The LSU Law Center remained solidly positioned among the top 100 American law schools in rankings released on April 15. The 2011 U.S. News and World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings placed the Center at 80th nationally, down slightly from the previous rankings in 2010.
“Although I’d rather have moved up 5 places than down 5 places [this year], it’s a very small move,” commented Chancellor Jack Weiss. “Our raw score went down by only one point. We are still solidly placed among the nation’s top 100 law schools.”
Although some 188 law schools in the nation are reviewed by the magazine, only law schools that place in the top 100 receive a specific numerical ranking. LSU Law’s ranking has climbed dramatically in the closely watched list, with the Center moving into the top 100 in 2004. The 13 place move last year – up to 75th – was one of the largest positive moves in the country.
“Students recognize that LSU Law continues to provide a first-rate legal education at a great value,” commented Chancellor Weiss. “Our applications this year are up about 20%– far above national and regional averages. There is a message here, however: there is no such thing as a free lunch. It is unrealistic to think that we can climb the US News ranks or fulfill our potential as a flagship law school with huge cuts in state funding every year. The law school world is highly competitive. If we stand still, well-funded law schools in other states will pass us by. If LSU Law is going to continue to provide the future leaders of our state—bench, bar, and business–the Governor and the Legislature must give us the resources to do our job.”
The rankings consider a variety of factors, with some 40% of the score derived from peer surveys of deans, faculty, judges, and lawyers. Additional factors include selectivity of entering students (.25); placement in employment and bar passage (.20); and faculty resources (.15).