I think it's a given that the top 14 schools have ALWAYS been the top 14. I should clarify my question and ask what about the rest of the 180+ schools (granted, some of them are fairly new)? How were they "classified" by the legal community without the USN&WR?
For hypothetical purposes, lets say there were only 100 law schools 25 years ago (I have no idea, just shooting off the top of my head) and lets NOT TALK ABOUT THE T14 SCHOOLS FOR ONE MOMENT ON THIS MESSAGE BOARD (sheesh!), how did firms match up a Wisconsin versus an Illinois, or a Washington-St.Louis versus University of Texas?