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### Discovering T14 Law School Rankings and Changes in the US News 2024 Report

US News’ 2024 Law School Rankings Witness Significant Changes

Legal Education


April 9, 2024, 12:30 pm CDT

The 2024 U.S. News & World Report law school rankings have stirred up a buzz with unexpected ties and notable shifts in positions.

According to experts closely monitoring the rankings, Stanford Law School and Yale Law School emerged as the frontrunners, sharing the top spot—a surprising outcome for many.

While the University of Chicago Law School maintained its third-place position, the rest of the top tier, also known as T14, saw considerable movement. Notably, there is now a four-way tie for fourth place, with the University of Virginia School of Law making a significant leap of four places to join Duke University School of Law and Harvard Law School, both climbing one spot to match the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Columbia Law School retained its eighth-place standing.

On the other hand, the New York University School of Law experienced a decline, dropping four places to ninth and sharing the spot with the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor, both moving up one rank. In response to the rankings shift, a spokesperson for NYU School of Law declined to comment.

The dynamics of the highly anticipated list have been evolving in recent years as more law schools actively participate in the U.S. News & World Report survey.

Out of the current ABA-accredited law schools, 144 responded to this year’s survey, with 60% of the ranking criteria based on graduates’ successful placement. The remaining score consists of academic indicators related to faculty resources, the accomplishments of incoming students, and feedback from other law schools, legal professionals, and judges regarding the overall program quality, as reported by U.S. News & World Report.

These changes have turned predicting the rankings into a competitive endeavor, with forecasts beginning weeks before the official release. Recently, legal education consultant Mike Spivey shared his predictions for the top 25 schools for the 2024-2025 academic year on his blog.

In a blog post dated April 3, Spivey noted the challenges in accurately predicting the rankings, citing past discrepancies in the top 14 schools published by U.S. News. With over 50 law schools opting out of the survey this year and the heightened scrutiny on the rankings’ credibility, Spivey emphasized the importance of being informed about the initial top 25 rankings.

The embargoed 2024-2025 rankings faced delays and updates, impacting 80 rankings, as detailed by Paul Caron, the dean of Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law.

Among the T14 schools, the University of California at Berkeley School of Law slipped two spots to 12th place, while the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law advanced one position to 13th place. The top tier concludes with another tie, with Cornell Law School moving up one spot and the Georgetown University Law Center moving down a rank.

Notre Dame Law School surged seven places to claim the 20th spot, now tied with the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, which dropped four places, the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill, which rose two spots, and the University of Georgia School of Law, maintaining its position.

Wake Forest Law School now holds the 25th rank, down three spots from the previous year.

Yale Law and Stanford Law, boasting acceptance rates of around 6% and 7%, respectively, secured the top spots, followed by Harvard Law, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, and Duke University School of Law, each with acceptance rates of approximately 10%. These figures are based on students admitted in the fall of 2023.

Moreover, the top three schools in terms of acceptance rates for students enrolled in the fall of 2022 and 2023 remained consistent. The Georgetown University Law Center claimed the first position, while the George Washington University Law School and the Fordham University School of Law swapped places, with the former now in third place and the latter in second.

Once considered a definitive guide for prospective law students, the U.S. News & World Report rankings have faced scrutiny regarding their relevance. A survey conducted by Kaplan among 86 accredited law schools revealed that 51% of respondents believe that the rankings have diminished in prestige over the past few years, while 18% disagree, and 31% remain neutral on the issue, according to an April 9 press release.

In a separate survey involving nearly 400 prelaw students, who often rely on rankings to inform their application decisions, 37% expressed that eliminating rankings altogether would benefit both law schools and applicants. In contrast, 53% disagreed with this notion, and 10% were undecided, as outlined in the press release.