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U-Va. law school halts cooperation with U.S. News rankings

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The University of Virginia law school on Friday suspended its association with the US News and World Report rankings, a development that means nine of the top 10 schools on the influential list are now openly rebelling against the prestige ranking.

In all, at least 17 law schools that US News ranks among the top 50 have joined the rebellion that began when Yale University’s top-ranked law school declared on Nov. 16 that it would not participate. It is one of the biggest challenges for the independent and controversial ranking system in years.

U-Va.’s law school, ranked eighth, joined the movement in a statement from its law dean.

The law school revolt against the US News rankings is gaining momentum

“As they stand, the US News rankings don’t reflect much of what we value at UVA: facilitating access to legal education and the legal profession for students of all backgrounds; promoting the free exchange of ideas within a community of joy, humanity and trust; provide first-class teaching by experienced teachers; public service support; and launching our graduates into the great career paths of their choice,” the dean, Risa Goluboff, wrote in an open letter to prospective students.

Goluboff said the school will not submit answers this year to questions US News asks to collect data for its rankings. The answers are usually expected in January.

US News, which has significant influence in higher education, has previously said it plans to continue ranking fully accredited law schools whether or not they submit data. A significant amount of law school information, including admissions and test score data, is publicly available through the American Bar Association. Asked about the U-Va. announcement, a spokeswoman for the rankings publication wrote in an email Friday afternoon, “We have no further comment at this time.”

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Of the law schools US News lists as the top 10, only the University of Chicago, in third place, has said it intends to collaborate. U-Chicago dean Thomas J. Miles said in a statement on Nov. 23 that he wants to prevent the use of inaccurate information. “Most of the data we provide to US News is already public, and the rest is information we don’t need to withhold,” Miles wrote.

Miles also characterized the ranking as an opinion, saying the law school does not want to suppress such expressions. “Instead, we should encourage prospective students to think critically and draw their own conclusions about the added value of the rankings,” Miles wrote at the time.

There is considerable momentum behind the uprising. On Monday, New York University’s law school, which ranks seventh, said it would also drop participation.

While reasons vary from school to school, many of the insurgents say the ranking formula doesn’t give enough weight to efforts to provide needs-based assistance to students and steer them toward careers in the public service or legal non-profit. profit organizations.

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