Archive for March 2014

The Top 10 Colleges in Massachusetts for Law School Placements

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If you are considering colleges in Massachusetts and you know that law school is in your future then this ranking may be helpful to you as you weigh different options.  Of course any ranking should be taken in context and for law school admissions the prestige of the University you attend is far more important than the number of students going on to law school, but for evaluating schools with similar academic reputations these rankings can be meaningful. The state of Massachusetts is one of the key centers of education in the United States, and the world, with some of the most prestigious universities that provide amazing opportunities for its students. The following rankings provide the top ten universities in Massachusetts for placing graduates in law school including placements by number and by percentage of graduates.[1]

 

School Name 5 yr Ave Total Enrollment % Going on To Law School
HARVARD UNIVERSITY

333

6658

16.96%

AMHERST COLLEGE

90

1817

16.84%

BOSTON COLLEGE

382

9110

15.21%

WILLIAMS COLLEGE

83

2052

15.13%

COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS

102

2926

11.69%

TUFTS UNIVERSITY OF ARTS & SCIENCES

175

5255

11.47%

BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY

130

3588

11.29%

SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY

85

5770

7.33%

BOSTON UNIVERSITY

363

18306

6.71%

NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

187

13107

4.91%

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS-AMHERST

233

21928

3.73%

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. The information in this ranking estimates the number of graduates as 22% of the total undergraduate enrollment as reported by the Universities to U.S. News and the placement data is based on an average for the last five years of the ABA data provided to LSAC for the top 240 law school feeder schools.

U.S. News Rankings Dominate the News for Law Schools Last Week

U.S. News 2015 Law School Rankings Dominate the News this Week

News agencies aren’t typically supposed to be making the news, but with law school rankings U.S. News takes a position at the front and center of an evolving legal education market by publishing the ever-important law school rankings. The weekly news was, as expected, dominated by these new rankings.

Boston College Law School Dean Responds to Drop in Law School Rankings – Noting that the law school was on track for many important initiatives but fell short in others that resulted in a ten spot drop in the law school’s ranking, the Dean acknowledged the importance of law school rankings in terms of the external perception for the school.  Other Deans in the Boston area note some of the important limitations in the rankings, particularly for law schools succeeding in experiential learning rather than research and publications. Law school deans mull declines in U.S. News rankings, by Mary Moore (Boston Business Journal, March 17, 2014).

LSAT Test Takers Is on the Rise for First Time Since 2010 – The WSJ reports that LSAT test takers actually increased this year for the first time since 2010, although the numbers are still much lower than what law schools that struggling for survival with low enrollments would like to see.  The increase was just 1.1% compared to double digit decreases in several prior years, which indicates the hemorrhaging may have finally stopped for the legal education industry. See For First Time Since 2010, Number of LSAT Test Takers is on the Rise, by Jacob Gershman (Wall Street Journal Law Blog, March 17, 2014).

Law Schools Continue to Pay Graduates to Boost Rankings – Law Schools continue to pay salaries to recent graduates following graduation to boost employment numbers for the U.S. News Rankings. University of Virginia and George Washington were among the worst offenders in using this tactic, with GW hiring a whopping 22% of their graduates to boost their employment numbers to 85% and Virginia hiring 15% of their graduates to boast employment numbers of 97.5%. See Some Law Schools Are Paying Graduates’ Salaries To Boost Rankings (Business Insider Australia, March 15, 2014).

2015 US News Law School Rankings Hit the Press – U.S. News releases its annual graduate school rankings including the highly anticipated law school rankings. The dramatic decreases in enrollments has shuffled a number of schools compared to prior years.  See 2015 Law School Rankings (U.S. News, March 11, 2014)

 

The Top Ranked Florida Undergraduate Universities for Getting Into Law School

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If you are deciding on undergraduate programs in Florida and you think law school may be in your future, then you might find this ranking particularly helpful. Other factors like the overall reputation of the school will weigh far heavier in the law school admissions process than this ranking, but if you are deciding between similarly prestigious universities then this can help you identify which school tends to place more of its students in law school following graduation.  Schools that are ranked higher on this list may have better resources for law school applicants seeking to navigate the murky law school application process.  Also, if more of your fellow students are law school bound then you’ll have better opportunities to network with like-minded individuals, which can be a huge help if you don’t have family members who are lawyers.

School Name 5 yr Ave Total Enrollment % Going on To Law School
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

352

10590

11.69%

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1047

32776

11.27%

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

728

32171

9.43%

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY

480

37468

6.16%

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

588

50968

5.84%

FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL & MECHANICAL UNIV.

131

10053

5.68%

NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

77

5739

5.65%

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA

74

6143

5.35%

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA

358

30289

5.30%

FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY

241

24823

4.15%

FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY

60

12155

2.59%

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH FLORIDA

88

14398

2.38%

The University of Miami and the University of Florida top the list in terms of placing the largest percentage of students in law school following graduation and Florida State is not far behind.  These three Universities really stand apart in terms of the number of students they are placing in law schools and, in fact, account for more than 50% of the total law school placements from Florida schools, even though they house only about 28% of the total enrollment.

See Which of These Schools Make the Top 20 In The Nation

[[1]] Ranking data is taken from the TOP 240 ABA APPLICANT FEEDER SCHOOLS and enrollment numbers. These rankings include only universities which that placed 60 or more students in law school on average over the last five years. [[1]]

Decline in Admissions Numbers Means Greater Opportunities for Aspiring Law Students

Ranking of Law School Job Placements in Ohio

Are you seeking to attend a prestigious law school, but concerned about your likelihood of admission?  If so, the downward trend in qualitative metrics for admitted students from last year may give you hope.

The famed U.S. News Law School rankings are set to come out tomorrow and there may be some interesting movements based on the quantitative metrics from last year’s enrollment.  The numbers that have already been released to the ABA regarding admitted students suggest that it is easier than ever to get into a prestigious law school for aspiring law students.  Law schools have been faced with significantly fewer applications and, therefore, have had to decide whether to retain admissions standards and reduce enrollment or allow a dip in admissions standards in order to retain steady enrollment numbers.  A reduction in admissions standards directly affects the law school’s U.S. News ranking.  On average, LSAT scores for admitted students are down across all law schools by one point just from 2012 to 2013.[1]  A one point drop in LSAT scores across all admitted students in just one year is an enormous drop, which suggests that law schools are widely electing to lower admissions standards.

While law schools may be sweating out the current downturn in applications, if you are considering law school then this trend means you will likely be able to gain admission at a better law school than you otherwise would have if you applied 5 years ago. If you are a prospective law student then this is what you call a buyer’s market with law schools cutting tuition costs and re-considering ways to make law school more affordable and less risky.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. See Thoughts on Fall 2013 Enrollment and Profile Data Among Law Schools by Jerry Organ (The Legal Whiteboard, March 2, 2014).

The Top 21 Universities Near Washington D.C. for Placing Graduates in Law School

Ranking of Law Schools Placing Students in the District of Columbia

If you’re looking to attend college in the D.C. area or either of its surrounding states and you think you may likely be headed to law school after graduation, then this ranking may be helpful to you as you make your decision.  While the overall reputation of the undergraduate program should be the most important factor in terms of admissions to law school, this ranking might be helpful in weighing your options. Schools that place a lot of students in law school may have stronger pre-law resources for navigating the murky waters of the law school application process.  It’s also really helpful to have a few friends who are preparing for the LSAT and writing personal statements at the same time as you to bounce ideas off of, so attending a school that places a lot of its students in law school can be a real advantage. If nothing else, you’ll have some college friends to network with who are also attorneys. So here’s the list of D.C. area undergraduate programs ranked by the percent of graduates who go on to law school.[1]

 

School Name 5 yr Ave Total Enrollment % Going on To Law School
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY

403

7552

19.01%

WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY

96

1838

18.36%

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

458

10464

14.88%

HOWARD UNIVERSITY

205

7113

12.72%

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND

88

3074

11.42%

COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY

207

6171

11.38%

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY

230

7299

10.67%

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

459

15822

9.07%

HAMPTON UNIVERSITY

101

3851

9.00%

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND-COLLEGE PARK

575

26487

7.95%

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY

98

3917

7.70%

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

137

6153

7.68%

VIRGINIA TECH

210

23859

3.49%

JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY

148

18107

2.98%

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

189

20653

2.92%

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND-BALTIMORE COUNTY

82

10953

2.88%

TOWSON UNIVERSITY

103

17988

2.13%

VA COMMONWEALTH UNIV ACADEMIC DIVISION

99

23951

1.77%

OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY

74

19612

1.56%

UNIV OF MARYLAND – UNIVERSITY COLLEGE

91

28273

1.50%

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

77

46133

0.85%

 

While the Washington D.C. schools really dominate the top of this list, the percentages of students placed in law school from these universities are off the charts on the high end compared to most schools across the nation.  In fact, in most areas a 10% placement rate is very high and anything above 5% is considered strong.  The D.C. area is just different when it comes to placing students in law school, which makes sense considering the significant number of both law schools and law jobs in the D.C. area.

It should be noted that this ranking includes all schools in D.C., Maryland and Virginia that placed over 65 students in law school annually over a 5 year period.  The schools at the bottom of the list are likely surpassed in percentage by smaller schools that place higher percentages of students, but averaged fewer than 65 students over the relevant period and were, therefore, excluded from this data set. Also, as a D.C. area resident, I recognize that there are schools that are much closer in proximity to D.C. than some of the Virginia schools, but I had to draw a line for what is “close” to Washington D.C. and using the district together with its two immediately surrounding States made sense for purposes of this ranking.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Data is based on enrollments provided by universities and published by U.S. News as well as the five year average of law school feeder schools placements as provided by the ABA and published by LSAC.

Enrollments and Selectivity Continue to Drop for Law Schools – Last Week’s Law School News

Law School Weekly News

The news for law schools this last week included another round of significant reductions in enrollments and the corresponding downward adjustment to selectivity in the admissions process. Also included is an interesting debate over affirmative action and the ever expanding executive power under the Obama presidency.

Law School Becomes Less Selective (GW Hatchet, March 3, 2014). Article chronicles how George Washington Law School has become significantly less selective in its admissions policies in order to maintain enrollment numbers.

Our view: Concerns about Obama’s use of executive power (Midland Daily News, March 2, 2014).  Article expands on Law Professor Jonathan Turley’s concerns over President Obama’s use of executive power.

UMaine law school dean stepping down (Washington Times, March 1, 2014). University of Main’s law school dean is stepping down as dean effective June 2015, but will continue on staff as a professor.

Law School Hosts Debate on the Merits of Affirmative Action (The Harvard Crimson, February 28, 2014). The Harvard Federalist Society and the American Constitutional Society co-sponsored a debate on whether Affirmative Action programs in higher education does more harm than good.

Local Law School Enrollment Drops by Over 30% (Philadelphia Business Journal, February 27, 2014). Article notes the severe reduction in enrollments at law schools local to Philadelphia averaging over a 30% drop across all schools, although Penn saw a modest increase in enrollment.