of the second tier. The following schools all inched closer to the top of the pecking order: University of New Mexico (gained 10 spots), University of Kentucky (gained 9 spots), University of Richmond (gained 9 spots), Lewis & Clark (gained 9 spots), University of Denver (gained 8 spots), and University of Miami (gained 8 spots — but the school still might get sued). Noticing a trend here?
Protip for prospective law school applicants: public schools seem to be doing better than private schools when it comes to moving up in the rankings. Who could argue with less debt and marginally more prestige? Keep that in mind when making your decisions this year.
At the end of the day, both current and prospective law students have to ask themselves if attending one of these schools is truly worth the financial investment. When your law school sinks like a stone in the rankings, are you really getting the value of the degree that you’ve paid for? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Earlier: Open Thread: 2013 U.S. News Law School Rankings (34 – 49)
Open Thread: 2013 U.S. News Law School Rankings (15 – 29)
Open Thread: 2013 U.S. News Law School Rankings (1 – 14)
The U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Out!