Law Schools

Last T14 law school announces stance on US News rankings; which two are staying in?

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The final holdout among top 14-ranked law schools has announced it will no longer participate in rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

The University of Virginia School of Law, most recently ranked No. 8, will not provide information to U.S. News & World Report partly because its rankings “fail to capture much of what we value at UVA,” said law dean Risa Goluboff in an open letter Dec. 9. has the story.

The rankings don’t account for efforts to facilitate access to legal education for students from every background; to foster the free exchange of ideas “within a community of joy, humanity and trust;” to provide top-notch teaching; to support public service; and to launch graduates “into the stellar career paths of their choosing,” Goluboff wrote.

Another concern is that nearly all of UVA’s peer law schools have announced that they will also withhold data from U.S. News & World Report, leading to “instability” in the rankings.

“U.S. News has said it will continue to rank all law schools, but it has not said how it will account for the departed schools’ missing information or what changes it might make in response to the critiques law schools have articulated. Schools might move up or down the rankings, perhaps significantly, not because their quality has changed but because U.S. News has changed its formula in ways that are neither transparent nor meaningful,” Goluboff said.

The only top 14 (or the T14, as it is called) law schools continuing to participate in the rankings are the University of Chicago Law School, ranked No. 3, and Cornell Law School, ranked No. 12.

Yale Law School was the first to announce that it would boycott the rankings, citing several concerns. They include U.S. News & World Report’s reliance on grades and test scores, which gives law schools an incentive to use financial aid to recruit high-scoring students, rather than those in need. And schools are incentivized to admit students who don’t need loans because of U.S. News & World Report’s calculations of student-debt loads.

The top 20-ranked law schools are listed here.

See also: “More top law schools boycott US News rankings, but some lower-ranked institutions are reluctant to withdraw” “Which law schools are now boycotting US News rankings? Some say they’re staying in”

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