The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (ASU) ranks No. 26 among the nation’s leading law schools, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey of graduate schools.
The college moved up five spots in one year and is now in the top 13 percent of the 198 accredited law schools evaluated as part of the survey. The college also ranks No. 9 among public law schools in the nation, as well as No. 9 among all accredited law schools west of the Mississippi. Key contributors to the rise in rankings for ASU’s law college include a year-over-year increase in GPA, bar passage rate, and job placement within nine months after graduation.
The 2016 best law schools report also recognizes ASU’s law college for its flagship programs including, Legal Writing (No. 8), Health Law (No. 12), and Dispute Resolution (No. 11). ASU law students have won six national writing awards in the past four years, including the Burton Award, Scribes Awards, Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition, and Mary Meors Wenig Student Writing Competition. The college has also bolstered its Health Law program, led by Professor James Hodge, who is joined by national and international leaders in the field like Regents Professors Gary Marchant and Rebecca Tsosie.
“Student success is our top priority,” said Douglas Sylvester, dean of ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. “Students tell us they choose our college because of the connections and externships we are able to provide, the value they get from their investment, and the breadth and quality of our programs.”
Students also enjoy a faculty to student ratio of 10 to 1.
“In fall 2016, the benefits to ASU law students will further increase with our move to a new, multi-million dollar building in metropolitan Phoenix, just steps away from the legal, political and economic heart of Arizona,” Sylvester said.
Last year, ASU’s law college provided more than 300 externships — at least one for every eligible enrolled student — and clinical spots for every student such as a unique opportunity to draft and prosecute patent applications at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The college offers more than 150 courses per year for students who want to become lawyers, as well as customized, flexible Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degrees for non-lawyer professionals who want grounding in legal basics but do not intend to practice law. Later this week, ASU will host a Sports Law and Business Conference that will bring together experts such as Tony Dungy and Oliver Luck to examine the future of the sports industry. In May, ASU will host its inaugural Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators. These are just a sampling of the many events available to students, alumni, thought leaders, and community members.
Based on data collected by the American Bar Association, ASU’s law college was No. 5 among the nation’s public law schools and No. 19 among all accredited law schools for placement in JD required jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported job growth of 10.7 percent in legal occupations through 2022, adding 334,000 jobs. ASU offers a three-year JD, advanced standing JD, a one-year Master of Laws (LLM), and one-year MLS degrees with a variety of specialization and concurrent degree options. ASU also offers alumni of the law college an opportunity to continue their legal education through a Pay What You Want model as part of a “Law for Life” program. Select, recent graduates of the ASU law college may also be hired by the ASU Alumni Law Group, a not-for-profit law firm in the Phoenix area that provides affordable legal solutions.