University of Florida Levin College of Law

Since we released the ATL Top 50 Law Schools last week, we’ve received a fair amount of feedback and criticism regarding our approach to ranking schools. As noted (again and again), our methodology considers “outcomes” only — the idea being that, in this dismal legal job market, that’s all that truly matters. Our rankings formula weighs six outcomes; these three below were the most disputed:

Supreme Court Clerks. This is simply the number of SCOTUS clerks produced by the school over the last five years, adjusted for the schools’ size. By far, this is the most heavily criticized aspect of our methodology. “Preposterous!” “Irrelevant!” “Reflective of some weird fetish on the part of one of your editors!” And so on. To which we say, sure, SCOTUS clerkships are irrelevant in assessing the vast majority of schools. Properly considered, this component is a sort of “extra credit question” that helps make fine distinctions among a few top schools.

Federal Judgeships. The number of sitting Article III judges who are alumni of the school, adjusted for size. Some complain that this is a lagging indicator that tells us something about graduates from 25 years ago but little about today’s students’ prospects. Besides, aren’t these appointments just a function of the appointees’ connections? True enough, but this is certainly an indicator of the enduring strength and scope of a school’s graduate network — surely a worthwhile consideration. Connections matter.

Quality Jobs Score. The percentage of students securing jobs at the nation’s largest law firms combined with those landing federal clerkships. The principal criticism with this metric is that it fails to include some categories of desirable job outcomes, including so-called “JD Advantage” jobs and certain public interest/government positions. However, parsing out the “good” jobs from the rest is the problem. Whenever we could, we used the most straightforward, obtainable, and well-defined data points, with the goal of a “quality jobs score” as a reasonable proxy for quality jobs generally.

Read on for a look at which schools rated best in each of the above categories, as well as on Employment Score and Lowest Cost. We’ll also look at some of the biggest gainers and losers in the ATL 50, plus significant differences between our rankings and U.S. News….

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What kind of people call their law school library the “lawbrary”? It’s sounds like something Matthew McConaughey would come up with.

Sorry, let me back up. In the eternal fight for university library space, law students are the lions, and undergrads are the hyenas. Law students are stronger, but the sheer relentless numbers of undergraduates can force law students out of their precious study carrels.

Usually, law students bitch about this amongst themselves (or to Above the Law). But at one school, a 2L wrote a whole article in the undergraduate newspaper about it. I’m sure most of Gator-nation responded: “Y U MAD, BRO?”

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Jason Bohn

The victim was a young woman who fought for her life until she was overcome by the defendant. He has justly been held accountable for his actions.

– Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, commenting on Jason Bohn’s recent conviction on first-degree murder charges in the death of his girlfriend. Bohn, a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law, was profiled in the New York Times in an article about the perils of law school.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Not only is it Halloween, the day when the nation celebrates the patron saint of skanky costumes, but we’ve also got some law school rankings that are all too appropriate given the holiday. Today, we give unto you the GraduatePrograms.com social life rankings, a mystical, magical list that will guide prospective law students in their quest to attend the school where they’ll be surrounded by the least socially awkward classmates for three years of their lives.

GraduatePrograms ranked the top 25 student-rated law schools, as well as the best law schools for career support, financial aid, and quality of network, but we’re focusing on the social life rankings. Why? At this point, it’s a given that you’re going to have some difficulty finding a job and paying down your loans when you graduate. It’s the connections you make during law school that will help you get through the tough times you’ll face later on.

So without any further delay, here are the law schools where you’ll be able to have the best social life — otherwise known as the law schools where you’ll be able to file endless motions to party…

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This is the fourth in a series of posts looking at how law schools in specific markets stack up based on the results of our ATL Insider Survey. As we’ve often noted, very few law schools are truly national institutions. Typically, the majority of graduates don’t stray too far from their alma maters, so the strongest network will be local, for local jobs. It’s to your advantage to go to school where you want to practice, sometimes even more so than going to a higher-ranked school.

In recent weeks, we’ve looked at our survey results pertaining to Chicago, Boston, and New York-area law schools. We examined how current law students rate their schools in terms of academics, career counseling, financial aid advising, practical/clinical training, and social life.

Today, we turn to our broadest geographic region yet: the South (the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana). Read on to see how schools in the region compare….

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Chickenpox does not discriminate.

Diane Webb, a registered nurse specialist, commenting on the likelihood of student infection after news of a chickenpox outbreak at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

In early 2010, we reported that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told law students at the University of Florida that he was displeased when he found out that his October Term 2008 clerks — who hailed from George Mason, Rutgers, George Washington, and Creighton law schools — were being referred to as “TTT” by the internet’s “self-proclaimed smart bloggers.” (And just as we did in 2010, we’ll again remind our readers that such a label didn’t come from Above the Law editors; we adore SCOTUS clerks, no matter their alma mater.)

On Friday, Justice Thomas again spoke to students at UF Law, and reiterated his prior thoughts on Ivy League bias in the hiring of The Elect. Though Thomas is a graduate of Yale Law School himself, he’s an equal opportunity justice in that he much prefers to choose his clerks from the ranks of the non-Ivies.

Let’s check out some additional thoughts from Justice Thomas on clerkship hiring, how he’d like his epitaph to be worded, and the most important decision the court has made since he was sworn in….

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Sometimes bad things happen on campus and the administration tries to cover it up and pretend like everything is swell and ugliness does not exist.

This is not one of those times.

At the University of Florida Levin College of Law, a law professor appears to have been the victim of a hate crime. Upon learning of the issue, the dean of the law school condemned the action in the strongest language possible and asked any student with knowledge of the events to come forward and inform the authorities.

It’s really the only appropriate response for a school to have in a situation like this…

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Jason Bohn

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, there have been developments, many of them horrifying, in the Jason Bohn investigation.

Bohn was featured in the New York Times for the massive debts he collected from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida. He is now suspected of murdering his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas, in their Queens apartment.

Following a six-day manhunt, Bohn was apprehended late Friday night while having dinner with his mother and his lawyer in White Plains. Police claim that Bohn left some really disturbing notes strewn around his apartment that attest to his alleged crime…

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In 2011, the New York Times ran a series of interesting and widely-read articles written by David Segal about the perils of going to law school, and for the first time, it seemed as if the general public was willing to acknowledge the truths that law bloggers had trumpeted over the internet for years prior.

Segal’s first article in the series profiled several law school graduates living under the burden of soul-crushing student loan debt. Just a year later, one of those debt-ridden law grads has made headlines again, but not in the most favorable way.

Carrying six figures of student loan debt? Check. Condemned to temp work? Check. Being accused of murder? Priceless….

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