March 13, 2012 — The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law retained a strong position in the rankings of the top U.S. law schools, according to data compiled by U.S. News & World Report and presented in the 2013 “Best Law Schools” list. For 2013, the College of Law is ranked 47 among 195 ABA-accredited U.S. law schools, which reflects the College’s first dip in the rankings in the last four years. Between 2008 and 2011, the College of Law climbed 15 spots, from 57th in 2008 to 51st in 2009 and 42nd in the most recent two years.
For 2013, the College of Law improved its reputation among lawyers and judges. The Stegner Center was ranked 18th among the nation’s top 20 environmental law programs and the college’s law firm ranking was 41st in the country. In addition, the student/faculty ratio of 9.4 ranks the college ninth among all ABA-accredited law schools.
In an announcement, Dean Hiram Chodosh said, “Given the still uncertain economic climate and wide national variability in employment data and reporting, we anticipated a high level of unreliability and volatility in the rankings’ methodology this year.” For example, Chodosh noted that the bar passage data used in the rankings is now two years old and outdated. “In 2011, our summer bar passage rate was 92% for first-time takers and the 2011 aggregate passage rate was 90%,” he said.
Chodosh also stressed that the rankings’ narrow emphasis on certain types of quantitative data failed to consider many of the College of Law’s extraordinary achievements. “Whether we rise or fall, the rankings cannot possibly grasp the immeasurable contributions of our world-class faculty, the invaluable dedication of our staff and administration, or the incalculable service commitment and talent of our brilliant students. As we prepare to design and build the most dynamic and innovative law school facility in the world, our exciting trajectory will continue unimpeded, regardless of one year’s ranking.”
The 2013 edition of the Best Graduate Schools book will be available for purchase in early April.