Tuesday, November 20, 2018
U.S. News Report is making a dramatic change in their ranking of nine law school specialty programs (Clinical Training, Dispute Resolution, Environmental, Health Care, Intellectual Property, International, Legal Writing, Tax, Trial Advocacy). Since their inception, the specialty ranking ballots have asked professors teaching in those areas to identify up to a given number (currently 15) of law schools having the top programs in the area. This year, the ballots give faculty the opportunity to rank all 200 law schools on a 1-5 scale, the approach used in the overall peer reputation survey:
I contacted Robert Morse, Director of Data Research at U.S. News, for an explanation of the change. His answer:
It will be interesting to see how this change will affect the rankings in the various specialties, including tax. As Donald Tobin (Dean, Maryland) has noted, it is more than strange that NYU has finished ahead of Florida and Georgetown in the tax rankings each year. Because the survey previously ranked the schools by how often they appear on the respondents' "Top 15" lists, this meant that some folks listed NYU, but not Florida and Georgetown, among the Top 15 tax programs each year.