Legal writing & trial advocacy reach new heights in U.S. News rankings

U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Graduate Schools guide lists Elon Law in the top 20% among American law schools for legal writing while the school earned its highest rank to date for trial advocacy.

Elon University School of Law’s reputation for the strength of its legal writing and trial advocacy programs earned the school its highest marks to date in specialty rankings of an annual guide published by U.S. News & World Report.

Released on March 30, 2021, the specialty rankings in U.S. News’ 2022 Best Graduate Schools guidebook reflect Elon Law’s emphasis on learning by doing and its strategic investment in legal writing faculty and resources.

Elon Law’s new specialty ranking for legal writing places it in the top 20% of law schools. And the specialty ranking for trial advocacy places Elon Law in the Top 100 of law schools for the first time ever.

“While rankings can never capture the full picture of student success, this year’s U.S. News specialty lists illustrate what we’ve been saying for quite some time,” said Elon Law Dean Luke Bierman. “By redesigning our curriculum to emphasize learning by doing with lower cost and student debt and students completing their studies in less time with multiple opportunities for practical training, Elon Law’s reputation for graduating practice-ready lawyers is continuing to grow.”

#34 (Tie) for Legal Writing
  • Elon University (up from #44 in the 2021 rankings)
  • Brooklyn Law School
  • Duke University
  • George Washington University
  • Mercer University
  • University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City

“At Elon Law, the first-year Legal Method and Communication courses teach legal writing in the context of a broad range of lawyering skills,” said Professor Sue Liemer, director of Elon Law’s Legal Method and Communication Program. “Students learn how to find, analyze, and write about the law. Course simulations also include client intake interviews, negotiations, oral arguments, and client counseling sessions.

“This highly experiential approach creates synergies that help the students learn the skills more deeply and see the connections between them. We’re hearing compliments from attorneys and judges about how well-prepared our students are when they begin their residencies-in-practice as 2Ls. At the same time, students are now being recognized in national legal writing contests, and they’re excelling in national moot court competitions.”

#79 (Tie) for Trial Advocacy
  • Elon University (up from #105 in the 2021 rankings)
  • California Western School of Law
  • Creighton University
  • Drake University
  • Florida International University
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • New York Law School

“Our advocacy program has grown over the years to feature exceptional courses taught by accomplished faculty, judges and attorneys, nationally recognized moot court and mock trial programs, an Advocacy Fellows program and the learning laboratory provided by having the North Carolina Business Court housed within the law school,” said Senior Associate Dean Alan Woodlief, director of the Moot Court program. “We are excited that these elements, combined with the advocacy experiences many of our students pursue in their full-time Residency-in-Practice, are gaining notice and, most importantly, prepare our graduates for successful careers in trial and appellate advocacy.”