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User's Guide to Our Law School Ratings
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Our law school ratings are numerical scores we give to the schools on a scale of 60 to 99 in various areas. Every law school on PrincetonReview.com has at least one rating, and some have as many as five. Here we explain what each rating measures, the factors on which each rating is based, and how each rating is scaled.
Four of the five ratings are based either partly or entirely on law school student opinions collected via our law student survey. Only the law schools featured in our book,The Best 169 Law Schools: 2014 Edition whose students we surveyed receive these four ratings. All schools in our database whose administrators complete our annual Law School Data Set (which includes admissions statistics, among other data), receive an Admissions Selectivity Rating.
If a 60* (sixty with an asterisk) appears for any rating, it means that the school did not report all of the data points upon which that rating is based, and as a result, we were unable to calculate an accurate rating for that school. In such cases, the user is advised to follow up with the school about specific measures that the rating takes into account.
Here's something you should keep in mind about all of our ratings:
Each rating places every law school in the book on a continuum for the purpose of comparing all schools in the book within this academic year only. Because we refine our ratings calculations annually, the ratings in The Best 169 Law Schools: 2014 Edition are not intended to be compared to those in earlier editions of the book or on PrincetonReview.com in any other academic year. For information about our rankings, please see our User’s Guide to our Law School Rankings.
Ratings for All Law Schools
Admissions Selectivity Rating
This rating measures the competitiveness of admissions at each law school on a scale of 60–99. Factors taken into consideration include the median LSAT score and undergraduate GPA of entering 1L students, the percentage of applicants who are accepted, and the percentage of applicants who are accepted and ultimately enroll. No student survey data is used in this calculation. This rating is intended to be used to compare all law schools in this year's edition of the book, regardless of whether their students completed our law student survey. If a law school has a relatively low Admissions Selectivity Rating, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is easy to gain admission to that law school. (It's not easy to get into any ABA-approved law schools, really.) A low Admissions Selectivity Rating simply means that the school scored lower relative to other schools based on the criteria outlined above.
The "Toughest to Get Into" ranking list is based on the Admissions Selectivity Rating.
Ratings for Schools with "Students Say" Profiles
Academic Experience Rating
This rating measures the quality of the school's learning environment on a scale of 60 to 99. Factors taken into consideration include the Admissions Selectivity Rating, as well as how students rate each of the following: the quality of teaching and the accessibility of their professors, the research resources at their school, the range of available courses, the balance of curricular emphasis on legal theory and practical lawyering, the tolerance for diverse opinions in the classroom, and the degree of intellectual challenge that the coursework presents. This rating places each law school on a continuum for the purpose of comparing all law schools in this year's edition only. If a law school receives a relatively low Academic Experience Rating, it doesn't necessarily mean that the school provides a bad academic experience for its students. Rather, it simply means that the school scored lower relative to other schools based on the criteria outlined above.
If a school has a 60* (sixty with an asterisk) Admissions Selectivity Rating, it probably means that the Academic Experience Rating is lower than it should be.
Professors Interesting Rating
This rating is based on how students rate the quality of teaching at their law school. This rating is on a scale of 60-99. This rating does not appear on PrincetonReview.com; but it does appear for each of the schools whose students we surveyed in the profiles in our book, The Best 169 Law Schools.
Professors Accessible Rating
This rating is based on how law students rate the accessibility of law faculty members at their school. The rating is on a scale of 60 to 99. This rating does not appear on PrincetonReview.com, but it does appear for each of the schools whose students we surveyed in the profiles in our book, The Best 169 Law Schools.
This rating measures the confidence students have in their school's ability to lead them to fruitful employment opportunities, as well as the school's own record of having done so. This rating takes into account both student survey responses and school-reported statistical data. We ask students about how much the law program encourages practical experience; the opportunities for externships, internships, and clerkships; and how prepared to practice law they expect to feel after graduating. We ask law schools for the median starting salaries of graduating students; the percentage of these students employed nine months after graduation; and the percentage of these students who pass the bar exam the first time they take it. This rating is on a scale of 60–99. If a school receives a relatively low Career Rating, it doesn't necessarily mean that the career prospects for graduates are bad; it simply means that the school scored lower relative to other schools based on the criteria outlined above.
The "Best Career Prospects" ranking list is based on the Career Rating.