Tag Archive: us news rankings

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2014 US News & World Report Law School Rankings Out Now

Like the rings of a tree, the release of a new set of US News & World Report law school rankings marks the passing of another year. One day, they’ll accept my offer to produce an awards show akin to the Oscars, handing out Validys to the winners (think an Oscar-like statue that resembles Aristotle) and Testies to the losers (it’s best not to think about what that one will look like).

Until then, I’ll have to settle with writing an article for the LSAT blog each year, analyzing the rise and fall of different law schools, and the trends present in the rankings.

First, the US News & World Report law school rankings themselves:


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Logical Reasonings / 3.12.13

A) You’ve already read our thoughts on the 2014 US News & World Report law school rankings. Here’s another opinion. Above the Law.

B) Get ready to be called “temp” a lot, law school grads. US News & World Report.

C) Law schools are too fluffy, says one ant-fluff writer. Huffington Post.

D) That Google Street View car did some bad things and is paying for it. New York Times.

E) Chameleons are an amazing animal. Here’s some funny proof. BuzzFeed.

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Law School Transparency Unveils Own Law School Rankings

When it comes to ranking law schools, US News and World Report dominates the picture to the extent that their rankings are often referred to without even being mentioned by name. It’s common to hear, for example, that Harvard is ranked No. 3, without any discussion of who ranked Harvard No. 3 or why. Prospective law students and their parents and friends often perceive these law school rankings as objective fact. While some objective factors do figure into these rankings, the weighting of these factors reflects the subjective decisions of the editors who compile the rankings.

If you’re planning on going to law school, odds are that it’s because you want to become a lawyer (I hope I’m not making any big assumptions here).

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How the New Law School Rankings Should Affect Your Plans

Unless you’ve been skipping my articles (in which case, you probably won’t be reading this one, either), the new US News and World Report law school rankings came out last week. I’ve already given you my reactions to the law school rankings.

Now you have to just ask yourself one question: “How should I use this data in my decision, punk?” Say it in a Clint Eastwood accent for the proper effect.

Many of you are about to put down a seat deposit and finalize your decision on which law school to attend. That’s a huge decision in your life. It’s going to determine your proximate experience over the next three years, and it will have ramifications on the rest of your life (including the possibility of finding your significant other).

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A Closer Look at the 2013 US News & World Report Law School Rankings

As I’m sure you are aware, the 2013 US News & World Report law school rankings are out. And thus starts the celebrating of 1Ls who picked an up-and-comer, the head shaking of 1Ls who picked Illinois, and the hand wringing of those of you who thought you knew where you were attending next year. The US News & World Report law school rankings can throw a wrench into that decision.

Two quick notes before I start my evaluation.

First, the law school rankings aren’t the end-all/be-all of where you should go to law school. Use them as a guide. Recognize what they are – a reflection of a reflection. They use a formula to incorporate, among other things, perceived prestige of the institution. That doesn’t mean that you’ll fit in and learn more at a higher ranked school.

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Logical Reasonings / 11.16.11

A) You can reply to just about any question with, “In this economy?” Especially to “Are you going to law school?” US News & World Report.

B) Is it “law school porn” season already? National Law Journal.

C) Good news: Some law schools allow you to commit before taking the LSAT. Bad news: It may not last much longer. Daily Illini.

D) Violating a website’s terms of service could soon be a felony. Click the link if you agree to obey. Yahoo! News.

E) Hey, news reporters. More interviews with dudes wearing coonskin caps, please. BuzzFeed.

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Logical Reasonings / 11.1.11

A) Last year, the US News & World Report dished out its first ever top law firms list. How did round two go? Wall Street Journal.

B) And now, a report on diversity amongst law reviews. Because one day you too will read legal journals. PR Web.

C) Until things change (a.k.a. states start to listen), the ABA shall reign supreme. Law School Review.

D) A law school-related, Halloween-themed missed connection on Craigslist. Was this you? Above the Law.

E) Ever seen a cop pull over and arrest another cop? Well get ready to. BuzzFeed.

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Rank Should Still Play a Role in Finding Your Best Law School

What’s the best law school? Most of you would respond, “Oh, that’s easy. Let’s just check US News and World Report.” You’d check it, and you’d find that Yale Law School is now and forever at the Wintergarden Theater. I mean, the best law school. You might also check Cooley’s rankings and find that Harvard Law School is ranked as the best law school, but not many people go by them.

And this creates a question — why are the USNWR rankings treated as gospel, while the Cooley rankings are, at times, derided? It could be that Cooley has placed itself as the second best law school in the country, outdoing traditional powerhouses like Columbia, Yale and Stanford (and Chicago — I’d never forget you, Chicago!). That seems a blatant conflict of interest.

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Logical Reasonings / 9.19.11

A) Law school can be expensive. Here are some tips to make it affordable — none of which include the rob-a-convenience-store-dressed-as-Gumby idea you might’ve had. Law School Podcaster

B) More details on the University of Illinois School of Law admissions scandal, including an acknowledgment of wrongdoing. The school’s most damning confession: It still sometimes pronounces the S in “Illinois.” National Law Journal.

C) Over the last ten years, law schools have increased externship opportunities 45 percent. Of the students who took part, 100 percent were still called “interns” around the workplace. National Jurist.

D) According to the FBI, violent crimes were down 6 percent last year. Among the causes: better community protection policies, more government programs for recently released prisoners, and a general increase in intimidating-looking old women carrying purses. CNN.

E) Before the internet, people had to pretend what birds would look like with human appendages. Thankfully, we have the internet. Birds With Arms.

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University of Illinois Law School in Hot Water (Again)

Illinois is a troubled state. In July, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted of corruption for selling Barack Obama’s vacated senate seat. He will be the fourth Illinois governor in 35 years to go to prison. The fourth. And that doesn’t count the plethora of other politicians who brushed up against the law without being imprisoned.

So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise to an Illinois-jaded public that the University of Illinois Law School is dealing with its share of negative publicity, as well. The Chicago Tribune reports that the school is conducting an internal investigation into whether the school inflated LSAT test scores and GPA’s under Dean Paul Pless.

If this sounds familiar to you, there’s good reason.