U.S. News and World Report Ranking Methodology: The Devil is in the Detail

10 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2010

See all articles by Hyla Bondareff

Hyla Bondareff

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Date Written: August 2, 2010


This publication outlines the methodological variations in U.S. News and World Report’s annual law school rankings between 1990 and 2010. A law school’s ranking is based upon its overall score on a number of weighted attributes. When comparing school rankings over time, it is therefore useful to understand how the methodology differs from year to year. Not only have the definitions for many of these attributes changed over the years, but also their weight value in the overall scores. This report provides a table of the weight assigned to each attribute each year; a list of each attribute and the changes made to it each year; and a list of all methodology changes in each year. This study was originally published as an appendix to the July 15, 2010 Report of the ABA Special Committee on the U.S. News and World Report Rankings, Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. After the report was published, Brian Leiter noted that the chart does not indicate that in 1999 instructional expenditures were adjusted for differences in cost‐of‐living and "faculty resources rank" ceased to be listed. See http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2010/08/aba‐report‐on‐us‐news‐rankings.html. An updated chart with these changes will be posted at a later date.

Keywords: US News Rankings

Suggested Citation

Bondareff, Hyla, U.S. News and World Report Ranking Methodology: The Devil is in the Detail (August 2, 2010). Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-08-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1658139 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1658139

Hyla Bondareff (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics