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### Latest US News Law School Rankings Show Limited Changes

Yale and Stanford have maintained their top positions in the U.S. News & World Report’s law school rankings, which were unveiled on Tuesday. The University of Chicago Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School also retained their respective third and fourth place rankings from the previous year, with minimal changes among the prestigious T-14 schools but notable shifts further down the list.

A significant development at the top was the University of Virginia School of Law’s advancement by four spots, now sharing the fourth position with Penn and Harvard Law School. Conversely, New York University School of Law dropped four places, now tied with Northwestern and Michigan at the ninth spot. A spokesperson from NYU Law opted not to provide a comment on Tuesday.

Georgetown reclaimed its longstanding 14th spot after being displaced from the T-14 in the previous year’s rankings.

The latest ranking, the second under the revamped methodology introduced in 2023, reflects adjustments made due to concerns raised by a considerable number of law schools regarding diversity and affordability impacts. The methodology, which places greater emphasis on employment outcomes and bar passage rates over LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs, remained relatively consistent this year. Reputation scores from law school faculty, judges, and practitioners also influence the rankings.

A notable alteration in the methodology is the averaging of employment and bar pass data over a two-year period, aimed at stabilizing the rankings. This adjustment seemingly contributed to a decrease in ranking volatility, with 33 schools experiencing double-digit shifts this year compared to 62 in the previous cycle.

While the T-14 group saw limited changes aside from NYU and Virginia’s movements, there were more significant fluctuations lower in the rankings. Washington University in St. Louis School of Law climbed four spots to secure the 16th position, while the University of Notre Dame Law School rose by seven places to reach 20th. The College of William & Mary School of Law notably improved from 45th to 36th place.

Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and Samford University Cumberland School of Law demonstrated the most substantial progress this year, each ascending by 28 positions to 94th and 103rd place, respectively. Catholic’s Dean, Stephen Payne, expressed optimism about further advancements based on recent achievements in bar passage and employment rates.

Conversely, the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law experienced the largest decline, dropping 37 spots to 136th place. Dean Melanie Jacobs attributed this decline to lower bar pass and employment rates for the Class of 2022, influenced by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and leadership transitions at the institution.

For more information, please refer to the article “Revamped US News law school rankings yield major shifts” detailing the latest updates on the U.S. News law school rankings and the anticipated changes in methodology.