The University of Richmond law school was among the big winners in the annual ranking of law schools by U.S. News & World Report.
It jumped 19 spots to 67th, which still left it trailing four other law schools in the state – the University of Virginia, which moved up a spot to tie for ninth; the College of William and Mary, 27th; Washington and Lee University, 30th; and George Mason University, 40th.
The rankings of the schools other than UR were close to previous listings, with W&L changing the most by jumping four spots.
The state’s three newest law schools – Appalachian, Liberty and Regent – were not ranked in the top 145 law schools and were among those listed alphabetically.
There was little change among the top six schools with Yale, Harvard and Stanford holding the tops spots once again.
The methodology changed this year to rank three-quarters of the law school, with only the bottom quarter listed in alphabetical order. Previous rankings had listed the top 100 schools with the remaining schools ranked in tiers alphabetically. Now there are only two listings.
The magazine also modified the calculation of employments rates. “In the past, J.D.s counted as employed at graduation and at nine months later if they worked full or part-time in a legal or non-legal job or were pursuing further graduate education; so did 25 percent of those whose status was unknown,” the magazine said in a press release.
“Now, the rates are figured solely on the number of graduates working full or part-time in a legal or non-legal job divided by the total number of J.D. graduates. Those not seeking employment are now counted in the total number of graduates; previously, they were excluded.”
The change followed reports in The New York Times, The New Yorker and other publications about the efforts of some law schools to manipulate employment and other criteria to enhance their rankings.
By Alan Cooper