Wednesday, February 27, 2008

There's a new sheriff in town--thanks, Green Bag!

Thanks to the Green Bag, there's going to be a new rankings system to compete with the USNWR rankings. Various blogs (including mine, here) have mentioned Green Bag's new Deadwood Report: see Inside Higher Education and Brian Leiter, along with the original article in the Green Bag.

Here's what the Deadwood Report can do: it can focus on what law schools are doing now, rather than on some halo effect from what they did years ago; it can link claims of what schools say that they're doing with proof of what they are actually doing; it can force schools to acknowledge that they're basing claims of excellence on a few top performers rather than on a deep bench of strong players; and it can get us away from the damnable opinion-based rankings to a more transparent system based on verifiable data.

Are there going to be bugs in the system? Sure there are. But, as Dave Van Zandt has said for years, the reason that USNWR is so popular is that consumers crave any data at all. Now there's a competing system, and it's one that may have some teeth behind it. Bravo, Green Bag!


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