Alan Morrison is right that the U.S. News law school rankings are far from perfect and that it’s impossible to determine which school will be best for you from any one ranking. That said, we at Washington Monthly have no plans to get into the business of ranking law schools anytime soon. The primary reason for this is data availability. The federal government doesn’t collect much data on the outcomes of specific programs, largely due to a ban on so-called “student unit record” datasets. Nor do we have the financial resources or, as U.S. News does, the market clout to summon the data ourselves by surveying all of the accredited law schools and cajoling them into responding—though if someone wants to give us a sizeable enough grant we might give it a try!
Robert Kelchen, a professor of education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is data manager of the Washington Monthly College Guide.More by Robert Kelchen