New Law School Rankings Leaked, Shakeup in the T14

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on March 09, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The U.S. News and World Report law school rankings -- the only law school rankings that matter -- have been leaked. Spivey Consulting, the same "get me into law school" consulting company that obtained a leaked advance of last year's rankings, has reportedly done it again, grabbing an early copy of the 2018 rankings. (Yes, in law school ranking land, the 2018 list is released in 2017.)

And there seems to have been some surprising shakeups. For the first time in a long time, the top 14 schools, or T14, have shifted a bit.

Some Changes in the Top 14

Law school rankings can shift drastically year to year, but mostly for schools ranking in the 20's or lower. My poor alma mater, for example, has bounced around from number 20 in 2010, to number 30 today, and it will probably continue to ride the mid-20's rollercoaster for the foreseeable future.

But the T14 tends to be inviolate. Yale was number one, Columbia, NYU, and Chicago fought for the mid-range, and Cornell, Georgetown, Northwestern and the others took up the rear -- the same as it was when your father applied to law school, and his father before him. And in the new rankings, things stay pretty much the same. But there's some important changes.

The tie for number two has been broken, with Stanford finally beating out Harvard. Columbia has dropped behind Chicago, Berkeley has taken a major fall, and Georgetown is out of the T14 all together, replaced by UT Austin.

Here's the full T14:

1) Yale
2) Stanford
3) Harvard (-1)
4) U Chicago
5) Columbia (-1)
6) NYU
7) Penn
8) Michigan
8) UVA
10) Duke (+1)
10) Northwestern (+2)
12) Berkeley (-4)
13) Cornell
14) UT Austin (+1)

And the Rest of Them

Of course, the top schools aren't the only schools. There's been some shakeups in the top 30 as well, though such movement is a bit more expected in these ranks.

15) Georgetown (-1)
15) UCLA (+2)
17) Vanderbilt (-1)
19) USC
20) Iowa
20) Notre Dame (+2)
22) Emory
23) Boston U (-3)
23) U Minnesota (-1)
25) Arizona State
26) Boston College (+4)
26) Alabama (+2)
28) UC Irvine
28) Washington and Lee (+12)
30) GWU (-5)
30) Indiana U Bloomington (-5)
30) Ohio State
30) U Georgia (+3)
30) U Washington (+3)
30) U Wisconsin Madison (+3)

There you have it. Congrats on that massive bonus you'll be getting this year, Brant Hellwig, dean of Washington and Lee's law school. You've certainly started to turn things around from the school's 17-spot drop in 2014.

You can see the rest of the rankings here. Or, just in case this list isn't legit, you can wait a few days. U.S. News will release its official rankings on the 14th.

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