While law schools sweat out what havoc they’ve wrought by withdrawing their data from the U.S. News and World Report ranking, we’ve been conducting our own pilot program for a data-less, subjective ranking and hoo boy, it’s a disaster!
The U.S. News rankings are unlikely to shake up the order as much as Above the Law’s collection of jolly trolls have, but that misses the point. Whatever methodology the publication picks, it’s going to be based mostly on vibes. The peer surveys are popularity contests that more or less calcify school rankings based on… past school rankings. Say what you will about past USNWR methodologies, but it mattered when it had the opportunity to take schools to task for leaving its graduates hopelessly in debt.
And that’s the crux of the law school complaint. There are a lot of objections but the most substantive is the idea that the rankings reporting student debt disincentivizes schools from accepting low income students. Which is both empirically false and a better argument for LOWERING TUITION than excising inquiry into how the school leaves its graduates. U.S. News may not account for this in the best way, but there are also rankings that do.
Anyway, this brings us to our annual bracket competition ranking the top law schools and now we have a final:
(32) ASS Law v. (6) Penn
It’s not the final we deserve, but it’s the one we need right now. Who will win: the right-wing enclave funded by an ideologically driven donation that the school itself admits “falls short” of academic standards or the school with the white nationalist darling on staff? Truly a battle for the ages.
Let’s break our tradition of voting until late night! The vote will stay open until Monday April 3 at 11 a.m. Eastern. That will give the bots that are furiously floating both sides maximum opportunity.
Before we ultimately crown ASS Law. Because you know that’s how this all ends.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.
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