Last week, U.S. News released a surprise preview of the top 14 law schools under its new rankings methodology. There was a bit of a shakeup among the top law schools in the nation, with Yale tied in first place with Stanford, Columbia sinking down a few spots, and UCLA pushing Georgetown out to claim a place among the elites. What could this mean for the rest of the rest of the law schools awaiting their rankings fate?
The latest edition of the U.S. News law school rankings was supposed to be released at midnight on April 18 but the unveiling of the new-and-improved rankings is now being pushed back by one week’s time, to April 25. According to Dean Paul Caron of Pepperdine Law over at TaxProf Blog, this is the email law school deans received from U.S. News announcing the delay:
As part of its normal graduate school ranking publication process every year, U.S. News gives schools an opportunity to review their data during an “embargo period”. This year, we received an unprecedented number of inquiries from schools and are devoting additional time to comprehensively address these inquiries.
As a result, U.S. News will now publish the full 2023-2024 Best Graduate School Rankings on April 25, 2023.
Schools participating in the embargo period will receive a link to the updated embargo site on Wednesday, April 19. Information found on that site will be embargoed until 12:01 am ET on Tuesday, April 25, at which time it will be live at usnews.com/best-graduate-schools.
Law schools have already had these rankings in hand for about a week. Is this delay being made to correct actual mistakes? Dean Caron wonders if U.S. News relied on incorrect ABA bar passage data, and law school admissions consultant Mike Spivey of Spivey Consulting Group says he can think of “three places where math was needed.” And what about the law schools that feel slighted by the rankings — is this delay being made to correct perceived “mistakes”? At this point, no one is sure what’s happened, but one thing is certain:
Stay tuned for the release of the 2024 U.S. News law school rankings next week. In the meantime, check out the Above the Law Top 50 Law School Rankings for a better, outcome-based methodology.
U.S. News Delays Release Of Law School Rankings By One Week Due To ‘Unprecedented Number Of Inquiries From Schools.’ Is Bar Data To Blame? [TaxProf Blog]
US News & World Report delays rankings release amid questions from schools [Reuters]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.
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