March 31, 2006
US News Law School Rankings for 2007 Now Available Online
Get 'em while they're hot. You can now subscribe to the 2007 US News Law School Rankings.
Meanwhile, co-founder of the Law Professor Blogs Network and editor of TaxProf Blog, Paul Caron, has published an analysis of the rise and fall of law schools based on the 2007 data. See Biggest Moves in New 2007 U.S. News Law School Rankings. See also the latest installment in Paul's analysis of Princeton Review's Law School Rankings in Princeton Review's Law School Rankings: Career Rating.
Is gaining/losing 1, 2, 3, or even 4 places in the rankings meaningful (when the ranking is below the Top 10)? For example, Tulane declined by 2 places but how can one downgrade any law school that operated in exile after Katrina?
Moving up 5 or 6 or more places or down 5 or 6 or more places in the rankings may be meaningful but even that is somewhat debatable. Bottom line: pat yourself on the back if your school moved up 7 or 8 or more places in the rankings!
Note: Some folks thought I wasn't joking. I was! In my mind the only sense one can make out of the US News rankings is to view the trend of a particular school over time. I wish US News would make that easier to do for potential law school students by listing each school's rank for all prior years. Quality could then be measured by incremental progress or stability.
Advice to potential law school students: For schools you are interested in, find the trend for peer assessment. Also compare the trend of the relative ranking of students by GPA and LSAT to peer assessment. Look for red flags like law school student bodies ranking higher than the same school's faculty. Finally, ignore the employment data. As Brian Leiter has stated time and time again, the reported employment numbers are "works of the imagination." See e.g. New U.S. News Rankings of Law Schools: Facts and Fictions. Either US News should stop using employment data as a ranking factor or the American Association of Law Schools should aggressively audit employment reporting, and sanction those law schools that practice creative accounting.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference US News Law School Rankings for 2007 Now Available Online: