Carolina Law Jumps to No. 23 in the U.S. News & World Report

March 29, 2022

For the second year in a row, UNC School of Law stays in the Top 25 ranked law schools.  Carolina Law moved up one spot to No. 23 out of 192 law schools ranked in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” released on March 29.

Over the last four years, Carolina Law has jumped 22 spots to land in the Top 25 law schools. Of the public university law schools listed in the top 50 schools as ranked by U.S. News, Carolina Law is No. 8.

In the specialty areas rankings, the law school’s Research, Reasoning, Writing and Advocacy (RRWA) program, now in its eleventh year as a full-year, six-credit program, ranks No.10.

Carolina Law also ranked in the Top 25 of six additional specialty areas:

  • Criminal Law, tied for 18th
  • Contracts/Commercial Law, tied for 20th
  • Tax Law, tied for 20th
  • Constitutional Law, tied for 21st
  • Business/Corporate Law, tied for 23rd
  • Health Care Law, tied for 23rd

Carolina Law has consistently held steady in reputation among law school peers and among lawyers and judges. This year, Carolina Law’s peer assessment was ranked No. 24 among faculty at all law schools. Carolina Law’s reputation among lawyers and judges went up a point to be ranked No. 20.

“It takes a tremendous amount of support to be considered one of the top 25 American law schools.  But to remain in the Top 25 takes an ongoing commitment from our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Without excellent employment numbers and an outstanding bar passage rate, we would not have seen the success in rankings we have achieved the last two years,” says Martin H. Brinkley ’92, dean and William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor. “Our success is also in part due to the financial support we receive from generous donors, North Carolina’s taxpayers, and the leadership of UNC-Chapel Hill.”

For members of Carolina Law’s Class of 2020, who spent the last part of their legal education in a mostly virtual format, 97.06% of first-time test takers passed the bar examination, earning the No. 9 spot in the country for highest bar passage. For employment in bar passage-required and JD-advantage jobs at 10 months from graduation, Carolina Law’s Class of 2020 achieved 91.4% graduates employed and was No. 15 in the country.

“Carolina Law has so much to be proud of. The journey to being ranked No. 23 was a huge effort. We improved our reporting, invested in experiential learning opportunities for our students, stewarded financial support from donors and friends of the law school, and increased our engagement with our alumni, telling stories of the remarkable careers a Carolina Law degree can fuel,” says Brinkley. “While we celebrate our rise to 23, we know that to remain in the Top 25, we must redouble our efforts. We also know that the best evidence of our school’s quality is our students, who continue to make us proud and lift us up.”