Paul L. Caron
Dean



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Princeton Review Rankings v. U.S. News Rankings

Princeton Review Yesterday, I blogged the Princeton Review's Top 50 Law Schools, based on data I extracted from the individual profiles of the 172 law schools in the 2010 edition of Best 172 Law Schools (with the University of Cincinnati College of Law on the cover).  The rankings are based on the Princeton Review's survey of 18,000 students at the 172 law schools, along with school statistics provided by administrators.  The rankings based on the scores (ranging from 60-99) in five categories:  

Here are the 25 law schools whose Princeton Review ranking most outperformed their U.S. News ranking (assigning a ranking of 103 to schools in the U.S. News 3rd Tier (103-139) and a ranking of 140 to schools in the U,S, News 4th Tier (140-184)):

Law School

Princeton Rank

US News Rank

Difference

Ave Maria

50

Tier 4

90

Chapman

19

Tier 3

84

Mercer

39

Tier 3

64

Regent

79

Tier 4

61

St. Thomas (Minn.)

43

Tier 3

60

CUNY

83

Tier 4

57

Florida International

83

Tier 4

57

Campbell

86

Tier 4

54

Samford

50

Tier 3

53

Loyola-L.A.

20

71

51

Willamette

94

Tier 4

46

Quinnipiac

59

Tier 3

44

Texas Tech

59

Tier 3

44

Texas-Wesleyan

96

Tier 4

44

Nebraska

62

Tier 3

41

Suffolk

100

Tier 4

40

Rutgers-Camden

38

77

39

Toledo

68

Tier 3

35

San Francisco

66

98

32

Hawaii

71

Tier 3

32

Pepperdine

25

55

30

DePaul

57

87

30

N. Carolina Central

110

Tier 4

30

BYU

12

41

29

Richmond

48

77

29

Update: Nebraska Interim Dean Anna Williams Shavers asked me to link to this notice about a data error in its 2010 U.S. News ranking.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2009/10/princeton-review-3.html

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Comments

Note that law schools must pay $3,000 for the priviledge of being included in PR's book of "best" law schools.

Posted by: Adam | Oct 21, 2009 4:26:31 AM

I don't know who Adam is, or where he gets his data, but I do know that my school (Texas Tech) did not pay a dime to anyone to be included. Now the PR DOES solicit ads from schools that are included. But inclusion is not dependant on purchasing ad space. Again, I now that because our thrifty school declined to purchase ad space but was still included in the rankings (and did pretty well, too). Likewise, if a school wants to put in a "rebuttal" to anything written about it in the Review, the school CAN pay to put that rebuttal in. But there is no demand for money to be included in the rankings. If there was, Texas Tech would not be there.

Posted by: Bryan | Oct 21, 2009 10:42:48 AM

Nebraska and Hawaii are relatively easy to explain. Both made mistakes submitting their data to U.S. News. The magazine corrected their data, but did not correct their rankings.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 21, 2009 12:16:57 PM

I always knew Rutgers-Camden was a Top 40 school, although I think some stations keep a playlist of only 15 songs.

Posted by: Michael A. Livingston | Oct 22, 2009 7:25:27 AM

Why do you keep posting these bad rankings every year TaxProf? They are full of selective sampling, data manipulation, and New England biases (even worse than USNews).

Posted by: concerned Tax student | Oct 22, 2009 12:54:41 PM

I would agree with this. I spent my first year of law school at Chapman in southern California. I thought it was a great school. Then I transferred to the University of Utah, and I thought it was a fantastic school, and now I am getting an L.L.M. at NYU, and honestly, I am a little disappointed.

NYU lacks many of the great things about the University of Utah that I loved and made my law school experience so great, and has very little (other than this US News prestige) that I can see pulling in the other direction. Sure, it's a great school, but for the $45,000 a year tuition bill, it seems like they could be doing a lot more.

Chapman was a new school when I attended, but the quality of teaching was very good. The facilities were outstanding, and the school offered a great deal of opportunity and encouragement for students to grow intellectually and learn to understand the law. I have seen the school rise continuously in the rankings, but I know it will be stonewalled by the "old school" once it reaches the second tier. The monopoly the "top tier" schools have is much like the BCS when it comes to college football. Graduating from the University of Utah when they went undefeated in 2004-2005 and in 2008-2009 makes this resonate especially loud for me. The top schools and their graduates rank each other and they have an incentive to continue to rank each other in the top to maintain this prestige despite the fact that other schools are markedly better.

I like the fact that the Princeton Review publishes rankings that are based on actual visits to schools and polls taken of the students and graduates there.

I imagine most people ranking for US News have never been to most of the schools they are asked to rank, nor have they had experience in speaking with or working with alumni from the schools.

Posted by: KM - Tax Student | Oct 23, 2009 12:10:37 PM