The University of Virginia Law School will no longer submit responses to be considered for the U.S. News & World Report annual law school rankings list, the school’s dean announced in an open letter to students last week. UVA is ranked eighth on the list of Best Law Schools of 2023, which was released this year by US News.
UVA is the ninth school on the list of top 10 best law schools to walk away from the ranking platform after nearly 30 years of partnership.
Dean Risa Goluboff said, “As they currently stand, the US News rankings fail to capture everything we value at UVA.” “Facilitating access to legal education and the legal profession for students from all backgrounds; To promote the free exchange of ideas within a community of happiness, humanity and faith; Providing top class teaching by accomplished faculty; public service support; and launching our graduates into stellar career paths of their choosing.
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UVA Law’s decision follows a trend by the nation’s top law schools to pull away from a frequently used higher education resource. Nine of the schools listed on the most recent US News Top 10 Law Schools list have also decided to drop from the ranking. Several schools said their reason for leaving is that US News ranks the schools low when they favor graduates to careers in the public interest rather than big law.
Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard and Yale Law Schools were among the first to announce they would no longer participate in the ranking in mid-November. These initial announcements prompted the only response that US news has publicly provided on the subject.
In a statement from CEO Eric Gertler the same day Yale announced its separation from the digital resource and magazine, he said that US News would continue its “journalistic mission to ensure that students receive the best and most accurate information in evaluating schools.” can be trusted”.
Since 1983, US News rankings have been measuring law schools based on expert surveys, student grades and law school entrance exam scores, bar pass and employment rates, JD debt and more.
The University of Pennsylvania – Carey, the University of California – Berkeley, New York University and Stanford Law Schools soon followed. The University of Chicago Law School is the only top 10 school that will continue to participate in the rankings after this year.
Gillian Lester, dean at Columbia Law School, said the methodology that US News uses creates incentives that sustain the school’s mission for individuals with diverse talents and career paths in the private sector, public interest, government or academia. competes.
Yale Law Dean Heather K. Gerken called the American news methodology “flawed” and claimed that for-profit magazines “discourage programs that support public interest careers, champion need-based aid, and welcome working-class students into the profession.” We do.”
Harvard Law School Dean John F. Manning criticized the US News indicator that measures student debt upon graduation. Manning states that the metric “does not distinguish whether this metric reflects a school’s generous financial aid or acknowledges a high percentage of the wealthy who do not need student loans.”
Another reason UVA Law was withdrawn from the rankings, Goluboff wrote, is because the list US News compiles for 2024 will not be as accurate as those made in prior years. After most of the top 10 law schools announced they would no longer submit their school data to be considered for the rankings, Goluboff says U.S. News has failed to change its formula in ways that are transparent or fair. are worthwhile.
Goluboff says she is open to reconsidering UVA Law’s decision to remove itself from the US News rankings but is taking matters into her own hands in the meantime. The school created a new web page called “What Prospective Students Should Know About UVA Law”, which includes all the fast facts that prospective students usually find on US News.