Paul L. Caron

Monday, November 28, 2022

Here’s Why Top Law Schools May Be Pulling Out Of The U.S. News Rankings

Following up on Saturday's post, Law School Admissions Without LSATs, Race, And Rankings:  The Daily Caller, ‘Writing On The Wall’: Here’s Why Top US Universities May Be Pulling Out Of High-Profile Ranking System:

U.S. News LogoTop law school[s] ... may be dropping out of the rankings ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action because they plan to deemphasize standardized tests in the admissions process and preserve diversity, but do not want to fall in the rankings process, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“If affirmative action falls, we can expect to see a lot of educational institutions drop objective standards from their admissions practices,” John Sailer, fellow at the National Association of Scholars, told the DCNF. “This allows them to continue race-conscious admissions by other means. Already, we see schools embracing this workaround. These top law schools probably have that in mind as they back out of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Ranking requires clear, objective standards, and if law schools hope to go test-optional, the ranking system presents an obvious problem.” ...

Pulling out of the U.S. News & World Report allows the law schools to focus less on academic requirements and more on diversity without dropping in the rankings, Mark Perry, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, which focuses on “defending human dignity,” told the DCNF. “There is now widespread speculation that if  ‘affirmative discrimination’ and racial preferences are outlawed by the Supreme Court, law schools, medical schools, STEM programs and undergraduate programs at elite schools will overhaul their admissions criteria to maintain the racial diversity on their campuses that has become much more important than the academic credentials and abilities of their students,” Perry told the DCNF. “So given that student diversity is now more important than student merit and abilities, it would make sense that the top law schools are pulling out of the U.S. News & World Report rankings.” ...

“Yale Law School and Harvard Law School see the writing on the wall,” Devon Westhill, President of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a group which focuses on promoting “colorblind equal opportunity,” told the DCNF. “As many have predicted, the Supreme Court will outlaw explicit race preferences in admissions and schools that want to continue to racially balance their campuses are devising ways to rejigger their admissions processes to maintain their racial spoils system in a legal, race-neutral way. One such mechanism would be to place less emphasis on standardized tests which, on average, black and Hispanic applicants — preferred races — lag behind other applicants like white and Asian Americans — non-preferred races.”

“These schools recognize they would experience plummeting rankings since academic credentials of incoming students are heavily weighted by U.S. News & World Report,” Westhill continued. “The clever move is to withdraw from the rankings system to avoid the many problems that would flow from a diminished ranking.”

U.S. News coverage:


U.S. News Response to Boycott

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