Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Organ: What The Revealed-Preferences Ranking Fails to Reveal

Jerome M. Organ (St. Thomas), What the Revealed-Preferences Ranking Fails to Reveal, 7 Belmont L. Rev. 114 (2019) (reviewing CJ Ryan (Roger Williams) & Brian L. Frye (Kentucky), The 2019 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, 7 Belmont L. Rev. 86 (2019)):

The Revealed-Preferences Ranking methodology developed by Professors Christopher J. Ryan, Jr. and Brian L. Frye purports to be an “objective ranking” because it identifies the claimed preferences of first-year law students by looking at and comparing the “quality” of the first-year students who chose to attend each law school based on the LSAT and UGPA indicators for the entering class at each law school. For The 2019 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, the authors incorporate the preferences of those who chose to transfer out from a given law school as a further indication of how the preferences of transfer students inform the “quality” of a given law school.

While I appreciate the concept of trying to generate something that can be identified as an objective ranking, I write to highlight two issues that shroud the accuracy of the Revealed-Preferences Ranking as a general matter: the failure to account for (1) the size of the entering class and (2) the average net tuition paid by an entering class, both of which may skew the results of the Revealed-Preference Ranking somewhat significantly. I also comment briefly on the inclusion of “transfers out” as a further indicator of preference, while applauding the authors for deciding to exclude “transfers in” from their analysis given a number of issues with the use of the “transfer in” data.

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