New ranking lists America's 'go to' law schools, and Yale doesn't make the top 10

Columbia Law School once again topped the National Law Journal’s list of “Go-To Law Schools,” which measures the percentage of new graduates who get hired by the largest 250 law firms in the country.

First-year associate jobs at the largest law firms are among the most coveted positions for new lawyers, according to NLJ legal education reporter Karen Sloan. Only about one in 10 graduates fron 2014 land one. Columbia Law School also topped NLJ’s “go-to” list for 2013 graduates.

Notably, Yale Law School — ranked number one in the country by US News & World Report — does not appear in the top 10 of NLJ’s list. Stanford Law School — ranked number two by US News — also comes in much lower on the NLJ “go-to” law school ranking.

Yale’s and Stanford’s lower rankings, according to Sloan, are due to the large number of their graduates who end up in judicial clerkships. Moreover, Yale Law grads are “prominent within and outside the legal profession,” as the school notes on its website.

More from Yale’s website about its law grads: “They work in private practice, ranging from one-person offices to major firms; in federal, state, and local government, including Congress, the Office of the President, and the judiciary; in law teaching and administration; in public service settings; for corporations and businesses; and for nonprofit organisations.”

While these positions are prestigious, NLJ’s list measures “go-to” law schools based purely on the percentage of new graduates they sent to the 250 largest firms. Here’s that list:

  1. Columbia Law School — 66.24%
  2. University of Pennsylvania Law School — 63.67%
  3. University of Chicago Law School — 61.14%
  4. New York University School of Law — 59.92%
  5. Harvard Law School — 55.63%
  6. Cornell Law School — 52.88%
  7. Northwestern University School of Law — 49.48%
  8. Duke Law School — 48.84%
  9. University of Virginia School of Law — 46.70%
  10. Stanford Law School — 45.45%

See the full list of “go-to” law schools at the National Law Journal >>

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