The Mason Spirit: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of George Mason University

School of Law Moves Up in U.S.News Top Tier

By Amy Biderman and Jeremy Lasich, B.A. Communication '98

George Mason's School of Law remains in the first tier of the nation's law schools, according to the latest U.S.News & World Report's ranking of the best graduate schools. The Law School is ranked 40th in the country, after being ranked 47th the past two years, and remains the youngest law school in the top tier. This year, 175 law schools were ranked.

"We couldn't be happier with the ranking," says Mark Grady, Law School dean. "Two factors, as measured by U.S.News, mainly caused the rise: our increased reputation among lawyers and judges and the improved quality of this year's entering class. Our success was a team effort, and many people contributed. We certainly benefited from the emphasis that Rector [Edwin] Meese and our university's Board of Visitors have placed on academic excellence. We also owe a large debt to President [Alan] Merten and Provost [Peter] Stearns for their leadership toward this goal and their critical support of our efforts."

The Law School received a record number of applications this year—more than 5,300—for 150 openings, and the new entering class promises to be the strongest in George Mason's history, according to Grady.

Each year, U.S.News re-evaluates graduate programs in five major disciplines: business, education, engineering, law, and medicine. Programs are ranked using objective measures, such as entering students' test scores and faculty/student ratios, and reputation ratings drawn from inside and outside academia.

The Law School is one of four Virginia law schools that were included in the top tier. The others are the University of Virginia (ranked 9th), Washington and Lee University (ranked 19th), and the College of William and Mary (ranked 28th). For more information on the rankings, visit the U.S.News web site.