Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2013 US News and World Reports Law School Rankings

Image from: here
Although I'm sure everyone is well aware of the debate surrounding the methodology used to calculate these rankings, not to mention the debate on whether or not there is any practical utility for these rankings, they are undeniably amusing nonetheless.  Below is an incomplete list of the schools geographically closest to Las Vegas for your review and comment:  

#7 - University of California--Berkeley

#15 - University of California--Los Angeles

#18 - University of Southern California

#26 - Arizona State University

#29 - University of California--Davis

#39 - Brigham Young University

#43 - University of Arizona

#44 - University of Colorado--Boulder

#44 - University of California (Hastings)

#47 - University of Utah

#49 - Pepperdine University

#76 - University of Nevada--Las Vegas (2012 Rank = #71)

#96 - Santa Clara University

#101 - University of the Pacific (McGeorge) 

#106 - University of San Francisco

#110 - Chapman University

#129 - Southwestern Law School

- And, "a number of [other] law schools that are just as geographically proximate [to UNLV] that are ranked lower (in some cases, much much lower) than Boyd."


  1. Your list makes it look like Boyd is the worst law school in the southwest. To be fair, there are also a number of law schools that are just as geographically proximate that are ranked lower (in some cases, much much lower) than Boyd. Maybe you want to include them?

  2. Boyd is certainly not the worst law school in the southwest. I think the point of the post is to show that Boyd, although low in the rankings, is at least still included in the rankings. That's quite an accomplishment for such a new school I would think...

  3. I honestly wasn't trying to take a dig at Boyd with this post - I think the rankings are suspect to begin with, and 76 is a respectable number, regardless.

    Anyway, I've updated the list pursuant to your suggestion, although I don't know if this additional information actually helps or hurts your position.

  4. Does it even matter what law school people attended after a few years of practice? P.S. I did not attend Boyd.

  5. I think it matters if you want to lateral to a huge firm in another city, work for a high-ranking office in the DOJ, become a federal judge, or become a law prof. But if you're happy as an attorney at a local firm, I don't think it matters much at all (although I do recall a managing partner dropping that certain attorneys working for him went to certain highly regarded firms and acting like I should be very impressed).

  6. *went to certain highly regarded schools

  7. U.S. News & World Reports could rank Boyd No. 1 and it wouldn't change my opinion of Boyd grads. In my office the open joke when we see a poorly drafted pleading or a ridiculous argument in a filing is "must have been prepared by a Boyd grad." Sadly, more than half the time a quick visit to the State Bar's website proves the joke to be all too accurate.

  8. I'm sure there are Boyd grads that do bad work. I'm sure there are Boyd grads that do good work. I'd be willing to bet that the Boyd grads at LSC, Snell, Greenberg Traurig, etc. do good work. I've noticed that the worst work comes from the small firms that don't have the same resources as LSC-caliber firms.

  9. Funny. The running "joke" here is that when there's a terribly-written motion, the attorney who drafted it is one of the old-timers who thinks that a 15-page rant (without citation to legal authority) is persuasive.

    In the last 6 months, the only motion I've read from OC that made me stop and think, "damn, that's pretty good!" was written by a 2011 Boyd grad.

    1. Exactly. Apparently there's some kind of NRCP that states that once you've been practicing for twenty-five years, you no longer have to cite to statutes, court rules, or case law. But it's okay, you'll still win anyways because you golf/drink/go to church with the judge.

      I can't wait until I've been practicing for twenty years. I look forward to being able to just make things up for my briefs and motions instead of bothering to do research.

  10. March 14 at 8:44 and 9:12.

    So right! My motions regularly come back from one such "good old boy" with the added 15-page rant you mention. Not sure what will happen now that there is an actual 30-page limit on briefs in state court.

  11. 9:12,

    It isn't that they don't have to. It's that they've been around long enough to realize that, if the judge even read the brief, the judge isn't paying attention to the legal research anyway. It's far easier to make something up and rant about it at oral argument.

  12. You neglected to include Thomas Jefferson and Cooley which, needless to say, were put at the bottom of the pile and "unranked."

  13. Oh 12:21, educational elitism is so not relevant in this town. It's really more about the cars you drive. How many do you have? Are they all fancy cars? Do you live in a guard gated community? Do you carry a money clip? How are you relevant, nobody cares where you went to school.

  14. Depends on what you want to do and when you graduated law school. If you love PI, then there's no need for a HLS degree. Same thing if you graduated 30 years ago when Vegas had huge demand for lawyers. If you want to work at the most highly regarded firms in Nevada and you're graduating now, then you better have something impressive on your resume.

  15. OK - I took a look at Ballard Spahr out of curiosity. Its associates are grads from Loyola, BYU, Cal Western, Ohio Northern U, University of Nebraska, and 3 Boyds. Not one HLS, YLS, PLS, etc.

    I bet I'd find the same thing at most firms.