Ivy League Law Schools and the Slow Death of the Meritocracy
We currently find ourselves in a bizarre wasteland of mainstream political discourse. These days no US institution, and indeed no corner of American life, is safe from politicization or even from becoming a mouthpiece for extreme activism.
Since last November, Yale, Harvard, and other top US law schools have opted out of participation in the annual rankings by US News & World Report, a long-established go-to reference for how the nation’s laws schools stack up against each other. While it has many competitors, the US News’ rankings are among the most well-known and prestigious.
These schools have issues with how their rankings are formulated, which is interesting given that the disputed calculations routinely rank them at the top. Exploring this question leads to bigger questions, pointing to troubling modern cultural tendencies leading beyond law school rankings.
Representatives of these schools say that the current standards are both flawed and unjust, claiming that US News places too much emphasis on Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores and grade point averages of enrolled students. The US News graduate employment data focuses exclusively on the traditional pipeline of employment after graduation rather than alternative public service paths, neglecting to calculate student loan forgiveness and repayment programs of certain positions when totaling the debt of current and graduating classes.
These arguments suggest, in part, that US News isn’t accurately assessing the preparedness of the schools’ average graduate for the legal profession. If that were true they might have a point, but that is not the crux of the argument made by the elite schools.
Instead, these schools are pointing toward things one does not ordinarily associate with an elite law school education. Writes the dean of Harvard Law School in a blog post:
By heavily weighting students’ test scores and college grades, the U.S. News rankings have over the years created incen
Article from Mises Wire