Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Thanks to Ohio State Professor Mary Beth Beazley for tipping me to this short article which criticizes the USNWR ranking of specialty law school programs like IP and legal writing.
The article, not so surprisingly entitled "Ranking Law School Special Programs" is authored by Franklin Pierce Law Center Professor Thomas G. Field, Jr. The article is critical of the present ranking system employed by USNWR noting that the sole basis for specialty rankings are the votes of colleagues some (many?) of whom might not be familiar enough with another school's program to cast an informed vote. Professor Field notes that the rankings in the specialty categories are sometimes separated by a single vote. According to the abstract, available here, on SSRN:
This brief comment notes that, although general law school rankings have been widely criticized. virtually nothing seems to have been said about specialty rankings. It cites criticism based on the author's 1996 study of IP rankings and explains why such rankings have become, if anything, more suspect over time and, for lack of data, incapable of meaningful evaluation.
I am the scholarship dude.