April 4, 2005
Indiana to Host April 15 Symposium on Next Generation Law School Rankings
It is Yada Yada Time
The number one topic among law school profs right now is the recently released US News Law School rankings. Most profs (read those at law schools ranked lower than the Top 10-15-25, pick a range) are once again complaining that the US News ranking system is unfair for one reason or another. Except for Professor Brian Leiter (Texas), few law profs have made much of a concerted effort to do something about the tyranny of the US News ranking system until now.
I'm happy to report that two fellow Law Professor Blog Network bloggers from the University of Cincinnati College of Law (tied at 58-62 this year - not a good thing) are doing something about it. Professors Paul Caron (TaxProf Blog) and Rafael Gely (LaborProf Blog) have organized a symposium on The Next Generation of Law School Rankings to be held at Indiana-Bloomington on April 15, 2005.
Yes, yes, I know. You weren't really expecting Paul and Rafael to picket the corporate headquarters of US News, were you?
Enough poking fun. Rankings are important. As someone who once worked for a law firm that hired the top 10 of the top 10 -- students who placed in the top 10 percent of their class from schools that ranked in the top 10, I know first hand how high rankings can help students get good jobs.
High rankings also help schools attract talented professors. And high rankings soothe the egos of professors who graduated from schools that rank higher than the schools they are employed at (and, just between you and me, high rankings make getting an appointment at a higher ranked law school much easier).
Here is the lineup of the paper presenters and their topics, as well as the commentators:
Framing the Rankings Debate
- Richard A. Posner (Chicago; 7th Circuit): Evaluating Law School Rankings (paper only)
- Cass R. Sunstein (Chicago): Rethinking Law Schools: A Market Test?
- Scott A. Baker (North Carolina), Stephen Choi (NYU) & Gaurang Mitu Gulati (Georgetown): “Information Forcing” Rationale for Rat Races in Law School Rankings
- Bernard S. Black (Texas) & Paul L. Caron (Cincinnati): The Uses and Limits of SSRN in Measuring Scholarly Impact
- Wendy Espeland (Northwestern) & Michael Sauder (Northwestern): The Benefits of Multiple Evaluations: A Comparison of Law and Business School Rankings
- Tracey E. George (Vanderbilt): Law Schools and the New Legal Science
- William Henderson (Indiana-Bloomington) & Andrew P. Morriss (Case): The Influence of Population Migration on U.S. News Rankings
- Jeffrey E. Stake (Indiana-Bloomington): The Interplay of Rankings Criteria and Their Effects
Other Voices in the Rankings Debate
- Alex M. Johnson, Jr. (Dean, Minnesota): Destruction of the Holistic Approach to Admissions: The Pernicious Effect of Rankings
- Gene R. Nichol (Dean, North Carolina): Law Schools, Rankings, and Public Mission
- Nancy B. Rapoport (Dean, Houston): Eating Our Cake and Having It, Too: Why Real Change Is So Difficult in Law Schools
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