MSU Law continues rise In National Law School ranking

EAST LANSING, MI -- Michigan State University College of Law rose more than a dozen slots in the nation's most widely recognized ranking of law school programs. The Law College is positioned at number 82, according to U.S. News & World Report's latest edition of ''America's Best Graduate Schools''.

Joan W. Howarth, dean of MSU College of Law since 2008, is very pleased by the continued ascent of the Law College in the U.S. News ranking. Though quick to point out that the ranking provides only a limited measure of a school's qualities, Howarth recognizes that prospective students and employers alike form impressions of the Law College as a result of the rankings.

Since 2008, the Law College has expanded its academic programs, hired more than a dozen new faculty members, acquired a new facility for the Law College's clinical program, and has experienced significant gains in the areas of admissions and fundraising. ''While any ranking system should be taken with a grain of salt, I believe our Law College is on an upward trajectory, due in large part to the commitment of our faculty, hard work of our students, and success of our graduates.''

The rise in the rankings comes amid increases in applicants to MSU Law during the past few years--a time when most law schools have seen decreases. In 2011, reflecting its commitment to academic rigor and entrepreneurial spirit, the Law College introduced a host of new initiatives including an innovative first-year curriculum to better prepare 1L students for the rigors of 21st century law practice. Students also benefited from a lower student-to-faculty ratio, allowing faculty to give more time and attention to individual students.

In 2011, MSU Law also added a Civil Rights Law Clinic to its slate of clinical offerings; expanded the Intellectual Property, Information & Communications Law Program (IPIC) to include cutting-edge information law coursework; and named co-directors to head the Frank J. Kelly Institute of Ethics & the Legal Profession, further strengthening the Law College's focus on ethics and issues facing the legal profession.

''We are pleased with the new ranking, especially the recognition by our peer institutions and practitioners in the field,'' said Howarth. ''But more importantly, we are pleased that MSU Law graduates continue to post impressive bar passage rates and secure rewarding jobs throughout the country, despite today's challenging economic climate.''

The rankings of 195 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association are based on a weighted average of the 12 measures of quality, including academic reputation, selectivity, placement success, and financial resources. Data were collected in fall 2011 and early 2012.

Published: Mon, Mar 19, 2012