Saturday, March 13, 2010
Vikram David Amar (Associate Dean, UC-Davis) & Kevin R. Johnson (Dean, UC-Davis), Why U.S. News and World Report Should Include A Diversity Index in its Ranking of Law Schools:
'Tis the season to be, if not jolly about, at least aware of, one of the most prominent law school rankings systems; the U.S. News and World Report's annual law school survey will issue in about a month. There are many law school rating schemes out there, and people who care about evaluating law schools would do well to consult a variety of them before forming impressions. But there is no denying that the U.S. News ranking system is currently the most visible. And for that reason it is – for better or worse – the one that influences the behavior of law schools the most.
In this column, we begin to analyze one way in which the U.S. News rankings can negatively affect schools and the legal profession – by deterring schools from taking steps to diversify their student bodies – and possible responses to the problem. ...
Diversity is relevant to what U.S. News is trying to gauge, but not because a diverse school is doing a good job in redressing past injustice in its state. Diversity is relevant because – as the Supreme Court has recognized and proclaimed in recent years – a diverse school provides a richer learning environment for its students, who will then be better prepared, going forward, to enter and succeed in the realm of diversity that is the entire United States and the world.