The University of New Mexico School of Law moved to No. 18 nationwide in the Top 50 Law Schools ranking by Above the Law, up four places from last year.

“We’re delighted to receive this recognition of our program and to be in the very good company of Northwestern (No. 13), Vanderbilt (No. 15), and Boston College (No. 16),” said Hannah Farrington, UNM School of Law assistant dean, Advancement.

“The ATL rankings recognize what really matters to students,” said Farrington. “Our focus is on avoiding increased debt through the School’s concerted efforts to significantly increase our student support, job readiness through truly effective practical training, and a sharp focus on what is required to ensure strong employment outcomes.”

Above the Law says that since most people attend law school to obtain jobs as lawyers, employment is their number one criteria. Their rankings are the only ones to incorporate the latest ABA employment data concerning the class of 2014.

The UNM Law School received a grade of A+ from students and an A from alumni in the areas of academics, practical/clinical training, career counseling, financial aid advising, and social life.

The ATL rankings methodology consists of 30 percent for both employment and job quality; 15 percent on education cost; 7.5 percent for both active judges and Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) clerks, 5 percent on both alumni rating and debt per job (how much student debt is accrued by a school’s graduates for every actual legal job obtained).