Law School Rankings 2023: Beyond USWNR
March 1, 2023
The US News & World Report law school rankings have for more than two decades been the most reliable, comprehensive, and up-to-date source of information about how law schools are performing. But as we enter a new era for law schools, there are already signs that the methodology behind these rankings may need some tweaking.
This blog article will explore ways to improve upon the USWNR methodology by exploring alternative data sources that can offer insight into how well a given school is doing relative to its peers in terms of student success rates or cost.
We’ll also look at what this means for prospective students who consider which schools to apply to, including whether they should focus on any one particular ranking or use a mix of different methods when selecting their target destinations.”
Law School Rankings 2023: Beyond USWNR
Law School Rankings 2023
If you’re considering law school, it’s important to understand the different rankings that are available. The U.S. News & World Report ranking is the most well-known, but there are several alternative rankings available as well:
- Bloomberg Businessweek Law School Rankings – This ranking is based on academic performance and alumni success in various fields including business and finance, health care, science and technology, humanities, and social sciences; it includes 10 categories (including faculty quality) with each category having multiple subcategories within it; your profile is calculated by taking into account factors such as GPA/LSAT score/GPA adjusted for class size, etc…
- NALP Directory – NALP Directory provides information about law schools including admission statistics from past years along with details about each program within those schools’ websites so you can see where certain programs stand compared to other schools’ offerings (e.g., “Harvard Law School” vs “Yale Law School”).
What the future holds for law schools
The future of law schools is uncertain. The USWNR report has some recommendations for how schools can adapt, but not all agree with its findings or conclusions.
The first thing that must be addressed is the fact that students will continue to seek out higher-quality legal education and employment opportunities as they become more aware of their career options following graduation.
This means that law schools will have to provide more than just classroom experience; they will also need to focus on helping students find internships or employment opportunities upon graduation so that they can apply their knowledge in the real world.
As for rankings? It’s possible those could change dramatically over time as well—but only if you consider what you want from your education beyond just getting into a top school!
Alternative data from other sectors
The USWNR has been around for a long time, and it’s important to recognize that there are many other ways to evaluate law schools. Consider alternative data from other sectors, such as peer review ratings or bar exam passage rates.
While law school rankings may not be perfect—and they may even be misleading—they’re useful when considered alongside all the different sources of information you have at your disposal as a potential student or graduate.
The preeminent ranking is not always the best one to use for your application decision.
Rankings are a useful tool for students to make decisions about which
schools to apply to, but they aren’t always the best way of choosing your school. Rankings are not the only tool you need to use when making this decision—and there may be some rankings that should be avoided altogether.
Rankings are not always accurate
Rankings can sometimes be misleading or inaccurate due to factors such as errors in scoring and inconsistencies within each ranking system. For example:
- Harvard Law School (HLS) was ranked first on US News & World Report’s 2019 Best Schools list; however, it will likely drop out of this year’s list because its overall rating fell by 2 percent from last year’s results—a significant drop considering HLS has been at or near the top since 2010!
- Michigan Law School (MSU) was ranked second on US News & World Report’s 2019 Best Schools list; however, MSU dropped out of contention entirely when it lost its accreditation status earlier this year following an investigation into whether there were patterns involving racial discrimination within their admissions processes between 2008-2014.”
Consider alternative sources of information to make your own decisions about where to apply.
In addition to USWNR, you can find additional information about schools through a variety of sources. You may want to consider looking at the school’s employment statistics, bar passage rates, and diversity statistics.
You should also consider looking at which students have gone on from your target law school and what they’ve done since graduation (e.g., if you’re applying for a job at a large firm).
We want to be clear: We aren’t advocating that you should reject USWNR, or any other ranking system. We are simply asking readers to consider alternative sources of information and make their own decisions about where they apply. You have a right to choose wherever you want your law school education—and if this means abandoning one ranking system in favor of another, then so be it!