Dear Law School Community,
Every spring, I feel great trepidation before rankings come out. There is so much that is arbitrary about the rankings, and even capricious such as penalizing schools that do more to help students launch public interest careers or that have lower tuition (because they then have less in per-student expenditures). Besides, rankings certainly don’t measure all of the wonderful things about our community, our commitment to public service, or the excellence of our teaching. But nor can we deny their existence, and they do give us a sense of how we are regarded by others and how by some metrics, however flawed, we compare to other law schools.
Several rankings have come out recently and overall they are quite good news. U.S. News & World Report publicly announced its rankings on March 30. We are ranked ninth overall (unlike last year, we are not tied with any other law school in this spot). The U.S. News “specialty rankings” also were announced and they are very impressive in reflecting the quality of our faculty and programs. We rank in the top 10 in the following areas (in some instances in ties with other law schools):
#1 Intellectual Property
#1 Environmental Law
#2 Criminal Law/Criminal Procedure
#3 Business Law
#6 Constitutional Law
#6 International Law
#7 Contracts/Commercial Law
#9 Clinical Education
I think this demonstrates the strengths of our faculty and programs in so many different areas of law. Also, the U.S. News rankings are stunning in terms of the strength of the Berkeley campus (UC Berkeley graduate programs get high honors in new U.S. News rankings). In evaluating graduate programs and professional schools, Berkeley was:
#4 Political Science
#4 Public Policy (Goldman School)
#7 Business (Haas)
#8 Public Health
Other rankings have been released that also reflect the excellence of Berkeley Law. QS Quacquarelli Symonds – a global higher education think tank – does an international ranking of educational institutions in various disciplines. Their 2021 ranking of law schools put us ninth in the world and sixth in the United States.
These rankings are a result of the enormous hard work of our faculty, staff, and students. They also are a product of the essential support from our alumni. I feel so tremendously fortunate to be a part of this amazing community.
Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law
University of California, Berkeley School of Law