Wednesday, March 25, 2015

USN&WR Law School Rankings, Color-Coded Changes, 2015 to 2016 Editions

March 30 Update: A slightly revised version is now embedded below. Apologies to one school for having their two editions' data reversed (they know who they are - thanks for the polite heads-up!), and to Wake Forest for misspelling their name all these years.

(Original post:)

Last's year's color-coded table of all changes to the published metrics in the U.S. News and World Report law school rankings proved to be useful to some folks, so here is this years version:

As the document itself says, contact me for any questions, or if you find any errors. (I spent about half a day chasing down one erroneous number, but didn't see anything else that stood out as looking wildly out of place.)

Also as the document says, because USN&WR uses but doesn't report median LSAT and UGPA, I got those figures from the ABA's Standard 509 Disclosures. I found one discrepancy between those two sets of data, but it doesn't affect that schools' rankings: USN&WR publishes the 25th and 75th percentiles of LSAT and UGPA, though its the median figures they use in their rankings. One school provided a different 25th percentile LSAT score to US News  than they did to the ABA, and one of the statistics people at US News confirm that they indeed got that number from the school - and it was the same as their median LSAT figure - statistically possible if you have a very flat distribution of numbers, but unlikely. Which indicates it wasn't their fault, except that they didn't notice that the school provided the same number for the 25th percentile and median LSAT. More on that in a future blog post, perhaps (I'm waiting to hear back from the associate dean there - but really, it did NOT affect their rankings and was a harmless mistake - it just goes to issues of quality control, verification, etc., etc.)

In some e-mail exchanges last year, I learned about the usefulness of standard deviations - if I have time, I'll make those charts and also upload them here. Using Excel's conditional formatting you can visually represent the standard deviation and easily see if your school has a better (or worse) ranking by a particular metric, compared to your overall ranking. 

And if I figure out how to embed it like I want, I'll post my raw Excel file - its just what U.S. News publishes so they can't complain if I put up a sortable version of their numbers. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wake Forest, not Forrest.