Austen Parrish (Dean, UC-Irvine), University of California, Irvine School of Law Withdraws From Participating in U.S. News Annual Law School Rankings:
I write to share our decision to withdraw from participating in the U.S. News & World Report annual law school rankings — a decision that we have not reached lightly. Over the last several days, faculty have met to discuss as a group, and I have had conversations and meetings with staff, student leaders, alumni, and others. With thoughtful feedback and strong encouragement within our community, we will not be submitting proprietary data this year to U.S. News for use in its law school rankings.
We are a young school, whose founders in 2008 had a vision for creating an extraordinary public law school. As part of a leading public research university, we committed ourselves to providing exceptional experiential and lawyering skills training, while underscoring the need to understand changes affecting the legal profession, and the value of interdisciplinary approaches to legal problems taught by faculty who are leaders in their fields. In all that we do, we emphasize public service, social justice, and global engagement, and we recruit students who share our vision.
Our students want to do more than just learn the law; they want to lead and to make an impact in their communities. Our vision — with extraordinary support from the Orange County and Southern California legal and business communities — is defined by advancing the upward mobility of first-generation students and those underrepresented in the legal profession, while being innovative in how we approach our research and scholarship, our teaching, and our community engagement.
Collectively we have determined that continuing to participate in the U.S. News rankings is not consistent with our founding ideals. As others have described, the U.S. News law school rankings increasingly have a detrimental effect on legal education. The survey techniques are problematic, and the rankings are often misleading. We share the concerns about the accuracy and the fairness of the rankings process: even small changes in metrics can lead to dramatic changes in rankings each year.
How U.S. News has decided to approach its rankings and what it chooses to incentivize do not align with our values or our commitment to public service; nor is it what leaders in the top law firms, nonprofit and government organizations, corporations, and others that hire our students value. The response by U.S. News to recent announcements by other law schools that have also chosen to withdraw — without responding to the substance of any of the significant issues raised — has caused greater concern, contributing to our decision. Each year we, along with all other accredited law schools, provide extensive data to the American Bar Association through the accreditation process, and that will continue. Absent significant changes that address the concerns raised, we will not be providing additional data to U.S. News.
We will continue to invest in our core commitments — to equity and justice, to public and community service, to interdisciplinary research, to experiential education, and to global engagement — that have defined and will continue to shape the UCI Law experience.
Law.com, Fourth California Law School Withdraws From US News Rankings:
Austen L. Parrish, dean and Chancellor’s Professor of Law, at the University of California, Irvine School of Law—which is tied at No. 37 with four other schools in the U.S. News rankings [Boston College, Fordham, UC-Davis, Utah]—posted a message to the community Wednesday announcing that the school is withdrawing from participating in the U.S. News rankings, calling it a “decision that we have not reached lightly.”
UC-Irvine's #37 ranking is the lowest in its history.
Brian Leiter (Chicago): "This is a much riskier decision for Irvine than for Yale or Harvard, and perhaps signals that schools outside the top ranks will also boycott."
Robert Anderson (Pepperdine):
TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Yale Law School Will No Longer Participate In 'Profoundly Flawed' U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 16, 2022)
- Harvard Joins Yale In No Longer Participating In The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Nov. 16, 2022)
- UC-Berkeley Is The Third Top 10 Law School To Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 17, 2022)
- With Stanford, Columbia And Georgetown, 6 Of The T14 Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Nov. 19, 2022)
- The U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Like The Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave (Nov. 19, 2022)
- U.S. News Law School Rankings, ABA Optional LSAT, And Harvard Affirmative Action Supreme Court's Case (Nov. 21, 2022)
- Why Law Schools Outside The T14 (Like UCLA, Wash U, George Mason, Boston University, Pepperdine) May Refuse To Join The U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Nov. 21, 2022)
- Michigan Is Seventh T14 Law School To Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 21, 2022)
- Antitrust Implications Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Nov. 21, 2022)
- With Duke And Northwestern, Nine Of T14 Refuse To Participate In U.S. News Law School Rankings (Nov. 22, 2022)
- Colin Diver: Are The U.S. News Rankings Finally Going To Die? (Nov. 22, 2022)
- UCLA Is Tenth Top 15 Law School To Refuse To Participate In U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 22, 2022)
- Dan Solove: Slaying The U.S. News Law School Rankings Dragon (Nov. 23, 2022)
- Bill Henderson: The Dollars And Math Behind Yale Law School's Withdrawal From U.S. News — 'Are Limits on Federal Student Loans The Best Way To End The Rankings Madness?' (Nov. 23, 2022)
- UC-Irvine Is First Non-Elite Law School To Join U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Nov. 24, 2022)
- Chicago And (Maybe) Cornell Are First Elite Law Schools To Refuse To Join U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Nov. 24, 2022)
- Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The U.S. News Rankings Dominance? (Nov. 25, 2022)
- Penn Evaluates Whether To Join Boycott Of U.S. News Rankings By Ten Of Top 15 Law Schools (Nov. 26, 2022)
- Law School Admissions Without LSATs, Race, And Rankings (Nov. 26, 2022)
- Here’s Why Top Law Schools May Be Pulling Out Of The U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 28, 2022)
- Yale Law School’s Revolt Of The Elites (Nov. 28, 2022)