Law School Deans, Law Schools, Rankings, U.S. News

Looks Like The U.S. News Law School Rankings Cost Someone A Job

Many people, especially law school administrators, bemoan the U.S. News law school rankings. Sure, they have their pedagogical reasons for hating the rankings, but there are larger issues here. When schools drop in the rankings, heads tend to roll.

Of course, law schools deans rarely admit they were ousted because of the U.S. News. But now is the season of administrative resignations. There are a couple of them floating around out there, but one in particular caught my eye. The dean of a law school that took a substantial hit in this year’s rankings has resigned. Not to take a job elsewhere or spend more time with his family. No, he’s putting down the deanship to rejoin the faculty.


Students at Emory Law School weren’t exactly surprised when they saw this letter from Dean David Partlett:

Dear Students:

After five years at the helm of Emory Law, I have decided to step down as Dean to return to the faculty to teach. Emory Law is a strong and vibrant community because of our outstanding students, many of whom I have had the pleasure of teaching over the years. I have enjoyed greatly my time as your dean and the many relationships I have forged with you. I will continue to teach Torts to our incoming students and look forward to teaching additional courses in the spring.

As we transition to new leadership, I, along with the faculty, remain steadfastly committed to ensuring you have an outstanding educational experience here that prepares you to enter the practice of law and make an immediate impact. You will receive additional communications from the Provost’s Office as plans for the transition in leadership are finalized.

Again, I thank you for your support during my time as Dean of Emory Law, and I look forward to seeing many of you in the classroom next year. I am confident Emory Law will continue to advance and thrive in the future.


Dean Partlett

Apology accepted, Dean Piett Partlett.

Emory plummeted eight spots in the U.S. News rankings this year. After the fall, Dean Partlett released a tirade of largely nonsensical excuses for the school’s fall.

Evidently, it didn’t go over too well.

Well, as Dean Partlett exits, Emory will have to gear up to find a new dean. I hope the next guy or girl understands the power of U.S. News. Emory does not tolerate failure.

Earlier: Start Your Whining: Schools Make Excuses for Their Poor U.S. News Rankings

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