It’s the most important day of the year for law school deans. The U.S. News 2015 Law School Rankings are out, and absent salacious allegations about their behavior, law deans who do well according to U.S. News do well according to their bank accounts.

The big winner this year seems to be Duke Law School. As we mentioned earlier, they’ve cracked the top ten. Congratulations to the Harvard of the South.

Meanwhile, this seems to be the year U.S. News has fully committed to “ties.” Ties are great for law schools. How else can you have 60 schools claim to be “top 50 institutions”? U.S. News makes ties like kissing your sister… your really hot, adopted sister that your Dad would be all over if your Dad were Woody Allen.

So, who is #1? If you have to ask that question, you’ve clearly come to the wrong website and might want to rethink this whole “going to law school” thing until you’ve researched enough to get a freaking clue…

Please note the multiple UPDATES below.

STACI HERE: Just like last year, we’ve got the scoop on the UNOFFICIAL U.S. News 2015 Law School Rankings, courtesy of Mike Spivey of Spivey Consulting. Here’s the unofficial list of the Top 20 law schools (with +/- indicating how many spots the school gained/lost compared to the prior year’s rankings):

1. Yale
2. Harvard
3. Stanford (-1; tied for #2 last year with Harvard)
4. Columbia
4. Chicago
6. NYU
7. Penn
8. UVA (-1; tied for #7 last year with Penn)
9. Berkeley
10. Duke (+1; ranked #11 last year)
10. Michigan (-1; tied at #9 last year with Berkeley)
12. Northwestern
13. Cornell
13. GULC (+1; ranked #14 last year)
15. Texas
16. UCLA (+1; ranked #17 last year)
16. Vanderbilt (-1; tied at #15 last year with Texas)
18. Washington University in St. Louis (+1; tied at #19 last year with Minnesota)
19. Emory (+4; tied at #23 last year with Notre Dame)
20. GWU (+1; tied at #21 last year with Alabama)
20. Minnesota (-1; tied at #19 last year with Washington University in St. Louis)
20. USC (-2; ranked #18 last year)

According to Spivey, there are only two schools in the 20s that aren’t in a tie, and those are Alabama (#23), which dropped two places this year, and Notre Dame (#26), which dropped three places this year:

23. Alabama (-2; tied at #21 last year with GWU)
24. Washington (+4; ranked at #28 last year)
24. William & Mary (+9; three-way tie last year at #33 with Georgia and Wisconsin)
26. Notre Dame (-3; tied at #23 last year with Emory)
27. Boston U. (+2; tied at #29 last year with Arizona State)
27. Iowa (-1; tied at #26 last year with Washington & Lee)
29. Georgia (+4; tied at #33 last year with William & Mary)
29. Indiana-Bloomington (-4; ranked #25 last year)

UPDATE (8:22 P.M.): Mike Spivey has the rest of the UNOFFICIAL U.S. News 2015 Top 50 Law School Rankings here, and 51-100 here. We highly encourage you to go check them out!

What does this mean for the rest of the Top 50 law schools? And what about the Second Hundred law schools? Given the proliferation of numerical gang bangs this early on in the rankings, we think it may be even more difficult to be proud that your school is in an eight-way tie for 144th place this year.

ELIE HERE: In closing, let’s remember that the U.S. News, for all of its faults, is how employers think of you. Agree, object, strenuously object, it doesn’t really matter. Everybody has a story about how they could have gone to a much higher ranked school but didn’t because of cost/fit/state/dysentery/dead grandmother’s last wish/alien abduction or whatever. You know who doesn’t “have a story” about why they went to the law school they did? Yale students.

And so it is again. Check back later and we’ll update this post with the official list once U.S. News publishes its OFFICIAL 2015 rankings tonight.

Click through to the next page to see some interesting facts about which schools rose in the rankings and which schools sank like stones (and A LOT of them did).

UPDATE (9:45 P.M.): U.S. News has confirmed and released its full list. Let’s head over to the next page for a look beyond the top-tier schools, as well as a link to the complete rankings…


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