The Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA) presented the results of the pilot ranking of Ukrainian law schools on August 07, 2021. This is the first ranking from the all-Ukrainian association of legal professionals. Ranking formed based on the Law School Ranking Methodology which has been developed by Yehor Stadny, an independent advisor to the USAID New Justice Programs, in cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce, Association of Legal Clinics, UBA Students League, EU Pravo-Justice Project, DEJURE Foundation, and Forbes Ukraine. The UBA ranking embraces 59 law schools.
According to the Methodology, developed with allowance for Ukraine’s specifics, law schools are assessed based on the following criteria: level of graduates’ professional knowledge and critical thinking, level of teaching foreign languages, the attractiveness of bachelor and master programs administered by each high education institutions, and level of employers’ trust to a law school. Organizers assigned a weight coefficient to each criterion set based on outcomes of an earlier survey of faculty and legal professionals on the importance of one or another factor. As organizers noted, this was a pilot ranking process, and the Methodology may and will be enhanced with allowance for proposals from the academic and student communities and as information is accumulated in state-run databases which are used in international practices but are currently missing in Ukraine.
Law schools’ ranking assigned by the Ukrainian Bar Association for the first time by criteria which reflect objective parameters of their operations will be of great importance for the professional and academic communities and – undoubtedly – for prospective enrollees deciding which law school to choose,” pointed out Andriy Boyko, Head of the Ministry of Education Methodological and Academic Council’s Sub-Committee on Legal Education Standards.
Andriy Butenko, Deputy Chairman of the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, added that the event is important not for discussing the ranking itself but for understanding the methodology to identify leaders among higher education institutions. According to Mr. Butenko, the event is a step towards better quality education which is hardly possible unless there is an open and fair competition.
Legal Advisor to the USAID New Justice Program Artem Shaipov expressed a similar opinion: “Improving the quality of legal education requires healthy competition of law schools, systemic interaction thereof with employers and other stakeholders, establishing proper feedback mechanisms.”
Oleksandr Pyzhov, Director General of the Directorate for European Integration, Budgeting, and Policy Reconciliation at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, welcomed an idea of ranking higher education institutions. The introduction of law schools’ rankings is important for the Ministry since the ranking is based on the results of the Unified Specialty Admission Test and is initiated by the professional association of legal professionals.
The presentation was attended also by Andriy Romanchuk, Vice President of UBA; Ivan Nazarov, Deputy Chairman of the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education; Julia Lomzhets, Head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine; Volodymyr Landa, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Ukraine; Ivan Shemelynets, Legal Education Expert, DEJURE Foundation; Maksym Sheverdin, Coordinator, UBA Commission on Enhancing Legal Education; Julia Seredynska, Chairperson, UBA Students League.
Organizers assured that they were ready to hear constructive criticism from law schools and enhance the ranking criteria. There are plans to conduct such a ranking on an annual basis.
The ranking is available here.