Law School Rankings

US News Strips St. Thomas From This Year's Numerical Rankings Over Reporting Error; Dean Protests

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After an admission by University of St. Thomas School of Law that it had misreported employment data for recent graduates to U.S. News & World Report, the magazine has stripped the Minneapolis institution of its numerical listing in the latest version of the magazine’s annual law school rankings.

Bob Morse, who oversees the rankings as the magazine’s director of research, said St. Thomas will be included on the numerical list again next year, the National Law Journal reports. St. Thomas is now included among unranked law schools in the lowest group on the list.

The law school voluntarily disclosed earlier this month that it had listed two different figures for the percentage of employed graduates among the Class of 2010. The correct figures showed that 51, or 32.9 percent of the total of 155 graduates were known to be employed at graduation, but U.S. News showed that 125 graduates, or 80.6 percent, were employed, according to stories in the MinnLawyer Blog and the Star Tribune at that time.

The dean protested that St. Thomas has been treated more harshly than two other law schools that admitted some officials had inflated data, the the University of Illinois College of Law and Villanova University School of Law.

“When other law schools lied, you called on all law schools to protect the integrity of the data and ultimately the reporting,” wrote Dean Thomas Mengler in a March 26 letter to Morse. “We did that even for an unintentional mistake. And while we are willing to live with the unfortunate consequences, I fear your decision will serve as a disincentive for others to self-report errors.”

Related coverage: “ABA Raps Villanova re Inaccurate Admission Data, Says Law School Must Post Censure Online” “US News Won’t Recalibrate Law School Rankings Despite Word of More U of Illinois Data Errors” “ABA Legal Ed Section to Draft a Standard Specifying Penalties for Schools That Misrepresent Data” “Double Fast Track: ABA Drafts Tougher Reporting Requirements for Law Schools”

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