Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Kudos to Dean Gerken for withdrawing Yale Law School from the USNews.com ranking charade (UPDATE: HLS also dropping out)
Her explanation is here.
This creates an interesting strategic dilemma for both USNews.com and other law schools. USNews.com would seem to have good reason to "punish" Yale, much as the EU punished the UK for the stupidity of Brexit: to send a message about the costs, lest other schools follow suit. However, having elevated Yale for so long (thanks to the per capita expenditures measure), ranking it lower may not have any impact.
The bigger question is what other highly ranked schools will do. (It is far too risky for lower ranked schools to withdraw until more of the higher ranked schools have done so, it seems to me.) Will Stanford withdraw, even though it has been #2 for awhile now? I've not discussed this with anyone here, so have no insight about what Chicago will do. Harvard has been underranked by USNews.com for awhile, so has good reason to follow Yale. If most of the top law schools withdraw, then USNews.com, even if it produces a ranking, will lose credibility, even in the eyes of journalists who bear so much of the blame for giving it credibility it never deserved.
Thoughts from readers? Submit your comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.
UPDATE: Dean Gerken notes that the USNews.com formula effectively treats those in public interest fellowships (or PhD programs for that matter) as "unemployed." Noting that, Professor Dave Hoffman (Penn) has a more skeptical take on what's driving this move:
ANOTHER: Harvard Law School is also declining to cooperate with USNews.com. I'll post a link to a public announcement as soon as one is available.