Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock jumped 16 places to tie for the 101st position in U.S.News & World Report’s annual law school rankings released today.
Texas Tech Law Dean Darby Dickerson (pictured) attributes the improvement to several criteria U.S.News uses for the standings. “Our job placement rate for the nine months after graduation was quite strong,” she says.
The school’s placement rate for this year’s rankings was 93.3 percent — which was the placement rate for the school’s 2010 graduates — and the placement rate for last year’s rankings was 85.9 percent, she says.
“Our bar passage [rate] continues to be strong, and we did see a slight increase in the overall reputation score with practitioners and judges,” she says.
Texas Tech tied with four other schools for the 101st position. The magazine rated the nation’s 195 American Bar Association-accredited law schools.
Four other Texas law schools are also classified among the nation’s best 150.
The University of Texas School of Law in Austin maintains its hold on the highest rank, tied for 16th, among the nine Texas ABA-accredited law schools, although it dropped two slots from its 14th position last year.
Baylor University School of Law in Waco and Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas are among five schools that tied for the 51st position, an improvement for Baylor from the 56th slot last year and a drop of one position for SMU from 50th last year.
The University of Houston Law Center comes in at place No. 57, one down from its 56th position last year.
U.S.News did not rank the remaining four ABA-accredited Texas schools: St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio; South Texas College of Law in Houston; Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston and Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth.
Thurgood Marshall again ranked second nationally on U.S.News’ diversity index and has the highest diversity index among Texas’ law schools, with African-Americans making up 46 percent of its student body.
Three Texas schools are included among the 10 best for teaching certain specialties, based on nominations from legal scholars.
UH Law takes fourth place for intellectual property and is in a two-way tie for eighth place for health care.
In the trial advocacy category, Baylor Law and South Texas tied in the fifth position.
UH Law ranked the highest of the five Texas schools with part-time programs, taking 11th place of the 85 part-time law school programs ranked by U.S.News.
— Jeanne Graham