West Virginia University College of Law has broken into the top echelon of American law schools. The 2010 U.S. News & World Report rankings place the WVU College of Law in the top 100 law schools in the country. This list includes 46 law schools at state institutions of higher education, and the WVU College of Law shares a ranking with two other state law schools, the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

U.S. News uses many factors to evaluate law schools: peer assessments by deans, faculty and judges; LSAT scores; average undergraduate GPA of enrolled students; employment rates; and state bar passage rates. WVU College of Law Dean, Joyce E. McConnell, reflects, “It is great to see the quality legal education provided by the College of Law recognized nationally.”

“This achievement comes from faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors, and University and state leaders working together. This is a collaborative success based on exceptional commitment and dedication to the College of Law,” says Dean McConnell. “The efforts of our alumni and of past and present University leaders have been critical to our success.”

On hearing the news of the top 100 ranking, WVU President James P. Clements remarked, “The U.S. News ranking is validation from our peers that WVU’s College of Law stands among the very best in the country. We have a quality faculty who provide an excellent legal education to some very talented students. I congratulate Dean McConnell and the law faculty, staff and students on this formal recognition.”

Dean McConnell notes that this is “the first step on a longer journey. We cannot and will not rest on our laurels. There is more to accomplish.”

Focusing on the future, Dean McConnell envisions the College of Law continuing to actively recruit highly qualified, diverse students and faculty. Plans are under way to expand the WVU Law Center to provide 21st Century academic and clinical facilities, including state-of-the-art courtrooms, classrooms, and clinical suites to better serve clients and West Virginia. An expanded facility will also allow further development of a newly established Energy and Sustainable Development Law Center. This interdisciplinary program will position the College of Law as a key player in the University’s vision to become a world leader in energy research and policy.

Dean McConnell is pleased that the College of Law has gained recognition that enhances the legacy of the College of Law. As the only law school in West Virginia, it was established in 1878 as WVU’s first professional school and was accredited in 1923 by the American Bar Association. Its law review, established in 1894, is the fourth oldest in the nation.

U.S. News & World Report – America’s Best Graduate Schools (http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools)



CONTACT: Brian Caudill, College of Law
304-293-7439; Brian.Caudill@mail.wvu.edu

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