Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Will Boycotts And Bad Press Put A Dent In The U.S. News Law School Rankings' Reputation?, Ahead of the Curve: Will Boycotts and Bad Press Put a Dent in the US News Rankings' Reputation?:

US News (2023)This week, we dive back into the U.S. News & World Report’s education rankings, examining whether the U.S. News law school rankings will remain influential despite widespread public boycotts by dozens of schools. ...

Paul L. Caron, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and professor of law at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law and author of the TaxProf Blog, told me in an email on Monday that “U.S. News really shot itself in the foot when they bollixed up the April 18 release of the rankings.”

“It is shocking that with the spotlight on them as a result of the publicity over the rankings boycott (although 42 law schools publicly joined the boycott, a total of 62 schools ended up boycotting—over 30% of all law schools), U.S. News released embargoed rankings on April 11 fraught with errors,” Caron said.

“Moreover, U.S. News never forthrightly explained the source of the errors and did not correct the misinformation about the jobs data in several media reports,” Caron added. ...

“Obviously rankings can survive, with or without meaningful support from those being ranked,” Robert B. Ahdieh, dean & Anthony G. Buzbee Endowed Dean’s Chair and vice president for Professional Schools & Programs at Texas A&M University School of Law, told me in an email Monday.

“The real question, thus, is whether the various assertions of non-participation by schools, combined with the delays in releasing the rankings, will reduce the salience of U.S. News’ law school rankings for prospective students and others,” Ahdieh continued. “While that seems possible, the reality is that rankings—not just of law schools, but of just about everything around us—meet a demand that exists independent of U.S. News.”

“In the absence of highly visible alternatives, thus, I suspect their rankings will continue to exert a significant degree of influence,” he added.

TaxProf Blog coverage of the 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings:

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