April 23, 2009

U.S. News & World Report ranks law school among top ten in the Pacific region

Lewis & Clark Law School made a 12-point gain this year in the U.S. News & World Report rankings guide, following a comparable gain last year. 

Lewis & Clark Law School made a 12-point gain this year in the U.S. News & World Report rankings guide, following a comparable gain last year. The law school now ranks among the top ten law schools in the Pacific region and remains the top-ranked law school in Oregon. The school ranks in the top third of the 182 schools accredited by the American Bar Association and included in the rankings.

Lewis & Clark President Thomas Hochstettler said the gain was due in large measure to the strategic efforts of the law school faculty and staff and the leadership of Law School Dean Robert Klonoff, who joined the law school in 2007.“Bob has done an incredible job building on the strengths of the school and raising its visibility,” Hochstettler said. “His leadership has been outstanding and he has made people stop and take notice. The faculty and students could not have a better advocate.”

Law schools are ranked based on a combination of indicators, including:

•    Peer assessment by law school deans, deans of academic affairs, and other selected faculty

•    Legal professionals assessment, including opinions of lawyers and judges

•    Median LSAT scores and median undergraduate GPAs

•    Employment rates for graduates

•    Bar passage rate

•    Student resources such as faculty/student ratios and libraries

Klonoff pointed out that external validation indicators continue to increase, suggesting that key figures in the legal and academic communities were becoming better acquainted with the law school and more impressed.

“It is especially gratifying that our scores for peer assessment and for assessment by judges and lawyers are both up from last year.  This means that word is getting out about everything we’re doing,” Klonoff said. “Knowing you have a great school is fine but having the acknowledgment from others is critically important to our students’ success professionally.”

Lewis & Clark Law School was also ranked second among the top environmental law programs in the country. The environmental law program has been consistently ranked number one or number two for more than a decade. The legal writing program ranked 17.

For the first time, U.S. News assessed part-time law programs and the Lewis & Clark Law School evening program ranked 32. Klonoff attributes this to the fact that the law school maintains the same high standards for both the day and evening programs.