US news will continue to rate law schools as Georgetown joins boycott

Nov 18 (Reuters) – At least four top law schools parted ways with US News & World Report rankings this week, with Georgetown Law joining law schools at Yale, Harvard and Berkeley on Friday to end their participation.

However, the rankings don’t break with them. US News will continue to evaluate schools that choose not to provide it with their internal data, its chief data strategist Robert Morse said in a statement.

“US News has a duty to provide prospective students with comparative information that will enable them to evaluate these institutions,” Morse wrote on the magazine’s website late Thursday.

Yale Law School, which was #1 in the influential rankings, announced Wednesday that it will no longer provide internal data to US News.

Harvard Law School at #4 followed hours later. The 9th-ranked University of California, Berkeley School of Law withdrew Thursday. The 14th-ranked Georgetown University Law Center did the same on Friday.

The deans of the boycotting law schools said the ranking penalizes schools whose graduates are pursuing public-interest jobs or advanced degrees, while rewarding those that spend more on students and raise tuition.

Lawyers have also argued that the rankings overemphasize law school admissions test scores and undergraduate grade point averages, prompting schools to offer merit-based scholarships rather than need-based support.

Erwin Chemerinsky, Berkeley’s dean of law, said in an interview that he doesn’t know if the refusal to provide information will affect his school’s ranking.

“I’ve decided we just have to do the right thing and hopefully it doesn’t hurt us,” he said.

Chemerinsky said the credibility of the rankings would suffer if the top law schools fell significantly after declining to participate in the assessments.

Morse’s statement didn’t say how US News will explain data that schools are no longer providing. The magazine did not immediately respond to requests for more information.

Law school rankings are based on internal data provided by schools, such as: B. their spending per student and the average debt of graduates, as well as on reputation surveys, which are filled out by legal scholars and practicing lawyers. They are also based on publicly available data prepared by the American Bar Association on LSAT scores and undergraduate student grades, bar pass rates, and graduate employment.

Reporting by Karen Sloan; Edited by Daniel Wallis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Karen Sloan

Thomson Reuters

Karen Sloan reports on law firms, law schools and legal businesses. You can reach her at [email protected]

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