Campus, News

BU School of Law climbs the rank for third consecutive year

The BU School of Law jumped six spaces to No. 20 on the most recent U.S. News & World Report law school rankings released on Wednesday. PHOTO BY BRIAN SONG/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
The BU School of Law jumped six spaces to No. 20 on the most recent U.S. News & World Report law school rankings released on Wednesday. PHOTO BY BRIAN SONG/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Continuing a rise in ranking for its third consecutive year, Boston University’s School of Law was tied with the University of Iowa for the 20th best law school in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report Best Graduate Schools ranking released Wednesday.

Climbing the ranks from the 26th best law school in 2016, the School of Law’s Health Care Law, Tax Law and Intellectual Property Law programs were respectively placed second, eight and tenth best in the nation.

This year’s ranking takes 12 measures of quality into consideration, which include assessment scores from lawyers and judges, median Law School Admission Test scores and acceptance rate, U.S. News chief data strategist Robert Morse wrote in an email.

“Rankings, done right, are a useful source of information for consumers,” Morse wrote. “U.S. News’ mission in producing Best Law Schools [ranking] is to arm consumers with good data and information, enabling them to sift through lots of complicated information when deciding which program is the right fit for them.”

The School of Law’s rank rise is attributed to improvements in “academic reputation, employer reputation and faculty resources, plus bigger grains in placement success in terms of jobs at graduation and jobs 10 months after graduation,” Morse wrote in the email.

Ann Comer-Woods, a School of Law spokesperson, said the increased opportunities for graduates to pursue employment in a variety of legal sectors is an important factor to the rise in rank.

“While a significant number of our students are hired by big law firms, we also have a growing number of students who want to work for smaller firms, as well as private companies, the government and nonprofit organizations,” Comer-Woods said.

Applicants looking to take advantage of the career opportunities and high-quality legal education a School of Law degree provides would consider the rank the School of Law received, Comer-Woods argued.

“We find that our students come to BU Law to receive an outstanding legal education from faculty who are recognized nationally as exceptional teachers,” Comer-Woods said.

Comer-Woods said though the administration is glad to see the School of Law being recognized by the U.S. News ranking, the school will continue to push for further developments.

“It’s always nice to receive external recognition for the high quality of our law school,” Comer-Woods said. “We also recognize that rankings fluctuate from year to year. Regardless of the ranking, our commitment to making BU Law the best place to be a law student remains constant. It’s why we continue to develop new programs, hire top faculty and attract the best students.”

Several law students said they are excited about the improved ranking and attributed the newly renovated facility as one of the reasons for the improvement.

Evan Bailey, a first-year law student, said though he did not put a huge emphasis on rankings when applying to law schools, he believes the ranking will help in his post-graduation job search.

“I’m excited about [the ranking] because employers care about it, and I want to get a job after I graduate,” Bailey said. “A large part of is probably the new building and new programs the school has instituted.”

Nina Menniti, another first-year law student, said she looks forward to seeing the impact the new ranking will have on the university.

“The rankings are definitely important with admissions for incoming students and the job search after graduation,” she said. “It will add more recognition to the School of Law.”

Thomas Leonardo, a second-year law student, said the number of new programs and improved students facilities contributed to the rise in ranking.

“It’s very important for employers to see the ranking [because] they take it into consideration,” he said. “I know [the ranking] fluctuates year to year, but it adds a sense of pride for going here.”

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