Paul L. Caron

Thursday, September 30, 2010

U.S. News Law School Rankings Methodology, 1990-2010

U.S. News Logo Hyla Bondareff (Washington University Law Library) has posted U.S. News and World Report Ranking Methodology: The Devil is in the Detail on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This publication outlines the methodological variations in U.S. News and World Report’s annual law school rankings between 1990 and 2010. A law school’s ranking is based upon its overall score on a number of weighted attributes. When comparing school rankings over time, it is therefore useful to understand how the methodology differs from year to year. Not only have the definitions for many of these attributes changed over the years, but also their weight value in the overall scores. This report provides a table of the weight assigned to each attribute each year; a list of each attribute and the changes made to it each year; and a list of all methodology changes in each year. This study was originally published as an appendix to the July 15, 2010 Report of the ABA Special Committee on the U.S. News and World Report Rankings, Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. [Click on chart to enlarge.]


After the report was published, Brian Leiter noted that the chart does not indicate that in 1999 instructional expenditures were adjusted for differences in cost‐of‐living and "faculty resources rank" ceased to be listed. An updated chart with these changes will be posted at a later date.

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