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March 13, 2012

The 2013 US News law school rankings: A call on Yale to drop out

Today is the day that the US News Law School Rankings are released. This is not a reason for celebration even where (as here) a school jumped up in the rankings. As I have written recently, these rankings create bad incentives and are a poor measure of what we do, at any school.

Big scandals at Villanova and Illinois should have sent a message out about the risks of trying to cheat. But, gaming of the numbers continues. I was shocked to see in this NY Post article that Fordham Law School is boosting its employment numbers by giving almost 15% of its graduates temporary jobs at the school itself. This matters a great deal in the rankings, since most schools in Fordham's range report an employment rate well over 80%-- so a true reporting of independent employment would knock Fordham down the rankings significantly.

We'd be better off without these rankings, all of us. I say that despite the fact that my alma mater is #1 overall, that my home school is seeing a big jump up.... we all would be better off without them.

Treating the US News Rankings like they matter is something that nearly all law schools do, because no one wants to drop out of the system and go to the 4th Tier. We all know it is wrong, and we all keep doing it, even when it is worsening (or, some would say, creating) the crisis in legal education.

It's time for the leaders to lead. Yale Law should drop out of the system, and urge others to follow. I loved my time at Yale, value what they do, and will feel the same way regardless of rankings. True leadership is bold, often selfless, and moves towards what is true and good. It is time for Yale to lead.

-- Mark Osler

March 13, 2012 | Permalink


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Let's add Harvard and Stanford to the list of schools that should affirmatively resist US News. The three of them acting alone could really stir the pot here, but I am not holding my breath.

Posted by: Doug B. | Mar 13, 2012 6:44:26 PM

Law student, eh? Started thinking about that future job yet? May I make a suggestion? Check out JD Match in between the papers and exams. I work with JD Match and it’s a great step for any law student looking for an AmLaw firm job and a little weight off their shoulders. http://bit.ly/wNQ0ro

Posted by: fred | Mar 15, 2012 1:41:34 PM

Zvláště oceňuji svůj blog, vy jste tak dobré psaní je prostě nám linger.Very štěstí, mohli si přečíst article.Thanks.Long jsme se neviděli tak dobrý článek, a to zejména díky sdílení, dejte nám hody pro oči, a dejte nám vědět více znalostí. .

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Posted by: toaster oven reviews | Nov 22, 2012 11:36:55 AM

Fordham actually fully noted that fact (which your article fails to mention part time employment of students is a common practice among ALL ABA accredited schools in the US) on its materials and was very transparent about it. If a school will drop down for such a practice, I think you are looking at the wrong horse in the race.

Can the same practice of transparency and fair dealing be said of the *OTHER* New York schools prominently noted in the article?

Taking a fact out of context and putting a negative slant on it is a very poor(a euphemism, out of kindness for you Mark) way to write an article.

Interesting that you cherry picked Fordham out from all 3 schools when it had the most conservative part time numbers, and was totally transparent about it.

Makes one wonder about journalistic, sorry blogger, integrity here.

Posted by: JurisDeux | Mar 20, 2013 1:45:25 PM

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