U.S. News revises its law school rankings

U.S. News & World Report is modifying the way it compiles its annual law school rankings.

The change comes on the heels of several high-profile schools opting out of participation in the rankings because of issues they had with the ranking system. Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Michigan, and California Berkeley have all decided to forgo participation in the rankings. To be clear, that doesn’t mean they will not be listed in the rankings just that U.S. News & World Report will only have access to the publicly available information about the schools as opposed to the submitted information schools usually provide.

In response to the defection U.S. News & World Report has decided to lean into using the publicly available data more and weight other data points differently:

“We will rank law schools in the upcoming rankings using publicly available data that law schools annually make available as required by the American Bar Association whether or not schools respond to our annual survey. For schools that do respond, we will publish more detailed profiles, enabling students to create a more comprehensive picture of their various choices.” Said the publication in a letter to Law School Deans.  “For the rankings portion, there will be some changes in how we weight certain data points, including a reduced emphasis on the peer assessment surveys of academics, lawyers and judges, and an increased weight on outcome measures.”

In spite of these changes, U.S. News & World Report says it is still committed to helping students make informed decisions with available data.

Read the full letter here.

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