Stanford, Columbia, and Georgetown Law Join the US News Boycott

It’s a party! Or an exodus. Another day, another couple of America’s top law have decided to no longer release their data to US News & World Report for the publication’s annual ranking of law schools. First came Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. Then came the University of California Berkeley School of Law. Next came Columbia Law School, the Georgetown University Law Center, and Stanford Law School. So it’s officially a boycott! And what does it mean that the top law schools in our nation are boycotting the annual ranking? Well, we don’t often quote William Shakespeare on the pages of this college admissions blog (mostly because we’re not big Shakespeare fans), but it’s much ado about nothing!

The New York Times reports that some law schools outside the T14 have raised fears about withholding their data from US News.

US News & World Report is going to continue to publish a law school ranking with or without help from these law schools. And law school applicants are going to continue to consider this ranking — as law school applicants have done for many years. And while change often does start from the top just as it is this time around, some other law schools outside the T14 may hesitate to withhold data from the publication for fear it will hurt their ranking even more. As Anemona Hartocollis and Eliza Fawcett report for The New York Times in a piece entitled “As More Top Law Schools Boycott Rankings, Others Say They Can’t Afford to Leave,” “Many law school deans and professors — inside the T14 and outside of it — said that though teh rankings are flawed, they matter. They provide a valuable source of information to students and employers — as well as valuable marketing. They also noted that the T14 is hardly only a creature of US News. The prestige is based on longstanding public perception.”

It will be interesting to see if law schools outside of the T14 join the boycott of the US News annual ranking as well. We anticipate that the deans of these schools will take a deep breath in, gather their courage, and join in on the party. We understand it’s these schools that have more to lose than, say, Harvard Law, Yale Law, Stanford Law, Georgetown Law, and UC Berkeley Law, but these schools lit the way. The others, Ivy Coach’s crystal ball hereby predicts, will follow their lead. Stay tuned!


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  • Martin Shuler says:

    US News will now be relying only on government information submitted by the schools which will probably be much more accurate than the lies (Columbia) they have been submitting to US News for decades. This actually benefits the consumer and the magazine far more than the schools. It exposes schools for what they were too- numbers manipulators fearful of being caught so they say we don’t want to participate any more. Yeah right!

  • Martin Shuler says:

    Maybe I am prejudging Harvard and Yale but isn’t it better to be called a quitter rather than a cheater? If Harvard and Yale quit submitting info to US News they avoid the very ugly reputation Columbia now has as liars. Most likely Harvard and Yale knows the info they have submitted for many decades was false or fudged and felt let’s just quit before we are ‘found out’. HYPS have stellar reps and a lot to lose regards their public image. Lesser known non-Ivy top 20s may be doing the most fudging of their numbers in order to compete. Not an indictment of any particular too 20, just a theory.

  • Sid in nyc says:

    No school can ‘pull out of the rankings’ or ‘boycott’ anything. They are merely REFUSING TO PROVIDE DATA. Good! US News should never Have relied on data provided by schools in the first place because it will be biased in favor of the schools. Have you ever asked somebody about their son or daughter and they said they’re no good at something? Never. This is the same thing. Do you think a school administrator is going to speak badly about his own school? Why of course not! They are going to lie, they’re going to embellish, and they’re going to try to make the school look as good as possible (so long as there are no repercussions for doing so). And there really aren’t any (just Columbia, thanks to their own Math professor). But lying to the government can get a school in trouble. Big trouble. Why? Because every college in America has all kinds of aid-related programs affiliated with the US government. And the data schools have to provide Uncle Sam is usually accurate. Because if schools lie with that data, there can and will be huge repercussions. So if US news relies upon the public data are we not going to get much more accurate information and rankings as a result? 100%! Let’s hope US news DOES NOT rely on anymore university-provided data to rank colleges. Harvard and Yale law actually did us all a favor. Thank you Crimson and Blue!

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