Law School Discussion

The Interplay between Ranking Criteria and Effects


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The Interplay between Ranking Criteria and Effects
« on: February 26, 2006, 12:06:53 PM »
The Interplay between Ranking Criteria and Effects: Toward Responsible Rankings
Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington

The law school rankings published by US News and World Report have changed and continue to change the law school world. Are the rankings accurate? Are they changing schools for the better? As measures of educational quality, the US News rankings are seriously flawed. They overweight criteria that matter little, such as bar pass rate. They exclude criteria that matter greatly, such as job satisfaction. Two of the seemingly valid criteria incorporated into the US News rankings are illusory. The reputation surveys done by US News do not tap into independent professional opinion but instead measure opinions which are influenced by US News and, thus, add little reliability to the results that would be reached on other criteria. A more serious problem is the effect of US News rankings on the operation of law schools and students who desire admission. The rankings have created incentives for students who want to be lawyers to go to schools that have grade inflation and take easy courses at those schools. The US News rankings have created incentives for schools to teach to the bar exam, spend money on glossy publications, raise tuition, increase the number of transfer students accepted, and admit students according to their ability to bubble in multiple-choice answer sheets rather than their prospects for contributing to the learning environment at the law school or their prospects for becoming effective and responsible lawyers.
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Re: The Interplay between Ranking Criteria and Effects
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2006, 12:16:11 PM »