Friday, May 6, 2011

A Proposal for U.S. News Law Rankings

U.S. News has two classifications for medical schools: Research and Primary Care. A similar thing might be done for law schools: Research and Lawyer Preparation. There could be separate reputation rankings for scholarship and teaching, and categories could be weighted differently depending on the classification. For example, bar passage would be more important for the lawyer preparation classification.

This might help with some of the problems that law schools are having in reaction to U.S. News rankings. A school could choose whether they want to be primarily thought of as a research institution or a teaching institution. This would also help students decide what type of law school was best for them.


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I disagree. Schools should not be forced to define themselves as either "primarily research" or "primarily lawyer preparation." Many schools strive to do both things well. What's more, there's a profound difference between "research" in a medical context, and "research" in a legal context -- the distinction doesn't translate neatly from a science-based field (medicine) to one that is not based on science (law). There are many things that can and should be done to improve the accuracy and usefulness of the U.S. News rankings, but this isn't one of them.

Posted by: Barney | May 7, 2011 2:09:55 PM

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