The list was created by U.S. News, the publisher of a closely watched — and highly criticized — annual list that purports to rank the top law schools. Louisville was 68th in the most recent list of best schools, up sharply from previous years. For better or worse, many prospective law students place great weight on this list in deciding where to spend the next three years of their lives before picking up a J.D. Employers also depend on the rankings.
According to the magazine, the new "efficiency" rankings show "which law schools are able to produce the highest educational quality, as determined by their place in our Best Law Schools rankings, but spend relatively less money to achieve that quality."
To be sure, there are areas where this new list could be picked apart and scrutinized. For example, it would seem that schools such as Louisville, which are located in relatively low-cost cities, don't have to pay their professors as much money in salaries, which in turn would boost their efficiency. The nearby University of Kentucky was tenth on the efficiency list. Likewise, schools that receive less financial support from their parent institutions are forced to make do with less. But at the end of the day, it's hard to argue that the No. 1 showing is a bad thing for Brandeis.
During my time at U of L Law from 2009 to 2012, I can recall a lot of terrific professors and classes, and not a whole lot of ornate wood trim or fancy furniture. The place was pretty low key for a professional graduate school, but that never bothered me because I always felt I was getting a good return on my investment — and I continue to feel that way as a lawyer today. Go Cardinals!