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

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Princeton Review's Best 169 Law Schools (2018 Edition)

Princeton ReviewThe Princeton Review has published the 2018 edition of The Best 169 Law Schools (press release) (FAQs) (methodology):

The Princeton Review tallied its lists based on its surveys of 19,900 students attending the 169 law schools [an average of 118 per school]. The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their experiences. 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. Virginia
  2. Duke
  3. Boston University
  4. Stanford
  5. Chicago
  6. Pepperdine
  7. Washington & Lee
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Boston College
  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. Colorado
  4. Charleston
  5. Georgia

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. Duke
  4. Chicago
  5. Boston University

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. NYU
  2. Chicago
  3. Harvard
  4. Pennsylvania
  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 an underrepresented minority group. Student answers to a survey question on whether the faculty comprises a broadly diverse group of individuals.

  1. CUNY
  2. Arizona Summit
  3. Temple
  4. Hawaii
  5. Southern

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. Nova
  3. Southern
  4. Faulkner
  5. Widener

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. CUNY
  2. Northeastern
  3. Vermont
  4. NYU
  5. American

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. BYU
  3. Regent
  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 an underrepresented minority group. 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. St. Thomas (Florida)
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Southern
  5. San Francisco

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. New Mexico
  4. South Dakota
  5. CUNY

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. Stanford
  3. Harvard
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Virginia

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/2017/11/princeton-reviews-best-169-law-schools-2018-edition.html

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

When faculty at George Mason have surveyed our students anonymously, we've found that the student body leans slightly liberal ideologically, and beyond that tends to vote 2-1 or so for Democratic presidential candidates. How this jibes with Princeton Review consistently rating our students as so conservative, I don't know, but I suspect the relevant metric is "compared to other MidAtlantic urban law schools," not compared to law students nationwide.

Posted by: David Bernstein | Nov 3, 2017 9:21:36 AM