The results from almost 1,000 rankings are in and we have coupled the empirical rating with our personal experience having visited over 50 law school buildings. This combined perspective has produced our first ever (and perhaps the only) law school facilities ranking. Take these for what they are worth –inexact, incomparable, mostly unscientific — and nothing you should base a law school decision on. But, if you like functional, shiny facilities (and we do) look no further…
1. Stanford Law (survey rankings 95.56)
Way to go, Stanford Law. Your medians went up, your students get to study the better part of three years in the best building out there, and you even have one of a handful of mascots that don’t end as a plural. What more could a Cardinal, errr student, ask for?
2. Marquette Law School (98.0)
It’s like a sports venue, but you study law in it. You even get to study sports law in it. But if that is not your thing, torts will seem a whole lot better when you are inside or looking at this:
* 3. Colorado Law School (82.18)*
If we asked for the building in and of itself this new facility might be 6th or 7th on the list, but at CU Law you get the building and likely the best view from the inside of any law school. That combination puts CU at #3 and has students at other schools envious of the daydreaming that can go on from the view out of the Homer R. Clark Colloquium.
* 4. University of Washington (88.40)*
If it is true that natural light is conducive to happy moods and memory retention, you may want to consider Washington Law.
* 5. Penn State- University Park (88.37)*
More people rated Penn State than any other building in our survey and looking at this picture, I can see why you would want to visit. One has to wonder if the Dean made them turn on every light in the building for the picture, or if that was photo-shopped in.
* 6. Washington University in St. Louis (90.06)*
The theme on the outside, collegiate gothic, is uniform throughout the campus, giving the place an Oxford-like feel. There is a luxurious hotel 5 yards from it, and if you like student commons, take a look at this.
* 7. Michigan (84.07)*
There are prestigious law libraries, and then there is Michigan. The building as a whole isn’t so bad, either.
* 8. Yale (86.00)*
…speaking of prestige.
* 9. Vanderbilt (84.37)*
When Vanderbilt built their new building around 2001, the dean of the school convinced the board and administration to “build the law school we needed to build instead of the one we could afford” …so, they did.
* 10. Mississippi (97.50)*
Again, we wonder if the Dean photo-shopped in the snow. But there is no wondering this building is legit.
* Honorable Mention*
Drexel, Belmont, USC, Seattle, Rutgers-Camden, UVA, Duke, GULC, Baltimore
*Think we are off? Bat-crazy? Coming next, the 10 happiest law schools. Look for our survey coming soon at https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult so you can cast your vote and have say in what you have experienced at your law school *