U.S. News rankings are a great thing, but they aren’t the only thing. It can’t answer all of your questions. Yes, it ranks the relative prestige, costs and bar passage rate of each school, but it fails to factor in Lawyering While Black (LWB). For example, would your choice between going to Penn or NYU be swayed by the professors that you’d have to put up with? Looking to do a little background research on the people who would be giving you assignments as you decide on where to summer? You aren’t the only one — thankfully the folks at Lawyers of Color have some sage advice that should help with your decision making and quality of life at what may be your first PWI.
While the list is just a teaser for now, it’ll be done big come June 15th, their guide is full of information that could make or break how many times this song plays in the back of your head in Con Law or at the firm socials. And they have answers to some hard hitting questions, like which school is the best when it comes to scholarships and grant rewards? Which law schools have Black deans? Which one is the best overall? The answer to that one made me do a double take for reasons:
For starters, Washington University School of Law leaped from #15 all the way to #1. Washington Law outperformed the other top law schools in several categories, including the scholarship and grant awards, which are being evaluated for the first time. Washington Law also had a larger Black enrollment and JD award than most of the others at the top of the list with one exception–Howard University School of Law, which tumbled from #1, but remain in the top five. The biggest surprise was North Carolina Central University Law School, which benefited from our expansion of the national top law school rankings. NCCU Law ranks 69th on our selectivity scale and is in the top five law schools for enrolling Black students and awarding them JDs. NCCU Law also has an outsized proportion of notable alumni that include current U.S. Representative George Kenneth “G. K.” Butterfield, Jr. , former North Carolina governor Michael F. Easley, the first African-American mayor of Atlanta Maynard Jackson, Elaine O’Neal, first African-American woman to be Mayor of Durham, former North Carolina Superior Court judge, and famed class-action torts lawyer, Willie Gary.
Give it a once over and share it with a friend. Each one teach one, right?
The Black Student’s Guide to Law Schools & Firms Preview 2022 [Lawyers Of Color]
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by tweet at @WritesForRent.
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