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Out of Order: The Upshot of the Latest Law School Rankings - (wsjonline.com)

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  • Out of Order: The Upshot of the Latest Law School Rankings - (wsjonline.com)


    Law school officials have always greeted the latest U.S. News & World Report’s rankings with a wink and nod. While the nation’s reigning schools seldom deign to attribute importance to the rankings, schools lower in the pecking order don’t mind touting how many spots they moved up. The pride is customarily followed by the “to be sure” caution against reading too much into the contest. A Hofstra Law press release from 2010 fits the template: “While no numeric ranking can fully capture the essence of our school or the value of a Hofstra Law degree, our sustained improvement in the rankings and overall success is a tribute to the students, alumni, faculty and staff who are the heart and soul of this institution.” But this year, many schools are not winking; they’re wincing. Eighteen law schools saw their rankings move by 20 spots or more, according to National Law Journal. The shakeup in this year’s rankings was mostly an aftershock of the American Bar Association’s new reporting standards requiring schools to disclose more details about how their graduates fared in the job market. For U.S. News, it was like being a judge in a beauty pageant in which the contestants are wearing ski masks. Take for example, the University of San Francisco School of Law.

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