UT law school earns ‘Best Value’ ranking

Dollar for dollar, law students at the University of Tennessee are getting one of the best legal educations in the country.

The UT College of Law has again been ranked a Top 20 Best Value Law School by preLaw magazine.

The magazine published by the National Jurist will release the final Top 20 rankings for 2010 in October.

The University of Memphis law school also is on the Top 20 list, making Tennessee one of the few states with more than one nationally ranked law school.

Another 40 schools across the country have been named Best Value Law Schools and will be given letter grades when the final rankings are released.

UT was 14th on the magazine’s 2009 list.

Doug Blaze, dean of the UT law school, said being names a Best Value Law School is especially important given the current economy.

“We take our responsibility to remain a great value to our students very seriously. We are honored to be recognized for that, particularly in these tough economic times,” Blaze said in a press release. “We are as good as, and probably better than, any law school in the country at preparing our students to effectively begin practice when they graduate. And we strive to remain as accessible and affordable as possible.”

Criteria for making the magazine’s Best Value rankings are: having a bar passage rate higher than the state average; an employment rate of at least 85 percent nine months after graduation; in-state tuition less than $35,000 a year; and average student indebtedness below $100,000.

UT’s stats:

— Bar passage rate, 92 percent compared to state average of 77 percent

— In-state tuition, $12,540

— Employment rate, 96 percent

— Average indebtedness, $65,082