Law School Moves Up Eight Spots in Latest U.S. News & World Report Rankings

  • W&M Law
    W&M Law  In the rankings released on March 17, the Law School came in at number 31 in a tie with five other schools.  
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William & Mary Law School moved up eight spots in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of the nation’s law schools released on March 17, coming in at number 31 in a tie with five other schools. The school also ranked highly in select specialties, such as Criminal Law (tied at #17), Dispute Resolution (tied at #18), Constitutional Law (tied at #19), Contracts and Commercial Law (tied at #29) and International Law (tied at #32).

“These rankings are one of many indicators of the success that the Law School continues to enjoy," said William & Mary Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas. "We have added great strength to the faculty in recent years, bolstered experiential learning opportunities for our students, and are in the home stretch of the most successful fundraising campaign in our history.”

The Law School celebrated the 240th anniversary of its founding in December 2019, and the U.S. News & World Report rankings are the most recent indicators of the school’s vitality. William & Mary ranks highly among top law schools in a variety of areas, including, for example:

  • #2 among the Top 10 Military Friendly® Graduate Schools (the only law school to make the 2020-21 list
  • #11 in student success securing federal judicial clerkships (source: ABA employment data, April 2019)
  • #13 in first-time bar exam pass rates (2018) (source: Above the Law, October 2019)
  • #17 in professors (teaching & accessibility) (source: Princeton Review’s 2020 Law School Rankings)
  • #23 in reputation among lawyers and judges (source: U.S. News, March 2020)
  • #24 in Above the Law’s 2019 law school rankings (which is largely based on employment outcomes)

The school’s alumni and friends also have helped lay the foundation for the Law School’s future success. Earlier this month the school announced that it already had raised more than $83 million for scholarships, clinical education, building expansion and improvements, and other priorities, during the university-wide For the Bold campaign, which concludes on June 30.

U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” rankings are now available on In addition to its traditional assessments of law, medicine, business, education and other graduate programs, the rankings also now include nursing and MBA specialties.

About William & Mary Law School

Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America’s oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.