Monday, March 29, 2021

US News seems intent on driving home the fact that the ranking formula is arbitrary and meaningless

Yesterday, they issued the third correction to the embargoed rankings (which will be released tomorrow) in the last week!   Here's the explanation:

For the overall ranking, U.S. News removed the metric for ratio of credit-bearing hours of instruction provided by law librarians to full-time equivalent law students [.25%, reducing the library weighting to 1.75%] and increased the weighting for the bar passage rate indicator [by .25%, for a new total of 2.25%]. As a result, we recalculated the rankings.

Why these one-quarter of one percent adjustments?  Who knows?  Certainly not the US editors.  But here's the real kicker:  this tiny change altered the rank of 35 law schools, including 9 in the top 30!  Imagine what might have happened had they decided the bar passage indicator should be 3.5%!

Is it possible to overstate the sheer stupidity of all this?

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