US News Warns Wannabe Law Students About ‘Absolutely Incorrect’ Use of Rankings
The rankings czar at U.S. News & World Report is concerned about a survey suggesting his results are so influential that they are driving choices for some would-be law students.
The survey of nearly 1,400 aspiring lawyers by Kaplan Test Prep asked October test takers to identify the factor most important to them in choosing a law school. Thirty percent said ranking is most critical, 24 percent identified geographic location, 19 percent said academic programming, 12 percent said affordability, and 8 percent said job placement statistics, according to a press release.
Those findings trouble Robert Morse, the director of data and research for U.S. News. “If prospective students or their advisers are using the U.S. News law school rankings as the only basis to choose one law school over another, that would be the absolutely incorrect usage of the rankings,” he writes at his Morse Code blog.
“As prospective law school students research and weigh different schools’ intangible attributes, U.S. News’ rankings can help them compare each school’s academic excellence. However, rankings should only supplement—and not replace—careful thought and emphasis on all the factors that really matter. The rankings can inform a person’s thinking, but they shouldn’t be used as the easy answer. We urge everyone to use them wisely.”