Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Even if Yale Law may not be #1 in USNews.com rankings much longer...

...it will still #1 for graduates convicted of seditious conspiracy!  I would love to see Mr. Rhodes's application file!

November 30, 2022 in Legal Humor, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

UC Davis joins boycott of USNews.com ranking

Dean Johnson's statement is here.  At this point, the official boycotters are:  Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Berkeley, Michigan, Georgetown, Duke, Northwestern, UCLA, UC Irvine, and UC Davis.   Chicago has declined to join the boycott, and Cornell's status is ambiguous.  No word yet from NYU, Virginia, Penn, Texas, Vanderbilt, Southern California et al.

Unless there is a snowballing of boycott announcements this week, I suspect that the net effect on USNews.com's mischief will be minimal.

November 29, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink

Monday, November 28, 2022

Some law school rankings from the 1970s

Here.

November 28, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Cornell's statement on USNews.com rankings

I think they're not joining the boycott, but it's actually a bit ambiguous.  Dean Ohlin makes many points I've made here, but then note the first sentence of his last paragraph (bold added):

My own view is that the rankings distort academic decision-making, fail to adequately capture institutional quality, and create perverse incentives that are not in the best interests of students or the legal profession.

However, withdrawal from the rankings process will not have the desired impact that many assume that it will have. For one, U.S. News has said that it will continue to rank all law schools regardless of their level of participation. In addition, all law schools are already required to report most of the relevant data used in the rankings to the American Bar Association, and this information is publicly available by ABA rule. This includes LSAT, GPA, acceptance rate, yield, number of courses, faculty head count, average financial aid package, bar passage rates, career outcomes, and more. (This transparency regime was part of a laudable ABA effort to provide applicants with the information necessary to make informed decisions about pursuing a legal education.) Even financial reports about expenditures are publicly available in summary budgets that some universities publish online. The reality is that U.S. News & World Report is a journalistic enterprise, and they don’t need anyone’s permission, including mine, to publish a ranking, and they have ready access to information from the ABA and other public sources to construct their rankings.

 

Whether Cornell Law School ultimately “withdraws” or not from the rankings, what we need is a deeper and more searching conversation about the role that rankings play in law school life, the legal profession, and higher education generally.

Again, I think they're not joining the boycott, but I'm really not sure.  Comments are open if any faculty from Cornell want to clarify.

November 24, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Chicago is not joining the boycott

UC Irvine Law will not cooperate with USNews.com rankings

Announcement here.   This is a much riskier decision for Irvine than for Yale or Harvard, and perhaps signals that schools outside the top ranks will also boycott.

(Thanks to Sameer Ashar for the pointer.)

November 23, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink

A boycott of USNews.com will only succeed if most law schools (not just top law schools) join it

The NYT story noted the other day foolishly invoked the nonsense category "top 14" in discussing schools that were declining to cooperate (UCLA's joining the boycott torpedoed that characterization).  As UCLA Interim Dean Korobkin correctly noted, 80% of the input data is available to USNews.com without the cooperation of the schools.  It will, however, be a lot more work for USNews.com to compile all this data on its own.  The loss of "free labor" by the schools won't matter if only 15 or 20 schools are boycotting.  If 100 or 150 schools are boycotting, that will be different, and could cause a logistical crisis for USNews.com. 

Right now, ten law schools are boycotting.  Because the first two--Yale and Harvard--are extremely prominent that has generated a lot of attention.  But it will take more than ten to create a problem for USNews.com's annual mischief.

November 23, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

UCLA Law will not cooperate with USNews.com, at least this year

The letter from Interim Dean Russell Korobkin, which makes a number of good points about the more general problems with what USNews.com does, that other Deans have not noted:

Continue reading

November 22, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink

Lateral moves, 2012-2022

Professor Lawsky at Northwestern has an interesting analysis of data compiled here over the years.

November 22, 2022 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, November 21, 2022

Michigan Law becomes 7th school to decline to cooperate with USNews.com rankings (UPDATED: also Duke and Northwestern)

Dean West's announcement is here.

UPDATE:  Two more:  Duke and Northwestern.  (Thanks to John Coates for the pointers.)

 

 

 

 

 

November 21, 2022 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink