Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Numerical rankings could be coming to the law schools that U.S. News & World Report categorizes as third tier — meaning those 42 schools would be subject to the same up-and- down fluctuations watched so closely among the top 100.
U.S. News research director Robert Morse told legal educators during the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting in San Francisco last week that he is considering extending the numerical rankings in the new edition, which is due on March 15. The change would bring the law school rankings in line with recent modifications to the publication's Best Colleges rankings.
"It's something that we're looking into," Morse said. "We do have ranking scores for all law schools but, editorially, we didn't want to say, 'This is the 188th law school [representing last place].' "
U.S. News now provides numerical rankings for the top 100 law schools, but combines the remaining schools into third and fourth tiers without distinguishing between the schools in each tier. Schools within each of those tiers are listed alphabetically. Morse said that the bottom 25% of law schools would continue to be ranked alphabetically.