Carolina Law Jumps to No. 22 in the U.S. News & World Report

May 11, 2023

For the third year in a row, UNC School of Law stays in the Top 25 ranked law schools.  Carolina Law moved up one spot to No. 22 out of 196 law schools ranked in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” released on May 11.

Over the last five years, Carolina Law has jumped 23 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 has remained No. 8.

In the specialty areas rankings, the law school’s Research, Reasoning, Writing and Advocacy (RRWA) program, now in its twelfth year as a full-year, six-credit program, ranks No.13.

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

  • Criminal Law, tied for 17th
  • Contracts/Commercial Law 18th
  • Constitutional Law, tied for 21st
  • Tax Law, tied for 24th

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. 22 (up two spots) among faculty at all law schools. Carolina Law’s reputation among lawyers and judges remained ranked No. 20.

“Rankings are just one metric of which prospective students use when deciding where to attend law school. The publicly available data that is used to determine these rankings affirm that Carolina Law is consistently producing excellent employment numbers and an outstanding bar passage rate that is important to our prospective students, current students, and alumni,” says Martin H. Brinkley ’92, dean and William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor. “Without the financial support we receive from generous donors, North Carolina’s taxpayers, the N.C. General Assembly and the leadership of UNC-Chapel Hill, we wouldn’t be able to provide our students with the legal education and experiences they need to pass the bar and find employment in whatever area of the law that is meaningful to them.”

Carolina Law’s Class of 2021 achieved 96.2% graduates employed in legal jobs 10 months after graduation and is in the top 10 for employment outcomes in the country. In addition to being highly ranked among law schools, Carolina Law’s position as a top professional school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is further bolstered by matching UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s No. 22 ranking.

“To have an outstanding public university, you must have strong business, medical and law schools. Our students and their achievements during and after law school speaks volumes for the legal education they receive at one of the most affordable public law schools in the country,” says Brinkley. “While we celebrate our journey to being ranked No. 22, our mission is to provide our students the opportunity to learn from some of the top legal minds in the country, experiential skills that make them practice-ready upon graduation and access to a legal education that allows them to choose a job based on their interest without the burden of debt. Rankings can capture some of that, but the quality of our students and the success of our graduates are the evidence we need to know that we are on the right path.”