Dean Tacha Reflects as Pepperdine Law Rises in US News, Other Rankings
It is with a sense of deep gratitude and humility that I thank the Pepperdine Law
community for your steadfast support and dedication to the continued success of this
law school. Despite the challenges that confront legal education, the Pepperdine University
School of Law is flourishing and enjoying many successes. This year marked the inaugural
year of the Parris Institute for Professional Formation, through which we are striving
to prepare new lawyers for the rapidly changing demands of the employment market and
imbuing our students with the values and highest ideals of the legal profession. We
are deeply committed to forming Pepperdine lawyers who model the legal excellence,
professionalism, ethics, and commitment to service that will equip them to serve their
clients, communities, the nation, and the world when they graduate from this law school.
Our alumni and friends are key to our success. We are grateful to all who serve as preceptors, speak in classes, donate your time and resources, and support us in so many ways. Although we remain attentive to addressing the urgent problem of student debt and the continuing shifts in the legal employment market, we pause to acknowledge the successes we have enjoyed. Pepperdine was again one of the few law schools in the country to experience an increase in application rates—thus, affirming the quality of the work we are doing.
Although rankings never tell the full story, we are gratified that Pepperdine Law has fared very well in this year’s series of national rankings. U.S. News & World Report released its latest edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools" last week, and Pepperdine School of Law was named the 52nd best law school in the nation, an increase of two places over last year and a nine-place gain over the last two years. U.S. News also ranked Pepperdine's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution the top dispute resolution graduate program in the country for an unprecedented eleventh consecutive year. Straus has now topped the U.S. News list for 14 of the last 19 years and has never been outside the top three.
Preparing "practice-ready" students is a central theme of the law school's curriculum and work. To this end, our clinical programs are recognized nationally for their rigor and experiential learning commitment. Most recently, The National Jurist identified Pepperdine as the fourth-best American law school for “practical training,” an increase of three places over their assessment last year and again the best showing of any California law school (Mike Stetz, "Best Schools for Practical Training," The National Jurist, March 2015, at 29). Faculty continue to receive high accolades from students and observers, including a 99% score for faculty accessibility from Princeton Review’s Best 169 Law Schools (2015 Edition), as well as a sixth-place ranking on their Best Professors list (between #5 Chicago and #7 Stanford).
In sum, as we prepare to graduate another outstanding class of new lawyers, these recent affirmations of our work demonstrate our continued dedication to the task of training lawyers for lives of purpose, service, and leadership. We have earned the respect of the legal community, our peers, and most importantly, our students, alumni, and friends. I am so grateful to all of those in the Pepperdine Law community who have made these achievements possible.