Wednesday, March 11, 2015
A couple of days ago, I posted my annual "just say no to U.S. News" post. It appears that many in the law school world are saying no to U.S. News. (here and here) According to Dean David Yellen, the response rate for academics has fallen from 67% to 58%. He adds that "Among judges and lawyers, the average response rate over that time period has been 22%. Several years ago, US News started using two years of the judge/lawyer responses each time, probably in recognition of the low response rate. This year, US News did not even publish that response rate. And, they moved to a 3-year average. This strongly suggests that the response rate dropped significantly."
The low response rate for judges/lawyers has been one of my major objections to the usefulness of the law rankings. Now that U.S. News isn't reporting the response rate, it makes me question the rankings even more.
While some significant changes have been made in the rankings criteria, especially in the employment statistics, the law rankings are still more harmful than helpful, particularly due to the gaming. It is encouraging to hear that many in legal education are no longer taking them seriously.