Story here. This could have huge, and not necessarily welcome, ramifications if it becomes widely adopted. My guess is that, in the short-term, Howrey is going to have real trouble recruiting new associates, and that will discourage other firms from following suit. On the other hand, if the Howrey partners find their profits-per-partner going up as opaque "merit" evaluations result in lower associate salaries (or higher salaries pegged entirely to much higher hours billed), other firms may well follow suit.
So reportsThe National Law Journal. Nothing is to be gained from such a strategy, in my view, since U.S. News has shown its willingness in the past to simply "fill in the blanks" with their best guess for data schools won't provide (this is what the magazine has done for years with Reed College, which has boycotted for many years the college rankings). The real solution to the U.S. News problem is for other rankings to proliferate. It would help, in particular, if other commercial publications would enter the fray.
Before deciding which law school to attend this fall,
Eric Singer flipped through the latest U.S. News & World Report
law-school rankings. He eventually chose the University of Chicago over
New York University, even though NYU is ranked higher overall.
Instead of relying on U.S. News, Mr. Singer scanned
independent online sites and research papers and concluded that Chicago
has "better clerkship placement, better placement into academia, better
national-firm placement, and a stronger faculty," says the 25-year-old
teacher in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Law school is a large purchase; you have
to be a more informed consumer," he adds.
It is scary to think that anyone would choose NYU over Chicago (or any school over any other) because of a two-place difference in U.S. News. But the anecdote involving Mr. Singer--who clearly made use of my ranking site for data on such things as clerkship placement, placement in law teaching, and faculty quality--is consistent with my impression that the better students are, in fact, savvy consumers of the U.S. News rankings.
Some students say it's a mistake to rely too much on U.S. News. Keyan
Rahimi-Keshari last year chose to attend Vanderbilt University Law
School in Nashville, Tenn., ranked 16th in U.S. News, over 36th-ranked
California-Hastings in large part because of the rank differential. But
he couldn't get a summer-job interview from any of the 40 firms he
applied to in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he wants to work after
graduation. The magazine's rankings, he has concluded, doesn't account
for the fact that schools below the top 10 may not carry as much weight
with employers outside their region. He's considering transferring to a
"Below the top 10" is probably not the right cut-off with regard to Mr. Rahimi-Keshari's point, but it is clearly correct that almost all law schools place most of their graduates regionally, a fact prospective students should consider. As I've said before, the best indicator as to the "national" market value of the degree is to find out which law firms from outside the immediate market area actually interview on campus.
Your (nearly) complete Brian Leiter links page, which some readers may want to switch out for their current links to this or my other pages. (I've got another Brian Leiter links page as well, which I may fill out further, though the Naymz site was a bit easier to use I thought.)