Paul L. Caron
Dean





Tuesday, December 6, 2022

More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 3)

US News Logo 2Brian 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. ...

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December 6, 2022 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, December 5, 2022

NYU Is 15th Law School (And 12th Of Top 15) To Boycott U.S. News Rankings

Troy McKenzie (Dean, NYU), NYU Law Will Not Participate in U.S. News Rankings:

NYU (2023)New York University School of Law will suspend its participation in the U.S. News law school rankings.

Prospective law students need accurate information as they consider which school best fits their goals in pursuing a legal education.  At one time, U.S. News may have provided information that could not be found elsewhere.  That has changed.  The disclosures required of law schools by the American Bar Association, together with other sources of information that were not readily available 30 years ago when U.S. News began its law rankings, now give applicants transparent access to far more data about law schools.  In fact, the methodology used by U.S. News can give applicants a distorted view of the opportunities for successful professional paths available at law schools.

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December 5, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

The Impact Of The U.S. News Rankings Boycott On Individual Law Schools

This chart lists the current U.S. News ranking, as well as the average ranking over the past 5, 10, and 15 years (from Brad Areheart's article), of the 14 law schools boycotting the rankings as well as the 5 schools that have declined to join the boycott. The chart lists the difference between each school's current ranking and their 5, 10, and 15 year average ranking: a green + indicates that a school's current ranking is better than its historic average ranking; a red - indicates that a school's current ranking is worse than its average historic ranking.

USN Table

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December 5, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

George Mason Is 5th Law School To Reject Boycott Of U.S. News Rankings

Washington Post, Law School Revolt Against U.S. News Rankings Gains Steam:

George Mason Scalia (2020)Ken Randall, dean of the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, which is ranked 30th, said he has no plans to withhold data from U.S. News. He’s sharply critical of their methodology, though, especially the reputational survey, which he compared to an Olympic diver climbing out of the pool, giving herself a “10” and then sitting down at the judging table to rate her competitors.

Randall said the rankings exert a powerful influence in the legal field. “The big bulk of schools,” everyone from about 15 to 100 or so, “really do think about rankings a lot,” Randall said. Applicants scrutinize them when deciding where to enroll. Employers bear them in mind when hiring.

A big law firm, he said, might look at hiring graduates in the top 30 percent of their class at a top-10 law school. But they might not dip so far down into the class to hire graduates from a lower-ranked school. “It’s a lot of weight,” Randall said.

Law.com, George Mason Law Becomes 5th School to Announce Plans to Continue with US News Rankings:

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December 5, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, December 3, 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

With Penn and the University of Washington, 13 law schools (including 10 of the T-14) will not participate in the U.S. News Law School Rankings:

Penn Carey Law, U.S. News Participation:

Penn Logo (2022)After careful consideration, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School will not submit the U.S. News & World Report institutional survey for this year as part of the ranking process. In the interest of greater transparency, we will make relevant data public so that anyone can see the inputs that make Penn Carey Law a leading law school and how our alumni launch careers in every sector of the legal profession.

As has been expressed and discussed elsewhere, the current U.S. News ranking methodology is unnecessarily secretive and contrary to important parts of the Law School’s mission, including Penn Carey Law’s increasing investment in need-based financial aid and public interest lawyering. We have directly and frankly shared these concerns with U.S. News and hope they will consider significant and meaningful changes in how data are calculated and published.

Tamara F. Lawson (University of Washington), Why UW Law Will Not Participate in U.S. News Rankings:

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December 3, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 2)

US News Logo 2Reuters, Stay? Go? Law Schools Diverge in US News Rankings Revolt:

Bob Morse, who heads the U.S. News rankings, has been calling law school deans to discuss their participation, and some schools are likely waiting to see if he changes the rankings methodology to address the concerns raised by the boycotting schools, said law school admissions consultant Mike Spivey. U.S. News said in a statement Friday that its data team is having "conversations with law schools on these important topics."

New York Times:

  • Matthew Diller (Dean, Fordham):  [T]he law schools in the T14 are excellent, but there is no magic to the number 14, and the U.S. News algorithm includes as much “noise” as “signal.” ... Prospective students miss out when they substitute reliance on U.S. News rankings for their own research into which law schools are a good fit for them, given their academic records, interests, career goals and financial situations.
  • Susan Pace Hamill (Alabama):  ​As a law professor for more than 25 years, I applaud the recent boycott of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. The rankings serve only the periodical itself and deans adept at prioritizing favored metrics, especially test scores. More insidiously, the rankings harm students. In addition to motivating deans to award scholarships to students with the highest test scores instead of students with true financial need, and discouraging public interest work, at best the rankings provide students a one-dimensional picture.

Stephen Ferruolo (Former Dean, San Diego):

Finally! As a sometime law school dean, I can attest that the USNWR rankings have for too long been the principal metrics driving law school and university administrations in making decisions relating to admissions, expenditures and, above all, financial aid that have been detrimental to increasing access to law school and the legal profession for first generation students, advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and supporting those students committed to public interest and public service. Congratulations to Dean Martinez of SLS and the other deans who have taken the lead in ending this travesty of looking to nonsensical and harmful magazine rankings as the principles driving strategic planning and budgetary allocations. I certainly recognize it will be harder for many lesser ranked law schools to follow. But follow they must! It would have given me such pleasure and satisfaction to have been one of the first among them. Go SLS.

Reuters, Why Rankings-'Obsessed' Law Students May Stick with U.S. News:

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December 3, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, December 1, 2022

An Access And Equity Ranking Of America's 63 Public Law Schools

Christopher L. Mathis (Iowa; Google Scholar), An Access and Equity Ranking of Public Law Schools, 74 Rutgers U.L. Rev. 677 (2022):

Rutgers Law ReviewOver the past few decades, several comprehensive ranking systems, including the influential U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Schools rankings, have emerged to provide useful information to prospective law students seeking to enroll in law school. These ranking systems have defined what is measured as “quality” and what outcomes law schools focus on to gain a better position in the ranking. These rankings fail to measure what many law schools claim to be one of their longstanding goals— diversity, access, and equity.

One of the problematic and shocking reasons U.S. News cites for not including diversity measures in the ranking is that law schools themselves have no consensus on diversity. I counter this argument, asserting that while there may not be widespread consensus—for certain people—on diversity, there is substantial academic scholarship and agreement on the tenets of diversity that ranking enthusiasts can use to design an effective diversity measure. I maintain that any ranking that does not include diversity, access, and equity measures often leave communities of color and their interests in the margins. Therefore, this Article seeks to center the needs of Black and Latinx prospective law students through a new ranking system

Given that public law schools aim to increase racial/ethnic diversity—that is, the number of racial/ethnic minoritized students—because of their institutional missions, the Article provides the first ranking of public law schools on “Access and Equity” measures. It describes ranking law schools based on measurable outcomes related to diversity, access, and equity. This ranking uses twelve access and equity measures that are significant to Black and Latinx law school fit. This “Access and Equity Ranking” is the only ranking to date that will help Black and Latinx students identify which public law schools centers their needs.

The Top 25 law schools under this measure are:

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December 1, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Wash U Joins Chicago And Cornell In Refusing To Boycott U.S. News Law School Rankings

Law.com, No. 16-Ranked Washington University Law Says It Will Not Bail on the US News Rankings:

Wash U (2022)On Tuesday, 16th-ranked Washington University in St. Louis School of Law joined 12th-ranked Cornell Law School and third-ranked University of Chicago Law School to continue providing information to U.S. News, amid a dozen law schools who have decided to pull out.

Russell K. Osgood, dean and professor of law at the law school, sent a statement to Law.com expressing his intentions to not withdraw from the rankings.

“Prospective law students should have multiple robust sources of information about law schools, and I am generally in favor of making information available,” Osgood said. “School websites can be incomplete, misleading or simply hard to compare.”

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December 1, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 1)

Nicholas Allard (Founding Dean, Jacksonville Law School), Law Schools Are Right To Steer Clear Of US News Rankings:

For many years my academic colleagues have tolerated the rankings while acknowledging their profound methodological flaws and describing their insidious effects. There is a mountainous record of critical commentary and analysis on the subject. Less substantively and perhaps too bluntly, I once said that "the rankings may be good for lining a parakeet cage, but as a roadmap for students they're not useful."

Bloomberg, Will Yale’s US News Exit Spur More Focus on Location?:

Bloomberg

Chronicle of Higher Education, Can We Finally Topple The Tyranny of Rankings?:

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November 30, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

UC-Davis Is 12th Law School (5th In California) To Boycott U.S. News Rankings

Kevin R. Johnson (Dean, U.C. Davis), UC Davis Law Withdraws From U.S. News & World Report Rankings:

UC-Davis Logo (2022)Beginning today (Nov. 28), UC Davis School of Law will no longer provide data to U.S. News & World Report for use in compiling its law school rankings. This decision has been made after receiving guidance from the law faculty, campus leadership, students, alumni and others.

Major flaws with the U.S. News rankings are well-documented. Although law schools have in good faith worked with the magazine on improvements, U.S. News has failed to meaningfully change the rankings methodology. The survey techniques, accuracy and fairness of the rankings remain problematic, which produces a misleading ranking of law schools. Even small changes in one variable can lead to a dramatic shake-up of the rankings. The regular “corrections” of the rankings by U.S. News show their volatility and undermine their legitimacy.

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November 29, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, November 28, 2022

Yale Law School’s Revolt Of The Elites

The New Republic, Yale Law School’s Revolt of the Elites:

Yale Law Logo (2020)Yale University has the most elite law school in America, an institution so central to the production of future Supreme Court clerks and legal bigwigs that, in the space of a few months last year, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker all published lengthy features about whether one of its professors served drinks to students at a dinner party. So it made the news last week when Yale Law School Dean Heather K. Gerken issued a public statement declaring that the school would no longer willingly participate in the influential U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, setting off a mini-cascade of righteous quitting as Harvard, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford, Georgetown, and Columbia quickly followed suit.

But there was something strange about the spectacle of Dean Gerken denouncing as “profoundly flawed” a rankings system that identifies Yale itself as the #1 law school in the country—an evaluation with which, one would assume, she wholeheartedly agrees. The other quitters share rarefied air as well: All are in the U.S. News top 14 [except for UCLA and UC-Irvine].

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November 28, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Here’s Why Top Law Schools May Be Pulling Out Of The U.S. News Rankings

Following up on Saturday's post, Law School Admissions Without LSATs, Race, And Rankings:  The Daily Caller, ‘Writing On The Wall’: Here’s Why Top US Universities May Be Pulling Out Of High-Profile Ranking System:

U.S. News LogoTop law school[s] ... may be dropping out of the rankings ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action because they plan to deemphasize standardized tests in the admissions process and preserve diversity, but do not want to fall in the rankings process, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“If affirmative action falls, we can expect to see a lot of educational institutions drop objective standards from their admissions practices,” John Sailer, fellow at the National Association of Scholars, told the DCNF. “This allows them to continue race-conscious admissions by other means. Already, we see schools embracing this workaround. These top law schools probably have that in mind as they back out of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Ranking requires clear, objective standards, and if law schools hope to go test-optional, the ranking system presents an obvious problem.” ...

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November 28, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Law School Admissions Without LSATs, Race, And Rankings

Wall Street Journal Editorial, Law Schools Without LSATs:

The American Bar Association’s move to discard objective tests won’t enhance diversity.

The flight from merit continues across America, and it’s spreading fast in the legal profession. An arm of the American Bar Association (ABA), which accredits law schools, voted on Nov. 18 to end the requirement that prospective law students take the Law School Admission Test. ...

The vote is pending approval from the ABA House of Delegates in February. If adopted, it would make standardized testing optional in preparation for a career that demands a lot of standardized knowledge.

The LSAT has long been a target of diversity advocates who argue that the use of the test has limited minority enrollment in law schools because the test questions are allegedly biased in favor of white test takers. Detractors also object to the LSAT because affluent students often pay thousands of dollars to prepare for the test that is supposed to predict their first-year law school performance.

The ABA decision is best understood as an attempt to get ahead of a possible Supreme Court decision against the use of racial preferences in school admissions. By making the LSAT optional, schools will be able to admit the students they want without lowering the average LSAT score that is one measure of elite status. But the schools need the ABA to move first.

The irony is that giving up the LSAT is likely to harm students from less privileged backgrounds. In September, 60 law school deans—including Berkeley Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Loyola University Chicago Dean Michèle Alexandre and Boston University’s Angela Onwuachi-Willig—wrote the ABA to oppose making the admissions test optional on grounds that it would damage diversity. ...

Without an LSAT, untested law students will arrive at law school less prepared for the material, as well as less experienced with a rigorous testing format when they have to pass the bar exam in a few years. That is, if critics don’t next target the bar exam for elimination.

Bloomberg Law Op-Ed:  Ending Standardized Law School Tests Could Diminish Diversity, by Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Berkeley) & Daniel Tokaji (Dean, Wisconsin):

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November 26, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Penn Evaluates Whether To Join Boycott Of U.S. News Rankings By Ten Of Top 15 Law Schools

Penn Logo (2022)Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn Carey Law Evaluating Participation in U.S. News & World Report Rankings After Harvard, Yale Pull Out:

Spokesperson Meredith Rovine wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian that Penn Carey Law “applauds Yale Law and Harvard Law for their leadership in raising key questions for all law schools,” and agrees that the rankings are not holistic. ...

“Penn Carey Law has substantially increased financial aid and support for students seeking public interest careers to meet these important needs. We are evaluating this issue and assessing a process for our own decision-making,” Penn Carey Law's statement said.

“The U.S. News algorithm severely undercounts money spent on financial aid for students, while fully rewarding schools for every dollar spent on faculty and administrator salaries,” Penn Carey Law’s statement read.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Penn Will Evaluate U.S. News Rankings in Light of Harvard and Yale’s Decision to Withdraw:

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November 26, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, November 25, 2022

Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The U.S. News Rankings Dominance?

Chronicle of Higher Education, Is This the Beginning of the End of the 'U.S. News' Rankings Dominance:

U.S. News LogoLess than one week after the dean of Yale Law School announced she would no longer cooperate with U.S. News & World Report on its annual rankings, several of her peers have followed suit. As of Tuesday, deans at 10 of the 15 top-ranked law schools had said they would stop sending their data to U.S. News.

The collective revolt came quickly — and with barbs. In their announcements, the deans criticized the algorithm that U.S. News analysts use to produce the rankings. “The rankings rely on flawed survey techniques and opaque and arbitrary formulas, lacking the transparency needed to help applicants make truly informed decisions,” wrote Kerry Abrams, dean of Duke Law. The methodology creates “perverse incentives,” wrote Jenny Martinez, Stanford Law School’s dean. ...

If the law deans’ criticism sounds familiar, it’s because it echoes the complaints that have been leveled for decades against an even bigger project: the magazine’s ranking of undergraduate colleges and universities. There, too, critics have said the magazine’s metrics are flawed, opaque, and harm equity efforts.

But seldom have institutions acted on their concerns, as Yale and its peers have recently. And if elite colleges are willing to withdraw their support from one U.S. News ranking in the name of equity, why not another? In other words, is the undergraduate ranking the next venue for this kind of protest?

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November 25, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Chicago And Cornell Are First Elite Law Schools To Refuse To Join U.S. News Rankings Boycott

Thomas J. Miles (Dean, Chicago), Rankings:

Chicago (2022)Many of you are aware that in the past week some law schools have announced that they will no longer participate in the U.S. News rankings. After conferring with University leaders and with some members of our faculty, our administrative team, and our alumni community, I have decided that we will continue to furnish information to U.S. News

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November 24, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

UC-Irvine Is First Non-Elite Law School To Join U.S. News Rankings Boycott

Austen Parrish (Dean, UC-Irvine), University of California, Irvine School of Law Withdraws From Participating in U.S. News Annual Law School Rankings:

UCI Law (2022)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.

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November 24, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, November 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?'

Bill Henderson (Indiana), The Dollars and Math Behind Yale Law’s Withdrawn From USN Rankings:

Yale USNYale Law School’s $1.2 billion share of the Yale University endowment provides approximately $63 million in operating funds, which translates into $106,000 per student. ... To be clear, these are the funds available before Yale Law collects its first dollar of tuition. Nonetheless, as the top-ranked law school in the US News rankings for more than 30 years, Yale has a superabundance of highly credentialed students who would be willing to pay or borrow the current cost of attendance. For the 2021-22 admission cycle, Yale admitted only 5.6% of applicants; of those admitted, 81% enrolled, making Yale the most selective and elite law school in the nation.

Among elite law schools, Yale clearly has the strongest balance sheet. Its closest competitors are Stanford Law ($76,000 in endowment funding per student) and Harvard ($56,000), which typically rank #2 or #3 in any given year. Among the rest of the T-14, endowment funding generates approximately $20,000 per student, with a high of $33,000 and a low of $4,000, albeit these figures, similar to Yale, may go up due to improved endowment performances, as pandemic-related fiscal and monetary policies tended to make the rich richer.

The big news, of course, is that Yale recently announced its withdrawal from the US News rankings, at least as an active participant. This decision, and its likely second-order effects for other law schools, are nearly impossible to accurately grasp without also understanding (1) the technical intricacies of how the US News rankings work, as this creates the underlying incentive structure; and (2) the significant risk that Yale was running by continuing to play the US News game, making it a poor data point for generalizing to other law schools. ...

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November 23, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Dan Solove: Slaying The U.S. News Law School Rankings Dragon

Daniel Solove (George Washington; Google Scholar), Slaying the US News Law School Rankings Dragon:

US News (2023)The battle against the US News Law School Rankings has finally begun. After decades of groaning and grumbling about how bad the rankings are, many top law schools have said they are withdrawing from the rankings, including 7 out of the top 10. I applaud this move, but I fear that law schools might break out the champagne too early. The battle might be won, but the war might ultimately be lost unless law schools do more than just withdraw.

Law schools aren’t really dropping out of the rankings; they are just pledging to refuse to submit certain data that US News wants. US News issued a statement declaring that it will continue ranking whether law schools cooperate or not. The dragon hasn’t been slain; it’s just not going to get some of the food it wants. ...

Reductive as rankings are, people crave rankings, and there is money in ranking for US News. Thus, don’t expect US News to fold.  Rankers gonna rank.  US News will just use whatever data it can get their hands on. ...

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November 23, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

UCLA Is Tenth Top 15 Law School To Refuse To Participate In U.S. News Rankings

Russell Korobkin (Interim Dean, UCLA), UCLA Law Will Not Participate in U.S. News & World Report Rankings:

UCLA Law (2022)As many of you know, a number of our peer schools have announced that they will not submit proprietary data this year to U.S. News and World Report for use in its annual law school rankings. After substantial and deliberate consultation with a variety of stakeholders, I write to tell you that, in the absence of significant and meaningful changes to the methodology employed in these rankings, we will also decline to participate this year.

Faced with the choice of where to attend law school, one of the most significant decisions of their lives, students reasonably search for some method of comparing the overall quality of law schools. Third-party rankings can provide a useful service in this regard if their methodology is transparent, if they value features of the schools’ programs that are reasonable proxies for educational quality, and if they provide incentives for schools to compete in ways that improve educational quality and ultimately benefit the legal profession.

Although no rankings can provide a perfect measure of quality, the U.S. News rankings are particularly problematic for a number of reasons:

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November 22, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Colin Diver: Are The U.S. News Rankings Finally Going To Die?

New York Times Op-Ed:  Are the U.S. News College Rankings Finally Going to Die?, by Colin Diver (Former Dean, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Former President, Reed College; Author, Breaking Ranks: How the Rankings Industry Rules Higher Education and What to Do About It (Johns Hopkins University Press 2022) (more here):

Breaking Ranks 6Yale’s law school made the stunning announcement last week that it would no longer participate in the influential rankings published annually by U.S. News & World Report. Given the outsize importance attributed to the rankings by prospective applicants and alumni, Yale’s decision sent shock waves through the legal profession, and indeed all of higher education. Yet the law schools at Harvard, Berkeley, Georgetown, Columbia, Stanford and Michigan [and Duke and Northwestern] quickly followed suit. Will the universities of which they are a part join the boycott? Will other colleges and professional schools do the same? Could this be the beginning of the end for college rankings?

I sure hope so.

Since their emergence in 1983, the U.S. News college rankings have grown into a huge juggernaut. They have withstood decades of withering criticism — from journalistsuniversity presidents and the U.S. secretary of education — that the methodology ignores the distinctive character of individual schools and drives institutions to abandon priorities and principles in favor of whatever tweaks will bump them up a notch or two.

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November 22, 2022 in Book Club, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

With Duke And Northwestern, Nine Of T14 Refuse To Participate In U.S. News Law School Rankings

Kerry Abrams (Dean, Duke), Withdrawal From U.S. News Rankings:

Duke Law (2022)For more than 30 years, Duke Law School has participated in the annual ranking of law schools published by U.S. News. Although Duke Law has been among the top cohort of institutions in every edition, we have long had serious concerns that the design and influence of these rankings create incentives that are not aligned with our mission and our values. At a time of critical focus on access to legal education and the legal profession, we think it’s important to recognize this unfortunate impact and push for change. Therefore, Duke Law will no longer participate in the U.S. News rankings.

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November 22, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, November 21, 2022

Antitrust Implications Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott

Daniel A. Crane (Michigan), Antitrust Concerns on Firing U.S. News & World Report:

Yale Notice & CommentMy view on the merits is that the USNWR rankings scheme is bad for legal education, for many of the reasons articulated by Deans Gerken, Manning, and Chemerinksy. It’s not that rankings are necessarily bad—giving students, employers, and others information on law schools is important. The problem is that USNWR places weight on arbitrary and manipulable factors, which in turn pressure schools to allocate resources in ways that are detrimental to legal education, equity, and ultimately society at large. So sign me up for the project of breaking USNWR’s spell.

Ever since yesterday’s announcements, folks have been asking me whether there is a potential antitrust problem with any of this. ...

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November 21, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Michigan Is Seventh T14 Law School To Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Rankings

Mark D. West (Dean, Michigan), Michigan Law Will Not Participate in U.S. News Rankings:

Michigan Law Logo (2021)After talking with students, faculty, alumni, and staff, I have decided that it no longer makes sense for Michigan Law to participate in the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings process. As a public institution, serving the public interest has always been central to our mission. Over time, I increasingly have come to believe that the U.S. News law school rankings no longer serve the public interest. Although we have had sustained discussion for years within the Quad about parting ways with the rankings, it would have been difficult for us to take this step alone. I applaud Yale Law School (and Dean Heather Gerken, Michigan Law, ’94) for being first mover and share the concerns expressed by Yale and other schools that have withdrawn.

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November 21, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

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

David Lat (Original Jurisdiction), Yale And Harvard Law To U.S. News: Drop Dead:

US News (2023)In the world beyond YLS and HLS, some have criticized the schools’ withdrawal as threatening the rankings system, which these critics argue has utility for schools beyond the super-elite. The top-14, top-6, and top-3 schools barely change, so one could argue that the U.S. News rankings offered little informational value as to those schools. The entire so-called “T14” could secede, and not much would change; the old advice of “if you get into a T14 school, go” would still apply.

But beyond the T14, some schools have made dramatic jumps over the years, as reflected in their U.S. News rank—e.g., George Mason/Scalia Law or Pepperdine Law, former fourth-tier schools that are now #30 and #52, respectively. If YLS and HLS end up killing the law-school rankings, with U.S. News either leaving the space or making the ranks much more imprecise, how can these other schools demonstrate their progress? And how can law-school applicants make informed decisions when choosing between non-T14 schools?

New York Times, As More Top Law Schools Boycott Rankings, Others Say They Can’t Afford to Leave:

Some law schools — especially those just below the Top 14 — said that despite their qualms about the rankings and the tests, it could be hard to abandon them.

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November 21, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

U.S. News Law School Rankings, ABA Optional LSAT, And Harvard Affirmative Action Supreme Court Case

US News (2023)Wall Street Journal Editorial, Yale and Harvard Law Unrank Themselves:

Yale and Harvard law schools said this week they will no longer participate in the annual law-school rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. Readers may see no one to root for in a showdown between elite schools and the higher-ed ratings complex, but there’s a point to be made about what appears to be a flight from merit and transparency at these schools. ...

Dean Gerken gave away the game when she wrote: “Today, 20% of a law school’s overall ranking is median LSAT/GRE scores and GPAs. While academic scores are an important tool, they don’t always capture the full measure of an applicant. This heavily weighted metric imposes tremendous pressure on schools to overlook promising students, especially those who cannot afford expensive test preparation courses.”

This sounds like cover for a desire by Yale to be free to admit students with lower test scores in service to diversity, but without taking a hit to its exclusive reputation. Yale has long been No. 1 in the U.S. News rankings.

The LSAT isn’t perfect, but it is a good predictor of success in law school, particularly as grade inflation has rendered GPAs far less meaningful. The LSAT’s influence is also an equalizer. For the price of a prep book, a low- or middle-income applicant can use an excellent score to compete with thousands of affluent applicants with polished resumes or connections. Yet progressives have long hoped to kill the LSAT along with high-school standardized testing.

The timing here is notable given the Supreme Court may soon strike down the use of racial preferences in college admissions. The Yale and Harvard announcements look like attempts to adapt in advance. This is a reminder to the Justices that college administrators will find a way to skirt any three-pronged diversity test they might devise, or some other putative judicial compromise.

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November 21, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, November 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

Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News), U.S. News Best Law Schools Rankings Will Continue to Inform Prospective Students:

US News (2023)U.S. News & World Report will continue to rank all fully accredited law schools, regardless of whether schools agree to submit their data.

A few law schools recently announced that they will no longer participate in the data collection process for the U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings. We respect each institution’s decision to choose whether or not to submit their data to U.S. News.

However, U.S. News has a responsibility to prospective students to provide comparative information that allows them to assess these institutions. U.S. News will therefore continue to rank the nearly 200 accredited law schools in the United States.

The U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings are designed for students seeking to make the best decision for their legal education. We will continue to pursue our journalistic mission of ensuring that students can rely on the best and most accurate information, using the rankings as one factor in their law school search.

Wall Street Journal, Georgetown, Columbia Join Schools Withdrawing From U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings:

“We believe that that’s a vote against accountability, it’s a vote against transparency, it’s a vote against equity, it’s a vote against students,” Eric Gertler, executive chairman and CEO of U.S. News & World Report, said of schools pulling out of the rankings.

In an interview Friday, shortly before Columbia announced its plan to withdraw, he said U.S. News will continue to compile its rankings with or without the schools’ cooperation. Much of the information it uses comes from publicly available sources; a share of the score is also based on peer reviews by lawyers and school administrators.

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November 19, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

With Stanford, Columbia And Georgetown, 6 Of The T14 Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Law School Rankings

Jenny S. Martinez (Dean, Stanford), Stanford Law School Will Not Participate in US News Law School Ranking:

Stanford Law (2022)Stanford Law School has made the decision to withdraw from the US News law school ranking. US News and other rankings have long been a topic of conversation and internal study by our faculty at SLS. We know that well-formulated rankings, along with other publicly available data, can provide a valuable service to prospective students. In the spirit of providing useful information to prospective students and improving the ability of law schools to do their best for students, we have been one of a number of law schools who have approached US News over time with concrete suggestions to improve its ranking methodology, to no avail.

Stanford Law has stood near the very top of the rankings for many years, and we are lucky to be in a position where the rankings do not significantly affect our decisions.  However, we agree with many of the points that other schools have presented about how the rankings methodology distorts incentives in ways that are harmful to legal education as a whole. For example, the US News ranking methodology inappropriately discourages public service by treating students whose schools provide fellowships to support such work much the same as it treats students who are unemployed. In a world where interdisciplinary expertise is increasingly important, it also treats students pursuing another advanced degree, such as an MBA or PhD, as unemployed. The ways in which it weights per-student expenditures and measures debt, including excluding schools’ public service loan repayment programs, further distorts incentives in ways that act against students’ interests. Stanford Law School is proud to be one of the few law schools that offers exclusively need-based financial aid, and believes more schools across all tiers of legal education would be able to emphasize need-based financial aid, admit students from all walks of life, and keep expenditures down if the rankings methodology were different.

By joining with the other schools that have chosen to withdraw from participation in the US News rankings this year, we hope to increase the chances that the methodology is seriously overhauled, not only to reduce perverse incentives but to provide clearer and more relevant information that prospective students would find genuinely useful in making decisions about which law schools best match their interests and needs. In the meantime, we will be compiling data that we hope will be considerably more transparent and usable than the information that US News provides and will better help applicants determine whether SLS meets their educational and career aspirations. 

Gillian Lester (Dean. Columbia), Columbia Law Will Not Participate in U.S. News Rankings:

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November 19, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, November 17, 2022

UC-Berkeley Is The Third Top 10 Law School To Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Rankings

Erwin Chemerinsky (UC-Berkeley), Berkeley Law Will Not Participate in the US News Rankings:

UC Berkeley (2016)After careful consideration, Berkeley Law has decided not to continue to participate in the US News ranking of law schools. Although rankings are inevitable and inevitably have some arbitrary features, there are aspects of the US News rankings that are profoundly inconsistent with our values and public mission.

Berkeley Law is a public school, with a deep commitment to increasing access to justice, training attorneys who will work to improve society in a variety of ways, and to empowering the next generation of leaders and thinkers, many of whom will come from communities who historically were not part of the legal profession. We are also committed to excellence: in our programs, scholarship, financial support, research, and certainly among our students. We take pride in producing attorneys who are highly skilled, highly sought after, and dedicated to public service and pro bono. This is who we are.

Rankings have the meaning that we give them as a community. I do not want to pretend they do not. And rankings will exist with or without our participation. The question becomes, then, do we think that there is a benefit to participation in the US News process that outweighs the costs? The answer, we feel, is no.

We want to be specific about the basis for this assertion. It is not about railing against rankings or complaining that they “hurt” us in some way. However, there are specific issues that we have struggled with for years, and raised with leadership at US News to no avail. These are:

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November 17, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Harvard Joins Yale In No Longer Participating In The U.S. News Law School Rankings

John Manning (Dean, Harvard), Decision to Withdraw from the U.S. News & World Report Process:

Harvard Law School Logo (2021)I write today to share with you that Harvard Law School will no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, effective this year. (Yale Law School announced a similar decision earlier today). We at HLS have made this decision because it has become impossible to reconcile our principles and commitments with the methodology and incentives the U.S. News rankings reflect. This decision was not made lightly and only after considerable deliberation over the past several months.

Done well, such rankings could convey accurate, relevant information about universities, colleges, and graduate and professional schools that may help students and families make informed choices about which schools best meet their needs. However, rankings can also emphasize characteristics that potentially mislead those who rely on them and can create perverse incentives that influence schools’ decisions in ways that undercut student choice and harm the interests of potential students.

Over several years now, a number of schools — including Harvard Law School — have brought to the attention of U.S. News, either directly or through the U.S. News Law Deans Advisory Board, the concerns that have motivated us to end our participation in the U.S. News process. In particular, we have raised concerns about aspects of the U.S. News ranking methodology (also highlighted by our colleagues at Yale) that work against law schools’ commitments to enhancing the socioeconomic diversity of our classes; to allocating financial aid to students based on need; and, through loan repayment and public interest fellowships, to supporting graduates interested in careers serving the public interest.

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November 16, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Yale Law School Will No Longer Participate In 'Profoundly Flawed' U.S. News Rankings

Yale Law Today, Dean Gerken: Why Yale Law School Is Leaving the U.S. News & World Report Rankings:

Yale Law Logo (2020)For three decades, U.S. News & World Report, a for-profit magazine, has ranked the educational quality of law schools across the country. Since the very beginning, Yale Law School has taken the top spot every year. Yet, that distinction is not one that we advertise or use as a lodestar to chart our course. In fact, in recent years, we have invested significant energy and capital in important initiatives that make our law school a better place but perversely work to lower our scores. That’s because the U.S. News rankings are profoundly flawed — they disincentivize programs that support public interest careers, champion need-based aid, and welcome working-class students into the profession. We have reached a point where the rankings process is undermining the core commitments of the legal profession. As a result, we will no longer participate.

It’s entirely understandable that many schools feel compelled to adhere to a commercial magazine’s preferences, as the rankings are taken seriously by applicants, employers, and alumni. But rankings are useful only when they follow sound methodology and confine their metrics to what the data can reasonably capture — factors I’ve described in my own research on election administration. Over the years, however, U.S. News has refused to meet those conditions despite repeated calls from law school deans to change. Instead, the magazine continues to take data — much of it supplied by the law schools solely to U.S. News — and applies a misguided formula that discourages law schools from doing what is best for legal education. While I sincerely believe that U.S. News operates with the best of intentions, it faces a nearly impossible task, ranking 192 law schools with a small set of one-size-fits-all metrics that cannot provide an accurate picture of such varied institutions. Its approach not only fails to advance the legal profession, but stands squarely in the way of progress.

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November 16, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Leiter: The End Of The LSAT Is Coming — What Will U.S. News Do?

Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar), The End of the LSAT Is Coming:

It seems like the writing is on the wall. ... If [U.S. News] decide[s] to just increase the weight on GPA, then expect a boom in communications and education majors among prospective law students seeking the highest possible GPA!

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

November 12, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Law School Premier League And Championship League Rankings

Bill Henderson (Indiana) notes that Jae Um, in her bracketing exercise for The American Lawyer, arrays the 2022 AmLaw 100 based on the structure of the English football league system: the Top 22 firms in the Premier League (Wachtell to Goodwin) and the next 23 firms in the Championship League (Sidley to Shearman), all hoping to be promoted to Premier League. So of course I thought of which law schools would be in the Premier League and which would be in the Championship League, according to U.S. News:   

Law School Premier League:

1. Yale
2. Stanford
3. Chicago
4. Columbia
4. Harvard
6. Penn
7. NYU
8. Virginia
9. UC-Berkeley
10. Michigan
11. Duke
12. Cornell
13. Northwestern
14. Georgetown
15. UCLA
16. Washington University
17. Boston University
17. Texas
17. Vanderbilt
20. USC
21. Florida
21. Minnesota

Law School Championship League:

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November 10, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

July 2022 Ohio Bar Exam Results: Ohio State #1

July Ohio Bar Exam Results Announced:

The Supreme Court of Ohio has released results from the July 2022 Ohio Bar Examination. Among the 847 first-time test takers, 80% earned passing scores. A total of 970 aspiring lawyers sat for the exam, and 703 – or 72% – passed.

Here are the results for first-time test-takers by law school:

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)

 

School

US News Rank

OH (Overall)

1 (91.2%)

Ohio State

1 (30)

2 (85.5%)

Case Western

2 (78)

3 (80.8%)

Ohio Northern

6 (Tier 2)

4 (79.6%)

Dayton

4 (122)

5 (78.8%)

Cleveland State

5 (127)

6 (78.0%)

Cincinnati

3 (88)

7 (75.5%)

Capital

6 (Tier 2)

8 (75.3%)

Akron

6 (Tier 2)

9 (75.0%)

Toledo

6 (Tier 2)

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November 1, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Leiter: Is U.S. News An 'Authoritative' Ranking Of Law Schools?

Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar), Is US News an "Authoritative" Ranking of Law Schools?:

US News Logo 2I know this question will make readers of this blog laugh ... No one outside Palo Alto (and maybe not even there), for example, thinks Stanford is the #2 law school in the country, better than Harvard [#4], Chicago [#3], or NYU [#7] (all ranked behind it in USNews.com). Penn is now #6 in USNews.com, but it is clearly not as strong as NYU and Berkeley [#9], ranked behind it. Arizona State's law school [#30] is ranked ahead of the University of Arizona [#45], but it does not have a stronger faculty. The same could be said about the University of Florida [#21] and Florida State [#47]. Many law schools outside the USNews.com top 50 are better (by many metrics) than those inside the top 50. ...

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October 26, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Law School Admissions, U.S. News Rankings, And 'Splitters'

One of the perverse incentives in the U.S. News law school rankings involves "splitters." In a non-U.S. News world, a hypothetical law school with an admissions goal of 164 LSAT|3.85 UGPA medians (which has a 227 index score (based on a hypothetical 60% LSAT|40% UGPA weighting)) would jump at the chance to admit and scholarship an applicant from MIT with a 163|3.84 (226 index) over a "splitter" applicant from a far less selective college with a 164|3.25 (220 index) or a "reverse splitter" applicant from a far less selective college with a 158|3.85 (220 index).

The ABA does not collect this data, but a Reddit user posted an interesting chart on the use of splitters by some top law schools, based on applicant data from LSD.Law for the Fall 2022 admissions season:

Reddit

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October 18, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

July 2022 Florida Bar Exam Results: Florida International Is #1 For 8th Year In A Row

Florida Bar 2The July 2022 Florida bar passage rates by school are out. For the eighth year in a row, Florida International is #1. Here are the results for the 11 Florida law schools, along with each school's U.S. News ranking (Florida and overall):

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)

 

School

US News Rank

FL (Overall)

1 (81.2%)

Florida Int'l

4 (98)

2 (78.7%)

Florida

1 (21)

3 (74.9%)

Florida State

2 (47)

4 (72.0%)

Miami 

3 (73)

5 (71.4%)

Ave Maria

Tier 2

6 (64.0%)

Stetson

5 (111)

7 (60.5%)

St. Thomas

Tier 2

8 (54.5%)

Nova

Tier 2

9 (52.6%)

Florida A&M

Tier 2

10 (49.2%)

Barry

Tier 2

11 (30.8%)

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

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September 20, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, September 19, 2022

2022 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews

Bryce Clayton Newell (Oregon), 2022 Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews:

This is an updated ranking of the top flagship law reviews at US law schools (updated as of September 16, 2022). For a summary and more details about method, see below the table. You can also compare MetaRanking since 2018, including changes in ranking over time here: MetaRank Comparison 2018-2022.

The MetaRank was computed by averaging ranks (using a 25% weighting from each) of the following rankings:

prRank = US News Peer Reputation score ranking (averaged over 10 years);
usnRank = overall US News school ranking (averaged over 10 years);
wluRank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Ranking;
gRank = Google Scholar Metrics ranking (note: “1000” means journal was not indexed).

Journal MetaRank prRank usnRank wluRank gRank
Harvard Law Review 1 1 3 1 1
Yale Law Journal 2 3 1 2 2
Stanford Law Review 3 2 2 3 5
Columbia Law Review 4 4 5 5 3
California Law Review 5 7 9 4 4
University of Chicago Law Review 6 5 4 12 6
University of Pennsylvania Law Review 7 9 7 6 8
New York University Law Review 8 6 6 13 9
Michigan Law Review 8 8 9 8 9
Georgetown Law Journal 10 14 14 7 9
Duke Law Journal 11 11 11 11 12
Northwestern University Law Review 12 13 12 14 16
Virginia Law Review 13 10 8 22 17
Texas Law Review 13 15 15 15 12
Vanderbilt Law Review 15 17 17 18 7
UCLA Law Review 16 16 16 10 18
Notre Dame Law Review 17 22 21 9 12
Minnesota Law Review 18 20 20 16 20
Cornell Law Review 19 12 13 23 29
Boston University Law Review 20 24 21 20 15
Southern California Law Review 21 19 19 26 27
Iowa Law Review 22 29 25 21 18
Washington University Law Review 23 18 18 29 34
Emory Law Journal 24 21 23 33 24
George Washington Law Review 25 25 24 31 23
Boston College Law Review 26 29 30 25 21
UC Davis Law Review 27 26 37 19 25
Fordham Law Review 28 34 39 17 22
William & Mary Law Review 29 33 33 24 31
Indiana Law Journal 30 32 34 27 29
North Carolina Law Review 31 23 31 35 34
Washington Law Review 32 36 38 30 28
University of Illinois Law Review 33 39 43 28 26
Wisconsin Law Review 34 27 32 39 39
Alabama Law Review 35 38 25 36 41
Ohio State Law Journal 36 31 35 37 43
Florida Law Review 37 37 41 32 38
Washington and Lee Law Review 38 41 36 44 42
Arizona State Law Journal 39 40 27 47 51
UC Irvine Law Review 40 28 28 56 55
Arizona Law Review 41 44 45 41 39
Hastings Law Journal 42 43 55 40 32
Georgia Law Review 43 35 29 43 64
Maryland Law Review 44 48 48 45 37
University of Colorado Law Review 45 42 46 46 45
Cardozo Law Review 46 53 59 34 36
Wake Forest Law Review 47 45 42 50 48
Brigham Young University Law Review 48 50 40 55 48
Utah Law Review 49 49 47 49 50
American University Law Review 50 51 77 38 32
University of Richmond Law Review 51 69 52 53 53
Houston Law Review 52 60 56 58 55
Tulane Law Review 53 46 51 73 64
Temple Law Review 54 57 54 64 64
Connecticut Law Review 55 52 57 52 83
SMU Law Review 55 65 50 74 55
George Mason Law Review 57 58 44 59 85
Denver Law Review 58 56 74 75 52
Lewis & Clark Law Review 59 86 90 42 43
Chicago-Kent Law Review 59 75 87 54 45
Georgia State University Law Review 61 64 65 80 53
University of Miami Law Review 62 54 69 81 60
Brooklyn Law Review 62 70 88 51 55
Tennessee Law Review 64 66 60 72 1000
Pepperdine Law Review 65 62 58 83 70
Nevada Law Journal 66 76 66 62 71
Case Western Reserve Law Review 67 68 67 81 61
Florida State University Law Review 68 47 49 98 85
Oklahoma Law Review 68 78 72 68 61
University of Kansas Law Review 70 67 73 85 61
Missouri Law Review 71 71 64 79 75
Seton Hall Law Review 72 88 61 69 73
Nebraska Law Review 73 84 70 78 64
Villanova Law Review 74 82 75 77 64
Penn State Law Review 75 92 68 61 80
Michigan State Law Review 76 91 92 48 75
Kentucky Law Journal 76 72 63 86 85
Buffalo Law Review 78 99 101 60 55
South Carolina Law Review 79 85 94 66 72
Seattle University Law Review 80 93 115 67 45
Loyola University Chicago Law Journal 81 73 76 89 83
Oregon Law Review 82 54 86 96 1000
San Diego Law Review 83 59 81 115 85
Saint Louis University Law Journal 83 98 91 87 64
University of Cincinnati Law Review 85 89 79 98 79
Texas A&M Law Review 86 105 100 71 1000
CUNY Law Review 87 112 122 57 1000
Hofstra Law Review 88 101 114 63 73
Marquette Law Review 89 95 103 75 80
Rutgers University Law Review 90 74 82 126 75
Santa Clara Law Review 91 80 113 70 102
Baylor Law Review 92 87 53 113 1000
Indiana Law Review 93 81 104 101 85
University of Pittsburgh Law Review 93 63 80 121 107
Arkansas Law Review 95 94 84 103 91
Loyola of L.A. Law Review 96 61 71 132 110
UMKC Law Review 97 108 117 65 91
New Mexico Law Review 97 90 83 104 1000
Louisiana Law Review 99 104 93 95 91
Syracuse Law Review 100 96 99 97 101

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September 19, 2022 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

2023 U.S. News College Rankings

US NewsU.S. News & World Report has released its 2023 College Rankings. Here are the Top 25 National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges:

Rank

National Universities

1

Princeton

2 MIT
3 Harvard
3 Stanford
3 Yale
6 Chicago
7 Johns Hopkins
7 Penn
9 Cal-Tech
10 Duke
10 Northwestern
12 Dartmouth
13 Brown
13 Vanderbilt
15 Rice
15 Washington Univ.
17 Cornell
18 Columbia
18 Notre Dame
20 UC-Berkeley
20 UCLA
22 Carnegie Mellon
22 Emory
22 Georgetown
25 NYU
25 Michigan
25 USC
25 Virginia

Pepperdine is ranked #55.

Prior Years' U.S. News National University Rankings:

2023 U.S. News Liberal Arts College Rankings:

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September 13, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Columbia's U.S. News Ranking Plummets From #2 To #18, Its Lowest Ranking Since 1988

Columbia US News

Following up on Saturday's post, Columbia Admits Submitting Incorrect Data That Goosed Its U.S. News Ranking To #2:  Chronicle of Higher Education, Columbia U. Gets a Lower ‘U.S. News’ Ranking After Scrutiny of Its Data:

U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia University No. 18 among national universities for 2023, after having pulled the Ivy League institution’s numerical rank in July because of alleged data-accuracy problems. Before it was unranked, Columbia was No. 2. ...

The university has not ranked as low as No. 18 since 1988, according an analysis posted online by Michael Thaddeus, a math professor at Columbia. It was Thaddeus’s analysis, which he published in February and which questioned the accuracy of Columbia’s ranking, that set in motion the decisions that led to Columbia’s diminished rank today. ...

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September 13, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Columbia Admits Submitting Incorrect Data That Goosed Its U.S. News Ranking To #2

Columbia US News

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Wall Street Journal,  Columbia Acknowledges Reporting Incorrect Figures in Past U.S. News Ranking:

Columbia University incorrectly reported figures in two categories to the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, the school said Friday, confirming some allegations lodged by a math professor at the school earlier this year.

In response to the concerns raised by Professor Michael Thaddeus on his faculty website, the school said in June that it would review past years’ data submissions and wouldn’t participate in this year’s U.S. News & World Report ranking of the nation’s best colleges. ...

Also Friday, the school released two sets of numbers for what is known as the Common Data Set, a standardized set of figures that schools can voluntarily publish detailing information about student enrollment, graduation rates, financial aid and faculty, among other subjects [Understanding Columbia's Common Data Set].

Washington Post, Columbia Acknowledges Giving Incorrect Data for U.S. News Rankings:

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September 10, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Top 50 Law Schools: Percentage Of Students Receiving At Least 50% Tuition Scholarships

Monday, August 22, 2022

Law School And Law Professor Twitter Rankings

Jake S. Truscott (Georgia; Google Scholar), Ranking Law Professors In The Twitterverse:

Twitter Logo (2022)I was able to retrieve data through the Twitter API v2 to provide insight into the social media presence of law professors across the United States. The Twitter API serves as a set of programmatic endpoints that allow users with granted developer permissions to access public metadata associated with accounts and their tweets. In essence, it serves as an intermediary tool to retrieve tweet and user-level data. I chose to observe the variation in user engagement among approximately 55,000 tweets posted between January 2021 and July 2022 from a sample of 191 prominent law professors across the United States. ...

While many of the conventional institutional heavyweights litter the top of the ranking (e.g., Harvard, Yale, Virginia, Texas, Michigan, UCLA, NYU, Georgetown, and Berkeley), there are some notable exceptions. Apart from Professor Alene (representing the second-place finisher in the 2022 College Football Playoffs), professors representing George Mason, Georgia State, Minnesota, George Washington (GW), Pepperdine, Yeshiva, and Michigan State (among others) round off the top of the list.

  1. Alabama
  2. Harvard
  3. George Washington
  4. Michigan State
  5. Yale
  6. Georgetown
  7. Texas
  8. Minnesota
  9. NYU
  10. Georgia State
  11. UCLA
  12. UC-Berkeley
  13. Missouri
  14. Pepperdine
  15. Washington University
  16. Iowa
  17. UC-Irvine
  18. George Mason
  19. Michigan
  20. North Carolina
  21. Columbia
  22. Kansas
  23. Duke
  24. Cardozo
  25. South Texas

Only four tax professors of the ninety tax professors on Twitter are among the 191 "prominent law professors" on Twitter:

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August 22, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Rutgers Seeks Dismissal Of Lawsuit Claiming Business School Created Fake Jobs For Graduates To Goose Ranking

Following up on my previous post, Whistleblower Claims Rutgers Created Fake Jobs For Graduates To Goose Business School Ranking:  Law360, Rutgers Aims To Erase Fraud Suit Over Biz School Rankings:

Rutgers Business (2022)Rutgers University called on a New Jersey federal court Monday to toss a proposed class action alleging it boosted its business school's rankings by publications through misrepresenting postgraduate employment statistics, arguing that the suing student cannot pursue claims based on data about a program he does not attend.

The amended complaint alleged that Rutgers inflated the school's rankings in publications such as U.S. News & World Report by hiring graduating MBA students who were unemployed and placing them in "token permanent positions directly with the university." The purported scheme duped prospective students about the potential employment opportunities that come with attending the school, according to the complaint.

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August 17, 2022 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Former Students Sue Columbia, Say They Were Misled By Misreporting Of Data That Inflated Its U.S. News Ranking

Columbia US News

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Higher Ed Dive, Columbia University Sued by Students Alleging They Were Misled by Potentially False U.S. News Ranking Data:

Columbia University faces twin lawsuits from two former students alleging the Ivy League institution broke a New York consumer protection law — and its contract with them — by submitting potentially false data to bolster its placement on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings.

One student, who remained anonymous in court filings, sued Tuesday, while the other, Ravi Campbell, filed a lawsuit in mid-July. Both argue students paid “a premium for tuition and other fees” but were deprived of the education Columbia claimed to offer when it submitted information for rankings about factors like student-to-faculty ratios and class sizes. They described Columbia’s alleged misreporting as false, immoral and unethical.

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August 6, 2022 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Top 100 Law Schools, Based On 5-, 10-, And 15-Year Rolling Average U.S. News Rankings

U.S. News Law (2019)Bradley A. Areheart (Tennessee), The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data:

The best proxy for how other law professors react and respond to publishing in main, or flagship, law reviews is the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings. This paper utilizes historical USNWR data to rank the top 100 law reviews. The USNWR rankings are important in shaping many – if not most – law professors’ perceptions about the relative strength of a law school (and derivatively, the home law review). This document contains a chart that is sorted by the 10-year rolling average for each school, but it also contains the 5-year and 15-year rolling averages. This paper also describes my methodology and responds to a series of frequently asked questions. The document was last updated in August 2022.

Here are the Top 75 law schools based on their 5-year rolling average overall U.S. News ranking:

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August 3, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

2022 World Law School Rankings

QS RankingsQuacquarelli Symonds has released the 2022 World Law School Rankings as part of its World University Rankings. The methodology is 50% academic reputation, 30% employer reputation, 7.5% h-index per faculty member, 7.5% citations per paper, and 5% International Research Network (IRN) Index.  The rankings consist of 342 law schools, 54 in the United States.  Here are the U.S. law schools, along with each school's position in the latest SSRN Top 750 Law School Faculty Rankings — Total Downloads):

QS Ranking School SSRN Ranking
1 Harvard 1
4 Yale 6
5 Stanford 2
6 NYU 3
8 Columbia 5
9 UC-Berkeley 4
10 Chicago 7
21 Georgetown 9
25 UCLA 16
27 Penn 12
28 Duke 29
35 Michigan 13
36 Cornell 30
50 Virginia 11
54 Northwestern 15
76 George Washington 8
78 Texas 34
101-150 American 52
101-150 Boston University 31
101-150 UC-Irvine 33
101-150 Washington 73
151-200 Fordham 17
151-200 Illinois 40
151-200 Michigan State 87
151-200 Notre Dame 49
151-200 Penn State (Univ. Park) 106
151-200 UC-Davis 36
151-200 USC 27
151-200 Washington Univ. 41
151-200 Wisconsin 92
201-250 Arizona 54
201-250 Arizona State 62
201-250 Emory 61
201-250 Indiana (Maurer) 46
201-250 Minnesota 32
201-250 Vanderbilt 19
251-300 Boston College 85
251-300 Cincinnati 204
251-300 CUNY 183
251-300 Florida 64
251-300 Florida State 63
251-300 George Mason 28
251-300 Loyola-Chicago 58
251-300 Miami 71
251-300 North Carolina 69
251-300 Ohio State 43
251-300 Tulane 198
251-300 Illinois-Chicago 467
301-340 Colorado 70
301-340 Houston 99
301-340 Missouri-Columbia 138
301-340 Northeastern 105
301-340 San Diego 44
301-340 William & Mary 100

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July 12, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, July 9, 2022

U.S. News Kicks Columbia Out Of The 2022 College Rankings After Math Professor Questioned Its #2 Ranking

Columbia US News

Following up on my previous posts:

Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News) & Eric Brooks (Principal Data Analyst, U.S. News), U.S. News Unranks Columbia University in 2022 Best Colleges Rankings:

U.S. News & World Report has unranked Columbia University from a number of rankings in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges (first published September 2021) after Columbia failed to respond to multiple U.S. News requests that the university substantiate certain data it previously submitted to U.S. News.

After learning about questions relating to Columbia’s submission, U.S. News Chief Data Strategist Robert Morse first contacted Columbia in March 2022 requesting Columbia substantiate data reported in its 2021 U.S. News statistical surveys on its counts of instructional full-time and part-time faculty, count of full-time faculty with a terminal degree, student-faculty ratio, undergraduate class size data, and educational expenditures data for the 2022 Best Colleges rankings. To date, Columbia has been unable to provide satisfactory responses to the information U.S. News requested. Therefore, today U.S. News moved the university to being "Unranked" in National Universities, meaning it no longer has a numerical rank in the 2022 National Universities, 2022 Best Value Schools, and 2022 Top Performers on Social Mobility because those rankings used data from the university’s statistical surveys.

Robert Morse, U.S. News Rankings Updates: Find Out About the [57] Schools That Misreported Data to U.S. News:

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July 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, July 1, 2022

Columbia Will Not Submit Data To U.S. News This Year After Math Professor Questioned Its #2 Ranking

Columbia US News

Following up on my previous posts:

Columbia University Provost Mary Boyce, Statement Regarding U.S. News and World Report’s Undergraduate Survey:

A few months ago, a member of our faculty, Professor Michael Thaddeus, raised questions regarding the accuracy of some of the data the University submitted to U.S. News and World Report for its annual ranking of undergraduate universities. Columbia leaders take these questions seriously, and we immediately embarked on a review of our data collection and submissions process.

In light of the work underway, we will refrain from submitting to U.S. News and World Report this year. The deadline for that submission is July 1. Given the extensive analysis required to review the data and ensure it complies with U.S. News methodologies, we cannot complete our work with the appropriate care within that timeframe.

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July 1, 2022 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, June 11, 2022

After Submitting False Data To U.S. News For 9 Years, USC Ordered To Certify Accuracy Of Its Data In Future Rankings

Following up on my previous posts:

Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News), U.S. News Responds to University of Southern California Education School on Misreporting (June 7, 2022):

U.S. News & World Report has recently been informed by the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education that "for several years, USC Rossier had been inaccurately reporting data on research and student enrollment to USNWR."

U.S. News is reviewing the various disclosures made by the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education with respect to this misreporting, which are included in the recently published investigative report by the law firm Jones Day.

The Jones Day report said, "From at least 2013 to 2021, the School misreported data to US News about the selectivity of its doctoral programs." In addition the report said, "While this investigation focused on the School’s reporting of doctoral selectivity metrics, Jones Day confirmed during the course of the investigation the existence of irregularities in the School’s calculation and reporting of research expenditures, and identified other potential data misreporting issues, such as issues relating to the exclusion of online EdD programs, the designation of EdD students as part-time, certain faculty-related metrics, and the School’s reporting of teacher job placement and retention statistics."

In light of these findings, U.S. News will require the Rossier School of Education’s dean or top academic, the University of Southern California's president and the Chair of USC’s Board of Trustees to provide a letter certifying the accuracy of the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education's data submissions to U.S. News for the next three ranking cycles in order to be included in the rankings. ...

Click here to read the letter U.S. News sent to University of Southern California.

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June 11, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink