Yale Law School is withdrawing from the U.S. News & World Report's law-school rankings, affecting the credibility of the high-profile rankings, the Wall Street Journal reported.
"The U.S. News rankings are profoundly flawed," Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken said, the Wall Street Journal reported. "Its approach not only fails to advance the legal profession, but stands squarely in the way of progress."
Gerken said the rankings devalue programs that encourage low-paying public-interest jobs and devalue schools that dangle scholarships for high LSAT scores, rather than for financial need.
Eric Gertler, executive chairman and CEO of U.S. News & World Report, said: "As part of our mission, we must continue to ensure that law schools are held accountable for the education they will provide to these students and that mission does not change with this recent announcement."
U.S. News has been ranking colleges and graduate programs since the 1980s and is considered the definitive guide. Yale Law School has held the No. 1 spot every year since 1990.
Gerken said rankings are useful "only when they follow sound methodology and confine their metrics to what the data can reasonably capture."
About five years ago, she said, she and a group of other law-school deans urged U.S. News to rethink how it categorizes public-interest fellowships. That didn't yield any notable change, she said.
One-fifth of the overall ranking score is based on median LSAT or GRE test scores and undergraduate grade-point averages, Ms. Gerken said, adversely affecting schools that want to admit students who couldn't afford test-prep courses and rewarding schools that give millions in scholarships to students with the best scores, not the most financial need, the Journal reported.
Yale Law is known as a training ground for legal scholars and prominent lawyers, with many graduates going on to high-profile federal and Supreme Court clerkships, the paper reported.
But in recent months, Yale has become embroiled in free-speech battles after students disrupted a March panel discussion on civil liberties that featured progressive and conservative speakers, the Journal reported.
Laurence Silberman, who was a senior judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., warned his colleagues to "carefully consider" whether students who interrupted the event should be disqualified for clerkships. At least one other conservative judge has since followed suit, saying they won't hire Yale Law graduates as clerks.
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