July 23, 2008
U.S. News Law School Rankings: Is Simson's "Enough" Enough?
Brian Leiter (Chicago) and others have demonstrated that the U.S. News methodology for ranking law schools is susceptible to manipulation by law schools and, in general, is a poor measure of a law school's quality of education and scholarly contributions. See generally, Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings. In response to Bob Morse's recent blog post that formula changes are being considered by U.S. News, Case Western Dean Gary J. Simson writes:
I propose that law school faculties and administrations treat the announcement as a wake-up call and recognize how much they have allowed themselves to be at the mercy of editors whose primary interest is selling magazines, rather than providing a means of ranking schools that actually might promote the things that make for genuine greatness in a law school. This announcement, and the wrench that it threatens to throw into structural changes that have been made to avoid being disadvantaged by a deeply flawed methodology, should cause law school faculties and administrations everywhere to finally say "enough" and that they are done participating in a ranking system that has done substantial harm and little, if any, good to legal education in the United States. Even the faculty and administration at the most highly ranked schools — those schools that today appear to be winning in the rankings game — should recognize that they have a major stake in abandoning a system that, at some magazine editors' whim, could be suddenly revamped in ways that could send those schools plummeting from their lofty perch
Read Dean Simson's entire National Law Journal statement: Say 'enough' to 'U.S. News'. On the formula changes under consideration, see our earlier post: Fiddling with the US News Law School Ranking Formula. [JH]
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