TaxProf Blog

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

Princeton Review's Best 173 Law Schools (2016 Edition)

Princeton 2The Princeton Review has published the 2016 edition of The Best 173 Law Schools (press release) (FAQs) (methodology):

The Princeton Review surveyed over 19,700 students attending the 173 law schools.  The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their experiences at them. Some ranking list tallies also factored in school-reported data.

Best Professors:  Based on student answers to survey questions concerning how good their professors are as teachers and how accessible they are outside the classroom.

  1. Duke
  2. Boston University
  3. Virginia
  4. Washington & Lee
  5. Chicago
  6. Pepperdine
  7. St. Thomas (Minnesota)
  8. Stanford
  9. Samford
  10. Charleston

Best Quality of Life:  Based on student answers to survey questions on: whether there is a strong sense of community at the school whether differing opinions are tolerated in the classroom, the location of the school, the quality of social life at the school, the school's research resources (library, computer and database resources).

  1. Virginia
  2. Vanderbilt
  3. St. Thomas (Minnesota)
  4. NYU
  5. Florida State

Best Classroom Experience:  Based on student answers to survey questions concerning their professors' teaching abilities and overall accessibility outside of the classroom, the balance of theory and practical skills in the curricula and the range of courses available, the level of tolerance for differing opinions in class discussion, and their assessments of research resources available.

  1. Stanford
  2. Virginia
  3. Chicago
  4. Northwestern
  5. Duke

Best Career Prospects:  Based on school reported data and student surveys. School data include: the median starting salaries of graduating students, the percent of students employed in a job that requires bar passage (and not employed by the school) and the percent of these students who pass the bar exam the first time they take it. Student answers to survey questions on: how much the law program encourages practical experience; the opportunities for externships, internships and clerkships, and how prepared the students feel they will be to practice the law after graduating.

  1. Pennsylvania
  2. NYU
  3. Chicago
  4. Stanford
  5. Columbia

Most Diverse Faculty:  Based on school reported data and student surveys. School data: the percent of the law school faculty that is from a minority. Student answers to a survey question on whether the faculty comprises a broadly diverse group of individuals.

  1. Southern
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Hawaii
  4. Florida International
  5. UC-Davis

Most Competitive Students:  Based on student answers to survey questions on: the number of hours they study outside of class each day, the number of hours they think their fellow students study outside of class each day, and the degree of competitiveness among students at their school.

  1. Baylor
  2. Case Western
  3. Nova
  4. Campbell
  5. Faulkner

Most Liberal Students:  Based on student answers to a survey question concerning the political bent of the student body at large. The survey question was "If there is a prevailing political bent among students at your school, how would you characterize it?" Answer choices were: "Very Liberal, Liberal, Middle of the Road, Somewhat Conservative, Very Conservative."

  1. Northeastern
  2. American
  3. Oregon
  4. NYU
  5. San Francisco

Most Conservative Students:  Based on student answers to a survey question concerning the political bent of the student body at large. The survey question was "If there is a prevailing political bent among students at your school, how would you characterize it?" Answer choices were: "Very Liberal, Liberal, Middle of the Road, Somewhat Conservative, Very Conservative."

  1. Ave Maria
  2. Regent
  3. BYU
  4. Samford
  5. George Mason

Best Environment for Minority Students:  Based on school reported data and student surveys. School data: the percent of the student body that is from a minority. Student answers to a survey question on whether all students receive equal treatment by fellow students and the faculty, regardless of ethnicity.

  1. Hawaii
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Southern
  4. Faulkner
  5. UC-Davis

Most Chosen by Older Students:  Based on the average age of entry of law school students and student reports of how many years they spent out of college before enrolling in law school.

  1. Arizona Summit
  2. District of Columbia
  3. CUNY
  4. Hawaii
  5. St. Mary's

Toughest to Get Into:  Based on school reported data. Factors include: median LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs of entering 1L students, the percent of applicants accepted, and the percent of accepted applicants who enroll.

  1. Yale
  2. Harvard
  3. Stanford
  4. Chicago
  5. Columbia

Unfortunately, the Princeton Review did not release the response rate per school, so it is impossible to determine how the rankings are affected by each school's representation among the respondents.

For prior Princeton Review Law School Rankings, see:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/04/princeton-reviews-best-173-law-schools-2016-edition.html

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

Why 173? There are 205ish accredited law schools now. Who failed to *qualify* for TPR rankings? It's interesting to see Northeastern as most liberal students, as I recall being indirectly accused of working for Cato once because of the things I write about law schools...

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Apr 18, 2016 7:56:03 AM

asking students who has the "best" professors is not the way to find out who has the best professors.

Posted by: Jeffrey Harrison | Apr 18, 2016 1:45:03 PM

I am a lazy, cheap lawyer. I don't want to purchase the book for $18.00 from Amazon and I don't want to get off my recliner and drive to Barnes and Noble to see if my school made the list. Could you recite the entire list, please, please, please......

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Apr 18, 2016 4:01:16 PM

Leaving aside my Lake Wobegonian quibble about whether 173 out of a total of 205 could usefully be characterized as "best", I find it amazing how such esteemed institutions as Charleston, Arizona Summit, District of Columbia, and Faulkner could possibly make anyone's list of "Best Law Schools". Their inclusion, even in a list of the 173 "best" (out of 205) schools raises serious questions about the author's criteria for determining the "best".

Posted by: Old Ruster from JDJunkyard | Apr 19, 2016 6:13:56 AM