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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

UCLA Law Ranks Seventh (or, Arguably, Sixth) in "Elite Public Interest" Placement

At Excess of Democracy, Derek Muller sets out to rank law schools' public interest employment placement -- specifically, "elite" public interest placement -- by measuring schools' relative success in obtaining Skadden and Equal Justice Works Fellowships. Muller theorizes that by measuring student placement in these fellowships, one can obtain clearer picture of which schools actively encourage and support students who are genuinely interested in public interest, as opposed to measuring schools that produce graduates who enter public interest employment as a "fallback" position. Muller accounts for class size and uses data aggregated over three years, from 2012-14.

UCLA ranks in seventh place on this list. Not too bad. And not particularly surprising, given UCLA's Public Interest Law Program, which offers a specialized curriculum and many other resources to students who are committed to public interest work.

Arguably, UCLA should be ranked at sixth because Irvine ranks in second place, but that information is based on only one year of data that included a 56-student graduating class, which pushed Irvine's percentage much higher than it might otherwise be if three years' data had been measured.

But either way, the list indicates that UCLA is doing pretty well when it comes to supporting students who are genuinely interested in pursuing public interest careers.

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