A letter from Dean Troy McKenzie to the NYU Law community:
New York University School of Law will suspend its participation in the U.S. News law school rankings.
Prospective law students need accurate information as they consider which school best fits their goals in pursuing a legal education. At one time, U.S. News may have provided information that could not be found elsewhere. That has changed. The disclosures required of law schools by the American Bar Association, together with other sources of information that were not readily available 30 years ago when U.S. News began its law rankings, now give applicants transparent access to far more data about law schools. In fact, the methodology used by U.S. News can give applicants a distorted view of the opportunities for successful professional paths available at law schools.
We have long shared many of the criticisms expressed by the deans of other law schools who have announced their withdrawal from participation in the U.S. News rankings. Of particular concern, the U.S. News methodology—through its debt and employment metrics—penalizes schools that support graduates pursuing public interest careers. NYU Law has long offered one of the nation’s most generous loan repayment assistance programs for graduates pursuing public interest careers. U.S. News does not account for that support. NYU Law has also provided fellowships for public interest graduates—a program that opens opportunities at leading public interest organizations. U.S. News considers those graduates to be only marginally employed.
NYU Law values its long history of redefining legal education and ensuring our graduates are practice-ready for today’s world. Our commitments to public service and educational accessibility remain among our greatest priorities. We hope that U.S. News takes steps to improve its ranking methodology, and that in the future the rankings would provide prospective students with a more accurate—and more transparent—assessment of what constitutes a quality legal education.
Posted December 5, 2022