US News releases its latest, controversial rankings of law and medical schools

US News releases its latest, controversial rankings of law and medical schools

U.S. News & World Report finally released its annual rankings of the top law and medical schools on Thursday after boycotts by those institutions, controversy over methodology and weeks of delay.

Some law schools shuffled the positions, but the ones at the top of the new list were familiar — Stanford, Yale, Chicago, Duke, Harvard and New York University.

Yale, which was the first to boycott, retained its No. 1 spot, though tied with Stanford this year. Colombia, which also participated in the boycott, moved from fourth to eighth place.

The new methodology resulted in some major changes in the lower ranks. Wake Forest in North Carolina jumped 15 spots to No. 22 from No. 37 last year. Marquette University in Milwaukee climbed from No. 71 previously to No. 34, tied with Texas Tech.

Among medical schools, most that were in the top 10 list for research last year remain in 2023-24.

The top three medical schools are Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pennsylvania. Joining the top ten: Vanderbilt, Weill Cornell and Washington University in St. Louis.

New York University dropped from No. 2 to No. 10 last year.

After years of criticizing US News’ rankings, several elite law and medical schools refused to hand over the data and decided to boycott the 2023-24 rankings, saying the rankings were unreliable and unfair, putting education priorities first. was skewing

Yale Law School said that the US News methodology did not give enough importance to programs that “public interest careers, champion need-based aid, and welcome working-class students into the profession”. As a result, Yale argued, the ranking effectively punishes those law schools that emphasize that work, and deters others from focusing on that work.

Faced with several dozen schools that refused to participate, US News went on a listening tour last year to develop a new methodology. For law schools, fully 58 percent of a school’s ranking is now based on results — how many graduating students pass the bar and get a job — a substantial increase from previous years.

The new ranking of medical schools for research also uses the new methodology, and includes evaluations of faculty resources, academic achievements of entering students, and research productivity.

US News said that for law and medical schools that declined to provide data, it filled in the blanks using publicly available information.

Despite the overhaul, the initial preview of the 2023-24 rankings, released on April 21, ran into another wave of criticism, delaying the release of the final list.


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