Monday, July 14, 2008
I previously blogged (here, here, here, here, and here) the announcement (here and here) by Robert Morse, Director of Data Research at U.S. News & World Report, that the magazine is considering counting both full-time and part-time entering student admission data for the median LSAT score and median undergraduate GPA ranking categories. Bill Henderson (Indiana) lays out the data today in How has the Part-Time "Loophole" Affected Part- and Full-Time Enrollment? The Data, showing that the number of part time law students has increased by 1,343 (23.3%) while the number of full-time law students fell by 185 students from fall 1991 to fall 2006 at the 174 law schools fully accredited by the ABA during this period:
Let's not kid ourselves. Quite a few students have been shunted into PT programs so a school could drive up its US News numbers. ... Whatever the ranking methodology, a large number of law schools are going to make resource allocation decisions based on rankings. If Bob Morse changes the methodology to get rid of the part-time loophole, we can expect many law schools to throw their part-time students overboard -- that is a fact, and it is not Bob Morse's fault. In this US News conundrum, both people and our alleged principles are guaranteed to get hurt.