Friday, March 16, 2018
As most of you know, on Tuesday morning U.S. News released to law schools an embargoed confidential electronic version of the 2019 edition of its annual rankings to be published online on Tuesday, March 20. At Pepperdine, we immediately analyzed the data U.S. News used in calculating our ranking. To our horror, we learned that we had made an inadvertent data entry error in reporting our median LSAT for the class that began in Fall, 2017.
We immediately contacted U.S. News Tuesday morning to inform them of the error and requested that they update the rankings with the correct median LSAT. On Tuesday afternoon, anonymous source(s) leaked the embargoed rankings which were posted on several blogs, showing Pepperdine’s ranking as 59 (up from 72 last year).
Unfortunately, U.S. News has denied our request and instead issued a revised embargoed electronic version of the rankings that replaced the original. In the new version, Pepperdine is removed from the rankings. Instead, Pepperdine is listed as “unranked due to a data reporting error by the school.”
We contacted three law school rankings experts — Bill Henderson (Indiana), Andy Morriss (Texas A&M), and Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting) — who all confirmed our analysis that Pepperdine would have ranked 62nd or 64th had U.S. News recomputed the rankings with our correct LSAT median.
It is, of course, deeply disappointing to be unranked for a year. But the reality is that we made great progress in the rankings this year, and should continue our ascent next year.
For a fuller description of the rankings snafu, see here.