Part-time J.D. law programs play a vital role in legal education. According to the American Bar Association, about 16 percent of all J.D. students are enrolled part time, and for many working adults, attending part time is the only way they can afford to go to law school. This year, U.S. News presents its first-ever rankings of 87 part-time J.D. programs at ABA-accredited law schools. U.S. News defines a part-time J.D. program as a law school that has a separate admissions process for part-time students and has at least 20 part-time J.D. students.
The part-time J.D. program rankings are based solely on a fall 2008 peer assessment that asked academics at each law school to choose up to 15 "law schools with outstanding part-time law J.D. programs." Programs are ranked based on the number of part-time J.D. program votes they received, sorted in descending order: Those with a statistically insignificant number of votes are listed as N/A and are unranked. The statistical data were collected by U.S. News and are presented for information purposes only. Peer assessment data were collected by Synovate.