Richardson Ranked Among Top Law Schools in 2023

Exterior of the Law Library

The William S. Richardson School of Law remains among the top 100 law schools in the nation, as reported in the latest 2023 rankings of graduate schools by U.S. News & World Report. It continues its years of recognition by the publication as among the top tier law schools out of 192 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Richardson Law School was ranked in 15 categories, jumping 7 points to 91st in the country for its full-time program, which was ranked 98th in last year’s rankings of law programs. Dean Camille Nelson shared, “I am grateful that Richardson Law is being nationally recognized in a way befitting of its excellent student body, acclaimed faculty, and fantastic staff. This is welcome recognition, especially as everyone has worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic years.” 

The Evening Part-Time program rose 7 points as well, placing 21st out of 69 schools in the part-time law category.

The biggest gain was in the business/corporate law category, jumping 8 spots to 103rd place this year from 111th a year ago. Richardson’s environmental law program remained in the top 30, placing 26th out of 180 schools in the nation and tying with the law schools at Yale University and the University of Minnesota.

Professor Charles Booth, who led a business boot camp for the Law School which just completed its second session, said, “We are gratified to see that Richardson Law School has jumped 8 spots in the business/corporate law category. We recently developed a Business Boot Camp to supplement our traditional course offerings, which brings in distinguished practitioners and helps make business law and finance more accessible and relevant, even for students without a prior business background.”

Other rankings include:

  • Environmental law: No. 26 out of 180 
  • Dispute resolution: No. 56 out of 109 
  • International law: No. 67 out of 185
  • Legal writing: No. 74 out of 186
  • Criminal law: No. 90 out of 187
  • Constitutional law: No. 93 out of 187
  • Tax law: No. 95 out of 186
  • Contracts/commercial law: No. 97 out of 187
  • Business/corporate law: No. 103 out of 187 
  • Health care law: No. 108 out of 184
  • Clinical training: No. 132 out of 173
  • Intellectual property law: No. 141 out of 187
  • Trial advocacy: No. 174 out of 187

Richardson has also been recognized by other publications as a top law school for its international law programs and diversity, including in recent issues of preLaw magazine and The Princeton Review.

Director of the Evening Part Time Program Liam Skilling said, “The students in the Evening Part Time Program at Richardson are extraordinary: juggling careers, families, children, and the rigors of attending law classes.” The program began in 2008 and has consistently been recognized among the best in the nation.

U.S. News & World Report utilizes various ranking indicators, including a quality assessment composed of a peer assessment score and legal professionals’ assessment, employment rates and bar passage rates, acceptance rates, and average debt. Faculty, law school, and library resources are also taken under consideration, including student-to-faculty ratio, library resources and operations, and average expenditures on instruction, library, and supporting services.

Specialty rankings are compiled using peer assessment surveys administered to law school faculty who teach in the corresponding specialty area. This year’s edition saw a more comprehensive assessment of bar passage rates for first-time test takers and simplified metrics for determining library resources and operations.