The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

It’s That Time of Year Again…

Posted by demkid on April 13, 2010

Time for the 2011 US News Law School Rankings!  A year ago, we here at the Bright Coast were one of the first sites to leak the 2010 rankings before they were released in print or online.  It wasn’t actually a “leak” per se, we simply found where someone had posted the scanned rankings, and consolidated them all into one easy-to-read blog post.  Of course, last year’s rankings were particularly meaningful to us, because our school, the University of San Diego School of Law, made the biggest jump out of any other school.  After being linked to on some extremely popular blogs, our rankings post was viewed tens of thousands of times in the first couple of days alone, and it remains our most popular post to this day. 

If this were last year, the updated rankings would have already been posted on this site.  However, the people over at US News decided to ruin all the fun.  Instead of releasing the print version first (or at least releasing it to newsstands so that certain individuals can snag a copy and scan the pages), it was decided this year that the rankings would be released online well ahead of time:

Our new America’s Best Graduate Schools rankings will be published online on April 15. Highlights of the graduate school rankings are scheduled for publication in the May issue of U.S.News & World Report, available for newsstand purchase on April 27, and in the America’s Best Graduate Schools guidebook, on sale April 20. The most comprehensive version, including all the extended rankings and the most complete data, will be available only in the premium online edition at

So, to prevent the kind of leaks that happened last year, the rankings will be online a good five days before any print version is released.  No fun!  It seems that unless a true insider decides to leak the rankings (and how would that be verified?) ahead of the online release, everyone will have access to the 2011 rankings at the same time.  That time looks to be tomorrow night, at midnight, on April 15th.  Can we expect anything new from these rankings?  Robert Morse says this on his US News blog:

This year, we have improved and modified both our part-time J.D. and part-time M.B.A. program ranking methodologies. U.S. News‘s new part-time law rankings are based on a 5.0-scale peer assessment survey, median LSAT scores and median undergraduate grade-point average for fall 2009 entering part-time students, and an exclusive part-time J.D. curriculum index that measures the extent to which a law school offers a rich part-time program to its students. U.S. News‘s previous part-time law school rankings were based solely on the number of times a part-time program was nominated to be among the 10 top programs.

Being that USD Law had the 7th-ranked part-time J.D. program last year, it will be interesting to see how things change now that they are using this new and improved methodology.  In any case, if I happen to see any reliable leaked rankings before midnight tomorrow night, I’ll be sure and post them here.  If not, I’ll post the new 2011 rankings here shortly after midnight.


One Response to “It’s That Time of Year Again…”

  1. […] It’s That Time of Year Again… […]

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