A recent article in the National Law Journal raises some critical issues about the effects of US News & World Report’s annual rankings. What I found most disturbing are some of the tricks that law schools play to increase their rankings (accepting students as part-timers, hiring graduates so those grads are not unemployed), and the ranking’s effect on how law schools spend their money is disheartening. According to a GAO study, tuition at law schools has risen because of the need to hire top faculty amidst an increasingly competitive market.
If you’re on the fence about where to set your sites, one thought to consider when you’re facing the rankings game is whether you’d like to be in the top 10% of the 20th school on the list, or in the bottom 10% of the school ranked number 8. Your ranking within your class can make a difference in terms of your experience at school and how potential employers view you.