The U.S. News 2015 Law School Rankings are out, and you know what that means. It’s time to allow students and alumni to weigh in on their law schools and their brand-new ranks.

As is customary, we’ll be posting a series of open threads, running through at least the top 100 law schools — but we’ll probably make it all the way through, right down to rank-not-published land. These posts offer you a chance to compare and contrast different schools, praise (or condemn) your alma mater, and talk trash about rival law schools.

Last year, we witnessed a rousing game of musical chairs among the nation’s top law schools, but this year, we’ve got a new #10 law school, and the Top 14 has been transformed into the Top 13 thanks to a tie at the bottom of the top.

Were there any other surprises this year? Let’s take a look…

Here are the top 13 law schools, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. For your convenience, we’ve noted the difference between last year’s ranking and this year’s ranking parenthetically:

1. Yale (no change)
2. Harvard (no change)
3. Stanford (-1; tied for #2 last year with Harvard)
4. Columbia (no change)
4. Chicago (no change)
6. NYU (no change)
7. Penn (no change)
8. UVA (-1; tied for #7 last year with Penn)
9. Berkeley (no change)
10. Duke (+1; ranked #11 last year)
10. Michigan (-1; tied at #9 last year with Berkeley)
12. Northwestern (no change)
13. Cornell (no change)
13. Georgetown (+1; ranked #14 last year)

The “HYS” (Harvard, Yale, Stanford) group received top billing from the rankings gurus at U.S. News, and the “CCN” cluster (Columbia, Chicago, and NYU) remained intact. As usual, and as we noted previously, the rest of the T14 played musical chairs, but there were three things worthy of mention this year.

First of all, we’re back to having distinct rankings for the first-, second-, and third-best law schools in the country. In the 2013 rankings, everyone collectively lost their minds when Stanford was ranked higher than Harvard. In the 2014 rankings, Harvard and Stanford were tied for second place. Now, in the 2015 rankings, Stanford is our third-place finisher. Harvard students, we suggest you see Professor Nesson — the man drafting legislation for the legalization of weed in Jamaica — to inquire about a proper way to celebrate.

Next up, we’ve got our new tenth-place finisher, Duke. After having set up shop at the #11 slot for years, the Blue Devils were finally able to move up a single spot in the rankings to tie with Michigan at #10. We have a feeling that students at the douchiest law school in the nation will be up to some douchey activities this week to revel in their success. This one’s for all of the “brothers in Durham.”

(By the way, Michigan, you should consider yourself on notice. No more sheep farmers.)

Last, but certainly not least, instead of trading places with Cornell, again, Georgetown is now tied with the school for the thirteenth slot. GULC is no longer putting the “14” in “T14″ — but then again, no school is. Are we supposed to call it the T13 this year? That strikes us as a little bit strange.

So readers, what do you think? Did U.S. News get it right this year? Are these new rankings fair? Your thoughts on these fine institutions are welcome in the comments to this open thread.

Earlier: The U.S. News 2015 Law School Rankings Are Here: Smell The Prestige


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