The Catholic University of America







CUA Law Comments on 2016 U.S. News Rankings



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Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law is ranked #108 among law schools in the U.S. News & World Report 2016 Best Graduate Schools rankings, released on March 10, 2015. The new ranking is only a slight change from last year's rankings where CUA Law finished in a six-way tie at #107.  

U.S. News ranked our trial advocacy program at #14, our clinical training program at #21, and our part-time J.D. program at #26.

Although CUA Law's ranking did not move up, U.S. News increased CUA Law's overall score by four points from 34 to 38. Notably, the percentage of recent CUA Law graduates employed at graduation and nine months later increased by 9.2 and 5.9 percentage points, respectively, as calculated by the publication. Also notable was a one-point increase in the median LSAT score of the entering class and a favorable student/faculty ratio of 8.8 (compared to the 12.0 average at the other five local law schools).
"While closely watched, the U.S. News' rankings do not fully capture the essence of what we call the CUA Law Advantage. Our Law School excels in offering a first-rate legal education that is practical, focused, and connected," said Daniel F. Attridge, Dean and Knights of Columbus Professor of Law at Catholic University’s Law School. "At CUA Law, our students learn by doing in classes, clinics, and externships that emphasize practical skills for the real world of practice. Our students can focus on one of nine different legal specialties to gain enhanced expertise, while being challenged by our mission that promotes service to others. And our students are connected in an ideal Washington, D.C. location with small classes, committed professors, a collegial student body, and an active alumni network."
As examples of CUA Law's strong educational value and its graduates' exceptional performance in the real world of practice, the dean pointed to recent recognition from outside sources, including: 
• An American Lawyer survey of midlevel associates ranks CUA Law in the top 15 for preparation for firm practice.
Forbes ranks CUA Law in the top 30 for recent graduates who earn the biggest paychecks.
• A recent study ranks CUA Law #32 in the number of partners at large law firms.
SuperLawyers rates 697 CUA Law graduates as SuperLawyers or Rising Stars.
National Law Journal ranks CUA Law 10th in placing 2013 grads in government and public interest jobs.
• PreLaw magazine lauds the Law School's building as #20 in the nation for beauty, convenience, and amenities.
In addition, CUA Law has recently expanded the range of available legal specialties from five to nine programs, with new concentrations offered in civil litigation, criminal litigation, family law, intellectual property, and labor and employment, in addition to the traditional strengths in communications, international, public policy, and securities law. New clinical offerings are also now available in the areas of clemency, criminal defense, and immigration, and a new Master of Legal Studies program has enrolled its first students, with four different specialty tracks for non-lawyers to enhance their careers. 
“Regardless of where CUA Law appears in the latest U.S. News rankings, we will remain a top-notch law school with the same unshakeable commitment to excellence that we have always had," said Dean Attridge. “Our innovative educational programs ensure that our graduates will remain among the most practice-ready, career-focused, and best-connected lawyers in the nation. As alumni, our graduates will continue to outperform whatever expectations may be forecasted by our U.S. News' ranking."
Last year, in response to what they perceived as the incomplete picture painted by the U.S. News annual rankings, two graduates of the Class of 2014 offered an unsolicited endorsement of their CUA Law education. They wrote, “The legal field is not a series of tests or papers. It’s a practice, and CUA, regardless of our rank or average LSAT score, prepares you for the practice of law. At CUA we are more than a number. A ranking does not dictate our Law School careers. At CUA we are lucky to work in a community with our faculty, staff, alumni, and fellow students who support our individual and group efforts.”