While we have been focusing on associate layoffs, law schools continue to ruin the U.S. News Law School Rankings.
Yesterday we learned that Alabama Law School is offering people $20 worth of iTunes cash to simply apply to Alabama. How does this impact that U.S. News rankings? Because the magazine counts acceptance rate as part of its methodology. The more students you turn away, the better your school looks.
Meanwhile, TaxProf Blog reports on a dangerous precedent being set at Baylor University. Baylor is now paying students to retake the SAT. This strategy could also be used to game the LSAT now that the ABA requires schools to report the highest LSAT score students receive. We know how “competitive” those Baylor kids are but getting an improved test score through cash incentives after you’ve already matriculated looks a lot like cheating.
We have also extensively covered the raft of silly programs that obviate the need for the LSAT altogether, so long as the student hits a desired GPA benchmark.
Putting it all together after the jump.
Paul Caron asks a very relevant question:
Are the U.S News Law School Rankings crumbling before our eyes?
Yes. The relevance of the rankings is predicated on 1) employers believing them, and 2) college students believing them. But with all of this obvious rank-rigging going on, who still believes that the rankings are “accurate” in any way?
The system is based on rules. If schools can openly flaunt those rules, then what is the point? Just scrap the stupid rankings and come up with a new system based on different rules that cannot be broken.
Just remember that top tier law students outside the T-14 are the ones most likely to be hurt if U.S. News goes away. How do you think a law firm in California distinguishes between Minnesota, Illinois, and GW? Without the quick and
lazy easy rankings, don’t you think they’ll just take another UC-Davis student and call it a day?
The system may be broken, but change is a bitch.
Alabama Law: Apply Here, Get Free iTunes! [WSJ Law Blog]