Thursday, July 24, 2008
Robert Morse, Director of Data Research at U.S. News & World Report, responds to the forthcoming National Law Journal op-ed by Gary J. Simson, Dean at Case Western (which fell ten places in the U.S. News overall rankings last year to #63), Say "Enough" to "U.S. News" (blogged here):
I was asked yesterday to comment on criticisms of the U.S. News law school rankings raised in an article Dean Calls on Peers to Unite, Kick U.S. News Rankings to the Curb that was published on the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog. ...
The U.S. News rankings also do not, as the dean implies, have a negative impact on legal education and law school admissions. The rankings provide prospective law school students with information about the relative merits of law schools that is not available from any other source. Going to a law school is a very expensive and time-consuming process, and our rankings provide one tool for students to use in choosing the best school for their needs.
If a law school refuses to provide U.S. News directly with statistical data from their annual American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation data questionnaire, then U.S. News still can get almost all of that school's official ABA data from the ABA website. U.S. News would still be able to rank a law school, even if it refused to participate.
The next U.S. News law school rankings aren't published until late March 2009, and we do not plan to make a decision on this issue until fall 2008 or early 2009. As we have done in the past before we change our methodology, U.S. News will carefully consider the impact of any such modification.