The U.S. News and World Report offers an annual list of the best American law schools, and it currently describes Yale, Harvard and Stanford as the top three programs. This study is based on the quality of 194 American law schools, according to U.S. News and World Report.
The list of best American law schools does not account for which colleges are best in preparing law graduates for certain specialized fields. However, the online magazine does publish separate lists focusing on which law schools are best for environmental law, health care law and intellectual property law, among other specialties, reports U.S. News and World Report.
For all lists, programs are rated on 12 measures, which are then combined into a single score, reports U.S. News and World Report. Score totals are then compared to decide rankings. A peer assessment score accounts for 25 percent of a university's ranking, which rates programs on how well regarded they are by administrators and law professors at other schools. Another 15 percent of the score measures how well regarded programs are by lawyers and judges. Selectivity determines 25 percent of the score, which includes the average LSAT score, average GPA and acceptance rate. Placement success accounts for 20 percent of the score, which measures how successful graduates are at securing jobs and passing the bar test. A final 15 percent is determined by faculty resources.