As reported in “ Deans dislike ranking proposals” [NLJ, July 7], many law school deans are upset about the recent announcement by U.S. News & World Report that it is seriously considering revising its law school rankings methodology to treat part-time students’ entering credentials (LSAT score and undergraduate grade-point average) no differently than full-time students’. To date, U.S. News has excluded part-timers’ credentials from its rankings calculus.
On the law deans’ American Bar Association listserv, some deans quickly responded to the U.S. News announcement by objecting strongly to the proposed change, maintaining that it is unfair, illogical, and potentially lethal to the continued existence of many part-time programs. Others objected less strenuously, suggesting that with some fine-tuning (e.g., only counting part-timers who ultimately transfer into the full-time program) the proposal would be tolerable. Still others maintained that if U.S. News is serious about addressing shortcomings in its methodology, the place to start is not with counting part-timers’ entering credentials but instead with counting those of transfer students.
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