Prestige-whore Christmas will be a little late this year. On Friday, TaxProf Blog pointed out:
Robert Morse, Director of Data Research at U.S. News & World Report, announced yesterday that the new law school rankings will be published online on April 23, 2009, the latest date since the annual rankings began in 1990.
Over at The Faculty Lounge, the news was perplexing:
Now that’s a little strange, because I’d think that a lot of law students would already have made their choice of school by then.
Why the delay? According to the U.S. News announcement, it takes more time to count part-time:
The law school rankings will be getting an upgrade. We plan to publish our first-ever ranking of part-time J.D. law programs. This new ranking will evaluate the part-time law programs at 87 American Bar Association fully accredited law schools that are fully accredited by the American Bar Association. We defined a part-time J.D. program as a law school that has a separate admission process for part-time law students and has at least 20 part-time students enrolled. As we have annually since 1990, we’ll also publish updated law school rankings, which will cover all law schools.
When U.S. News announced that they were looking at part-time programs, Brian Leiter noted the questionable choice:
Leiter notes that the proposed change could harm the mission of legal education:
“For many, probably most, part-time programs serve older, working students, who might not have time for fancy LSAT prep courses, but who bring levels of dedication, seriousness, and pertinent experience that enrich legal education and the legal profession.”
But given the horrendous job market, the new debate is whether the rankings still mean anything, or if it is more important than ever?
Of course, this all assumes you can get a loan to go to law school in the first place. Good luck with that.
New U.S. News Rankings to be Released April 23 [TaxProf Blog]
The Grad School Rankings Are Coming Soon [U.S. News]
LSAC says: Applications up, applicants flat [Legal Writing Prof Blog]
US News 2010 Law School Rankings Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You [The Faculty Lounge]
Earlier: The Rankings Versus The Cash