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!
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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