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February 26, 2008

A new law school ranking system ... and no blog metric?!?!?!

According to this article online at Insider Higer Ed, The Green Bag has a new law school ranking system in the works.  Here is how the article describes the plan:

The Green Bag ... announces in an editorial in its forthcoming issue [that] this spring, it will begin work on the “Deadwood Report,” which it envisions being an annual assessment of “whether faculty members do the work that the law schools say they do.”  The journal acknowledges that the ranking will provide “rough and admittedly partial” measures of law school faculty quality, but posits that by being transparent (it will disclose the sources of its data and how it derives its numbers and rankings from those data), and by bringing more information into public view, “it will help law school applicants make better decisions about where to study or work.... We are trying to do some good here.”

The Green Bag editorial kicking this all off is a very interesting read, though I am not sure it (yet) provides the supposedly transparent reality it aspires to create.  Nevertheless, anyone with a web-based inlking will be interested to see this aspect of the proposed methodology:

An up-to-date web site is a wonderful thing.  That is where we will gather all of our information.  This seems reasonable to us because your web site is surely where most applicants and other inquisitive people go for information about your law school.  If a school cannot be bothered to provide accurate information about the teaching, scholarship, and service of its own faculty on its own web site, it deserves to be haunted by any inaccuracies.

This is no indication, however, that law faculty blogs or blogging activities will be a significant part of the endeavor, even though faculty blogging and/or other types of faculty web dissemination would seem to be a valid and significant way to assess and measure whether faculty do what law schools say they do.  Needless to say, blogging issues aside, this Deadwood Report is a project worth watching for all those interested in the law school universe.

Posted by DAB

February 26, 2008 in Rankings | Permalink


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