Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

U.S. News Law School Academic Reputation Scores, 1998-2020

Robert L. Jones (Northern Illinois), Academic Reputation Scores for Law Schools Rise Significantly in 2020:

This Article summarizes the results of the U.S. News & World Report rankings published in 2020 with respect to the academic reputation scores of law schools. In addition to analyzing the most recent results for the U.S. News rankings, the Article supplements the more extensive longitudinal study published by this author in 2013. The Article also includes updated appendices from the prior study that catalog the U.S. News academic reputation scores for every law school between 1998 and 2020.

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School 2020 Peer Assessment Score 1998 Peer Assessment Score Change Between 1998 & 2020
Texas A&M 2.6 1.5 1.1
Alabama 3.3 2.5 0.8
Georgia State 2.9 2.2 0.7
Michigan State 2.5 1.8 0.7
Howard 2.7 2.1 0.6
Pepperdine 2.7 2.2 0.5
CUNY 2.3 1.8 0.5
Florida State 3.1 2.6 0.5
Arizona State 3.3 2.9 0.4
Denver 2.9 2.5 0.4
Seattle 2.4 2.0 0.4
Fordham 3.3 3.0 0.3
Georgia 3.3 3.0 0.3
Northeastern 2.6 2.3 0.3
Richmond 2.8 2.5 0.3
Washington Univ. 3.7 3.4 0.3

Pepperdine Academic Peer Reputation (050420)

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Here's USNWR's current, ahem, methodology:

"Quality assessment (weighted by 0.50): In fall 2019, deans and three faculty members at each school were asked to rate programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding); 65% of the people surveyed responded. Scores for each school were averaged to produce the average peer assessment score. U.S. News collected the assessment data."

It is unclear, at least to me, as to whether "deans" means "The [head] Dean" or "every sub-executive vice-president of deanery." I'm sure some of this site's readers know the answer. My question is this: if it is just the dean and three profs per school who fill this thing out, and it tends to be the same folk doing it year after year, even a slight disruption, say dean turnover and prof retirements caused by the Great Recession, could meaningfully move the needle on these numbers if the new folk have different impressions of the schools' reputations, right? Or if the response rate meaningfully increased or decreased?

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | May 5, 2020 1:39:28 PM