New rankings are out, and Penn is tied at sixth place.
Last year Penn has the lowest academic (4.3, 10th) and lawyer assessment (4.5, 9th in a tie) of almost any school in the top 10 except for Duke, which is also tied and was 11th last year. (http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2007/03/us_news_reputat.html
). I won't argue with the actual way this data is gathered.
Still, I'd like to know
-Why Penn places worse than its peers in this regard
-How it achieves such a higher ranking despite these numbers. If they're lying to usnwr wouldn't another school cry foul? If they've figured out some usnwr loophole wouldn't other schools use the same glitch?
Separately from the rankings issues, I'd like to know
-Why does Penn have such low SCOTUS placement (according to Leiter, linked below)
-When Penn says they were ranked 3rd by a law school student satisfaction survey, I assume they're talking about the Law School Survey of Student Engagement. Anyone have any data on law school student satisfaction? Or can back up Penn's 3rd ranking with the whole list? (http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1114679117976
Leiter asks a similar question and answers by saying that differences in academic/practitioner reputation from usnwr rankings is because usnwr uses highly manipulatable data (http://www.leiterrankings.com/usnews/guide.shtml
). I'd like to find more resources, data, links, articles about Penn and the fudgeable data.
Seto, also linked below, asks why Stanford ranks so highly even though it has a low 75% lsat score relative to Harvard and Yale. His breakdown is extremely interesting and answers my ages-old question about this. Similar comparisons for Penn would be cool. Most helpful would be student expenditure data since that is what drove the Stanford over HLS ranking last year.
Although my question concerns Penn, compiling these links should be useful for anyone comparing schools.
This is what I've got so far:
1. The Puzzle of Penn Law School Ranking (more like this would be ideal)http://agoraphilia.blogspot.com/2005/05/puzzle-of-penn-law-schools-ranking.html
2. How to Rank Law Schools, Leiterhttp://www.law.indiana.edu/ilj/volumes/v81/no1/5_Leiter.pdf
"A whole generation of undergraduates [have] the misleading impression that Penn (#7 of late in U.S. News) and Michigan (#7 or #8 in U.S. News) are actually competitive with Chicago." Lists other examples of schools that are possibly under or over ranked.
3. "Where to Find the Whole Truth" and "The $8.78 Million Dollar Maneuver"
I thought perhaps there was Fall/Spring Part-time/Full-time faculty gaming at Penn like at Columbia, but ABA data show stable numbers. However, additional information on UPenn expenditures might be helpful.
4. Leiter Rankings - only as a check on us news rankings. I understand there's another bag of problems with these.
Penn isn't in the same group as some of its peers for
SCOTUS Placements: http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/1996_06_scotus_clerks.shtml
Teaching Placements: http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2006job_teaching.shtml
But does well for other measures:http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2003faculty_quality.shtml
Business Law: http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2003faculty_businesslaw.shtml
Law and Econ: http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2003faculty_economics.shtml
5. How Employment at 9 Months is calculated, how it can be manipulatedhttp://agoraphilia.blogspot.com/2007/03/how-us-news-calculates-employment-at-9_22.html
6. Understanding the US News Rankingshttp://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=937017&high=%20seto
Lots of interesting stuff based on interviews with the US News ppl. For instance, change the 9 months employment figure by 5% of the worst ranked usnwr school, and you can cause changes in the top 10. (Pg. 19)
7. How Far Will Law School Go to Win the Rankings Game, National Juristhttp://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2007/01/national_jurist.html
Nothing new, but sums up the issues well. Leiter seems to be the only one that wants to "name names".