Campbell Law School withdraws from U.S. News best law schools ranking

Photo of front of law school at Night Shot 18

RALEIGH — The Campbell University School of Law will no longer participate in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Schools ranking.

Dean J. Rich Leonard announced the decision to faculty, staff and students on Monday in an email. Leonard’s statement cited concerns with both the ranking’s purpose and methodologies, among others. 

The statement follows: “The Campbell Law School faculty has decided not to participate this year in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Schools rankings. We are not opposed to objective rankings, but the reputational aspect of the U.S. News rankings has always undervalued strong regional law schools. Additionally, the rankings do not sufficiently consider factors most critical to prospective students, such as bar passage and employment outcomes. We believe objective evaluations that value factors like these better serve prospective students.

“As an example of the difference between objective and subjective rankings, in 2015 a North Carolina law professor at another school provided an alternative ranking based simply on student employment outcomes, LSAT scores and citations received by the Law Review. As reported in the lead story by Bloomberg Business, that analysis identified Campbell Law as the most underrated law school in the country.

“The U.S. News methodology is substantially flawed, and we are no longer willing to spend the significant administrative time necessary to comply with requests for data irrelevant to the needs of prospective students.”

Leonard and the Campbell Law faculty join a number of other law schools in disagreeing with the U.S. News ranking system. Most recently, University of Virginia (UVA) School of Law announced it will not provide information to U.S. News and World Report partly because its rankings “fail to capture much of what we value at UVA,” said Dean Risa Goluboff in an open letter Dec. 9.


Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,700 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2021, Campbell Law celebrated 45 years of graduating legal leaders and 12 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.