Some people love the U.S. News law school rankings, and some people (read: law school deans who fear for the safety of their jobs) hate them. Those that love them often perform well and rise to the top of the list every year, while those who hate them manage to find a new way to nitpick the rankings methodology every year.
Considering the state of the legal economy for entry-level lawyers, some would argue that the most relevant factors an ideal law school ranking should look at are employment outcomes. Others, however, still cling to the days of yore, where the quality of both students and faculty took top billing in the hearts and minds of those in the legal profession.
Today, we’ve got a ranking for those of you who still believe inputs are more important than outputs when it comes to ranking law schools. We’re going to be taking a look at the most overrated and underrated law schools in terms of median LSAT scores and peer assessment scores. Let’s have a gander….
For those of you who haven’t been playing along at home, the current U.S. News methodology weighs peer assessment scores at 25 percent and median LSAT scores at 12.5 percent. This new ranking of the most overrated and underrated law schools compares those two ratings — one of which is objective and one of which is subjective. Guess which one students actually give a damn about?
Over at TaxProf Blog, we find the Top 20 Most Overrated Law Schools and the Top 20 Most Underrated Law Schools. We’ll show you the Top 10 in each sector, but you can check out the full listings here. In terms of methodology for this study, both the median LSAT scores and the peer assessment scores were sorted from high to low, and were then numbered for rank.
And without further ado, here are the Top 10 Most Overrated Law Schools, i.e., schools whose peer reputation ranks are much higher than their median LSAT ranks:
You see that, law schools? All you need to do is get your basketball team into the bracket and your peer assessment score will soar when compared to your somewhat middling median LSAT scores.
And now we present you with the Top 10 Most Underrated Law Schools, i.e., schools whose peer reputation ranks are much lower than their median LSAT ranks:
These are schools that we don’t talk about very much (except for when they accidentally release the personal data for their entire incoming class), but the trend here seems to be that if the school has any kind of a religious affiliation, its peer assessment score drops quicker than the Walls of Jericho.
So readers, what do you think? Are any of these law schools truly overrated or underrated outside of their median LSAT and peer assessment scores? We’re really interested in what you’ve got to say.
The Most Underrated and Overrated Law Schools [TaxProf Blog]