When U.S. News & World Report released its Best Graduate Schools rankings on March 13, Washington University Law School’s ranking moved down for the first time in seven years. The drop is a direct result of a change in the way employment placement is defined and reported by the ABA, as well as the very difficult marketplace for jobs faced by all graduates in the class of 2010. For other USN&WR categories (LSAT, peer assessment score, lawyers/judges score), Washington University Law School continues to place in the top 20.
This year, for the first time, the ABA took responsibility for collecting employment data. In doing so, it established new, more stringent definitions that focus on student-by-student placement. In the spirit of transparency and openness, we immediately took a rigorous and careful approach to reporting our placement data for the class of 2010 under these new criteria.
Washington University Law School’s placement rate for the class of 2010 is 80.7%; when full-time students in graduate study are included in employment data, the rate is 87.4%. For the class of 2011, we already know that our job placement figures have risen to 86.4%; including full-time graduate students, that figure is 91.2%. This is important progress in a continually challenging economy and legal hiring environment. For more information, visit here.
We are proud of our innovative work partnering with our students to place them in meaningful careers. We take seriously our standing in the rankings, but we take even more seriously our obligation to our students and graduates to report all data accurately – and most importantly, to get our students onto a solid path for success.
By measures included in the USN&WR ranking, as well as other assessments, Washington University Law School is one of the top schools in the United States, especially in view of our strong and talented student body, our faculty work that attracts national and international attention and our expanded professional skills opportunities around the world.