A new study of legal education highlights the large number of Suffolk University Law School graduates who go on to become top law firm partners, according to a report in the New York Times.

The study, conducted with 33,000 lawyers at the nation’s 115 largest law firms, shows that the number of alumni partners a law school produces does not necessarily correlate with its national rankings but is more closely tied to factors such as geographical proximity to “Big Law” firms.

Suffolk Law has 167 graduates who are partners in top law firms, the Times reports in the article “Law School Proximity Matters for Partner Prospects, Study Finds.”

The article notes that Harvard, Yale and two other New England law schools have higher partner numbers, yet Suffolk Law’s “strong performance…shows that geographical proximity to a major legal market may be a good predictor of ‘big law’ career success,” according to study co-author Edward S. Adams.

“Law firms have had decades of success recruiting at Suffolk. It’s not a surprise that Boston’s anchor law school would produce so many Big Law partners, as we also produce so many civic and business leaders,” said Gerald Slater, assistant dean for professional and career development at Suffolk University Law School, who attributes alumni success to the Law School’s central location, predominance in the market, and emphasis on practice.

Suffolk Law has been on the cutting edge of legal education geared to preparing students for a legal marketplace undergoing a fundamental transformation because of technology and innovative methods for delivering legal services. It also has a strong focus on graduating practice-ready lawyers who have served real clients through clinical and pro bono work.

“Large firms are intent on recruiting here because they’ve had such success, and they look at their partnership and see so many successful Suffolk graduates in their ranks,” said Slater.

The study cited by the Times, “Does Law School Still Make Economic Sense?: An Empirical Analysis of ‘Big’ Law Firm Partnership Prospects and the Relationship to Law School Attended,” by Adams and Samuel P. Engel analyzes “the value of a legal education, law school rankings, and factors that should be considered by potential law students when choosing a law school to attend,” according to the executive summary of their report.