Why Law School Rankings Are Seeing A Big Shift

Why Law School Rankings Are Seeing A Big Shift

The University Oregon School of Law climbed the ranks of the U.S. News & World Report rankings this year by five positions, while the University of Wisconsin Law School moved down over ten positions. Deans at both schools advised potential applicants to not look into it too much.

Wisconsin has always had diploma privilege, but in 2020, five other states offered temporary diploma privilege, which likely led to a shift in the law school rankings.

Derek Muller, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, holds that diploma privilege and the changes in 2020 to the bar passage rate indicator, greatly impacted law schools in Wisconsin. He doesn’t believe that temporary diploma privilege affected changes seen in other law schools ranking outside of Wisconsin.

“Students’ No. 1 goal is to get a job in their chosen profession, and they should choose a school where that is more likely than not, based on the school’s track record,” Marcilynn Burke, the dean of the University of Oregon School of Law said. Time and statistics will tell just exactly how the change in recent law school ranks will play out.


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