The University of Houston Law Center jumped nine places to tie with four other schools — including Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas — for 48th position in U.S.News & World Report’s annual law school rankings released today.
The magazine rated 194 American Bar Association-accredited law schools. Seven of Texas’ nine ABA-accredited schools are among the top 150 schools with published rankings. In last year’s rankings, UH was in position No. 57 and SMU tied for position No. 51.
The University of Texas School of Law in Austin maintains its hold on the highest rank among the Texas schools. It’s tied for 15th, up one slot from its 16th position last year.
Baylor University School of Law in Waco tied for the 54th position, a drop of three slots from its 51st position last year, when it tied with SMU and three other schools.
Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock tied with three schools for the 105th slot, down from its 101st position law year.
Two Texas schools are new to the magazine’s top 150 list: St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio tied with three schools for position No. 140, and South Texas College of Law in Houston tied with three schools for position No. 144.
U.S.News did not publish rankings for the remaining two ABA-accredited Texas schools: 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 45 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 seventh and eighth place for intellectual property and health care, respectively. In the trial advocacy category, Baylor Law is ranked third, and South Texas is ranked sixth.
Five Texas schools have part-time programs. Among the 82 part-time programs ranked by U.S.News, their positions are: SMU, No. 15; UH, No. 16; South Texas, No. 53; Texas Wesleyan, No. 54; and St. Mary’s, No. 58.
— Jeanne Graham