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 schools that filled out the middle of the traditional first tier (ahh, the good old days when there were more than two). There were some rather significant moves worth noting in that group, like those of William & Mary and the University of Washington. Also worth noting are the schools that disappeared from that list, and now we’ll get to talk about them.
This time around, we’ll be taking a look at the law schools at the bottom of the top 50, the schools that some would argue belong in the traditional “second tier” (no, not the dreaded “rank not published” or “RNP” tier).
These schools might not be at the top, but some of them charge like they’re the cream of the crop…
Here are the schools ranked #31 through #49, per U.S. News & World Report. For your convenience, we’ve noted the difference between last year’s ranking and this year’s ranking parenthetically:
31. Arizona State University (-2; tied at #29 last year with BU)
31. Ohio State University (+5; tied at #36 last year with Wake Forest)
31. UNC–Chapel Hill (no change)
31. University of Wisconsin–Madison (+2; three-way tie at #33 last year with Georgia and William & Mary)
31. Wake Forest University (+5; tied at #36 last year with Ohio State)
36. Boston College (-5; tied at #31 last year with UNC)
36. Brigham Young University (+8; tied at #44 last year with Colorado-Boulder)
36. Fordham University (+2; three-way tie at #38 last year with University of Arizona and UC-Davis)
36. University of California–Davis (+2; three-way tie at #38 last year with University of Arizona and Fordham)
40. University of Arizona (-2; three-way tie at #38 last year with Fordham and UC-Davis)
40. University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign (+7; ranked #47 last year)
42. Southern Methodist University (+6; five-way tie at #48 last year with Florida State, Tulane, UC-Hastings, and University of Houston)
43. University of Colorado–Boulder (+1; tied at #44 last year with Brigham Young)
43. Washington and Lee University (-17; tied at #26 last year with Iowa)
45. Florida State University (+3; five-way tie at #48 last year with Southern Methodist, Tulane, UC-Hastings, and University of Houston)
46. George Mason University (-5; three-way tie at #41 last year with Maryland and Utah)
46. Tulane University (+2; five-way tie at #48 last year with Florida State, Southern Methodist, UC-Hastings, and University of Houston)
46. University of Maryland (-5; three-way tie at #41 last year with George Mason and Utah
49. University of Florida (-3; ranked at #46 last year)
49. University of Utah (-8; three-way tie at #41 last year with George Mason and Maryland)
Just like last year, this is the place to come for rankings gangbangs. In this segment of the rankings alone, we’ve got two four-ways, a five-way, and lots and lots of ties. And just like last year, almost half of these schools dropped in rank, with the most notable being Washington & Lee (down 17 spots), Boston College (down 5 spots), George Mason (down 5 spots), Maryland (down 5 spots), and Utah (down 8 spots).
Maryland, Florida, and Utah, we’re giving you a stern look from across the internet. You’re really living on the edge here. You better shape up, or else you’re going to be shipped out… of the Top 50 law schools.
We think we’ve beat up enough on W&L and BC, so let’s congratulate the schools that are quickly rising in the rankings. Let’s talk about a more controversial law school: Illinois. Remember when the school was in complete rankings free fall because of its inflated admissions data scandal? Not so anymore. This is the first time the school’s seen a positive rankings bump in years. Good job not being liars anymore.
While employment statistics are taking a significant toll on the rankings, we think peer assessment scores have also ravaged a lot of these schools. If you want your graduates to have jobs, then perhaps you ought to consider engaging in some reputation management for your law school, before it’s too late.