lukegilman.com : The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Law School Rankings Game: One Step Forward, Four Steps Back?

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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After becoming a poster child for the pitfalls of not playing along with the law school rankings, the University of Houston Law Center made a rapid climb back up the rankings from a low of 70 to 55 last year. This year we ‘slipped’ to 59. or did we?

In comparing the leaked numbers to the 2009 numbers I wondered what the difference was. UHLC was tied with a host of folks at No. 55 last year with a raw score of 49. The school actually improved for this years ranking, increasing the raw score to 50, but was vaulted by other schools such as Case Western, Pepperdine and Kentucky. Moral of the story: just as good or even just a little bit better, is no longer good enough.

To the pre-L’s: I’ll leave the larger discussion of the efficacy of deciding where to go for law school on the basis of ranking for another day. On the one hand, it’s a rough proxy for the collective wisdom of other prospective law students – it’s always a fairly safe bet to move with the herd. On the other hand, that ranking number, as objective as it may seem to the uninitiated, is a fairly arbitrary measure when comparing schools within 20 or so spots of each other, and those numbers are going to move, sometimes a lot. There are lots of other (valid) reasons to decide where to go to law school (cost, location, subject area of interest, being admitted, etc) – if you haven’t decided where you’re going and why, it’s not too late.

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