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Seven law schools came within a hair of ranking among The National Law Journal’s Go-To Law Schools—the NLJ’s list of the 50 that led in sending their 2013 juris doctors into associate jobs in the 250 largest law firms in the country.

Every year, a handful of law schools come oh-so-close to making the list, but 2013 posed an especially tight race. Just a single graduate made the difference in some instances.

Columbia Law School nabbed the No. 1 spot, with 65 percent of its recent graduates securing jobs in large law firms. On the other end of the spectrum, the University of Kansas School of Law snagged the No. 50 spot by sending 8.62 percent of its 2013 graduates to the largest law firms. The University of Arizona James E. Rogers School of Law sent 8.5 percent of its graduates into that same future, but that fell about one-tenth of a percentage point short of making the list. The school had ranked No. 33 in 2012.

The University of Alabama School of Law; Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; University of Colorado Law School; University of South Carolina School of Law; Rutgers School of Law–Newark; and the University of Georgia School of Law each came within one percentage point of Kansas’ placement rate.

Another 11 law schools came within two percentage points of making the top 50, led by Seton Hall University School of Law at 7.49 percent, the University of Cincinnati College of Law at 7.38 percent and the University of Florida Levin College of the Law.

The Go-To Law Schools report ranks only the top 50 law schools, in part because the margins between schools become very small at around that point. A relatively small number of law schools—the top 20 or so—provide the lion’s share of large-firm associates.

The Go-To Law Schools report is based on survey data provided by NLJ 250 law firms, the nation’s largest by headcount. For firms that did not submit new associate numbers, we relied on data from ALM Media LLC’s RivalEdge database and independent reporting.

Contact Karen Sloan at ksloan@alm.com. For more of The National Law Journal’s law school coverage, visit: http://www.facebook.com/NLJLawSchools.