U.S. News & World Report recognizes WVU College of Law for third straight year

By Chris Dickerson | Mar 14, 2012


MORGANTOWN -– For the third consecutive year, West Virginia University's College of Law has been recognized as a "Top Tier" law school by U.S. News and World Report's 2013 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools."

This is the second such designation in the past week. Last week, the National Law Journal named the College of Law a "Go-To" law school, ranking it among the top 50 law schools with the highest percentage of 2011 J.D. graduates hired by the 250 National Law Journal top law firms. In addition, the College of Law ranked 15th nationally in Best Law Schools in Public Interest in the Winter 2011 edition of preLaw Magazine and was named one of the "Top 40 Best Value" law schools.

"Clearly, the momentum at the WVU College of Law continues to build," Joyce McConnell, College of Law dean, said. "Being recognized as a Top Tier law school by U.S. News and World Report and as a "Go-To" law school by the National Law Journal puts us among the top institutions in the country and reflects the hard work of our students and faculty. Our recent initiatives and future plans will help us build on this trajectory.

"We are delighted to be recognized for our successes, yet are always mindful that ranking systems have different criteria and that the criteria used in any single ranking system often changes from year to year. Our progress at the College of Law stems from our commitment to fulfilling our land-grant mission by providing an excellent yet affordable legal education with interdisciplinary opportunities for joint degrees and a commitment to experiential education, public service, diversity and globalization."

WVU recently initiated three new educational opportunities that help state citizens and enhance the education of future lawyers. WVU's Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic provides legal assistance to land-owners, land trusts and county and municipal governments to protect local land and water. The College of Law also launched its Center for Energy and Sustainable Development under the leadership of Professor James Van Nostrand.

In late 2011, WVU became the first law school in the country to partner with a Veteran's Administration hospital, the Louis A. Johnson VA Healthcare System of Clarksburg, which serves 23,000 veterans. Law students working in the College of Law's Clinical Law Program will provide free legal representation to veterans through the Veterans Assistance Program.

Reaching into the national realm, WVU College of Law students now have the opportunity to work on cases headed for the United States Supreme Court in a clinical program supervised by the national law firm of Jones Day and College of Law faculty.

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