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

Responding to the New U.S. News Rankings: The Parade of Butthurt Deans Begins Now

As U.S. News rankings guru Bob Morse noted in his Bloomberg Law interview last night, schools on the coasts took it harder than schools in the Midwest and South, partly due to the difficult job market.

That’s why perhaps my favorite response so far is from Dean Bob Klonoff at Lewis & Clark Law School. He’s the only spinning dean who directly addresses the jobs issue, albeit in a way that throws a bunch of other schools under the bus:

With respect to the full time ranking, our reputation score remained high. What appears to have caused most of our loss also caused massive losses among several other West Coast law schools: the extremely difficult job market in this part of the country. By way of example, U San Francisco dropped from 106 to 144; Pepperdine dropped from 49 to 61; Seattle dropped from 82 to 102; McGeorge dropped from 101 to 124; U of Oregon dropped from 82 to 94; U Washington dropped from 20 to 28; and and Willamette dropped from 129 into the bottom unrated tier.

You have to love that response. It’s kind of telling students, “Hey, you might be sad that you went to Lewis & Clark right now, but you should know anywhere else you could have gotten into would have been just as bad. Enjoy the Pacific Northwest!”

And trust me, that response beats the hell out of the “response” sent to students at the 144th-ranked University of San Fransisco School of Law. I’ll let a tipster explain:

University of San Francisco Law sent out their tuition increase (4.48%) earlier today which brings it to 18% over the last 3 years ($42,364). And tonight heir ranking dropped from 106 (awful) to 144 (next stop unranked).

Yeah, the rankings go up and down, but your school’s tuition only goes one way. That’s the “no spin zone” right there.

(Flip to the next page to view the deans’ memos in their entirety.)

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