Wednesday 17 December 2008

US News list a curse

I didn't say it - that's the title of a new article in the National Law Journal, subtitled "Law School Ranking generates more heat than light". The author, Peter Kalis, chairman and global managing partner of K&L Gates, goes on to express his concern that the US News law school rankings creates "mindless competition" that can have negative ramifications all through the legal community. He spells out two problems with the rankings: first, that "nondesigner" law schools - and he uses Pitt Law as his example - have dedicated teachers and researchers, fine student bodies and produce sterling lawyers - but these facts just don't come through in the rankings. Secondly, he feels that the rankings have a negative impact on minority enrollment in law schools, which means a smaller pool of candidates for law firms like K&L Gates to hire.
Mr. Kalis pays some wonderful and well-deserved compliments to Pitt Law and especially our talented faculty and students. And he puts US News in its place: "a magazine develops a ranking using a questionable approach, lets loose with this year's version and then starts reporting on its own pseudo-news as if it's something to which we should pay attention. For the most part, it's not." Hearing the truth about the rankings spoken so boldly is very refreshing. I hope others will be brave enough to stand up and say that the Emperor has no clothes.

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