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The 2017 ATL Top 50 Law School Rankings
Most people attend law school to obtain jobs as lawyers.
(While fewer people are going to law school, those that do are hyper-focused on employment outcomes.)
Despite a massive contraction in the number of applicants, law schools are still filling their seats. The schools are just reaching deeper into the pool and matriculating students who wouldn’t have gotten in a decade ago.
But can law schools employ those students? Is it worth it to be the last person admitted to a law school that can’t find jobs for students outside the top 10% of their class? Which schools have the brand to overcome the “brain drain”? And which schools have employers questioning the quality of their recent graduates?
We welcome you to the fifth annual installment of the Above the Law Top 50 Law School Rankings. These are the only rankings to incorporate the latest ABA employment data concerning the class of 2016. The premise underlying our approach to ranking schools remains the same: that given the steep cost of law school and the new normal of the legal job market, potential students should prioritize their future employment prospects over all other factors in deciding whether and where to attend law school. The relative quality of schools is a function of how they deliver on the promise of gainful legal employment. You know who else shares this view? The schools themselves. (Putting aside the fact that the schools would love to see all rankings disappear.) Our friends at Kaplan Test Prep just conducted an extensive survey of law school admission officers and found that 87% agree that rankings should more heavily weigh outcome-based stats like job placement rates. Further, when Kaplan asked which factor should carry the most weight in a rankings formula, the most popular response — by far — was the law school s job placement rate. Find out what law schools had to say about those ‘other’ rankings here (video).
Our list is limited to 50 schools. We want to look at national schools, the ones with quality employment prospects both outside of their particular region and/or for graduates who don t graduate at the top of the class.
The ATL Top 50 Law School Rankings keep an exclusive focus on the only thing that really matters: outcomes.
Enjoy the rankings, but please use them responsibly.
The Rankings See the 2016 rankings