I know U.S. News is head shoulders above the rest when it comes to the list that matters the most in the perception of the world BUT it is certainly NOT the best list in my opinion. So what is the best list based on methodology, career prospects, admission data, reputation, etc? I mean, the whole purpose of these lists is to determine which schools will give you, the prospective law student, the best chance of success. I know that no list is perfect, but there has to be some kind of hierarchy. U.S. News cannot possibly be the best list out there...even if it is the most used and watched list.
U.S. News is the best ranking out there right now and it does factor in the most important aspects. However, my objection to their rankings is the reliance on personal opinion of reputation from unqualified persons. I call these persons unqualified because a judge in New York or Hawaii is unlikely to have any experience with a graduate of a Texas law school, yet they are asked to rank the school. Because of this, anything below the top 50 is going to be a regional school and anyone outside the region is less likely to be able to accurately assess the quality of the graduates. Therefore, the further down the list you go, the less the actual ranking matters.(On an aside, I suspect this favors schools in more densely populated regions like the Northeast, etc. potentially giving them an artificial boost up the rankings.)
http://www.cooley.edu/rankings/nfl_analogy.htmlhttp://www.cooley.edu/rankings/overall2010.htmlSomeone really should congradulate Cooley; they went from #12 in their own rankings up to #2 beat only by Harvard.Take that Princton, Yale,etc,etc.......
... it is foolish to seek a ranking system better than U.S. News. It's not a question of perfection. It's a question of filters. Aside from the fact that U.S. News is the ranking system because it is believed to be that system (a statement that could be said of the legal system as well), it factors in just about every reasonably factor-able factor to be factored. If one disagrees with a specific variable, fine; refigure that according to your preferences. But it won't make a measureable difference on employers.