Four Best Fourth-Tier Law Schools:
Love them or hate them, rankings are everything in life and law. How else would you propose to measure yourself, your firm or your school against the competition?
Unfortunately, for reasons that escape us, nobody has bothered to rank the best fourth-tier law schools in the U.S. Until now…
1. Barry University (Orlando, Florida)
Technically, the school goes by its DJ name, Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, but we always knew it as Barry–Barry from the block. Back in the day (last month) Barry (we mean Dwayne) beat the snot out of its competition at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law Trial Competition. First prize was a case of Bacardi.
It’s not easy being green, and there’s simply no way in hell that the tree-huggers will be able to save the planet without a good attorney, which is why Barry created the Earth Advocacy Clinic. According to Barry, the clinic, which trains young lawyers to provide counsel to environmental groups, is the first of its kind. Plus, Barry is about as close as a legal education can get to Disney World.
2. Appalachian School of Law (Grundy, Virginia)
Why did we pick Appalachian? Well, try this one on for size: Appalachian had a 100% pass rate for the West Virginia bar exam. That’s right, five students from Appalachian sat for the West Virginia bar exam, and five students passed. Booyah, ya’ll!
According to its website, Appalachian is about 30 minutes from something called Critterville Park. Nuff said.
3. New England School of Law (Boston, Massachusetts)
If New England School of Law didn’t make the list, we’d be turning our back on an entire region. Think about it: one law school, six states. Can your alma mater say that?
There’s a lot of legal action in the Boston area. Just ask David E. Kelly. But with that much action comes confusion, which is why New England School of Law is officially adopting a new nickname: New England Law | Boston. (Yep, that’s a verti-bar in there.) According to the school’s dean, John F. O’Brien, the nickname is meant to help the school identify more closely with Boston (don’t’ make us rethink that regional accolade, O’Brien) and cut down on any confusion with area schools. Harvard Law is said to be “relieved.”
4. Western State University College of Law (Fullerton, California)
Technically, Western State University College of Law isn’t in the fourth tier because the fools at U.S. News & World Report stopped ranking it after the school obtained provisional approval from the ABA in 2005. But we at Bitter Lawyer are keen to bring Western back to its tier-four greatness once and for all. Repeat after us: Yes, they can be a fourth-tier law school. (Especially since they’re under new management.)
Some say the Western legal tradition goes all the way back to biblical times. Well, Western State University College of Law goes all the way back to 1966, which means Western is officially a cougar by OC standards.
Check out other lists, tallies and scores to settle in Bitter by Numbers.