U.S. News Law School Rankings for 2012

U.S. NewsReady for more rankings obsession? Today we dig into the latest law school rankings, which U.S. News & World Report released last week. We have a rule here at Veritas Prep headquarters to caution applicants against reading too much into rankings when making decisions on where to apply and attend, but there is no denying the fact that the material is interesting. Our society loves rankings. Put anything on a list — grad schools, rock albums, baseball players — and people will sit up and take note.

And, in research graduate schools, the rankings certainly are useful in terms of helping you get a feel for the lay of the land. Have a 170+ LSAT score and a sterling GPA? maybe you have a shot at a T14 law school after all. Having a hard time getting above 155 on the LSAT? Then maybe you need to look a little lower in the rankings. In this regard, it certainly makes sense to at least eyeball the rankings before going too far into the admissions process.

Without further ado, here are the top 20 law schools for 2012. Each school’s 2011 rank is in parentheses:

2012 U.S. Law School Rankings
1. Yale (1)
2. Harvard (2)
3. Stanford (3)
4. Columbia (4)
5. Chicago (5)
6. NYU (6)
7. Michigan (9)
7. Penn (7)
9. UC Berkeley (7)
9. UVA (10)
11. Duke (11)
12. Northwestern (11)
13. Cornell (13)
14. Georgetown (14)
14. UT Austin (15)
16. UCLA (15)
16. Vanderbilt (17)
18. USC (18)
18. Wash. U. in St. Louis (19)
20. George Washington (20)
20. Minnesota (22)

Notable Changes
The top schools in the rankings look very similar to those at the top of the 2011 rankings — the top six schools remain unchanged since last year. After that, things start to get a little more interesting, with Michigan trading spots with Berkeley to take over the #7 slot. UVA moved up a tick, into a tie for #9 with Berkeley, and Northwestern dropped a tick, to #12. Rounding out the Top 14 (of course there can’t only be 14 law schools in the T14), UT Austin moved into a tie with Georgetown to be able to call itself a T14 school. Finally, Minnesota moved ahead two spots to join George Washington in a tie at #20.

Cheer up… Only 51 more weeks to go until we get to dig into the 2013 law school rankings!

If you’re getting ready to apply to law school, our law school admissions consultants can help you get in. Call us at (800) 925-7737 to speak with an expert about your candidacy today. And, as always, remember to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!