« on: July 28, 2009, 10:11:31 AM »
I got to thinking about the controversy around the US News ranking and its faults. I have an idea that would improve these rankings and make them (IMO) considerably more useful. Instead of having a single overall ranking, divide the country into regions and have regional rankings. Market the rankings to each region, and have them all available via internet. The regions could be divided into things like the Pacific coast and the Southeast... New York would be its own region. Rank the top 100 schools for each region.
For example, the top five in the Pacific may be 1. Stanford, 2. Yale, 3. Harvard, 4. Berkeley, 5. Columbia, where the top five in New York might be 1. Yale, 2. Harvard, 3. Columbia, 4. NYU, 5. Stanford. This is just a guess, but it is possible to imagine that different regions are going to prefer different schools- therefore, one national ranking is insufficient.
The intentions of these rankings would not be to rank schools within regions- U.S. News already does this. If you are applying in New York, a Stanford degree would still be more valuable than a Fordham degree, and a UPenn degree would still get you farther than a UC Davis degree- even in California. The rankings would reflect this. U.S. News could even still have their national rankings, and those could remain unchanged. For example, if John Doe is positive that he wants to work in the Midwest after graduation, he would look at the Midwest rankings, which would probably place Michigan higher than Virginia and Penn. However, if he is unsure where he wants to work, the national rankings would indicate that these schools are pretty much equal (as they already do).
I think that this could be fairly easily implemented and greatly increase the value of rankings for potential law school applicants. Any thoughts?