Chronicle of Higher Education, What the New ‘U.S. News’ Law-School Rankings Reveal About the Rankings Enterprise:
Here are three takeaways from this year’s law list and what they say about the rankings enterprise.
The law schools that opted out clustered at certain places on the list. Of the 15 top-ranked law schools, all but one, the University of Chicago, declined to provide data this year. Several schools at the bottom of the list also didn’t return U.S. News’s survey. In the middle, opt-outs were scarcer. ... [A]t the bottom of the list, Malik C. Edwards, dean of the North Carolina Central University School of Law, said he hadn’t participated in the last three years, because he didn’t see it as worth his time. ...
The top 14 law schools stayed nearly the same. Historically, U.S. News rankings were designed to change only modestly year to year. Editors feared large shifts “could have undermined the credibility of the project,” Alvin P. Sanoff, an early and influential editor, wrote in 2007. Keeping the most scrutinized part of the law-school list — the top 14 — largely the same reflects that dedication to stability. ...
Did the rankings protest help right inequities in law education? That was the point of the boycott. Did it work?
It did and it didn’t, Edwards said. On the one hand, top law schools’ criticisms of U.S. News helped draw public attention to points that law deans had long made to one another, and drove real change in the methodology. On the other hand, problems persist.
Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar), USNews.com Has Outdone Itself: It Has Made Its Law School Rankings Even More Absurd Than Before!:
There's not much to say about what is essentially a random ordering of law schools within tier groups. Any student who made a decision on the basis of small (and, in some cases, even large) ordinal differences in this year's travesty really should have a cause of action against USNews.com. (Some of the swings in overall rank are beyond bizarre! UC Davis and Arizona dropped from the top 50? Emory and George Washington dropped out of the top 30? Is this a joke?)
Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar), More on the New USNews.com Ranking Stew:
The whole formula still of course makes no sense, and is inexplicable in terms of the weightings. What is clear is that the results are even more detached from traditional criteria of excellence, like faculty quality. The rankings will also now be much more volatile, for reasons Professor Muller explains.
Derek Muller (Iowa; Google Scholar), New USNWR Methodology Will Yield Dramatically More Compression and Volatility in Law School Rankings:
May 13, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink