Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How U.S. News Ranks Legal Writing Programs

Once again, U.S. News has requested my assessment of law school legal writing  programs for the purpose of computing its rankings of these programs. I haven't responded in several years and don't know if I will this year.

Here is how the procedure works. I receive a list of ABA accredited law schools and am requested to place an "x" next to the names of up to 15 law schools with top programs. U.S. News compiles the survey results and, based solely on this information, compiles its rankings.  That's  it.

I probably know as much as anyone about LW programs around the  country, but still am in no position to rank them. High rankers tend  to be law schools whose LW profs are heavily involved  in national LW organizations and who publicize their school's efforts. Being active on the Legal Writing Institute listserv seems to help. In my opinion, some schools deserve to have ended up with high rankings, but some do not. In any  case,  the rankings process is far from reliable.


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