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Friday, April 18, 2008

Law School Rankings by 1L Attrition Rates

LawSchoolNumbers.com ranks the 195 law schools by 1L attrition rates.  (The ABA Section on Legal Education publishes aggregate attrition rates, and each school's attrition rate is available on its official ABA data sheet.)  Here are the 25 law schools with the highest attrition rates according to LawSchoolNumbers.com, along with the school's 2009 U.S. News overall ranking:

  1. Whittier (51.5% 1L attrition, #161 in U.S. News)
  2. Touro (37.4%, #171)
  3. Golden Gate (36.9%, #174)
  4. Western State (32.6%, not ranked)
  5. Jones School of Law (32.3%, not ranked)
  6. Widener (30.5%, #179)
  7. St. Thomas University (28.5%, #174)
  8. Barry (27.6%, #181)
  9. Liberty (27.1%, not ranked)
  10. Thomas M Cooley (26.0%, #181)
  11. Florida Coastal (23.7%, #171)
  12. California Western (23.6%, #156)
  13. Valparaiso (23.4%, #143)
  14. Florida International (23.3%, #153)
  15. Capital (22.8%, #161)
  16. Louisville (22.5%, #100)
  17. North Carolina Central (22.1%, #168)
  18. Detroit Mercy (21.9%, $163)
  19. Nova Southeastern (21.8%, #158)
  20. Oklahoma City (21.0%, $168)
  21. Willamette (21.0%, #137)
  22. Western New England (20.7%, #171)
  23. Northern Kentucky (20.2%, #156)
  24. University of The District of Columbia (20.0%, #181)
  25. Franklin Pierce (19.9%, #131)

Here are the 25 law schools with the lowest attrition rates according to LawSchoolNumbers.com, along with the school's 2009 U.S. News overall ranking:

  1. Yale (0.0% 1L attrition; #1 in U.S. News)
  2. Stanford (0.0%, #2)
  3. Ohio State (0.0%, #32)
  4. Arizona (0.0%, #38)
  5. Case Western (0.0%, #63)
  6. New Mexico (0.0%, #68)
  7. Pittsburgh (0.0%, #73)
  8. Loyola-Chicago (0.0%, #82)
  9. Oregon (0.0%, #82)
  10. Montana (0.0%, #112)
  11. South Dakota (0.0%, #137)
  12. Charleston (0.0%, not ranked)
  13. Charlotte (0.0%, not ranked)
  14. Columbia (0.3%, #4)
  15. Michigan (0.3%, #9)
  16. Harvard (0.5%, #2)
  17. Illinois (0.5%, #27)
  18. Florida (0.5%, #46)
  19. SUNY-Buffalo (0.8%, #100)
  20. Chicago (1.0%, #7)
  21. Georgetown (1.0%, #14)
  22. NYU (1.1%, #5)
  23. UC-Berkeley (1.1%, #6)
  24. Virginia (1.1%, #9)
  25. Northwestern (1.2%, #9)

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TaxProf Blog points us to a genuinely interesting and to me new statistic about law schools, 1L Attrition. Now Im trying to figure out what it means. Some things are clear: A very low attrition rate is probably good it m... [Read More]

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Comments

I don't think Yale even gives grades! If you make it impossible to flunk out, your attrition rate will be pretty low.

Posted by: Edward | Apr 18, 2008 2:31:10 PM

Yale is the most selective law school, or at least it used to be. But "ranking" attrition rates, as if a low rate were necessarily better than a higher rate, is ridiculous. Harvard Business School used to brag about flunking out a lot (about a third) of its students. This opposite tack of equating attrition with rigor is perhaps equally bogus, but shows up the premise contained in attaching any value to these ranks. I would think if doing a multifactor analysis (e.g., US News) that also measures incoming student "quality" (LSAT, grades, etc.), a high attrition rate would say nothing negative about a school's overall quality.

Posted by: DWPittelli | Apr 18, 2008 6:12:11 PM

The schools with <1% attrition....wouldn't it be reasonable to conclude that they simply refuse to hold their lowest 5% of students accountable? Case Western and Pitt don't have any really lazy law students who don't hit the books? Please.

Reporters might do well to contact some profs at those schools and ask "Do you have ANY students who you think should be flunked out? Why are they allowed to get degrees from your school?"

Posted by: Mike G. | Apr 19, 2008 9:42:29 AM

This list seems to simply take the ABA Data Sheet percentage without taking into consideration that the ABA numbers include 1Ls that left school for non-academic reasons. For example, Florida Coastal's "academic" attrition rate is approximately 12.2%. The relevance of 1L attrition rates to the quality of the school is questionable. However, it would certainly seem to be a more accurate measure (for whatever significance the data has) if a school's "academic" attrition rate was utilized as opposed to the overall attrition rate, which can be influences by many factors that have no bearing on the quality of the law school.

Posted by: Brian Mc | May 4, 2008 6:24:41 PM

Funny, I never followed these numbers before, but I know three people who transferred from Case Western last year, so I'm not sure these are completely accurate. Maybe I have the years mixed up, but it's worth questioning whether schools are accurately reporting these numbers.

Posted by: Skeptical | May 4, 2008 6:56:59 PM

DWPitelli, what your comment fails to recognize is that failure in a single class is not typically sufficient to boot someone from the school.

Posted by: Mike McDougal | May 14, 2008 9:43:36 PM

Nice to see Loyola Chicago in the top 10 of low attrition rates

Posted by: Pen15 | May 15, 2008 8:47:18 AM