Montana Law School Breaks Into Top 100 Nationally

UM’s law school has jumped 38 places the last two years in the U.S. News & World Report Best Law Schools rankings.

MISSOULA – The latest U.S. News & World Report Best Law Schools rankings list the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana as a Top 100 law school and a Top 50 Environmental Law program. Montana’s flagship school ties for 96, a jump of 38 places in the last two years.

“Our law school consistently achieves excellent performance outcomes, with a 94.8%  placement rate for 2022 graduates seeking employment,” said law school Dean Elaine Gagliardi. “We also have a consistently strong Montana bar passage rate above the national average.”

Gagliardi, a graduate from Montana’s law school herself, credits the continued upward trajectory of the school in national rankings to the longstanding tradition of hands-on learning and practical work experience received by its students.

“Our law school trains students for the people-oriented practice of law. Its dedicated faculty bring many years of practice experience to the classroom,” said Gagliardi. “Our students learn from national experts in their respective fields, whether it be environmental law, Indian law, veteran’s law, transactional and business law, tax and estate planning, bankruptcy law, international law, or litigation.

“As the only law school in Montana, we attract exceptional students from all over the state and nationwide,” Gagliardi said. “Students come to the Blewett School of Law to gain a place-based and student-centered education, and to experience the outdoor recreational lifestyle that Montana offers.”

In addition to achieving high standing in the overall law schools ranking, the law school also placed No. 37 on the most recent U.S. News’ Best Environmental Law Programs list.

The school’s Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program is nationally recognized for its place-based learning, rich curricular offerings and environmental clinical opportunities with agencies and nonprofits that provide students with a strong foundation for entering practice.

The program’s faculty members have substantial and diverse practice experience in natural resources, environmental and Indian law, coming from careers in the public, private, nonprofit and tribal sectors. Drawing from that experience, faculty help students apply legal principles and examine issues from a variety of perspectives.

“We teach students the skills needed to be successful in whichever field of law they choose,” said Gagliardi. “By staying true to our focus on practice-ready training, our students hit the ground running and become an integral part of the legal community on day one.”  

More information about the U.S. News and World Report rankings is available online.


Contact: Phil Stempin, director of events, marketing and communications, Alexander Blewett III School of Law, 406-243-6509,