“Alternative” Law School Rankings (2022-2023)

Let’s begin this blog by stating the obvious: law school rankings are notoriously subjective. In addition, many of them do not represent what often is even more important to law school students: the reputation of the law school. That being said, it can sometimes be useful to view these law school rankings with an eye towards what forms the basis for the rankings. That is especially true since some law school rankings use very different methodologies than others. As we wait for the most well-known rankings (U.S. News and World Reports) to come out for 2023, here are two other “alternative” sets of law school rankings (using very different methodologies). The first is published by “Law School Views & Rankings” – you can see the entire list of 150 law schools and more details here, but these are their T-14 rankings for 2023 if you are curious:

“Law School Views & Rankings” (2023)

  1. Yale
  2. Chicago
  3. Stanford
  4. Harvard
  5. Columbia
  6. NYU
  7. Duke
  8. Penn
  9. Virginia
  10. Berkeley
  11. Cornell
  12. UCLA
  13. Northwestern
  14. Michigan

The second “alternative” set of ratings is from Above the Law (focusing predominantly on job placement). You can see the details of their methodology and their “Top 50” list for 2022 here, but these are their “Top 10” rankings for 2022:

“Above The Law” Rankings (2022)

  1. Duke
  2. University of Virginia
  3. Cornell
  4. University of Chicago
  5. Vanderbilt
  6. Washington University in St. Louis
  7. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  8. Columbia
  9. Northwestern (Pritzker)
  10. University of Pennsylvania (Carey)

Finally, a few reminders:

  • The actual law school experience (in terms of material taught) is likely to be similar in any Tier 1 (Top 50) law school, and that is likely true for mid-ranked law schools also.
  • Your performance in law school may be as important, and possibly more so, as the ranking of your law school in landing your first full-time and summer-associate jobs at law firms.
  • Everyone has different priorities – feel free to view and consider any law school rankings you want, but your ultimate decision should be based on much more than subjective rankings that likely will change over time!