November 20, 2009
The Rankings Question
Today at a lunch for prospective students, I was asked "should the rankings matter when we make a decision on where to go to law school?"
My first instinct was to answer "no," and then describe the usual litany of complaints lodged against the U.S. News rankings (which clearly were what he was referring to). However, his question was not if the rankings were accurate or even if they had a correlation to quality, but if they should matter in choosing a law school.
At some level, the answer is "yes." Higher-ranked schools offer more opportunities, at a very basic level. Sure, this may be built on artifice, but it simply is true. In the end, that is what I told the student, and then elaborated on some of the things that the rankings do not measure that truly matter in the student experience.
What would you have said?
-- Mark Osler