November 30, 2022

IF RANKINGS WEREN’T IMPORTANT, PEOPLE MIGHT FOCUS ON LOCATION AND COST: More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott. “The ire directed at U.S. News and other purveyors of rankings is understandable but can mask a deeper and more troubling reality: In the world of colleges and universities, reputation, brand strength, prestige — call it what you will — is now and has long been more important than anything else, including the nature and quality of the actual education provided. In fact it would be difficult to find another industry in which reputations are so fixed, so valuable, and based on so little hard evidence.”

The truth is, there’s much less difference between law schools than the rankings suggest. Faculty pretty much all come from the same handful of top schools, curricula are more alike than different, everybody has a nice building and library now (and nobody uses the library for research much, that’s nearly all online anyway). The students around you are on average smarter at top schools, but not that much smarter and often more deficient in other ways. The chief appeal of “top” schools is just prestige.

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