Admissions data, knowledgeable faculty and bar passage rates propelled the University of Virginia past Georgetown, William and Mary, and George Washington University to the 10th spot in U.S. News & World Report’s list of best law schools.

But when it comes to getting a good job, it’s all about a private school reputation, right? Wrong. Hiring partners at private law firms ranked the Charlottesville public school sixth among law programs, according to first-time rankings from the magazine.

On this reputation-alone measure, Georgetown came in at 13th, the only other area school to make the top 25. Georgetown is ranked 14th on the traditional law school list, which weighs reputation among many factors. GW placed 20th, followed by the College of William and Mary in the 30th slot.

“That’s probably the atypical situation, that the public tops the private. That’s more unique in this metropolitan area,” said Bob Morse, director of data research for the graduate school rankings.

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