University of Florida's Levin College of Law University of Florida’s Levin College of Law

The University of Florida has maintained its role as the highest-ranked law school in Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings released Tuesday, as Florida International University continues its steady climb.

UF Levin College of Law jumped ten places this year, from No. 41 to No. 31. The spot is the highest-ever ranking for the school and marks a 17-point climb since 2016.

“We remain laser-focused on raising our national profile,” UF Law Dean Laura Ann Rosenbury said in a statement. “Our record-breaking fundraising has energized students around the country to apply to our programs, resulting in the most highly credentialed and diverse classes in UF Law history. We will continue our quest to become a top 10 public law school.”

The annual rankings consider 12 measures of quality, including peer assessment, median LSAT and GRE scores, acceptance rate and placement success.

Florida International University College of Law saw a similar leap, from No. 101 to No. 91. For years, many thought the school was underrated: FIU beat out the University of Miami and Florida State University to have the highest 2018 July General Bar Examination passage rate in Florida.

“These improved rankings demonstrate how our focus on student success and preparing our FIU students for the world of work has helped us elevate the quality of academic programs to new heights,” said Kenneth G. Furton, FIU provost and executive vice president.

The rest of Florida’s law schools saw negative years.

University of Miami School of Law dropped two spots, from No. 65 to No. 67. Florida State University College of Law fell one spot and is now at No. 48. Stetson University College of Law saw the largest ranking hit, dropping six spots to No. 104 — the lowest ranked school in Florida.

Erin O’Connor, dean of FSU’s law school, said the school is delighted that it continues to be ranked among the nation’s top tier law schools. “Our students and alumni are excelling on the national stage and we are constantly seeking innovative ways to improve our programs,” she said. “We are very optimistic about the future trajectory of FSU Law.”

The University of Miami and Stetson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ave Maria School of Law, Barry University, Florida A&M University, Florida Coastal School of Law, Nova Southeastern University and St. Thomas University were not ranked, as the publication ranks only the top 150 accredited law school programs.

Yale Law School took the top spot this year, beating out No. 2 Stanford Law School and No. 3 Harvard Law School.

A 2018 survey found that a majority of law graduates said applicants place too much importance in the rankings, and critics say the methodology puts too much emphasis on LSAT scores.

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