UC Davis School of Law withdraws from US News and World Report rankings


The choice follows different faculties’ leads, citing issues over the methodology of the rankings

 

By SYDNEY AMESTOY — campus@theaggie.org

 

The UC Davis School of Law will now not submit information corresponding to post-graduation employment charges and LSAT scores to the U.S. News and World Report’s annual regulation college rating, in line with a letter from Dean Kevin Johnson issued Nov. 28.

Three different UC regulation faculties, together with these at UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles and UC Irvine have additionally introduced selections to cease offering information to be used within the rankings, in line with an article on regulation.com, together with the regulation faculties at Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Columbia, amongst others. Cornell Law School and University of Chicago Law School have determined to proceed to supply information for the rankings.

Johnson’s letter cited issues concerning the rankings not involving variety of their methodology, in addition to a choice in the direction of non-public faculties with extra sources.

“We really were frustrated that the rankings didn’t consider things […] that are particularly important to what we’re trying to do, and important goals for our school,” Johnson stated. “[There is] no attention paid to quality of teaching, no attention paid to diversity of the student body [and] faculty, and really [there is] a bias toward private schools with many resources that public universities don’t have.”

Concern with the U.S. News and World Report’s dealing with of variety inside regulation faculties has been central to the dialogue across the UC Davis School of Law’s choice to depart, in line with Johnson. 

“Last year, [the U.S. News and World Report] was talking about doing a diversity index for the student body,” Johnson stated. “But their initial index would not have included mixed race people [or] Asian Americans as people of color. […] It seems to many people that when U.S. News came up with this [diversity index], they didn’t know what they were doing.”

The U.S. News and World Report rating’s emphasis on scoring excessive on the LSAT, a standardized take a look at taken by potential regulation college candidates, was one other concern for college, in line with Johnson. 

“There’s been a great deal of concern for a number of years that standardized tests aren’t fair, and maybe biased against particular groups,” Johnson stated. “In fact, that concern with the use of standardized tests is one of the reasons that the University of California doesn’t use them anymore in admissions decisions for undergraduates. We have similar concerns with the way that the LSAT is used.”

According to Johnson’s letter, the choice to withdraw got here after lengthy deliberation between the regulation college’s college and the alumni board, in addition to the scholars attending the varsity of regulation.

Hon. Nancy Wieben Stock, a retired choose from the UC Davis class of 1976 and president of the alumni board on the UC Davis School of Law, has been concerned within the course of main as much as this choice because it was proposed by Dean Johnson.

“Our law school has been climbing those rankings for many years, thanks largely to our success in producing successful lawyers,” Wieben Stock stated. “But we realized that pursuit of higher rankings could come at a cost to other factors that make the law school successful, [such as] promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the law school admissions process and [the] recruitment of a diverse faculty.”

Admissions was a giant a part of the inner dialog resulting in the choice to withdraw information, in line with Johnson, as a result of the U.S. News and World Report rankings are thought-about a robust indicator to potential regulation college students. This implies that withdrawing from submitting information for the rankings might have a unfavorable impression on admissions.

“If I have a roomful of prospective law students, and ask them how many people have looked at the U.S. News rankings, I can almost guarantee that everybody will raise their hand,” Johnson stated. “So they are important.”

However, regardless of the potential drawbacks of the choice, and a few dissent from a number of college and alumni, Johnson stated that over 90% of suggestions he obtained was in favor of not collaborating anymore. 

  The U.S. News and World Report’s official assertion on a number of regulation faculties leaving the rankings states that the rating will embody all accredited regulation faculties, together with faculties not submitting information. These faculties will probably be ranked utilizing publicly accessible information, whether or not or not the faculties reply to their annual survey with extra in-depth info. 

The U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings are designed for students seeking to make the best decision for their legal education,” the assertion reads. “We will continue to pursue our journalistic mission of ensuring that students can rely on the best and most accurate information, using the rankings as one factor in their law school search.”

On Jan. 2, the U.S. News and World Report revealed a letter to regulation college deans saying modifications to the 2023-2024 rating system primarily based on suggestions they’ve obtained.

According to the letter, a few of the essential adjustments embody an elevated weight on consequence measurements, corresponding to bar examination move charges and employment outcomes, in addition to growing the load given to school-funded full-time long-term fellowships to be able to encourage public service careers.

The letter additionally cited issues that they haven’t addressed on this yr’s modifications, together with mortgage forgiveness, variety and need-based help, saying that these areas “require additional time and collaboration to address,” and that they’ll proceed to collaborate on “metrics with agreed upon definitions.” 

The U.S. News and World Report went on to instantly ask the regulation faculties which have pulled out of submitting information to reverse their choice.

“We call on all law schools to make public all of the voluminous data they currently report to the [American Bar Association] but decline to publish, so that future law students can have fuller and more transparent disclosure,” the letter reads.

 

Written by: Sydney Amestoy — campus@theaggie.org

 



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