Thursday, August 8, 2013

Best Proposal I Have Heard in a Long Time

As regular readers of this blog know, I have long lamented the pernicious influence that the U.S. News law rankings have had on legal education.  Now, Brian Leiter has a simple solution to the problem of U.S. News's hold on law schools.

"Since the theme of both the WP and my commentary on it has been 'deregulation in the service of experimentation,' let me conclude with a suggestion about how ABA regulation could make a constructive contribution:  the ABA should prohibit all member law schools from participating in 'evaluation' exercises by profit-making organizations, such as U.S. News.   U.S. News comes in for some appropriate criticism in the WP, though perhaps not enough.  The misleading and fraudulent employment data reported by law schools that I've written about for more than a decade was all brought about by U.S. News (which created an incentive to massage the numbers); U.S. News also creates the idiotic incentive to spend as much as possible, without regard to efficiency.   If the ABA were to bring about an end to the U.S. News 'reign of terror' it would, immediately, eliminate the worst incentive in legal education--one that trumps 'law school culture' and 'market insulation.'  By getting the idiotic U.S. News rankings out of the picture, the ABA would also make it easier for new and innovative models of legal education to flourish."

(Scott Fruehwald)

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I would applaud such a change, but the US News ranking will not go away. They will still rank school on publicly available information. The quality of the ranking means almost nothing to them. They simply want to sell the rankings. Most consumers have very little knowledge of dimensions used in the ranking and, perhaps more importantly, the variables not included in the ranking (quality of education for example).

Posted by: JGK | Aug 17, 2013 8:19:57 PM

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