March 20, 2018

HOW U.S. NEWS SHAFTED PEPPERDINE LAW SCHOOL.

My sense, actually, is that Pepperdine is doing very well these days, and if the ranking system worked it would be moving up.

UPDATE: More here:

U.S. News removed Pepperdine University School of Law from the ranking after the school reported a mistake in the median LSAT score it provided to the publication. According to Pepperdine law dean Paul Caron, the school last week realized that it had incorrectly reported its median LSAT score as 162 instead of the correct 160 when it saw the early embargoed version of the rankings that U.S. News provides each school for review. (The initial ranking had Pepperdine moving up from No. 72 to No. 59.)

Rather than recalculate the school’s rank and issue a new list prior to the official release, as the Caron requested, U.S. News removed Pepperdine’s ranking altogether.

“It is, of course, deeply disappointing to be unranked for a year,” Caron wrote in a post on his Tax Prof Blog. “But the reality is that we made great progress in the rankings this year, and should continue our ascent next year.”

Caron said several experts concluded that Pepperdine would have ranked 62nd or 64th using the correct median LSAT.

University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter, a frequent critic of law school rankings, said on his blog that U.S. News’ handling of the situation will dissuade law schools from disclosing any inadvertent mistakes in their data.

I think U.S. News blew this call. And credit to Dean Paul Caron for reporting the error; I feel certain that some schools wouldn’t have been so honest.

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