McConnell

MORGANTOWN -- West Virginia University College of Law is moving up in rankings in American's best law schools.

The 2010 U.S. New & World Report rankings placed WVU's law school in the top 100 law schools in the country.

U.S. News surveyed 184 accredited programs to get the information used in the ranking of top law schools, which included 46 law schools at state institutions of higher education.

WVU shares the 93rd spot with Chapman University, Santa Clara University, the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska.

U.S. News evaluated law schools based on peer assessments by deans, faculty and judges; LSAT scores; average undergraduate GPA of enrolled students; employment rates; and state bar passage rates.

Joyce E. McConnell, the WVU College of Law Dean, said she was glad to see the law school recognized nationally.

"This achievement comes from faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors, and University and state leaders working together," McConnell said. "This is a collaborative success based on exceptional commitment and dedication to the College of Law. The efforts of our alumni and of past and present University leaders have been critical to our success."

WVU President James P. Clements congratulated McConnell and the law school faculty, staff and students on being recognized.

"The U.S. News ranking is validation from our peers that WVU's College of Law stands among the very best in the country," Clements said. "We have a quality faculty who provide an excellent legal education to some very talented students."

McConnell said being in the top 100 in the first step on a longer journey.

"We cannot and will not rest on our laurels. There is more to accomplish," she said.

McConnell said she envisions the College of Law continuing to actively recruit highly qualified and diverse students and faculty.

There are plans to expand the WVU Law Center to provide 21st Century academic and clinical facilities, including state-of-the-art courtrooms, classrooms and clinical suites to better sever clients and West Virginia, according to a university-issued press release.

An expanded facility will also allow further development of a newly established Energy and Sustainable Development Law Center, which will position the College of Law as a key player in the WVU's vision to become a world leader in energy research and policy, according to the press release.

WVU is ranked No. 103 on Super Lawyers' 2010 U.S. law school rankings. Super Lawyers ranks law schools by the number of graduates selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers the previous year, cumulative research and peer evaluation scores.

For the full rankings from U.S. News & World Report, visit http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings.

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