Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar), Is US News an "Authoritative" Ranking of Law Schools?:
I know this question will make readers of this blog laugh ... No one outside Palo Alto (and maybe not even there), for example, thinks Stanford is the #2 law school in the country, better than Harvard [#4], Chicago [#3], or NYU [#7] (all ranked behind it in USNews.com). Penn is now #6 in USNews.com, but it is clearly not as strong as NYU and Berkeley [#9], ranked behind it. Arizona State's law school [#30] is ranked ahead of the University of Arizona [#45], but it does not have a stronger faculty. The same could be said about the University of Florida [#21] and Florida State [#47]. Many law schools outside the USNews.com top 50 are better (by many metrics) than those inside the top 50. ...
The only thing law schools can do is inform and educate prospective students. Journalists could help by educating their readers about the stew of factors, and by no longer treating them as meaningful, but as a bad joke.