Top Law Schools are leaving US News Rankings

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by felderga, Nov 22, 2022.

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  1. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    Columbia, Georgetown, and Stanford are joining UC Berkeley in leaving the list of US News rankings of law schools. The top reason cited centers around the methodology of not recognizing the public service work of students as well as the pursuit of earning other graduate or doctorate degrees by some students. I wonder if we will see other departures as well as across other key disciplines.

    https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2022/11/21/columbia-georgetown-and-stanford-law-schools-quit-‘us-news’?utm_campaign=ihesocial&utm_content=the_law_schools_of_columb&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
     
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    But USNRW isn't leaving them. It will still rank the non-participating law schools and substitute its own estimates where data are not available. This has the effect of lowering a school's ranking.
     
  3. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    They will come back. I remember George Washington University was not participating in 2000's; I guest their enrollment was dropped. Then GWU came back to the ranking.
     
    felderga likes this.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I hope they don't come back. Rankings delenda est.
     
  5. SweetSecret

    SweetSecret Active Member

    I saw this but did not post because I was not aware of any others on the board other than myself planning to attend law school in the future. Personally, I do not care what USNWR says regarding rankings, but I am happy to see these schools pulling out to make a statement and at least try to find better ways to help those planning to enter public interest law. For myself and others who have this sort of goal, the law school rankings are simply not helpful. I created a spreadsheet listing all of the schools with the ranges for UGPAs and LSAT score along with State Bar pass rate versus school bar pass rate, debt to income ratio, tuition, and any great opportunities the school offers in terms of classes, internships externships, etc. I then sorted based on debt to income ratio and bar pass rates. I went down that list and figured out which ones I thought I might have a shot at located in areas I could handle living in. Even my system is not perfect though. It's fully possible that the reasons certain law schools have low to income ratio relates to accepting mostly students who come from wealthy families capable of paying up front. It would be nice if there was a website to voted specifically to finding out how much in funding people receive based on income ranges (high, medium, low), and whether that funding is conditional on grades etc or not. I would also like to see rankings for which law schools offer the most bar prep assistance and the pass rates, or even rankings for which offer the most electives and other interesting opportunities. USNWR law school rankings are extremely subjective.

    I was going to try and apply to law school this spring but it looks like I'm going to be applying next September instead because of how busy I have been, and all of a sudden I'm hearing that September is the best time to apply. I've been going back and forth on this but honestly I think it might be the best bet to see how things change after these schools have pulled out. I am going to be very interested in watching the Law School Numbers website to see if the school start taking more diverse and interesting candidates right away or if they will ease in if at all.
     
    datby98 likes this.
  6. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Rankings are just one metric in which prospective students utilize for creating their short list of schools. Rankings are...interesting. I enjoy seeing the rankings of various programs.

    That said, these law schools pulling out of the USNWR will not impact their application numbers, quality of applicants, etc. Stanford is Stanford, UC Berkeley is UC Berkeley, so on and so forth. These schools do not need to have a ranking to be prestigious, selective, and produce good career outcomes for their students.
     
  7. imbanewbie

    imbanewbie New Member

    When the university used the ranking for charging more money to the student.
     
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Having seen many lawyers in action over the years, I’m convinced that you either have what it takes to be a good litigator, or you don’t. Where you get your J.D. doesn’t make all that much difference (IMO).

    I watched a civil trial where a lawyer who graduated from New England Law (ABA-accredited but not exactly top-tier) absolutely mopped the floor with opposing counsel who graduated from Harvard and Harvard Law.
     
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  9. SweetSecret

    SweetSecret Active Member

    I know I may not hear the end of this, but this is exactly the sort of example of why I often am not inclined to pay big money for a law school with a wider range of offerings and services (i.e. sports). People are either going to study or they won't, and some are more naturally inclined. I also know I won't utilize things like an on-campus gym and such so I don't understand the point in paying for them. I would rather just pay for my classes.
     
    Rachel83az likes this.
  10. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    For any type of ranking system of some sort, I usually take it with a grain of salt. It's great for referencing but there are so many different methodologies for each and every one of these types of rankings. I usually look at their wiki page and some institutions will have their respective rankings from multi sources... A couple of institutions were 'caught' trying to manipulate the results, so they rank higher, that backfired big time...
     
  11. 10 years of litigating has taught me one important thing when it comes to law school rankings...it really doesn't matter. Some schools feed into federal clerkships and "big law". If you're interested in those, you absolutely need to go to one of the feeders schools. I graduated from what most considered the lowest ranking law school. I've crushed a few Harvard and Ivy League grads. I've also encountered a couple of those grads that would crush me. It really all depends upon the body of work that a person puts in after passing the bar.
     
    felderga, Bruce, SweetSecret and 2 others like this.
  12. SweetSecret

    SweetSecret Active Member

    Thank you for posting this. Always good to have the personal stories like this to refer back to when making decisions such as which law school to attend.
     
  13. datby98

    datby98 Active Member

    Universities worldwide also follow the law of normal distribution. So the vast majority of lawyers and attorneys across the globe, who graduated from "middle-class" law schools, instead, are driving the law ecosystem on this planet, whether bad or good. I have a law master's degree also from one of them, but I don't care as it is for self-actualization, not for making a living.
     
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I would suggest there is no such "law." Many, many distributions are not normal. In fact, I suspect most measured are not.

    In statistics, many non-normal distributions can be treated as normal for comparative purposes. But that doesn't make them normal.

    The notion that the impact of law schools should be examined from the middle instead of the extremes is an intriguing one. But it is at the extremes where interesting, click-worthy news is made.
     

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