Paul L. Caron

Thursday, March 10, 2016

2017 U.S. News Law School Rankings Leak: The Top 50 100

2017 U.S. NewsAlthough the new 2017 law school rankings will be released online on Wednesday, March 16, the Top 50 has been leaked online

The biggest winners are Houston (+9), Indiana (+9), UC-Hastings (+9), Wake Forest (+7), Boston University (+6), Boston College (+4), Ohio State (+4), Michigan (+3), Arizona (+2), Iowa (+2), Temple (+2), UC-Irvine (+2), Washington & Lee (+2)

The biggest losers are Alabama (-6), University of Washington (-5), BYU (-4), North Carolina (-4), William & Mary (-4), Duke (-3), Emory (-3), Fordham (-3), George Mason (-3), George Washington (-3), Utah (-3), Georgia (-2), Minnesota (-2), Wisconsin (-2)

Update: The Top 100 is now available here and here.

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink


Even if my school moved up 100 places to the top 10, me still thinks I could not monetize that...
Client in Court: Hey Captain, here is your 3 bills for my DUI.
Me: Um, Client, you owe me another 2 bills now because my law school is now in the top ten of USNWR rankings.
Client: I'll just get me one of those lawyers from the "Rank not Published Schools."

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Mar 12, 2016 6:08:00 PM

Regardless of Texas A&M's attempts to move up, it remains well behind the pack. There are still only four "good" law schools in Texas: UT-Austin, SMU, UH, and Baylor. Attend the others (none of which are even in the Top 100) at your own risk. P.S. EAT 'EM UP COOGS!!!

Posted by: UHLaw97 | Mar 11, 2016 2:46:34 PM

Hey Computer man,

When are we going to get around to prosecuting law schools, their deans, and USNWR, as outlined in the classic law review article "Law Deans in Jail" by Emory Law professors Morgan Cloud and George Shepherd? Here's the abstract:

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Mar 11, 2016 8:01:07 AM

In a ranking that counts, Alabama law graduates have a better chance of passing the bar exam and, thus, in getting jobs.

"Law Schools With the Best Bar Passage Rates"

Alabama law school outdoes Vanderbilt, Yale and Columbia in key statistic

University of Alabama School of Law #6

Posted by: Woody | Mar 10, 2016 4:59:58 PM

According to ATL, Spivey got the information from a Google cache. What must have happened is: USN posted the information on a live web server. Then a Google robot stopped by, sucked the information into the cache, and indexed it for the Google search engine. After that, Spivey accessed the information with a Google search. USN could have avoided the leak by coding that server with "robots.txt" (or whatever is used these days to keep the robots out).

Webmasters sometimes post material onto a live web server ahead of its official release time so that when release time comes, they only have to hot-link it to the page, rather than post it, test if it's working, fix any problems, etc., all the while the phone is ringing off the hook with calls from people who could not access the material at the designated release time.

There have been instances of similar leaks of highly-anticipated information in the past, and the workings of Google robots are widely known. Which makes me wonder if this "leak" was really accidental, or if putting the information on a live server was done deliberately to gain some extra publicity.

Posted by: Old Ruster from JDJunkyard | Mar 10, 2016 3:38:01 PM

The difference is whether a computer system was accessed without authorization.

Anyone reprinting the U.S. News rankings after U.S. news published them on its website would be accessing the website with authorization.

Anyone obtaining leaked information that was stored on U.S. News' computers prior to release by U.S. news would be doing so without authorization and committed a felony for which they could go to prison and pay hefty fines.

Read the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Posted by: criminal law | Mar 10, 2016 1:36:26 PM

I trust that Erwin Chemerinsky will lead in this regard and refrain from touting UC Irvine's meaningless two spot jump in the rankings on the school's website, and elsewhere. He will, instead, use this opportunity to educate us on how the rankings are meaningless, and partly responsible for the excessive tuition his, and the other, University of California law schools charge to the detriment of poor under served groups in the law.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 10, 2016 9:42:50 AM

Ms. Cole,

Everyone rationally agrees that the USNWR rankings are drivel. However, like "reading" Playboy for the "articles" it is allure of the centerfold that sells the magazine. I know in my pea brain that it is demeaning and "filth." However, like President Carter, I have "lust in my heart."

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Mar 10, 2016 9:08:03 AM

Liz -- Perhaps a decade or so ago, most of the Deans did sign a letter saying how meaningless and misguided US News is. Yet, students still paid attention, because there was a list, and a number, and it must mean something if there is a list and a number. And the T-14 schools, of course, will tout their T-14-ness, and anyone that moves up will tout "we do not believe in rankings, but we went up so we must be doing something right." US News does not care if their rankings are a valid measure of anything as long as people keep buying their rankings magazine. So it persists, although with a bit less importance because alternative measures such as LST came along.

Posted by: JDEsq | Mar 10, 2016 8:46:38 AM

@EdgarH: Last year Texas A&M was ranked 149 (the year before it was unranked). This year it's 111. Plus, it's #14 in IP specialty rankings (tied with Columbia & UPenn). Disclosure: I work at A&M Law.

Posted by: Jack Manhire | Mar 10, 2016 5:22:20 AM

I am with Brian - why can't law schools take advantage of this time in legal education and educate potential students and everyone else about how totally meaningless the ratings are (not to mention how the rankings were one of the major drivers for the devastating tuition rates increases that caused some of our current challenges)

Posted by: Liz Ryan Cole | Mar 10, 2016 4:40:32 AM

I am going to loose sleep. I am going to increase dosing of my Diazepam----god I hope my school goes up a couple of ranks---I'll be able to get an extra $50.00 out of a client. My services as a counselor at law will be highly valued and my reputation will improve. I can smell that new Hyundai Excel now. Breath it in.....

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Mar 9, 2016 7:15:31 PM

How do you know Texas A&M's gain?

Posted by: EdgarH | Mar 9, 2016 6:34:59 PM

Don't you think that you should mention that all these movements are completely meaningless, reflecting only greater or lesser massaging of the data or random fluctuations in reputational scores?

Posted by: Brian | Mar 9, 2016 4:18:48 PM

Biggest Winner = Texas A&M (+38)

Posted by: AgLaw17 | Mar 9, 2016 4:12:58 PM