GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The first national ranking of law schools to consider “output,” i.e. the caliber of a school’s graduates, has placed the University of Florida Levin College of Law first in Florida, eighth overall and fourth among public schools. The inaugural ranking by Super Lawyers magazine was based on the number of each school’s graduates in the magazine’s annual state and regional listing of exceptional lawyers in more than 70 areas of practice. The list was created through a rigorous multiphase selection process composed of a wide range of objective indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.
“Most law school rankings look at things like bar passage rates, professor-to-student ratios and the number of books in the library, but they ignore the end product — the quality of lawyers produced,” said Bill White, publisher of Super Lawyers and Law & Politics magazines. “In the real world — the world of clients and juries and judges — no one cares about your GPA or LSAT score. All that matters is how good and ethical a lawyer you are. That’s the focus of Super Lawyers.”
“We’ve been rating lawyers for nearly 20 years,” White said. “This puts us in a unique position to shed light on how well schools fulfill the ultimate mission of producing great lawyers.”
“We also score well in other ranking systems in areas related to our reputation and performance in the legal community, and the feedback we receive from employers on the quality of our graduates has always been excellent,” said Levin College of Law Dean Robert Jerry. “We take great pride in the highly qualified and successful attorneys who earn their law degrees at the University of Florida. This ranking only serves to confirm what we have felt is true for a long time.”
Aside from the University of Florida, the University of Miami had the only other Florida law school included in the ranking’s top 50. For more information and the full ranking, go to www.superlawyers.com/toplists/lawschools/united-states/2009/.
The Super Lawyers’ methodology used to compile the national ranking does not take class size into consideration.
“We found that class size was not as big a factor as you might think,” White said. “There were very large schools that ranked low and small schools that ranked high on our list. The quality of graduates, not the size of the school, is what ultimately determines where schools land on our list.”
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