Every year law schools around the United States eagerly await the word of where they fall into the ranks of different reviews. Some schools fair well in one review while not doing so good in another. In order to fully understand the Law School Rankings of 2012, you need to look at the top reviews and how they score schools.
US News and World Report is a top reviewer of all sorts of university programs, including law schools. They provide rankings for overall schools as well as ranking them based on programs or other attributes. They also provide rankings on schools in different regional areas of the United States. They use statistics from quality assessment, peer assessments by academics in the legal education field, assessments from judges and attorneys, the schools selectivity criteria, and its placement success with graduates.
According to US News and World Report, the top five overall ranked law schools in the United States are:
1. Yale University
2. Harvard University
3. Stanford University
4. Columbia University
5. University of Chicago
In different types of law, the rankings are a bit different. The top schools in certain legal areas sometimes offer special opportunities for those students who want to major in those areas. Here are the top ranked schools (#1) in each of these legal education areas, as reported by the US News and World Report:
• Clinical Training – Georgetown University
• Dispute Resolution – Pepperdine University
• Environmental Law – Vermont Law School
• Healthcare Law – St. Louis University
• Intellectual Property Law – University of California – Berkeley
• Legal Writing – Mercer University
• Tax Law – New York University
• Trial Advocacy – Stetson University
The Princeton Review is another prestigious review that comes out every year on law schools. They rank things a bit differently. They take data from students at law schools around the country. They also add in ranking information based on other surveys of information. They then create rankings based on this data. They rank mostly on how the students experience their law school instead of how those outside the school view it.
Here are some of the Princeton Review's rankings for the 2011-2012 academic year:
Best Professors – Boston University
Best Career Prospects – Northwestern University
Best Classroom Experience – Stanford University
Best Quality of Life – Duke University
Best Environment for Minority Students – University of Hawaii at Manoa
Toughest to Get Into – Yale University
Most Liberal Students – Northeastern University'
Most Conservative Students – Ave Maria
As you can seek rankings can differ widely depending on how you look at law schools. Research your choices carefully to get the best law school rankings 2012.