Unlike the US News and World Report rankings, which use a combination of archaic and largely unknown factors (including, apparently, the square footage of the law library and the size of the school’s endowment) to judge schools apples to oranges to kumquats, the TPR rankings survey “more than 18,000 students at 172 law schools, in addition to collecting data from school administrators” to create top ten lists of various factors of each school – although, like in USNWR, how they come to these conclusions is still a bit vague. I still find this system much more useful than the USNWR rankings, and not just because BU School of Law is continually well-recognized.
These are BUSL’s accolades for 2010:
Best Professors – #3
Best Career Prospects – #6
Obviously, I’m very happy and proud of how BUSL continues to dominate these two particular categories. We have long been recognized as having some of the nation’s best faculty, and my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive with the professors, administrators, and staff here at the law school. Personally, I’m disappointed that neither BU nor any Boston school placed in the “Best Quality of Life” category. Boston is a great city to live in as a young person, it is surprisingly affordable if you want to live frugally, and there are endless personal and professional opportunities. However, the schools mentioned in that list are predominantly from suburban communities or smaller cities, so take that for what it’s worth.
More importantly, I’d like to address Elie Mystal’s comments about the “Best Career Prospects” rankings. Elie writes:
I’m okay with Harvard being ranked lower than BU or BC in terms of career prospects. I mean, that’s wrong but whatever. I’m okay with NYU placing in the top ten while Columbia does not. Again, probably wrong but no big deal. But — as I said last year — having a list that ranks the ten best law schools for your career that doesn’t include Yale undermines the credibility of the entire list. You’re really telling me that there are ten law schools that are better for your legal career than Yale Law School? That’s just dumb. Maybe next year, Princeton Law will be on the list.
I think Elie misses the point on this issue. “Best Career Prospects” doesn’t necessarily mean “best for your career as a big law lawyer” or “best chances to clerk for a Supreme Court judge” as he implies in his statement. The reality of the matter is that BU has a solid career development staff that offers to help students pursue opportunities in any number of different legal professions ranging from clerkships to “Big Law” to in-house counsel and everything in between, coast to coast. No one is shoehorned or forced into some sort of “legacy” profession or school specialty career.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that BUSL hasn’t been affected by the recent job difficulties, but there are plenty of 2L and 3L students getting interviews, callbacks, and offers here. And, as the legal profession adjusts to the new realities of the economy, I think that versatility is going to continue to propel law students here at BUSL and our law school to the top of the “Best Career Prospects” ranking. I still believe that we have the quantity, quality, and diversity of student job opportunities that earned us this ranking in the first place, and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon, despite the grumblings of a resentful Harvard B.A./J.D.