Berkeley Boycotts U.S. News Law School Rankings with Harvard and Yale

Berkeley Law followed Yale and Harvard in dropping off U.S. News & World Report’s rankings.

Erwin Chemerinsky, a professor of law at Berkeley, said that the rankings punish schools whose graduates work in the public sector or go on to get higher degrees, while they encourage spending that raises tuition.

“Law schools must tell U.S. News they’ve established unwanted incentives for legal study,” Chemerinsky said.

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Berkeley, rated No. 9, announced their withdrawal a day after No. 1 Yale and No. 4 Harvard did so.

U.S. News didn’t say Thursday how it would rank withdrawing law schools. CEO Eric Gertler said that the magazine would keep its “journalistic goal” of giving kids educational information that is true.

The rankings include reputational surveys, student grades and LSAT scores, and bar pass and employment rates. Top-ranked schools provide associate employment at prominent legal firms, judicial clerkships, and other opportunities.

The No. 2 Stanford Law School and the No. 6 Penn Carey Law School are thinking about their futures.

Mike Spivey, a law school admissions specialist, said every institution is considering the boycott.

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Yale Law Dean Heather Gerken and Harvard Law Dean John Manning stated U.S. News’ ranking system goes against their schools’ objectives of diversity and affordability by motivating institutions to grant financial assistance to candidates with high LSAT scores and undergraduate grades.

Law schools must decide on participation quickly. Law schools receive U.S. News surveys in late November and return them in mid-December.

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