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News Posted on April 14, 2010

UC Davis School of Law Places 28th in U.S. News Rankings

Cracking the U.S. News & World Report top 30, UC Davis School of Law moved up to 28th in the magazine's latest ranking of almost 200 American Bar Association-approved law schools, confirming UC Davis' high and rapidly rising status among the nation's very best law schools.  The rankings appear in the 2011 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." 

"It is exciting to see this affirmation of our standing among the country's elite law schools confirmed in this prominent national survey," said law school Dean Kevin R. Johnson.  "Even though no ranking system is perfect and we deserve to be rated even more highly than 28th, our faculty and students take great pride that their scholarly excellence and hard work are attracting ever-greater attention nationally and internationally."

UC Davis' placement at 28th makes Davis one of the schools that has risen the most over the last decade, and also the youngest law school rated in the top 30 in the U.S. News rankings, probably the best-known (if sometimes criticized) rating of American law schools. Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and USC were the other California law schools in the U.S. News top 30.  King Hall's rise in the rankings drew coverage from media including the Wall Street Journal, the National Law Journal, Sacramento Business Journal, and Woodland's Daily Democrat.

While cautioning against placing undue emphasis on any particular rating, Dean Johnson said that the U.S. News ranking does reflect "a trend of both actual improvement and ever-greater recognition from the rest of the world about the strengths of the school." 

"It is truly impressive to realize that in just 40 years, UC Davis is firmly established among the top echelon of American law schools," said Johnson.  "This year's U.S. News ranking, along with similarly high rankings we've received recently from other sources, confirms that position, and demonstrates that UC Davis is truly a great institution with an even greater future.  The energy and excitement surrounding our law school is resonating nationally."

One other ranking to which Dean Johnson was adverting was University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter's ranking out this month of law faculty scholarly influence, in which UC Davis came in at 23.  Leiter's rankings are U.S. News' main rival for prominence and attention among prospective law students and law school observers.

Johnson suggested that given the relative youth of the UC Davis faculty, the law school's ranking is likely to continue rising.  "Our faculty is the youngest of any law school in the top 30, which suggests that our status is likely to rise even further as our school and our faculty mature." 

UC Davis also ranked 20th in the U.S. News listing of "Most Diverse Law Schools," a rating that is a particular source of pride for Johnson, the first Latino dean of any University of California professional school. 

Wall Street Journal "Law Blog"

National Law Journal article

Sacramento Business Journal article

Daily Democrat article