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Do Law Schools Report Their Data Honestly?

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  • Do Law Schools Report Their Data Honestly?

    Just how honest are law schools when they report their data to U.S. News for our 2010 Best Law Schools rankings? Each year, we ask law schools to report the same data to us that they report on the American Bar Association's annual accreditation questionnaire. It turns out the schools are pretty reliable in their data reporting. (Of course, there were some notable exceptions and data errors that I have written about in my blog: Updates to Some Grad School Data and What Happened With Brooklyn Law School.)

    The basis for this assessment comes from a study by Tom Bell, a law professor at the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, Calif. He has just published A Model of the 2010 USN&WR Law School Rankings on his blog, Agoraphilia.

    Professor Bell says of his work:

    "As in every year since 2005, I this year again built a model of the law school rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. Figuring out the rankings—the '2010' rankings, as USN&WR's calls them—proved especially trying this time around. USN&WR changed several parts of its methodology this year and the ABA, which distributes statistical data on which my model depends, fell far behind its usual publication schedule. Finally, though, the model ended up generating scores gratifyingly close to those that USN&WR assigned law schools."

    U.S. News & World Report
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