Friday, November 16, 2007

Gresham's law school rankings

Thomas Gresham
Portrait of Thomas Gresham by Anthonis Mor (ca. 1554)
News flash: The U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of law schools don't measure what law students care about. So says an article in the November 2007 issue of The National Jurist.

The A.B.A. Journal's summary is as revealing as it is succinct:
The top factors named by law students were quality of teaching, bar passage rate, placement rate at nine months, practical skills training and faculty-student relations. But U.S. News doesn’t consider quality of teaching, practical skills training or faculty-student relations, while bar passage rate and placement have low importance in the U.S. News rankings.

In U.S. News, reputation among law professors and deans accounts for 25 percent of a law school’s rank, while reputation by judges and lawyers accounts for 15 percent. That is followed by placement rate at nine months after graduation (14 percent), median LSAT scores (12.5 percent) and undergrad GPA (10 percent).
MoneyLaw contributor Paul Caron offers even deeper details on his home blog:

NLJ chart
Thomas Gresham understood. In polling methodology as in monetary policy, bad money drives out good.

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