While they are not very popular in academia, the fact that U.S. News & World Report rankings have real world impact for law schools that cannot be denied. The magazine’s ranking system includes a “Top 100” list (with extra prestige to those law schools in the Top 50, Top 20, Top 10 and, at the pinnacle, Top 5). If a law school does not get a Top 100 ranking from the magazine’s editors, it is designated either a Tier 3 or Tier 4 school.
Minnesota has one nationally ranked law school — the University of Minnesota Law School — which U.S. News & World Report currently places at #20in the nation. (The U of M briefly flirted with being #22 last year before regaining a spot on the Top 20 list.) Two of the state’s law schools — William Mitchell College of Law and the University of St. Thomas School of Law — have been designated as Tier 3 by the magazine. Hamline University School of Law has a Tier 4 ranking.
Minnesota Lawyer recently spoke with the deans of the state’s four law schools about their views on the much reviled, but much watched U.S. News & World Report rankings of law schools.