TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How Law Schools Goose Their U.S. News Ranking by Hiring Their Graduates

U.S. News 2015The Economist, NPR, and The Faculty Lounge report on how law schools can goose their U.S. News ranking through school-funded jobs.  Placement counts 18% in the current U.S. News methodology, and school-funded jobs are included.  William & Mary rose in the rankings this year from 33 to 24, due in large part to hiring 20.1% of the graduating class -- the second largest percentage among the 194 law schools ranked by U.S. News.  As a result, William & Mary's employed at 9 months figure (which accounts for 14% of the 18% placement weight) rose 17.2 percentage points this year, from 68.1% to 85.3%.  George Washington hired the largest percentage of their graduating class (22.6%), which helped increased their employed at 9 months rate to 91.0%; and Virginia hired the fourth largest percentage (15.1%), which helped increase their employed at 9 months rate to 97.3%.  The chart shows the impact of the school funded jobs in the two most significant placement categories:

  • Full time, long term, bar passage required
  • Full time, long term, bar passage required and J.D. advantage



G. Washington

William & Mary

FT LT Bar Required

Include School Funded  


94.9% (2)


81.0% (14)


73.5% (22)

FT LT Bar Required

Exclude School Funded


79.7% (11)


60.3% (76)


56.4% (94)

FT LT Bar Req’d + JD Advantage

Include School Funded


97.3% (1)


91.0% (9)


85.3% (18)

FT LT Bar Req’d + JD Advantage

Exclude School Funded


82.1% (17)


74.8% (49)


65.2% (99)

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink