TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another New Front in the Rankings War: Paying Students to Apply

Following up on this morning's post, Update on LSAT-Free Admissions and LSAT Retesting of Admitted Applicants:  the Wall Street Journal Law Blog has uncovered a new front on the U.S. News gaming war:  Alabama is offering applicants $20 in free iTunes® music downloads.  (A law school's acceptance rate counts 2.5% in U.S. News' methodology.)

In yet more rankings news, Tom Bell (Chapman) reports Voter Fraud in U.S. News Surveys?:

In ranking law schools, U.S. News and World Report weights peer reputation more heavily than any other measure of quality. A school's reputation among its peers counts for 25% of its overall score in the rankings (the next-most important measure, in contrast, counts for only 15%). How does USN&WR calculate a school's peer reputation? It says that it relies on surveys sent to "law school deans, deans of academic affairs, the chair of faculty appointments, and the most recently tenured faculty members" of each of the ABA-accredited law schools that it ranks. In truth, however, other people also get the chance to vote on USN&WR's reputation surveys. ... [We] have reason to wonder whether the most important part of USN&WR's rankings really works as advertised.

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