The latest U.S. News & World Report survey was released this week and we have reason to celebrate. Two of our specialty programs climbed higher in the Top 10 among the nation’s 198 ABA accredited law schools. The Intellectual Property and Information Law program moved up from 7th to 6th place while Health Law now ranks 8th as compared to 9th last year. Our part-time program came in at No. 11. These programs, which are ranked by faculty in respective fields, enhance our national reputation and showcase the quality and depth of our offerings.

This year, the Law Center’s overall ranking was 59th, which is one point off from our 58th spot last year. This current ranking stabilizes the decline experienced last year when we fell 10-points in the overall rankings. Many of our U.S. News measurements gained ground over the previous year: (1) median undergraduate GPA; (2) student faculty ratio; (3) employment 9 months after graduation; and (4) bar passage rate. The U.S. News measures that we need to work on and continue to improve are: (1) the assessments by faculty, lawyers and judges; (2) median LSAT; (3) acceptance rate; and (4) employment at graduation.

Rest assured that we are examining ways to make strides on each of these measures and I am confident our rankings will continue to rise in the future.

We are an excellent law school, which provides students with a powerful legal education through highly credentialed and well published faculty and a terrific staff providing world class career advising, admissions, and student services. Here are some of the terrific other measures that are not covered by U.S. News in its rankings:

  • The Law Center faculty holds 10 LL.M. degrees, seven Ph.Ds, five M.B.A.s, and 13 other master’s degrees in a wide variety of disciplines.
  • The Law Center faculty has held 16 federal circuit court clerkships (including 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th Circuits, and Federal Circuit and U.S. Court of Customs Appeals), eight federal district court clerkships, and clerkships with the Texas Supreme Court, Texas First Court of Appeals, and Harris County 125th (Civil) District Court.
  • Sixteen current Law Center faculty (as well as several adjunct or emeritus faculty) are members of the prestigious American Law Institute (ALI). Only the most recognized and well regarded judges, lawyers, and legal academics are members of the ALI, which is responsible for the Restatements of Law and Model Statutes and Principles of Law.
  • Our faculty has appeared in local, state, and national media more than 400 times in the past six months.
  • The Houston Law Review ranks in the top 3.3 percent of more than 1,600 law journals.
  • The Law Center is ranked 31st by the National Law Journal among "Go to" law schools based on the percent of graduates hired by the top 250 law firms in the U.S.
  • We are ranked A- by the National Jurist based on "best value."
  • We are ranked A- by preLaw and National Jurist magazines as a “most diverse campus.”
  • The Law Center is fantastic. By working together, we can ensure that rankings will match what we know to be the world class legal education that we offer at the University of Houston.

Leonard M. Baynes
Dean and Professor of Law
University of Houston Law Center