U.S. News Law School Rankings Postponed Indefinitely

Influential ratings list has been plagued by controversy, with top schools refusing to participate

The U.S. News has postponed the release of its 2023-2024 law school rankings, following weeks of delays and months of increasing controversy for the influential list.

Although the rankings were slated for release on April 18, a statement published on the U.S. News website on April 19 blamed “an unprecedented number of inquiries” for the delay, “including requests from law [...] schools to update data submitted after the collection period.”

“The 2023-2024 Best Law Schools rankings and supporting documents will be released when this work has been completed,” the statement continued. An initial rankings preview released on April 11 was retracted.

Though the high-prestige rankings list has long been influential, critics say it negatively impacts student diversity and affordability, with methodology that over-prioritizes reputational surveys and schools’ expenditure per student.

The controversy escalated in November 2022, when the law schools at Harvard and Yale announced they would no longer submit internal data for consideration in the rankings. In a statement on the school’s website, Yale law dean Heather Gerken denounced the “profoundly flawed” rankings for disincentivizing schools from admitting working-class students, offering need-based financial aid, and helping students pursue public interest careers.

After more than 40 other law schools joined the boycott, U.S. News announced it would adjust its methodology for this year’s update.

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