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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

U.S. News Challenges Law Schools to Help Create Diversity Component to Rankings

U.S. News Old LogoRobert Morse (Director of Data Research, U.S. News & World Report), U.S. News Debates Law Schools over Adding Diversity to Rankings:

I represented U.S. News at an early November 2011 meeting at St. John's School of Law in New York that was titled Opening Doors: Making Diversity Matter in Law School Admissions. ... U.S. News believes diversity is important and that is why we all ready publish a separate law school diversity index.

Among the reasons why U.S. News doesn't have diversity included in the law school rankings methodology is that there is not an agreement among law schools of the definition of diversity or how it should be measured. For example, is diversity just referring to ethnicity, or should it include income and/or geographic diversity? ...

Many of the speakers and the audience thought that diversity should be added directly into the rankings so law schools would no longer have the goal of maintaining or improving in our rankings as a reason for not accepting a more diversified entering J.D. class by taking students with lower LSATs and GPAs.

I noted that, given the complexity of all the decisions and issues that need to be resolved in terms of creating a more sophisticated and credible diversity rating, U.S. News would need active involvement from the law schools for such a new analysis to be both successful and accepted. 

U.S. News has an open offer to meet with an advisory group formed by any of the law school associations—such as the ABA, AALS, NALP, and LSAC—to work on this and any other issue pertaining to our law rankings. U.S. News also is open to meet with an advisory group—independent of both the law school associations and U.S. News—made up of law school academics and law school administrators interested in all aspects of our Best Law Schools rankings. Contact me at rmorse@usnews.com if you are a legal educator interested in organizing such an advisory committee.

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Comments

All political correctness with no merit.

Posted by: Woody | Nov 24, 2011 6:41:38 AM

We need less affirmative action, not more.

Posted by: anon | Nov 24, 2011 12:32:35 PM

If the goal is to have good lawyers, then before you start using diversity as a measure, you better establish that adding diversity in student bodies as an equivlient to measures of scholastic performance and / 'native intelligence' will produce better lawyers. Merely hoping that some pot=litically correct stance is true, doesn't make it so.

Posted by: cogsys | Dec 2, 2011 8:07:38 AM