Paul L. Caron

Saturday, February 19, 2011

California Bar Asks U.S. News to Add Diversity Component to Rankings

2011 US News Logo National Law Journal, California Bar wants 'U.S. News' to Add Diversity as Factor in Law School Rankings:

Should diversity be a factor in the U.S. News & World Report rankings?

The State Bar of California thinks so. Its Council on Access & Fairness — essentially a think tank on diversity — is finalizing a proposal that calls on U.S. News to adjust its formula so that diversity accounts for 15% of the overall law school rankings.

U.S. News publishes a law school diversity index each year that measures the relative diversity of student bodies, but diversity is not a factor in the overall rankings. ...

[D]evising a credible measure of diversity is easier said than done, said U.S. News director of data and research Bob Morse. He has yet to see the council's proposal, which is scheduled to be completed in the spring, but one of the problems that consistently crops up in diversity discussions is that there is no clear way to compare the diversity of a student body of a school in an ethically diverse state such as California to the diversity in a largely white state such as Kansas. ...

Under the current ranking formula, the "quality assessment" accounts for 40% of a school's score and is determined by peer reviews and surveys of judges and attorneys. Selectivity accounts for 25%, and is determined by median LSAT scores, median GPAs and acceptance rates. Placement success is 20% of the rankings, and includes graduate employment rates and bar passage rates. Finally, faculty resources such as per-student expenditures account for 15%.

The council's proposal recommends reducing the weight of the quality assessment to 20%, and reducing the weight of selectivity to 20%, in part by lowering the weight of the median LSAT score. Placement success would remain at 20% while faculty recourses would increase to 20%. A new category of academic support for students would account for 5% of rankings. The biggest change, however, would be the addition of a new [15%] diversity category that would evaluate what schools are doing to promote diversity on campus. ...

Moreover, there is still a question of whether diversity should be included in the rankings, given that the purpose of the rankings is to identify the best schools, he said. Another part of the debate is to what degree diversity is linked to academic quality versus being an important social goal," Morse said.

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» If you're an attorney in California, and you're wondering where your bar dues go, this is where . . . from PLF Liberty Blog
Author: Brandon Middleton Attorneys in California are required to pay $390 to the State Bar of California for annual dues. But rest assured, fellow attorneys, for the State Bar is wisely spending our dues to emphasize the importance of diversity... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 22, 2011 11:53:12 AM


I cannot think of anything more stupid at a time when diversity, multiculturalism, race preferences, reverse discrimination, or whatever you want to call it is currently being opposed by leaders finally willing to stand up against political correctness and admit that it is a failure. And, now, because diversity results in worse results, the people favoring it suddenly want to change quality measurement standards. Diversity is a lowering of standards. Don't accomodate it. Go by results rather than intentions. (Yeah, before some liberal says it, I know that this makes me a racist.)

Posted by: Woody | Feb 19, 2011 9:30:59 AM

I have a dream that one day we will judge law schools not by the color of their students' skin, but by the content of their students' character.

Posted by: Just another racist | Feb 19, 2011 10:43:05 AM

There is no better way to describe this proposal than as "a steaming pile of feces."

What is happening to our country? While the people with common sense have been busy creating wealth in the real world, we have let the moonbats take full control of the academy and flood the halls of government.

Posted by: Todd | Feb 19, 2011 11:22:44 AM

The use of the word and concept of Diversity is harmful to American culture. America gained strength and prosperity through the concept of a cultural melting pot. When a person becomes an American citizen they are vested totally in individual liberty. The individual citizen enjoys the personal freedom to be protected by individual rights that protect the individual from government, community or group control or sense of separation or fractionalization. America should not be a nation of racial, cultural or religious communities, but rather a nation of integrated and fully assimilated individuals with no significance to tribal or cultural diversity. Becoming an American citizen should abolish any sense of diversity and establish the individual as a fully assimilated, fully enfranchised American Citizen that is indistinguishable from any other American Citizen regardless for race, cultural or religious heritage.

Posted by: john.tecumseh | Feb 20, 2011 4:11:59 PM

Can we add a party school component also?

Posted by: Bob | Feb 21, 2011 3:57:04 PM

So the local junior college released a study bemoaning the lack of student diversity. Oddly enough, the "diversity" closely matched that of the general population. So the college study was really chastising the local community for its diversity shortcomings. Shame on us!!

Posted by: Otto Maddox | Feb 21, 2011 4:22:33 PM

Sounds good, but this doesn't go far enough. They should scrap the 'quality assessment' and similar metrics of actual quality altogether in favor of a new category that straight up rates schools by tuition (i.e. more is better).

Posted by: Mr L | Feb 21, 2011 4:43:35 PM

I think they should add a category for beautiful female students. I am certain that would be more valuable to many young men looking to go to law school than knowing how many people checked off the boxes for approved minority categories. (I am Native-Irish-English-Black-American)

Posted by: MikeT | Feb 21, 2011 5:04:20 PM

It's not like they're law school, law schools!

Posted by: whoopi | Feb 21, 2011 5:17:19 PM

OK, so the California Bar wants to decrease the influence of reputation, the LSAT and GPA on the rankings and create a entire category based on "diversity". Sounds a bit self serving to me. It would reward law school in states with large "diverse" populations that have, out of political expediency, degraded their admission standards in order to satisfy racialist constituencies.

Of course the best result would be a discontinuation of US News rankings system entirely as its connection to the reality of law school is tenuous at best. That however, seems unlikely as it is the rankings that sells magazines.

Posted by: Paul | Feb 21, 2011 5:18:23 PM

Why not publish both sets of ratings? The regular set, which does not include diversity, and the new set, which does. Leave it to the readers to decide which set they want to use.

Posted by: Abelard Lindsey | Feb 21, 2011 5:32:14 PM

Will this be a true measure of diversity, such as diverse political views in teachers, or traditional racist measures.

Posted by: Real Diversity | Feb 21, 2011 5:47:35 PM

What, and not add the basketball teams RPI? That is an outrage.

Posted by: Walter Sobchak | Feb 21, 2011 5:51:59 PM

What a GREAT idea! Because nothing tells me more about the quality of a lawyer's mind than the color of his skin. Want the next great idea? Looking for an innovative solution to your company's new stock offering? Look no further than our selection of these fair-haired, blue-eyed lawyers. Because nothing says quality legal solutions like the solid Aryans prototype.


Posted by: Luke Pingel | Feb 21, 2011 5:58:57 PM

I've never heard such a completely ridiculous idea. The U.S. News rankings are already quite problematic-- this would render them essentially useless. As a current 3L, I'm embarrassed to be a future member of the California Bar. What can we do to lobby against this proposal?

Posted by: Kristin | Feb 21, 2011 6:41:24 PM

Just publish the average salary to the graduating class and the out-of-pocket costs for the average graduate.

Posted by: Tim Economist | Feb 21, 2011 7:03:18 PM

...California Bar wants 'U.S. News' to Add Diversity as Factor in Law School Rankings:

Just factor it in for California law school rankings.

With any luck, they'll end up being lower than their counterparts in other states.

Posted by: Blacque Jacques Shellacque | Feb 21, 2011 7:15:54 PM

The U.S. News rankings are already quite problematic

Posted by: isle of wight attractions | Feb 22, 2011 7:31:17 AM