Monday, March 31, 2008

New England Law Schools, As Ranked By US News & World Report

Now that the entire list and rankings have been officially released by US News and World Report, I am hereby updating and supplementing my recent post on Massachusetts law school rankings. By extracting information from the latest US News rankings I came up with the following list, with relative rank or position, of all ABA-accredited law schools in the New England states:

TOP LAW SCHOOLS (top 104, with numerical rank given)

1. Yale University (CT)
2. Harvard University (MA) - tied with Stanford
21. Boston University (MA)
26. Boston College (MA)
46. University of Connecticut (CT)- 5 way tie for 46-50
88. Northeastern University(MA)- 6 way tie for 88-94

TIER 3 (next 37, in rank order, but no numerical rank given)

University of Maine (ME)
Quinnipiac University (CT)
Vermont Law School (VT)
Franklin Pierce Law Center (NH)
Suffolk University (MA)

TIER 4 (bottom 43, in rank order, but no numerical rank given)

Roger Williams University (RI)
Western New England College (MA)
New England School of Law (MA)

Always controversial, such rankings, like it or not, have a huge effect in the legal world, as the most prestigious law firms, and to a lesser extent other employers, hire applicants partly based on their perceptions of the perceived prestige and worth of the law school attended. And these rankings have effects all the way down to the "bottom" of the legal market, in the general practice areas where so many lawyers from the other schools end up. It is strange that the four smallest New England states - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island - all have only one law school each, and each of these law schools is ranked at the bottom, in either the third or fourth tier. Massachusetts and Connecticut, on the other hand, have law schools ranked at the very top, in the middle, and near the bottom of the list.

For an interesting article on law school rankings, and one that would serve as a point of departure for further reading on this, see the relevant Wikipedia article.

For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see the divorce and family law page of my law firm website.

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