More law schools abandon US News in latest blow to rankings


Georgetown University
“White-Gravenor Hall of Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA” (iStock)

More law schools abandon US News in latest blow to rankings

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The exodus of prestigious law schools from participation in the US News and World Report rankings has continued, with Georgetown, Stanford, Columbia, and others joining the likes of Yale and Harvard in disassociating from the ranking system.

Each law school echoed similar concerns about the rankings as justification for their withdrawal, primarily focused on the methodology used by US News to formulate them.


“In the spirit of providing useful information to prospective students and improving the ability of law schools to do their best for students, we have been one of a number of law schools who have approached US News over time with concrete suggestions to improve its ranking methodology, to no avail,” Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez said in announcing Stanford’s withdrawal from the rankings.

Stanford Law School is currently placed second behind Yale in the US News rankings.

“By joining with the other schools that have chosen to withdraw from participation in the US News rankings this year, we hope to increase the chances that the methodology is seriously overhauled, not only to reduce perverse incentives but to provide clearer and more relevant information that prospective students would find genuinely useful in making decisions about which law schools best match their interests and needs,” Martinez said.

Duke Law School Dean Kerry Abrams had some of the strongest criticisms of the rankings, saying they were “having a detrimental effect on legal education.” The school is ranked 11th in the latest rankings.

“Although Duke Law has been among the top cohort of institutions in every edition, we have long had serious concerns that the design and influence of these rankings create incentives that are not aligned with our mission and our values,” Abrams said. “At a time of critical focus on access to legal education and the legal profession, we think it’s important to recognize this unfortunate impact and push for change. Therefore, Duke Law will no longer participate in the U.S. News rankings.”

With the latest withdrawals, six out of the top 10 and eight of the top 15 law schools will no longer participate in the rankings. US News has vowed to continue the rankings despite the lack of cooperation from the most recognizable schools.


“A few law schools recently announced that they will no longer participate in the data collection process for the U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings. We respect each institution’s decision to choose whether or not to submit their data to U.S. News,” the magazine said. “However, U.S. News has a responsibility to prospective students to provide comparative information that allows them to assess these institutions. U.S. News will therefore continue to rank the nearly 200 accredited law schools in the United States.”

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