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BYU, Utah law schools in top 50

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Charles Dharapak, AP

PROVO — The University of Utah and Brigham Young University law schools are ranked among the top-50 law schools in America, according to "U.S. News & World Report" graduate school rankings released Tuesday.

U.S. News listed the two universities on its ranking of the best graduate business programs.

BYU's law school tied with George Mason, Ohio State and the University of Maryland for the 39th spot, while the U. law school came in 47th.

The rankings are based on expert opinion and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research and students.

BYU law school dean Jim Rasband credited the students who go to Provo for the high mark.

“We are pleased to be recognized among the top quarter of law schools in the country," Rasband said in a press release. “As in years past, the strength of our students’ entering credentials and their impressive record of success on the bar exam are particularly noteworthy.”

After climbing 15 spots the last four years, the U. dropped five places from No. 42, where it had been the last two years.

“Given the still uncertain economic climate and wide national variability in employment data and reporting, we anticipated a high level of unreliability and volatility in the rankings’ methodology this year," Dean Hiram Chodosh said in a press release. “In 2011, our summer bar passage rate was 92 percent for first-time takers and the 2011 aggregate passage rate was 90 percent."

BYU's graduate business school ranked 34th and the U. 69th. BYU's accounting school was ninth in voting by business school deans and MBA program directors, and 21st in entrepreneurship.

The rankings raise the integrity of the Marriott School of Management, Dean Gary Cornia said.

"We appreciate the recognition these rankings give to our students and the quality of the education they receive," Cornia said. "Our students and graduates are helping to build a strong reputation around the world for their leadership, honesty and tremendous ability.”