US News and World Report provides rankings of all law programs accredited by the American Bar Association (“ABA”). While there are other ranking systems, this is the one most followed by the legal profession. This source of “tier” designations. (see information on program “tiers”).
- Peer review;
- Median LSAT (or GRE) score of the incoming class;
- Median undergraduate GPA of the incoming class;
- Acceptance rate of the incoming class;
- Graduate placement/bar passage rate
“Specialty” area reviews are by peer review only.
(see information on program rankings)
Neither the American Bar Association nor its Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar endorses, cooperates with, or provides data to any law school ranking system. No ranking or rating system of law schools is attempted or advocated by the ABA. Rather, the ABA provides only a statement of the accreditation status of a school. Fully approved schools have demonstrated that they are operating in compliance with each of the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools. Their compliance is regularly monitored and comprehensive reviews are conducted every tenth year. Provisionally approved schools, also considered "ABA-Approved," have been determined to be operating in substantial compliance with the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools. Prospective law students should consider a variety of factors in making their choice among schools.
As is true of all forms of higher education, there is a longstanding debate about when the cost of a legal education outweighs the benefits. There are a lot of websites dedicated to examining the benefit/cost balance of law school, this one has one of the best reputations. "Our mission rests on the three pillars of our theory of action: reform, information, and accountability. We develop legal education policy ideas, shape the national debate of these ideas, and challenge law schools, state bar associations, and the American Bar Association to change business as usual."