Monday, March 18, 2019
CJ Ryan (Roger Williams) & Brian L. Frye (Kentucky), The 2019 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools:
In 2017, we published A Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, which presented the first (intentionally) objective ranking of law schools. Other law school rankings are subjective because their purpose is to tell prospective law students where to matriculate. Our “revealed-preferences” ranking is objective because its purpose is to ask where prospective law students actually choose to matriculate. In other words, subjective rankings tell students what they should want, but our objective ranking reveals what students actually want. These rankings were originally based on an average of the previous five-years of LSAT and GPA quartile and median averages for law schools. We updated these rankings with a 2018 ranking that focused exclusively on the 75th, median, and 25th quartiles of each of these measures for the entering class in Fall 2017. We have modified our rankings yet again to evaluate law schools based not only on their success at matriculating the most desirable first year law students, but also on their success at retaining those students and attracting transfer students.
Accordingly, we present our latest rankings, the 2019 Revealed-Preferences Rankings, as an objective measure of how successful law schools are at attracting and retaining students. We believe that our new methodology is an improvement on our previous methodology, because it incorporates data on transfers, which provide information about student preferences after matriculation. Unfortunately, our new ranking cannot be directly compared to our previous rankings, because it uses a new methodology. Nevertheless, we provide a comparison to our previous objective rankings, as well as to the prominent U.S. News and Above the Law subjective rankings. In addition, we once again provide regional rankings of law schools based on our 2019 Revealed-Preferences Methodology.