Dear Law School Community,
At a time of great stress and uncertainty, I wanted to share good news. Rankings are only one measure of a law school’s quality. They certainly don’t measure all of the wonderful things about our community, our commitment to public service, or the excellence of our teaching. 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. In the last two weeks, a number of rankings have come out and I regard them overall as quite good news.
QS Quacquarelli Symonds – a global higher education think-tank – does an international ranking of educational institutions in various disciplines. Their 2020 ranking of law schools came out on March 3rd and we are ranked seventh in the world and fourth in the United States, behind Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Stanford, and London School of Economics.
Law.com does an annual “Go-To Law Schools Big Law” report based on which schools sent the highest percentage of 2019 graduates into associate jobs at the nation’s 100 largest law firms. Of course, this is important to us, but we also care very much about placing our students in judicial clerkships, government, and public interest jobs which are not part of this (and indeed reduce this particular ranking). This year, Berkeley Law was ranked eighth in the nation in the report, released on March 8th.
Finally, on Tuesday, March 17th, U.S. News released its annual rankings. Berkeley Law was ranked ninth (in a tie) this year, up a spot from 10th (in a tie) from last year. There are now a number of specialty rankings done by U.S. News as well. We were (in some instances in ties with other law schools):
#1 Intellectual Property
#1 Environmental Law
#3 Contracts and Commercial Law
#3 Criminal Law
#4 Business Law
#7 Constitutional Law
#8 Clinical Education
#11 International Law
#15 Trial Advocacy
I think this recognizes the breadth of our excellence in so many different fields. Although I recognize that rankings are problematic, altogether these rankings are a reflection of our being a terrific law school.
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.