Green Bag to Devise New Law School Ranking System

How can law school applicants assess how well a school upholds its promise of faculty quality? That is the question raised by Professor Ross Davies, editor of the Green Bag law journal, in an Inside Higher Ed news story.

In an editorial in the Green Bag's upcoming issue, editors announce they will begin work this spring on an annual assessment of how well law professors are doing the work their law schools claim they are doing. The goal in formulating and publishing this new ranking is to provide a larger body of data to assist prospective applicants in making more informed decisions as to where they might wish to study.

The rankings study will be called the Deadwood Report and will attempt to measure to what extent the accepted faculty tasks of teaching, publishing scholarly works, and performing pro bono work are actually being done by individual faculty members.

"The message out of the law schools is generally the same," Davies told Inside Higher Ed. "All our faculty are the same: Each one is an active scholar, an active teacher, and committed to law in the service of the public. All the Green Bag is trying to do is to measure the accuracy of that portrayal--examine the real world, add one more little slice of data to these decisions people have to make. We have 180-190 institutions saying, We are bastions of teaching, scholarship and service. The Deadwood Report will say, Okay, Professor A sort of fits that. Professor B sort of fits that. Professor C really fits that. Professor D only fits one third of that. Professor E is AWOL. We just hope to open things up."

Joining the Law School Rankings Game, Inside Higher Ed, February 26, 2008. By Doug Lederman.

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