How the Blogs Saved Law School: Why a Diversity of Voices Will Undermine the U.S. News Rankings
8 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2005 Last revised: 8 Dec 2012
Date Written: April 3, 2012
In this response to the papers presented by Deans Johnson and Rapoport at Indiana University's Law School Ranking Symposium, I begin by explicating the two papers and what they tell us about the difficult role of the law school dean. What both papers show us is that deans are caught in a classic prisoner's dilemma; most deans would prefer to live in a world without high-stakes rankings, but no one dean can afford to opt out of the current system.
Turning to some broader findings of the symposium, I embrace the call for a multiplicity of law school ranking systems as a means of diffusing the power of the annual U.S. News rankings. I believe that such a system of multiple rankings, like the diversity of rankings of American business schools, would allow students to find the school best suited to their specific preferences, rather than simply telling them which school has the highest median LSAT score. Furthermore, I argue that the incentives of prospective students and the technology of the web will make the dissemination of relevant information to future law students virtually inevitable.
Keywords: Blogs, Law School, U.S. News & World Report, Legal Education, Rankings
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