The UC Berkeley School of Law is joining several of the nation’s top law schools by opting out of the U.S. News & World Report’s annual top law school rankings over equity and diversity concerns, but the magazine says they’ll still include these schools anyway.
The University of California Berkeley School of Law has many notable alumnae, from former Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren to, locally, former SF Mayor Ed Lee. And the law school’s prestige is reflected in its consistent top-ten status in the sort of law school bellwether rankings, The U.S. News & World Report law school rankings (UC Berkeley was ranked ninth nationally in the latest such survey).
But UC Berkeley no longer wants a part in that publication’s rankings. On Thursday, the law school’s Dean Erwin Chemerinsky announced UC Berkeley would no longer participate in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. According to KTVU, Yale and Harvard’s law schools just made the same announcement.
Berkeley Law withdraws from the U.S. News ranking. Statement, from Dean Chemerinsky, below. pic.twitter.com/VuiopKvBuy— Orin Kerr (@OrinKerr) November 17, 2022
“After careful consideration, Berkeley Law has decided not to continue to participate in the US News ranking of law schools,” Chemerinsky announced Thursday. “Although rankings are inevitable and inevitably have some arbitrary features, there are aspects of the US News rankings that are profoundly inconsistent with our values and public mission."
Yale Law School Dean Heather K. Gerken (whose school almost always wins No. 1) was a little more pointed in her announcement to leave the rankings. “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,” she wrote Wednesday. “We have reached a point where the rankings process is undermining the core commitments of the legal profession. As a result, we will no longer participate.”
For their part, U.S. News & World Report says they will still rank these schools in there anyway. "We will continue to fulfill our journalistic mission of ensuring that students can rely on the best and most accurate information," U.S. News executive chairman and CEO Eric Gertler said in a statement picked up by KTVU. "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 these recent announcements."
And UC Berkeley Law School seems to have moved on, today tweeting about their latest shout-out in a different publication, Teen Vogue.
Image: Art Anderson via Wikimedia Commons