Carolina Law Reaches Top 20 in U.S. News Rankings

April 9, 2024

For the first time since U.S. News and World Report began ranking law schools in 1987, UNC School of Law has reached No. 20 out of 196 law schools. According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” released on April 9, this year Carolina Law achieved its all-time highest ranking.

Carolina Law ranked 7th among public university law schools.

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

  • Criminal Law, tied for 20th
  • Legal Writing, tied for 20th
  • Tax Law, tied for 20th (up four spots)
  • Business/Corporate Law, tied for 22nd (up seven spots)
  • Clinical Training Programs, tied for 23rd (up 11 spots)
  • Contracts/Commercial 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 jumped a spot to be ranked No. 19.

“Reaching this rankings milestone underscores the extraordinary quality of a Carolina Law legal education – one that places us in the top tier of all law schools. When accessibility and affordability are added into the mix, the return on investment for our students is virtually unparalleled in American legal education,” says Martin H. Brinkley ’92, dean and William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor.

Rankings are important to the law school’s constituents. Prospective students rely on them to make decisions on where they should attend law school. Current students look to rankings to affirm their decision. Alumni know that higher rankings strengthen the value of their law degrees and propel careers to greater heights.

Carolina Law’s Class of 2022 achieved 96.8% of graduates employed in full time legal jobs at 10 months after graduation. This is among the top 10 law schools in the country for employment outcomes. 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 ranking for the second year in a row.

“We are grateful for the support of our generous donors, North Carolina’s taxpayers, the N.C. General Assembly, and the leadership of UNC-Chapel Hill,” says Brinkley. “The public recognition of these rankings underscores our success in fulfilling our core mission:  Preparing outstanding lawyers and leaders for the bar, the bench, all public and private law settings, and public service.”