TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, March 21, 2016

After Topping Florida State Law School Again With #48 U.S. News Ranking, University Of Florida's New Dean Sets Sights On #35 Ranking Within 3-5 Years

Florida Logo (GIF)Daily Business Review, Florida Law School Proves to be King of State:

The University of Florida has done it again.

Its law school, one of the oldest and largest in the state, scored highest overall among Florida's law schools on the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of the nation's law schools.

UF landed in 48th place, two spots ahead of its top rival, Florida State University. This is the second consecutive year UF took the number one spot, stealing it from Florida State two years ago.

UF law dean Laura Ann Rosenbury, who took over this year, was pleased but nowhere near satisfied with the score, which was down one from last year. "I still think we are undervalued as far our overall score, and I'm going to work hard to make sure we move up the national rankings," Rosenbury said, adding she hopes to move to the mid 30s within three to five years. Boosting the school's ranking was one of the goals she listed in her job interview with UF, she said. ...

In Florida, there was little movement among the five ranked law schools.

University of Miami ranked 60th, three points ahead of last year. Florida International University tied with Stetson University for 103rd place. FIU was down one, and Stetson was up two.

Other Florida law schools did not receive numerical rankings, including Ave Maria, Barry, Florida A&M, Florida Coastal, Nova Southeastern and St. Thomas.

Florida State law dean Donald Weidner said he was "satisfied but not happy" with his position statewide. The school had the same ranking last year. ...

It's a priority for Nova Southeastern to make it into the U.S. News & World Report's rankings, said law dean Jon Garon. He accomplished that at his last school, Hamline University in Minnesota, which ranks 140th, and hopes to accomplish the same thing at Nova within five years. ... "It certainly would be helpful in talking to students and parents," he said. "Moving the reputational needle is incredibly hard. It's an incredibly slow process."

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Comments

Want to boost your ranking? Get rid of the extra essays in the admission application.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 21, 2016 8:17:20 AM

Here is the University of Florida's ranking over the last seven years:
47, 49, 46, 48, 47, 47 and 48.

So they went down this year but seem to be pretty much in the range of where they usually are and not moving much at all. This is hardly newsworthy. On what basis would they suspect they could be in the mid-30's in a few years? A lot of schools would like to be there.

Posted by: DaB | Mar 21, 2016 8:50:07 AM

It's unbelievable how "bought-in" law deans are to the USN ratings. No wonder prospective students put so much faith in them. This Dean has set a goal of bringing her school up from 48th place to mid-30s within 3-5 years. Good luck with that! "As if" it's something she has direct control over.

Or maybe she can. There is still some room for creative gaming ...

Incoming 1L LSAT scores, but not size of that class matters to USN, so maybe she could admit, say, 10% of the usual cohort, only those with the highest LSATs. Admit the rest of the class as transfers, hoping USN continues to count transferee stats for the 1L school.

Change tuition policy so that 1L costs more than 2L or 3L years, and apply discounts granted to (oops, merit scholarships earned by) highly credentialed incoming 1L students to their 2L or 3L year, not their 1L year. That will discourage transfers out. No sense wasting all that money on discounts to students who will leave after one (discounted) year.

Employment after graduation matters to USN, which favors graduates who already have connections to law firms etc. Have application questions that will sort out prospects (I mean applicants) who have these connections. This is doubly important now that the transparency movement has caught up with the school-funded jobs loophole. Also, set up a Florida small practice program. (Imagine, a law school program geared to practitioners!)

You get the idea, Dean. See you in 3-5 years!

Posted by: Old Ruster from JD Junkyard | Mar 21, 2016 10:13:21 AM

Florida, home to Mickey Mouse and elderly Jews voting for Buchanon.

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Mar 21, 2016 5:04:34 PM