Business Insider Publishes 2016 Law School Rankings

July 28, 2016
Russell Schaffer

Aspiring attorneys in the Bay State will take a national bar exam.

Aspiring attorneys in the Bay State will take a national bar exam.

Another law school rankings report makes the rounds, another state dumps its bar exam for a national one, and a new pre-law resource helps you calculate your debt. Let’s take a look at the most interesting stories in legal education.

Law school rankings published

While the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings are considered the gold standard among administrators and many students, it’s not the only game in town. Recently, Business Insider published their own list—with some surprising results. Gone from the top two spots are perpetual rankings leaders Harvard and Yale. Replacing them are University of Pennsylvania in first place and University of Chicago in second. What separates Business Insider’s rankings from the rest? For starters, they don’t factor in acceptance rates at all and give only small consideration to average LSAT score. More important to their methodology are outcomes—meaning graduates’ success at finding jobs in the legal industry. (Business Insider)

Uniform Bar Exam catches on

Massachusetts just became the 25th jurisdiction—and the second largest—to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination, replacing the Bay State’s bar exam with a national licensing standard for prospective attorneys to practice their trade across multiple states. The shift to the UBE will provide Massachusetts lawyers with additional licensure and employment portability. “The idea that bar exam results would be portable from one state to another has got to be a good thing. It shouldn’t be easier for someone from France to practice law in Italy than someone from New York to practice law in New Jersey,” said Jeremy Paul, the dean of Northeastern University School of Law (Boston Business Journal)

Calculate your law school debt

Chances are high that if you attend law school, you are going to accrue some debt. Thinking about how to pay for law school isn’t something you should focus on only after you take your LSAT. Thanks to Access Group, a non-profit organization whose members include almost every law school, aspiring attorneys can now calculate their student debt load. This will help eliminate any unpleasant surprises down the road. “You can go ahead and find out which school might be best for you and which repayment plan might be best for you,” says Cynthia Cassity, Access Group’s vice president of marketing and strategic engagement. “It’s important with the amount of debt out there.” But Law School Transparency, an organization that has long pushed for law schools to be more forthcoming about costs and what they can deliver to students, is skeptical. “It’s underestimating. It’s showing the ease of repayment based on just a single year. But tuition continues to increase. So does the cost of living,” says the organization’s executive director, Kyle McEntee. (Inside Higher Ed)

Most affordable law schools

Many aspiring attorneys leave their hometown to attend some of the most competitive law schools in the country, which are also often located in some of the most expensive metropolitan areas. Anybody who has ever been to Boston, the Bay Area, New York City or D.C. knows that finding affordable real estate is a challenge, to say the least. The high cost of living can add to your debt load after graduation. recently put together a list of the most affordable cities in which to get a JD in. Leading the pack is Knoxville, located in eastern Tennessee, the home of the University of Tennessee College of Law. Placing second is Oklahoma City, home of Oklahoma City University School of Law. (The ABA Journal)

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Russell Schaffer

Russell Schaffer Russell Schaffer is Kaplan Test Prep's senior communications manager. Russell is responsible for helping lead our external media relations efforts, including speaking with reporters and bloggers on a regular basis about Kaplan's proprietary research and products. Russell also helps craft the surveys we regularly administer of students, advisers​,​ and admissions officers. The data collected helps guide the hundreds of thousands of students and parents Kaplan works with every year by giving them accurate and up-to-date information ​about​ the landscape. Russell is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, where he received his BA in political science and MA in communications.

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