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2010 Princeton Review Law School Rankings

Earlier today, Princeton Review released its 2010 rankings of the top full-time U.S. law school programs. The organization ranks law schools in 11 different categories based on student surveys. This year, 172 law schools were eligible.

Despite long-time criticisms about graduate school rankings, law school rankings still play an important role in the world of legal education. When a school’s ranking drops, fewer admitted applicants accept spots at the school (i.e. yield rate), and budgets are often adjusted. Likewise, when a school rises in the rankings, the school often achieve a higher yield rate and an increase in applications. Northwestern Law more than most schools has historically been quite supportive of the ranking system. The schools believes that it provides one way to measure the school’s reputation and progress toward its overall strategic goals.

See below for a look at this year’s school rankings and how Northwestern stacks up:

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First, here are a few of the overall rankings “Career Prospects:”

1. Northwestern
2. Penn
3. Michigan
4. University of Chicago
5. Stanford
6. Boston University
7. Boston College
8. Harvard
9. NYU
10. GULC

Second here are the rankings for “toughest to get into:”

1. Yale
2. Harvard
3. Stanford
4. UC-Berkeley
5. Columbia
6. Penn
7. Northwestern
8. Virginia
9. Chicago
10. Michigan

Third here are the rankings for “quality of life:”

1. Virginia
2. Stanford
3. Chapman
4. St. Thomas
5. Colorado
6. Vanderbilt
7. NYU
8. Oregon
9. Northwestern
10. George Washington

Here are the summary rankings for Northwestern:

Best Career Prospects: #1
Toughest to Get Into #7
Best Quality of Life: # 9 (4th among top law schools),
Best Classroom Experience #10 (5th among the top law schools)

Northwestern has held the No. 1 spot for Best Career Prospects for four of the five years that the Princeton Review has published these rankings. While the difficult economy continues to present immediate challenges to students hitting the job market, this recognition is a testament to our strong reputation. It also affirms our distinctive career-focused strategy and efforts to prepare graduates for successful lifelong careers that will span multiple employers and industries.

As a point of reference, here is how Northwestern ranked in the 2009 U.S. News Rankings:

Overall: 10th
Trial Advocacy: 10th
Clinical Training: 13th
Tax Law: 4th
Legal Writing: 10th
Dispute Resolution: 15th
International Law: 19th
Diversity: 5th

Click here for a full list of Northwestern Rankings.

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