The 2022 ATL Top 50 Law School Rankings Are Here
It’s time for the 10th annual ranking of ATL’s Top 50 Law Schools.
As always, our ranking prioritizes results above all other factors, as we believe the relative quality of schools is a function of how well they deliver on the promise of paid legal employment.
Our rankings are the only ones to incorporate the latest ABA employment data for the Class of 2021. While employment makes up the bulk of a school’s overall score, we also consider cost and law school debt, because how much you pay – or borrow – for an education affects the return on your investment. And because where you attend school plays a role in its overall expenses, we’ve factored in regional cost-of-living adjustments. (We changed our COL formula this year because we felt it might have been unduly penalizing schools like Columbia in more expensive markets.)
Here are the 10 best law schools for 2022:
- University of Virginia
- University of Chicago
- Washington University in St. Louis
- University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
- Northwest (Pritzker)
- University of Pennsylvania (Carey)
Because our methodology rewards schools that are particularly good at placing students in “real” attorney jobs while balancing cost and debt, you might notice that some usual suspects are missing from the top 10. Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and NYU are, of course, exceptional schools and no one is suggesting that you shouldn’t go to one of these schools if you get accepted there.
But what we suggest is that you also consider other highly regarded but less prestigious schools, such as Vanderbilt and Washington University in St. Louis, which have achieved positions near the top of our rankings by placing with successful graduates in (relatively) lower quality jobs. Cost.
You’ll also find some movement in the rankings this year, including Duke’s return to the top spot. Yale, Harvard and Stanford all dropped from the top 10, largely because they scored lower in job categories this year. Meanwhile, higher scores propelled three schools into the top 10 (Vanderbilt, Columbia and Northwestern) and brought two newcomers into the top 15 (University of Georgia and Notre Dame).