Are you searching for a law school where you can actually have a social life? Of course you are! But would that social life be dampered by ultra-competitive classmates? These are questions well worth asking before you plop down a deposit to reserve your seat for the next three years of your life.
As our readers know, the latest Princeton Review law school rankings are out, and today, we’ll focus on two rankings categories for which student feedback matters most: the law schools with the most competitive students and the law schools with the best quality of life. Which schools do you think made these lists? We’ll give you a hint: Not a single T14 law school cracked one list, but the other is chock full of them.
Don’t be surprised that the most elite law schools in the nation are nowhere to be found on a list of the law schools with the most competitive students. Students at those schools know jobs are theirs for the taking. Many of the schools listed here may be filled with the students you hear urban legends about — the ones who tear vital pages out of library books, the ones who tell you the wrong homework assignments, the ones who won’t let you join their study groups. That’s the kind of competition we’re talking about.
For this category, students were asked the number of hours they study outside of class each day, the number of hours they think their fellow students study outside of class each day, and the degree of competitiveness among students at their school.
Without further ado, these are the law schools with the most competitive students, per Princeton Review:
1. Baylor University School of Law
2. Syracuse University College of Law
3. Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
4. Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School
5. Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law
6. Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law
7. Emory University School of Law
8. Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law
9. University of Houston Law Center
10. Southwestern Law School
Students at many of these law schools are having Jessie Spano-esque meltdowns so they can transfer out, or in the alternative, they may be thinking up ways to somehow get an edge over their classmates by whatever means necessary. Make of that what you will.
Next up, we’ve got a list of the top 10 law schools that offer their students the best quality of life. To measure this category, current students answered survey questions based on the strength of the school’s sense of community, whether differing opinions are tolerated in the classroom, the school’s location, the fabulousity of students’ social lives, and the quality of the school’s research resources (library, computer and database resources).
Here are the schools with the best quality of life, per Princeton Review:
1. University of Virginia School of Law
2. Florida State University College of Law
3. Vanderbilt University Law School
4. University of California Los Angeles School of Law
5. University of Pennsylvania Law School
6. Samford University Cumberland School of Law
7. Duke University School of Law
8. Stanford University School of Law
9. Boston College Law School
10. University of California Davis School of Law
Congratulations to UVA, Penn, Duke, and Stanford for making this list (and hell, we’ll throw UCLA a bone, too — after all, the school is almost a T14). This just goes to show that your quality of life can be fantastic, even if by all other accounts you’re thought to be a nerd. If your school didn’t make it, we’re sorry about your lack of social life. Here’s a word of advice: Try filing that motion to party again next year; hopefully it won’t be dismissed.
Did your law school make the cut? If it did, do you think it was ranked fairly? If it didn’t make the list for best career prospects, do you agree with that assessment? Please email us or text us (646-820-8477) with your thoughts.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.