Baylor Law Students Are Nation's 'Most Competitive,' Says Princeton Review

Sept. 21, 2004

by Alan Hunt

Baylor Law School is number 1 in a "Most Competitive Students" ranking released Sept. 20 by The Princeton Review. The student category is one of 11 ranking lists featured by The Princeton Review in its new graduate school guidebook, Best 117 Law Schools, which went on sale today (Sept. 21).

The Princeton Review said this category is based on "law student assessment of the number of hours they spend studying outside of class each day, the number of hours they think their fellow law students spend studying outside of class each day, the degree of competitiveness among law students at their school, and the average number of hours they sleep each night."

The Princeton Review is a New York City-based company known for its test prep courses, education services, college and grad school admission services, and over 200 books published by Random House.

Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben said, " The ranking confirms what we already know about our program: it is tough, and the students readily rise to the challenge. We are proud of the hard work our students put into becoming outstanding attorneys."

The Princeton Review said it compiled the ranking lists based on institutional data from the schools and surveys of students attending the schools in 2003-04. The company surveyed 7,000 students at the 117 law schools, and includes in its new book a "Students Say" profile, containing comments by law students about their schools.

With regard to competition at the Law School, one Baylor student noted that academic competition is strong, but "it has never been a cutthroat or hiding-books-in-the-library kind of competition." Another Baylor law student is quoted as saying that Baylor Law School has a strong academic reputation and produces world-class litigators with "practical skills" galore.

But be warned, another student advised. Baylor's professors are "unapologetically demanding [lawyers] with plenty of real-world experience..." Teaching is important at Baylor, and while "famous professors are cool," students agree "teaching professors are cooler." Said another student, "This is definitely not the school to go to if all you want is philosophy and obscure legal theories. [But] if you want to know how to practice law, Baylor Law is your place."

Baylor Law School has been featured in a number of prestigious top law school rankings. In a previous nationwide assessment of America's law schools, The Princeton Review described Baylor Law School as "the Marine Corps of law schools." The Review termed Baylor's Practice Court Program as "arguably the best training ground in the nation for practical lawyering."

In U.S.News & World Report's "2005 Best Graduate School" rankings, Baylor Law School's trial advocacy program was placed seventh best in the United States, up four spots from last year's 11th-place listing. Overall, Baylor Law School was ranked 50th by U.S. News in its "Top 100 Schools" listing, or tier one category. U.S. News evaluated 177 accredited law schools nationwide, using 12 "measures of quality."

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