Law School Rankings

Indiana U School of Law Symposium on the Next Generation of Law School Rankings Paper

15 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2005

See all articles by Richard A. Posner

Richard A. Posner

University of Chicago Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2005


Rank ordering is a crude but economical method of conveying information that assists consumers (such as prospective law students) to make choices; hence the popularity of the law school rankings by U.S. News & World Report. However, the validity of USNWR's rankings are undermined by the arbitrary weights attached to the different factors on which the rankings are based. This paper explores a variety of alternatives, beginning with the mean LSAT score of the student body, and emphasizes that the design of a ranking system is relevant to the interest of the people whom the rankings are intended to guide. There is broad convergence of plausible systems of ranking law schools, but it is possible to improve on the USNWR rankings.

Suggested Citation

Posner, Richard A., Law School Rankings (April 2005). Indiana U School of Law Symposium on the Next Generation of Law School Rankings Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Richard A. Posner (Contact Author)

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