Friday, September 17, 2010

Forbes Law School Ranking: Already Falling Apart

A Dean elsewhere forwards to me the latest communication from the sadly clueless Forbes editors trying to prepare a law school ranking; they have already met with significant unwillingness to cooperate from law schools, and rightly so given the idiotic methodology:

Thank you very much for your cooperation [sic--this was sent to a Dean who was not cooperating!] on Forbes’ law school ranking. After speaking with several schools and hearing their concerns about the ranking methodology, the team working on this project is re-evaluating that method. We appreciate the questions and comments you’ve raised and are taking them into account as we pin down our approach to ranking law schools.


We’ve decided that we won’t use the alumni survey in our ranking, so there is no need for you to contact your alumni and ask them to complete the survey. If you already did so, your work won’t go to waste, as we will likely use that data to support a story attached to the ranking. It will not be used in any way for the actual ranking, and again, do not worry about contacting your alumni with the Forbes survey if you haven’t yet done so. We no longer need this information from them.


I am leaving Forbes after today, so if you have questions or concerns about the ranking, please contact Kurt Badenhausen, at and 212-620-1850 with questions. As the methodology is pinned down over the next few weeks, he will reach out to you with what he needs. Thank you again!


Best regards,

Natalie Doss

Among the initial "ideas" was to deploy a measure that US News correctly rejected a dozen years ago, namely, average salaries of graduates which, among peer schools, track geography, not anything else.   It would help if there were more law school rankings using sensible metrics, but so far, this looks to be a disaster in the making.

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