Twenty Years of USNWR

Data from the Pre-Law Handbook web site and US News America's Best Graduate Schools 2009:

Green marks moves into the Top 10, red marks moves out. Turquoise indicates ties for 9th or 10th place that forced more than ten schools into the "Top 10." For those who wonder: The moniker "Top 14" stems from the observation that only fourteen schools have ever appeared in the Top 10 spots of the USNWR law school rankings. Also, since 1990 only these fourteen schools have appeared in the Top 14 spots.

A few things of note:

  • Of the Top 6 schools, only two (Chicago and NYU) have ever fallen out of the Top 6. NYU was bumped to 7th by Michigan in 1991 and 1992; Chicago was bumped to 7th by Berkeley in 2008.

  • Michigan is the only school outside the Top 6 which was in the Top 10 every single year.

  • Virginia fell outside the Top 10 only once (to 14th place in 1994).

  • In eight of the last eleven years, the Top 10 has really been the Top 11, due to ties for 9th or 10th place.

  • Penn holds the record for most moves in and out of the Top 10, but has spent more years in (15) than out (5).

  • Northwestern appeared in the Top 10 three times, once in a tie for 10th.

  • Cornell appeared in the Top 10 three times and only in ties for 10th place.

  • Georgetown appeared in the Top 10 only once (1993), and has held fast in 14th place for eleven of the last twelve years.

  • Texas and UCLA were in the first "Top 14" in 1987, but were bumped by Cornell and Northwestern in 1990, never to return.

Schools outside the Top 6, ranked by number of times in the Top 10:
Michigan     ||||||||||||||||||||
Virginia |||||||||||||||||||
Pennsylvania |||||||||||||||
Duke ||||||||||||||
Berkeley |||||||||||||
Cornell |||
Northwestern |||
Georgetown |

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