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Website puts UNM law school in nation's top 20

Above the Law ranked the top 50 law schools, looking specifically at the cost, amount of debt and quality law jobs graduates had after their time at each school, according to the legal trade website.

“Forty percent of 2014 law graduates did not secure a job in the law,” surveyors said on “We believe the ATL Top 50 gives prospective law students a way to analyze schools using metrics that actually matter.”

The metrics that do not matter, according to the site, are things like LSAT scores, GPAs and scholarships.

UNM’s No.18 ranking put it above renowned schools like UCLA (19th), Georgetown (20th) and Notre Dame (23rd).

One area where UNM outperformed those three universities was student debt. According to a study by U.S. News and World Report, students graduating from Georgetown walked away with $150,529 of debt on average, while grads from UCLA and Notre Dame incurred $121,066 and $111,310, respectively. Those who graduated from UNM’s School of Law had an average debt of $71,029.

According to the American Bar Association, this was lower than the average debt for a law graduates from public sectors — their debt averages $84,000.

A representative from UNM’s law school said the faculty and staff were delighted by the ranking, which was four places higher than last year’s ranking.

“The ATL rankings recognize what really matters to students,” Hannah Farrington, UNM School of Law assistant dean for advancement, said in a statement. “Our focus is on avoiding increased debt through the School’s concerted efforts to significantly increase our student support, job readiness through truly effective practical training, and a sharp focus on what is required to ensure strong employment outcomes.”

The Above the Law rating is the latest honor given to the law school. It ranked 71st among 149 law schools in a U.S. News and World Report, and its Clinical Training Program was named ninth best nationally by the same publication.

Jyllian Roach is the editor-in-chief for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at editorinchief or on Twitter 

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