UCLA, UC Irvine law schools join boycott of U.S. News & World Report rankings
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The two leading law schools in California are joining a nationwide boycott of U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of law schools by downgrading their stature as “better,” “best” or “top” after the publication of the report, which was released Wednesday.
UCLA had been the only law school listed by the liberal publication among the top 50 schools according to the annual ranking. The University of Southern California had been ranked third.
“The decision to join the boycott and downgrade the rankings are motivated by our concerns around whether or not U.S. News’ methodology is objectively and consistently producing fair rankings,” said William Sjoholm, the president of UCLA’s Law Alumni Association.
The publication’s methodology is its methodology, and no school will “be graded on its rankings,” Sjoholm said.
UC Irvine law professor and dean of law, David Bernstein, called the rankings “an embarrassment” to the California law schools and said they were “shocked and horrified” at the action taken by the liberal law school.
“UC Irvine law school is at the forefront of innovation in law education. We need this recognition and we need it soon. Our mission is to produce the most excellent lawyers possible and to train the next generation of leaders and the next generation of lawyers,” Bernstein said.
“We want to make clear that we stand firmly behind the fact that U.S. News rankings are inherently subjective. They don’t do a good job of capturing the true value of the information they purport to assess,” he continued.
And, Bernstein said, the move by U.S. News “will not change our expectations of where we see ourselves.”