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The future of the US News Rankings

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Harvard and Yale Law are pulling out of the arbitrary rankings published by an essentially defunct news organization:

Yale Law School and Harvard Law School said Wednesday that they will no longer participate in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings, calling into question the methodology and values of the famed system.

“The U.S. News rankings are profoundly flawed — they disincentivize programs that support public interest careers, champion need-based aid, and welcome working-class students into the profession,” Yale Law School Dean Heather K. Gerken wrote in a blog post announcing the decision Wednesday. “We have reached a point where the rankings process is undermining the core commitments of the legal profession.”

Yale Law has routinely taken the top spot in the magazine’s law school rankings. All the same, Gerken said the publication uses a misguided formula that “not only fails to advance the legal profession, but stands squarely in the way of progress.”

It’s not clear to me what impact this will have. On one hand, Harvard and Yale don’t need the rankings — it will be when the strivers drop out that really represents progress. I don’t know if Yale and Harvard dropping out will make that more likely, but it can’t hurt.

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