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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Official....

.... according to the US News, Ave Maria School of Law is regarded as the worst law school in the country. Not one of the worst, but the worst.

Of course, I'm referring to the assessment scores. The peer assessment score (25% of the total score) was 1.2, the lowest score of all schools. The lawyer/judge assessment (15% of the total score) was 1.5, the second lowest score of all schools. These two scores combined puts AMSL in sole place at the very bottom when it comes to assessment, and I think it's probable that it means AMSL has the lowest total US News score, considering how much the assessment is weighted.

I looked back at the scores from last year to see what happened.
For peer assessment, it looks like it went 1.4 (2007), 1.3 (2008), 1.3 (2009), 1.2 (this year).
For lawyer/judge assessment, it went 2.1 (2007), 2.1 (2008), 1.9 (2009), 1.5 (this year).

That lawyer/judge assessment is the most shocking. It seems that in the past, AMSL has always had a better reputation among lawyers and judges than among the law school academics (think of the number of clerkships, and the potential anti-conservative/Catholic bias of legal academia). I think AMSL's lawyer/judge assessment tended to be one of the better ones among Tier 4 schools. Now this year, AMSL is seconnd worst, after a drop from 1.9 to 1.5.

Ouch. As I've argued before, heads should roll for this but I don't have much hope that there will be changes.

The Naples News had a recent article where it highlighted a married couple attending AMSL:
The Maces are both enrolled as first-year Ave Maria School of Law students, taking on a combined $300,000 in student loan debt. For them, it is the trade-off to being able to attend the same school and make valuable career connections in the place they call home.

"The loans were a huge issue for us, because Ave Maria is a very expensive school," Kristie Mace, 26, said. "It's definitely something that weighs on our shoulders all of the time."
Well, AMSL is charging $35,380/year for tuition. Is AMSL worth the money?