First off, no one has berated you.
The U.S. News rankings don't rank lawyers- they rank schools. Part of ranking a school (maybe the only important part in this economy) is job prospects coming out of the school. It is absolutely, 100% possible that the number 1 student out of Memphis is more brilliant than the number 1 student out of Yale. Yet Yale will have much better job opportunities anywhere in the country... therefore, at least in career prospects, Yale still beats Memphis. Not because the lawyers coming out Yale are better, but because Yale provides a better service (through better career prospects).
There is no way to have a perfect system. My original idea (which we seem to be drifting away from) was not to perfect the U.S. News rankings. It was to take the existing U.S. News rankings, keep their current formulas and calculations, and improve on them.
You’ve just proved my point. Contrary to Cool Beans, you’ve interpreted the title “Top 100 Law Schools” to indicate job prospects. That’s NOT what it aims to do (please don’t take my word for it, look it up). That’s NOT what it does (surely you don’t believe their report is telling you that a #40 school has greater job prospects than a #60 school). It does include employment rate as one of its 12 indicators but those stats can easily be found on LSAC.org or the school’s site.
There’s an article written by a Judge Louis Pollak of Pennsylvania titled "Why Trying to Rank Law Schools Numerically Is a Non-Productive Undertaking: An Article on the U.S. News & World Report 2009 List of “The Top 100 Schools."
Here’s the link:http://www.drexel.edu/law/lawreview/issues/articles_v1_n1/Pollak.pdf
It’s funny but he and I make some very similar points.
I’m just curious, are you looking for some external publication to give your school of choice more credibility than that which is already given by the American Bar Association, your community, and your school’s current alum?
Also, a few months ago I posted my opinion on what USNWR actually does. You’re not a newbie here so I’m sure you know how to find it if you’re interested.