According to U.S. News, the top five U.S. law schools for the 2015-2016 school year are Yale University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University and the University of Chicago. The ranking system is based on four categories: quality assessment, selectivity, placement success and faculty resources.
Harvard and Stanford tie for second place, and Columbia and the University of Chicago tie for fourth place. From sixth to tenth place are New York University, the University of Pennsylvania University, Duke University, the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Virginia. As of 2015, the prices for these 10 universities range from $52,117.00 to $60,274 per year for tuition and fees.
The Quality Assessment category breaks down into the subcategories Peer Assessment Score and Assessment Score by Lawyers/Judges. Peer assessment score is based on a 1-to-5 scale, with 5 being the highest rank. Legal professionals also rated the programs. The legal professionals' scores are averaged across the preceding three years, as not every legal professional is expected to know the intricacies of a specific year's classes.
Selectivity breaks down into Median LSAT Scores, Median Undergraduate GPA and Acceptance Rate.
U.S. News determines Placement Success by calculating employment rates at graduation, employment rates nine months after graduation, and bar exam passage rate.
Faculty Resources breaks down into Expenditures per Student, Student-Faculty Ratio, and Library Resources. The Library Resources category accounts for the total number of items in the school's library.