Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 10, 2022

The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Is A Chance To Rethink Legal Education

Bloomberg Law Op-Ed:  U.S. News Ranking Protest Is a Chance to Rethink Legal Education, by Eliza Stoker (Major, Lindsey & Africa, New York):

US News (2023)As more law schools boycott participation in U.S. News and World Report’s top schools list, it’s an opportune time to reflect on the role that such rankings play in the legal industry.

There’s no question that the practice of law is, by its nature, competitive and impactful. Graduates of law schools draft and enact legislation, create the case law that alters future litigation, and write the adhesion contracts that govern our relationships to everything we use and experience daily. Lawyers tell CEOs what they can and cannot try to get away with. Lawyers create, and then limit, our rights as humans in this country. It makes sense to set hurdles before granting such power. ...

[The U.S. News] ranking system penalizes schools for accepting students who graduate with debt. Were this not the case, perhaps more people from a broader array of financial backgrounds would earn the type of access more frequently granted to those who attend top-ranked schools.

Perhaps it also matters that that same hallowed ranking system penalizes law schools for having paid public interest fellowships. In other words, to be ranked at the top, a school must make sure to not go too far in encouraging use of this newfound access for the public good. The U.S. News ranking does penalize a law school for employing graduates in this way. ...

Law school is an aspirational place—let’s aspire together to improve how we rank them.

U.S. News coverage:


U.S. News Response to Boycott

Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink