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College of Law climbed seven spots in 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings and is rated seventh nationally for environmental law. The school also improved in number of students passing bar exam, student employment and student quality measures.

The University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law for the first time has been named as one of the top 10 law schools in the nation in the field of environmental law, according to newly released data compiled by U.S. News & World Report in the publication’s “Best Law Schools” list.  Overall, in 2016 the College of Law is ranked 42nd among 205 American Bar Association-approved U.S. law schools, rising seven spots from the 2015 ranking.

In the past eight years, the College of Law has climbed a total of 15 spots, from 57th in 2008 to 51st in 2009, 45th in 2010 and 42nd in 2016. For schools with less than 500 students, the College of Law ranked eighth nationally, and among the top 50 schools, it has the second-smallest student body, with approximately 332 students.

The College of Law’s historically strong program in environmental and natural resources law, highlighted with the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment, tied for seventh place (with UCLA) among the nation’s best environmental law programs.

“We are particularly proud that we improved in the areas most important to our students, such as bar exam passage rate, employment after graduation and the qualifications of our admitted students,” said Bob Adler, dean of the College of Law. “Although we are pleased by this recognition, our main focus is the education and success of our students, not a particular number in any given set of rankings.”

Professor Bob Keiter, longtime director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment, noted that the top 10 recognition in environmental and natural resources law is emblematic of the outstanding program.

“Given the Stegner Center’s extraordinarily strong faculty, its engaged students and its remarkable diversity of programs, there has never been any doubt in my mind that the college’s environmental law program rivals any in the country,” Keiter said.

The full graduate school rankings are available here.