U.S. News & World Report may expand their numerical rankings of law schools to include third tier schools, U.S. News research director Robert Morse announced during the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting.
“It's something that we're looking into,” Morse said. “ We do have ranking scores for all law schools but, editorially, we didn't want to say, ' This is the 188th law school.'”
If the publication goes through with the plan, the extended numerical rankings would be published in the next edition, which comes out on March 15.
While some third tier schools are pleased with the idea, others feel that the rankings are misleading and are actually calling for a reduction in the number of schools ranked, rather than an expansion.
“How they do the ranking right now doesn't make sense,” New York law School Dean Richard Matasar said. “The difference between No. 6 and No. 9 or 100 and 101 is minimal. You're really taking things that are essentially identical and treating them as tough there is a difference.”
Despite some negative feedback, Morse noted that the public understands numerical rankings more easily, which is why they would like to include their third tier schools. In the new format, 142 schools would be ranked, while the bottom 25 percent would still be listed alphabetically.