Following the lead of many other top law schools, New York University has decided to withdraw from the famous U.S. News & World Reports law school rating.
As of mid-November, both Yale and Harvard’s law schools had withdrawn, prompting a domino effect of withdrawals from other illustrious universities.
It wasn’t until recently that New York University School of Law joined the ranks of the top 14 law schools in the United States.
In a letter to the NYU Law community, Dean Troy McKenzie said that prospective law students needed reliable information when deciding which school would best meet their needs.
U.S. News may have been the only source of some information in the past.
Something has shifted in that regard.
According to McKenzie, the new dean of the law school, U.S. News methods may give prospective students a “distorted perspective” of the prospects open to them after graduation, especially in lower-salaried law positions.
It is “of particular concern” because “the U.S. News approach — through its debt and employment measures — penalizes colleges that support graduates pursuing public interest occupations,” as he put it.
U.S. News has suggested it will keep using publicly available data to create its rankings. McKenzie mentioned the fellowships and loan payback schemes available to law school alums who work in the public good.
However, the rankings do not take into consideration that financial support, thus fellows are still classified as “just marginally employed.”
U.S. News disagreed with that judgment and defended the inclusion of debt criteria in their rankings to help students make informed decisions about which law schools to attend.
When students attend certain institutions, they have access to funding that allows them to pursue academic and public service-oriented jobs.
In a word, this is impressive. U.S. News rankings are “focused on helping them make a crucial professional and financial decision,” according to a company spokeswoman. “However, the vast majority of students are seeking jobs in the open market.”
New York University’s law school, which is ranked seventh in the country, was one of the few institutions frequently mentioned as having one of the most outstanding law programs in the country that had not yet been removed from the rankings before Monday’s revelation.
A number of the “top 14” law schools in the country, including Columbia, Stanford, and Georgetown, had already declined to participate.
The Carey Law School at the University of Pennsylvania said last Friday that it would no longer provide information to U.S. News.
Only two top-tier law schools, the University of Chicago and Cornell, have chosen to remain in the rankings. There has been no response from UVA yet.
Source: NYDaily News