Seton Hall, Rutgers Hold Steady (Mostly) in Latest U.S. News Law School Rankings

Seton Hall School of Law held its place, while Rutgers Law School slipped down a bit—though it maintained the same overall score—in U.S. News & World Report's recently released ranking of law schools.

Seton Hall Unversity School of Law in Newark / Photo by David Gialanella

Seton Hall Law is tied with two other schools at No. 59, with an overall score of 50, in the rankings, released March 12. It occupied the same spot last year, though with a lower overall score (48).

Sharing the 59th spot, also with overall scores of 50, are the law schools at University of Houston and University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Rutgers Law earned an overall score of 45 and is in a six-way tie at No. 77. That's down three spots from last year, when the school ranked 74th. But the school had the same overall score in both years. Joining Rutgers Law in the 77th spot are American University, Loyola University Chicago, St. John's University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and University of Pittsburgh.

The overall score is based on such factors as peer assessment and assessment by lawyers and judges, the undergraduate grade-point averages of enrollees, acceptance rate, bar passage rates, and post-graduation employment metrics.

Year over year, Seton Hall Law's peer assessment score improved, to 2.5 from 2.4, while LSAT scores (from the 25th to 75th percentiles) increased to 154-160 from 152-158, and employment rate at graduation increased to 78.4 percent from 75.8 percent.

Rutgers Law's peer assessment also increased, to 2.6 from 2.5. And LSAT scores (again, from the 25th to 75th percentiles) increased to 153-158 from 151-157. Employment at graduation, however, declined, to 60.8 percent from 67.7 percent. Student-to-faculty ratio, meanwhile, improved to 5.4 from 6.3.

Seton Hall Law Dean Kathleen Boozang said in a statement that the school's “sustained ranking in the 50’s reflects our strength as a national law school."

Graduates are "ready for a world transformed by the technological revolution" and "are exceptional for their success in passing the bar and graduating into careers that fulfill their aspirations," she said. "Seton Hall Law is growing again, strategically, and continues to focus its recruitment on students with strong academic or professional backgrounds and candidates from communities that are under-represented in the legal profession.”

Rutgers Law Co-Deans David Lopez and Kimberly Mutcherson said in a statement: “Our job is to focus on running a terrific law school, which we’re doing."

The rankings, they said, "fail to take into account a range of important metrics, including affordability and faculty/student diversity, and we’d rather spend our time providing an amazing education at a price that students can afford, instead of chasing U.S. News.”

Nationally, there was little movement at the top of the U.S. News rankings, and the top seven schools were unchanged: Yale Law School; Stanford Law School; Harvard Law School; the University of Chicago Law School; Columbia Law School; New York University School of Law; and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.