The St. Thomas School of Law has moved up 24 places in the annual rankings conducted by U.S. News & World Report, which also ranked the university’s graduate programs in business, education and social work.

In the rankings released today, the law school moved to No. 111 from No. 135 a year ago among the 199 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. This is the second-largest jump of any law school in the country.

Dean Robert Vischer pointed to ongoing investments since the school opened in 2001, including top faculty, an innovative curriculum and students who combine “intellectual horsepower, relationship skills and a desire to use their gifts to advance the common good.”

“Reputations build gradually, and while older law schools may have enjoyed a head start, we are closing the gap,” he said. “Our ranking is beginning to catch up with reality. We continue to be the top-ranked private law school in Minnesota, and we’re on our way to becoming the top-ranked private law school in the region.”

Other private law school rankings in the region include Creighton at No. 106, Drake at No. 111, Marquette at No. 123 and William Mitchell and Hamline (which recently merged) each at No. 140.

U.S. News also ranked St. Thomas No. 35 for clinical training, a recognition of the school’s 10 legal clinics and how a majority of students enroll in at least one live-client clinical course during their time here.

Another publication, the National Jurist, ranks St. Thomas No. 2 in the nation for practical training (behind Northeastern) and No. 1 for externships, and the Princeton Review ranks St. Thomas in the top 10 for best professors and best quality of life.

In other U.S. News rankings:

Social Work: The joint program sponsored by St. Thomas and St. Catherine University ranked No. 71 among 244 graduate programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. U.S. News does not conduct a new social work survey every year; in the last survey, in 2012, the St. Thomas-St. Catherine program ranked No. 52.

Business: In the Opus College of Business, the part-time MBA program ranked No. 114 among 344 schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, compared to No. 113 a year ago.

Education: The School of Education in the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling is ranked in the second tier among 376 schools that grant doctoral degrees. The rank is alphabetical below the first 184 schools. Last year, St. Thomas ranked No. 194.

The School of Engineering is not included in the U.S. News graduate rankings because it does not offer doctoral programs. Last fall, U.S. News rank St. Thomas No. 46 out of 200 schools that have bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

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