Friday, March 14, 2014

TaxProf Blog: Chapman Dean: U.S. News Rankings Methodology Penalizes Most California Law Schools

Following up on yesterday's post, Deans Say Rankings Penalize California Law Schools for Bad Economy; U.S. News Rejects Call for State-Adjusted Employment Data:  Tom Bell (Dean, Chapman) has asked me to post his letter to the editor of The Recorder, U.S. News Methodology Penalizes Most California Law Schools, on TaxProf Blog:

Your article Deans Say U.S. News Rankings Penalize Schools in the Golden State reported the unanimous position of the California law school deans, who agree that California’s poor employment prospects are a drag on the rankings at all 21 accredited California law schools – even though they are no fault of the California law schools or their students. Put simply, if a law school in Iowa, where unemployment is 4.2%, places 85% of its students, and a law school in California, where unemployment is 8.3%, places 84% of its students, U.S. News ranks the Iowa school ahead of the California school. That is nonsense, if the purpose is to rank the quality of the two law schools. Nevertheless, U.S. News’ Bob Morse responded:

The schools that are underperforming or falling in the ranking, [it's] not because of the state of California's employment woes… but because their students are not in demand, or they're unable to obtain real legal jobs." Mr. Morse pointed to the list for proof, stating: "The top ten schools in California have seen little change in their rankings over the last few years, showing that their graduates are still in demand and they're still getting real legal jobs, despite the California employment status.

Mr. Morse’s statement is false: according to U.S. News’ own data.

Let’s look at the top 10 ranked law schools in California, U.S. News Methodology Penalizes Most California Law Schools, over the last three years:


You tell 'em Tom. (The letter is from Tom Bell, Dean at Chapman.)

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