The law schools of Harvard and Yale Universities announced Wednesday that they would no longer participate in the rankings of U.S. News & World Report.
On Thursday, the law school of the University of California, Berkeley, joined the movement.
Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school, wrote, “Rankings have the meaning that we give them as a community. I do not want to pretend they do not. And rankings will exist with or without our participation. The question becomes, then, do we think that there is a benefit to participation in the U.S. News process that outweighs the costs? The answer, we feel, is no.”
He went on to identify problems with the U.S. News methodology, similar to those raised by the Harvard and Yale deans. “We have preserved a need-based aid program because we believe it is the right thing to do, but if we eliminated it we could certainly increase median LSAT scores and GPA by channeling all resources into recruitment of those students. This, we feel, is wrong—yet we understand why some schools do this, and the answer is because they fear to do otherwise will hurt their rankings.”