The rankings should include at least some factors that aren't directly tied to the intelligence of the incoming class and the student created "prestige" of the university.Think about it, if you took the smartest kids in the Nation and put them in a school ranked around 80, eventually, more employers would start interviewing on that campus. I guess it's a bit of a chicken/egg debate, but I think the intelligence of students creates future prestige, not vice versa.
* * * I will just make this final comment to anyone considering law school. If you are not going to an elite school Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Yale, just schools of that elk. Do not get caught up in the rankings, go to a school in the location you want to live. Do not go to the 89th best school in Timbuktu and turn down the 117th best school in the area you want to live in. If you go outside of the elite schools for the most part you are going to end up in the location you go to school. Obviously, there are exceptions, but you are going to create some big hurdles for yourself and no employer is going to go out of their way to recruit across country from the 89th best law school if they have the 102nd best school in the same city.
You are right rankings have some merit, certainly Hastings is more respected than GGU in the Bay Area and University of San Diego is more respected than California Western in San Diego. The rankings mean something, but once you get concerned about rankings and attending a slightly higher ranked school outside of the location you want to work in you get in trouble. If you take my situation last year I nearly made a HORRENDOUS decision based on U.S. News rankings. I have always wanted to live and work in San Francisco and for some idiotic reason I thought going to Michigan State would give me a better chance of accomplishing that than going to Golden Gate. Michigan State was t-3 and GGU was a t-4 so the ranking was technically higher. However, had I gone to MSU I would have created a massive hurdle for myself and nobody in San Francisco would be that impressed at the distinction between 110 and 132 or whatever the difference between a t-3 and t-4 might be.I do want to say I am shocked at how ridiculous the formula for the rankings is. To have 40% based on completely subjective opinions of unidentified agents of a private company is shocking. In reality the only two objective ranking things that are measured in the ranking formula are LSAT score and Bar Passage and they only make up only 12% of the schools rankings, which is baffling to me. The other factors can be toyed with and manipulated and it really does surprise me that such a horrendous formula carries so much weight in student's decisions to attend law school.
I do want to say I am shocked at how ridiculous the formula for the rankings is. To have 40% based on completely subjective opinions of unidentified agents of a private company is shocking.
This is why it's useful NOT to think of rankings as linear--as we tend to do (T14, etc...).
Honestly, the only piece of the formula that is objective in their entire formula the LSAT and bar passage rate make up only 12% of it and the rest is nearly entirely subjective and gives U.S. news way to much power in my opinion. Maybe someone out there loves the rankings and thinks it is great, but I think it is really wrong. \