New Law School Rankings Released By Cooley

judging_cover_08_tnU.S. News and World Report has long been the dominant ranking of law schools. However, there is competition from groups that disagree with the factors weighed by the magazine. One such competing ranking is done each year at Cooley Law School, which released the annual results this week below.

Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc explained the objection to the U.S. News and World Report rankings:

“U.S. News uses a system that lacks objectivity because it is commercial. Their rankings reflect elitist values, like exclusivity in admissions and the inherent prejudice that comes from heavy reliance on reputation, which is introduced without consideration of knowledge about the law schools among those assessing their reputations.”

Cooley notably does quite well on Cooley’s ranking while Chicago is below the University of Houston.

Here are the rankings in Judging the Law Schools:

1. Harvard University
2. Georgetown University
3. New York University
4. University of Virginia
5. University of Texas
6. University of Michigan
7. Northwestern University
8. Columbia University
9. Yale Law School
10. George Washington University
11. University of Minnesota
12. Thomas M. Cooley Law School
13. Fordham University
14. University of California-Los Angeles
15. American University
16. University of Pennsylvania
17. University of California-Hastings
18. Stanford University
19. University of Maryland
20. University of California-Berkeley

Rounding out the Top 50 were:

21. Loyola Law School
22. Temple University
23. Brooklyn Law School
24. University of Wisconsin
25. Boston University
26. University of Miami
27. Duke University
28. Washington University
29. Chicago-Kent College of Law
30. University of Houston
31. University of Chicago
32. Emory University
33. University of Connecticut
34. University of Iowa
35. Suffolk University
36. Indiana University-Bloomington
37. SMU Dedman School of Law
38. Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
39. Boston College
40. Ohio State University
41. University of Alabama
42. Seton Hall University
43. Vanderbilt University
44. University of North Carolina
45. Cornell Law School
46. Catholic University
47. Tulane University
48. University of Illinois
49. University of Denver
50. University of San Diego

For those interested in comparing, the difference is quite significant with the U.S. News and World Report.

The U.S. News & World Report Ranking is below:

(1) Yale University

(2) Harvard University, Stanford University

(4) Columbia University

(5) New York University

(6) University of California at Berkeley

(7) University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania

(9) Northwestern University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of Virginia

(12) Cornell University Ithaca, NY; Duke University Durham, NC

(14) Georgetown University Washington, DC

(15) Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN

(16) University of California–Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA; University of Texas–Austin Austin, TX

(18 ) University of Southern California (Gould) Los Angeles, CA

(19) Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO

(20) George Washington University Washington, DC

For the full article, click here.

10 thoughts on “New Law School Rankings Released By Cooley”


    Cooley is the anti-christ of law schools! First, they decide who is going to be a dean or whatever of that school based on the amount money that person donates to Cooley. If you look at their bios they were all only attorneys for a couple of years. This is because they each made some sort of major mistake while practicing. Therefore they had no choice but to leave the practice of law and go work at Cooley. This is true for a few of the professors as well!

    Second, they COMMIT SERIOUS FRAUD that needs to be reported! Do you know why Cooley has the highest minority enrollment? Do you know why they let everyone in? Well, because they get extra money from the federal government for both of course!!!! They are a private institution therefore off rip they do not receive federal funds…. However, the federal government DOES give them money for each minority student and each student with a disability.

    So, they herd in minority and students with below average LSAT scores. Once they are in the school they try to convince both groups to get tested for a learning disability from ‘their doctors!’ Ironically, these are psychiatrist on a list handed out by the school, these are the only ‘psychiatrist’ they will accept a learning disability diagnosis from, and they only accept cash……$900 – $2000. The doctors then give the student a note and the school a referral fee. The student brings the note to the school and is given extra time while the school gets extra money!

    For every student that does not play this game the school flunks them out……..This is why the attrition rate is so high and this is the blatant ponzi scheme they have been getting away with for years!

    So, please do not make the mistake of thinking that this school genuinely likes minorities….they don’t! They are actually pretty racist! However what they do like about minorities is they get money for them…..

    They need to be seriously investigated.

  2. After a brief review, it is to the credit of the Cooley ratings that some of the major factors seem to be based on objective measures, such as size of enrollment, number of applicants, and total voulmes and titles in the library. This does minimize subjective factors, such as opinion polls of lawyers or deans, that are inherently difficult to quantify.

    Cooley says it is the largest law school in the country, with 13,000 students. Other schools with large enrollments, such as Harvard, Georgetown, and GW rate well. I have read that GW has 10,000 applicants every year. This may paartly explain why Yale, which is smaller than 1st-place Harvard, finishes 9th.

    The rankings are interesting, but prospective law students should take other factors into account. Some of you may do better in schools with smaller enrollments. Study hard, since it is probably better for your ability as a lawyer to finish at the top of any law school than at the bottom of a top-ten school.

    I recall that Jerome Barron, when he was Dean of GWU Law School, used to say something to the effect that GW was one of the 20 law schools in the Top Ten Law Schools in America.

  3. BIL, Or, as they say in Boston, you can always tell a Harvard man….You just can’t tell him much.

  4. I’d also like to point out that Harvard produced many of Bush’s hacks. It’s not the quality of the school. It’s the quality of the students. I know for a fact that in the last 8 years I went from being impressed with Harvard (based mostly on an experience with a very gifted Harvard educated instructor to be honest) to having the reaction when someone tells me they went to Harvard of “Oh, isn’t that nice.”

  5. Mespo,
    You are right that the listings are subjective and don’t take into account the strengths of the people at each school. However, Cooley Law School is commended for giving US News and World Report some competition. Since they listed my daughter’s school much higher than the US News, I would have to agree with the Cooley listing!

  6. I find ranking law schools is like ranking Division 1A BCS football teams who have no on-the-field championship. No one can possibly see and evaluate them all, and who’s the best is determined largely by what “objective” criteria we subjectively choose to prioritize. The better question is which school is best at a given aspect of legal preparation. Congratulations to all of them, but in the end it’s all marketing.

  7. Well, this is clearly a left-wing pinko-commie biased list because I do not see:

    Pat Robertson’s Regent University School of Law

    (Did they bribe the ABA for accreditation?!)

    Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University School of Law

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