It’s been a week since Yale Law School announced it would no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report education rankings. Since then, nine other law schools have followed suit, with more likely on the way.
Law.com has been and will continue to be at the forefront of covering these developments. We’ll be updating this page regularly with news and analysis as more schools announce their decisions and these highly-influential rankings undergo potentially profound changes.
US News Sheds More Light on Methodology Changes to Law School Rankings
In an interview with Law.com on Friday, a U.S. News & World Report spokesperson provided more detail on changes to the methodology of the publication’s popular law school rankings.
St. John’s Law Withdraws From US News Rankings Despite Methodology Changes
At one time, the rankings provided a valuable service to prospective law students because the company collected and disseminated information that wasn’t otherwise available elsewhere, but the American Bar Association has been collecting far more data and it is available for free, St. John Law Dean Michael A. Simons said in a letter to prospective students.
US News Ranking Methodology Changes Prompt Another Law School to Pull Out
The new rankings methodology announced earlier this week by U.S. News “fails to address many of the most fundamental flaws with its ranking system and, in many ways, compounds them,” UC Law SF Chancellor and Dean David Faigman wrote in a three-page statement.
In Wake of Law School Boycotts, US News Announces Changes
After more than 10% of law schools announced they will no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report education rankings, the news agency sent a letter to law deans Monday informing them of methodology changes, but at least one dean is calling the move “too little, too late.”
With California Western Law’s Announcement, Nearly 10% of Law Schools Have Bailed on US News Rankings
“While we work to broaden the school’s national visibility, we will do so based on our values and our merits,” Sean M. Scott, president and dean of California Western School of Law, said in a Dec. 20 announcement.
UNH Law Follows Exodus of Law Schools From US News Rankings
“I firmly believe that by suspending our participation in the U.S. News rankings we can best fulfill our founding vision to stop talking about what is wrong with legal education and continue to transform it,” UNH Law Dean Megan Carpenter said.
Campbell Law First Lower-Ranked School to Boycott US News Rankings
Campbell Law is the first law school from the “No. 147-192″ tier of the U.S. News rankings to announce its nonparticipation.
UVA Law Last of the T14s to Announce US News Rankings Boycott
The University of Virginia School of Law is the last of the T14 law schools to announce that it will no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report education rankings, joining 11 other T14s (and 15 law schools in total) who have also pulled out.
University of Washington Law Pulls Out of US News Rankings
“Since its founding, our school has prided itself on preparing lawyers to work for the public good while expanding access to the legal profession and justice for underserved communities,” UW Law Dean Tamara F. Lawson wrote, adding that the rankings undermine those efforts.
George Mason Law Becomes 5th School to Announce Plans to Continue with US News Rankings
“Having said that, the rankings system needs reform, especially the subjective reputational survey,” Dean Ken Randall said.
NYU Law Joins 14 Other Schools Not Participating in US News Rankings
“Prospective law students need accurate information as they consider which school best fits their goals in pursuing a legal education,” Troy McKenzie, dean and Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law, wrote in a letter to the NYU Law community. “At one time, U.S. News may have provided information that could not be found elsewhere” but “[t]hat has changed.”
No. 6-Ranked Penn Carey Law Says It Won’t Participate in US News Rankings
The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School announced Friday that it would no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report education rankings.
University of Georgia School of Law Says It Will Stick With US News Rankings
UGA, which was ranked 29th on the most recent U.S. News list, is the fourth law school to say that it has no plans to withdraw from the process.
No. 16-Ranked Washington University Law Says It Will Not Bail on the US News Rankings
“Prospective law students should have multiple robust sources of information about law schools, and I am generally in favor of making information available,” WashULaw Dean Russell Osgood told Law.com. “School websites can be incomplete, misleading or simply hard to compare.”
UC Davis Law Becomes 5th California Law School to Pull Out of US News Rankings
UC Davis Law Dean Kevin R. Johnson cited “major flaws” with the rankings, adding that law schools have made a good-faith effort to work with U.S. News on improvements, but “U.S. News has failed to meaningfully change the rankings methodology.”
Cornell Law Will Continue to Participate in US News Rankings
“The reality is that U.S. News & World Report is a journalistic enterprise, and they don’t need anyone’s permission, including mine, to publish a ranking, and they have ready access to information from the ABA and other public sources to construct their rankings,” Cornell Law Dean Jens David Ohlin wrote in his statement.
UChicago Law Says It Will Not Follow Others in Boycotting US News Rankings
“The rankings of academic institutions clearly have a readership, and we wish to prevent the use of inaccurate information,” Dean Thomas J. Miles said.
Fourth California Law School Withdraws From US News Rankings
“The response by U.S. News to recent announcements by other law schools that have also chosen to withdraw—without responding to the substance of any of the significant issues raised—has caused greater concern, contributing to our decision,” University of California, Irvine School of Law Dean Austen Parrish wrote in a statement to the community Wednesday.
UCLA Law Becomes the First Non-T14 School to Dump the US News Rankings
“We are under no illusion that UCLA Law’s decision will have a substantial impact on how law schools are evaluated by U.S. News,” Interim Dean Russell Korobkin continued. “Approximately 80 percent of a law school’s U.S. News ‘score’ is based on publicly available data and the surveys of reputation that U.S. News itself conducts, so U.S. News undoubtedly will continue to rank all of the law schools, perhaps with only minor methodological adjustments.
With Duke Law, There Are Now 9 T14 Law Schools Boycotting US News Rankings
“[W]e believe that the U.S. News law school rankings” have become detrimental to legal education since “the rankings rely on flawed survey techniques and opaque and arbitrary formulas, lacking the transparency needed to help applicants make truly informed decisions,” Dean Kerry Abrams told the Duke Law community Monday.
Northwestern Law Becomes 8th T14 to Bail on US News Rankings
“[W]e are troubled that U.S. News relies in part on unverified data reported by law schools that can significantly impact outcomes,” Northwestern Law Dean Hari Osofsky wrote. “This approach has implications for the accuracy and fairness of the rankings,” further pointing out that law schools can only gain access to specific data by paying U.S. News.
University of Michigan Law Becomes 7th Law School to Boycott US News Rankings
“At its inception, U.S. News law school rankings provided valuable information for consumers—most importantly, students—that had not previously been widely available,” but “[t]his is no longer true” since “many more consumer information resources are available today,” Dean Mark West said in a letter to the Michigan Law community.
Stanford Law Pulls Out of US News Rankings, Joining 5 Other T14 Law Schools
Half a dozen law schools have now announced that they will no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report education rankings, with Stanford Law School publicizing its decision late Friday night.
Columbia Law Becomes 5th School to Cease Participating in US News Rankings
“The potential benefits to be gained from continuing to share data with U.S. News are far outweighed by the constraints the rankings place on our ability to freely pursue our core scholarly, pedagogical, and programmatic objectives,” Columbia Law Dean Gillian Lester said.
Georgetown Law Becomes the Latest to Withdraw From US News Rankings
The Georgetown University Law Center announced Friday that it will cease participating in the U.S. News & World Report education rankings, becoming the fourth law school to do so this week.
Berkeley Law Joins Yale and Harvard in Rejecting US News Rankings
“Although rankings are inevitable and inevitably have some arbitrary features, there are aspects of the U.S. News rankings that are profoundly inconsistent with our values and public mission,” Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at Berkeley, said in a statement emailed to Law.com on Thursday.
Harvard Law Follows Yale Law in Pulling Out of US News Rankings
“We at HLS have made this decision because it has become impossible to reconcile our principles and commitments with the methodology and incentives the U.S. News rankings reflect,” Harvard Law Dean John F. Manning said in a statement.
Yale Law Dean Says School No Longer Participating in ‘Profoundly Flawed’ US News Rankings
“I wanted to give U.S. News a chance to change and they didn’t,” Yale Law School Dean Heather K. Gerken told Law.com. “Now is a time to take a step back—especially because this is a moment when economic equity is at the center of conversations at every university about the role university play in society—it is a time to reflect.”
Ahead of the Curve: Why Some Law Schools Are Sticking With the US News Rankings
This week, we’re continuing to analyze the law schools that have pulled out of the U.S. News education rankings—and looking at the reasons some have given for continuing to participate.
Ahead of the Curve: Analyzing the Exodus of Law Schools From the US News Rankings
This week, we’re reviewing the T14 law schools that have declined to continue participating in the U.S. News education rankings.
As More Law Schools Drop Out, Are the US News Rankings in Danger?
Observers remain split on whether these moves will inflict any lasting damage on the highly influential publication.
Previous US News Coverage
‘They Can’t Tell You How You Will Fit In Culturally’: Why the US News Rankings Alone Shouldn’t Dictate Law School Choices
“It’s really impossible to come up with a one-size-fits-all rankings list,” said Aaron Taylor, executive director for AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence.
Ahead of the Curve: Law Schools React to US News Rankings
This week, we’re exploring what law schools had to say about the 2023 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School rankings released Tuesday.
Significant Shake-up Among 2023 US News Law School Rankings as Harvard Drops Out of Top 3
U.S. News & World Report has unveiled its 2023 Best Graduate Schools rankings. And while Yale Law School continued its long-running streak at No. 1, there were still plenty of significant changes near the top of the list, including Harvard Law School being bumped out of the top three for the first time since 1990.
The US News Law School Rankings Are Here, But Has Their Credibility Taken a Hit?
The new rankings have some familiar names at the top, a new student debt metric and the first-ever HBCU law school in the top 100.
US News’ Rough Year Just Got Worse: Law School Rankings Changed a Third Time
Problems with a metric related to law librarian teaching prompted U.S. News to change the overall law schools ranking just two days before its official release.
US News Makes Last-Minute Changes to Law School Rankings, Fueling Criticism and Concern
Legal educators are decrying what they see as multiple missteps by U.S. News & World Report in its handling of the upcoming law school rankings.