Brian Leiter (Chicago), USNews.com Ranking Boycott Update:
[I]t's a safe assumption that any school that hasn't announced (or doesn't announce very soon) is also not joining the boycott. Alas, if only 15 or 20 schools boycott, that will not create insurmountable obstacles for USNews.com.
Law.com, Why Some Law Schools Are Sticking With the US News Rankings:
I was at ground zero—visiting Yale Law School—the day the news broke on Nov. 16 with Yale Law Dean Heather Gerken—and seemingly unbeknownst to all of us at the time—she was starting a revolution of sorts.
As with any revolution, there are two sides, so what is a newer angle to all this are the three [now five] law schools who announced they plan to continue to participate in the rankings.
Robert Kuttner (The American Prospect), The End of College Rankings?: Maybe Law Schools Will Start an Overdue Stampede:
The U.S. News rankings have always been suspect, and in turn they have corrupted America’s universities. Now, several major law schools have begun a boycott. This could end with the collapse of the ranking system if undergraduate schools follow. Let’s hope so. ...
As innumerable critics have pointed out, the rankings use arbitrary indicators of quality, including such inherently subjective and circular criteria as reputation. But far worse than the rankings themselves is the ways colleges and universities try to game them. ...
These patterns of social class and higher education are deeply entrenched in the intergenerational inequality of American life. The irony is that universities claim to be avenues of upward mobility. Most of the things they might do to change those patterns are hard. Boycotting the U.S. News rankings should be relatively easy.
James Goodnow (CEO & Managing Partner, Fennemore Craig (Phoenix)), Has Yale Changed The Law School Rankings Game?:
The reasons the law schools have given for their rankings exodus are varied but mostly come down to variations on the theme that the U.S. News rankings collectively do more harm than good for our profession. Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken cited as an example how the rankings systematically penalizes programs that encourage students to move toward public-interest careers.
The U.S. News rankings place a premium on law schools’ employment numbers for their graduates. When some underperforming schools tried to game the system by “hiring” their own graduates when they were unable to find gainful employment, the U.S. News stopped counting school-funded positions towards a schools’ employment numbers. Per Gerken, this meant that Yale was punished and disincentivized from its longstanding practice of funding a number of highly competitive fellowships in public-interest fields. The U.S. News rankings were forcing the school to choose between keeping its metrics high or honoring its mission to serve the world, so Yale chose to stop chasing the U.S. News numbers. ...
My head and heart say this exodus from the top is probably an overall good thing. The culture of law is heavily informed by concepts of ranking and prestige, largely to our detriment. ... The U.S. News rankings give helpful structure and order to assessing legal academia, but too often they short-circuit our thinking and prevent us from making more rounded, holistic decisions. ...
Academia has been wrestling in recent years with its relationship to rankings, lists, standardized tests, and other putatively “objective” criteria that may help or harm students in equal measure. If nothing else, it’s admirable to see some of the chief beneficiaries of a system calling out its flaws rather than blindly accepting its accolades. We’re probably never going to get this balance just right. But we can keep working to make it better.
Inside Higher Ed, What Will Happen to ‘U.S. News’ Rankings?:
Some think (and many hope) that the move of law schools away from the publication will prompt undergraduate colleges to do the same. But no new challenges have emerged on undergraduate rankings … thus far. ...
[Colin] Diver said he’s “puzzled” by why more colleges have not joined the law schools. He offered theories via email about why they haven’t.
One theory is that “undergraduate schools view their constituency (mostly 16- to 18-year-old high schoolers) as more naïve, gullible, impressionable (and therefore rankings-bewitched) than law schools view their constituencies (22- to 30-year-old college graduates and often early-careerists).” As a result, “at least many of the top-tier law schools are willing to take the risk that a postboycott drop in their ranking won’t hurt them and might actually help them with their more worldly constituencies.”
But Diver noted a “problem with this explanation is the abundant evidence that law school applicants seem even more mesmerized by rankings than anyone else.”
He cited another possible reason: “law schools, which seek to prepare people for careers in law practice, public service, and the like, are more attuned to concerns about justice and the public good, than undergraduate schools, and therefore more unsettled by the U.S. News rankings formulas’ patent bias in favor of wealth and privilege.” Many of the law schools leaving the rankings have indeed cited such values. But Diver added that “the top law schools send the vast majority of their grads to the big corporate law firms, and benefit from that fact in many ways—good job-placement data, rich graduates more able to make big alumni donations.”
Diver (and others) suggested timing may also be a factor. Many law school deans are receiving the forms to fill out now, “prompting them to ask: Why the hell are we doing this?” Undergraduate rankings are based on surveys in the spring.
Mike Spivey, Law Schools Leaving The U.S. News Rankings: Implications For This Year & The Future
National Jurist, Top Law Schools Rebel Against U.S. News’ Annual Rankings, but the Magazine Vows to Publish Anyway
U.S. News 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)
- UC-Davis Is 12th Law School (5th In California) To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 29, 2022)
- More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 1) (Nov. 30, 2022)
- Wash U Joins Chicago And Cornell In Refusing To Boycott U.S. News Law School Rankings (Dec. 1, 2022)
- More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 2) (Dec. 2, 2022)
- With Penn And University Of Washington, 14 Law Schools Are Not Participating In U.S. News Rankings; Georgia Is 4th School To Resist Boycott (Dec. 3, 2022)
- George Mason Is 5th Law School To Reject Boycott Of U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 5, 2022)
- The Impact Of The U.S. News Rankings Boycott On Individual Law Schools (Dec. 5, 2022)
- NYU Is 15th Law School (And 12th Of Top 15) To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 5, 2022)
- More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 3) (Dec. 6, 2022)
- U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Is A Big Nothing Burger (Dec. 8, 2022)
- A Law School Rankings Revolution? Hardly. (Dec. 9, 2022)
- The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Is A Chance To Rethink Legal Education (Dec. 10, 2022)
- Virginia Is 16th Law School (And 13th Of Top 15) To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 10, 2022)
- Simkovic On The U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Dec. 12, 2022)
- Deans Of Lower Ranked Law Schools Join Boycott And Criticize U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 13, 2022)
- Dean Of Georgia Law School (1 Of 5 Schools Publicly Not Joining Boycott Of U.S. News Rankings) Has Questions For The 17 Boycotting Schools (Dec. 15, 2022)
- New Hampshire Is 18th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 16, 2022)
- CLEA Statement On U.S. News Rankings For Clinical Programs (Dec. 17, 2022)
- More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 4) (Dec. 20, 2022)
- With Southwestern, 10% Of ABA-Accredited Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 20, 2022)
- Cal-Western Is 20th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 24, 2022)
- Morrison: AALS Should Provide A Law School Guide To Supplant The U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 27, 2022)
- Muller: What Is The Endgame For Law Schools Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings? (Dec. 28, 2022)
- With UC-SF, St. John's, And Idaho: 23 Schools Are Now Boycotting The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Jan. 7, 2023)
- U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Scorecard (Jan. 9, 2023)
- Fordham Is 24th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Jan. 14, 2023)
- Roger Williams Is 25th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Jan. 18, 2023)
- Law School Rankings Revolt Spreads To Medical Schools: #1 Harvard Will Not Send Data To U.S. News (Jan. 18, 2023)
- With Maryland, USF, And South Texas, 28 Schools Are Now Boycotting The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Jan. 19, 2023)
- U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Scorecard (Updated) (Jan 23, 2023)
- Will The U.S. News Law School Rankings Arms Race Resume In Three Years? (Jan. 23, 2023)
- The Clash And The U.S. News Law School Rankings: Should I Stay Or Should I Go? (Jan. 25, 2023)
- With Gonzaga, Quinnipiac, Rutgers, And Seattle, 36 Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings (Jan. 26, 2023)
- With Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Tulane, And Creighton, 40 Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings (Jan. 28, 2023)
- WSJ: Rebellion Over U.S. News Rankings Seems Likely To Fail (Jan. 30, 2023)
- Two Perspectives On The Growing U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Feb. 2, 2023)
- In Defense Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Feb. 4, 2023)
- Will The Boycott Actually Strengthen The U.S. News Rankings? (Feb. 9, 2023)
- With Connecticut And Pittsburgh, 42 Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings (Feb. 10, 2022)
U.S. News Response to Boycott