The University School of Law will not provide requested data to the U.S. News World and Report this year, Dean Risa Goluboff announced in a letter to prospective students Friday, making the University the 16th law school within the list’s top 50 to announce it will not participate this year. Last year, the University’s School of Law was ranked No. 8.
“We will continue to engage with U.S. News as it undertakes possible changes to the rankings, and we remain open to revisiting our decision in the future,” Goluboff said. “Regardless of rankings, we will continue to provide the world-class legal education and the unparalleled student experience for which UVA is known.”
This decision follows Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law and others who announced earlier this year that they will withhold data from the organization. Schools have cited concerns that the rankings disincentivize public-interest careers, need-based aid and discourage socio-economic diversity, as well as undermine the commitments of the legal profession.
U.S. News has said that it will continue to rank all law schools without specifying how it will account for the missing data — a choice Goluboff said factored into the University's decision to pull out of the rankings.
“Schools might move up or down the rankings, perhaps significantly, not because their quality has changed but because U.S. News has changed its formula in ways that are neither transparent nor meaningful,” Goluboff said.
As it currently stands, Goluboff said the U.S. News rankings do not capture what the School of Law values — fostering access to legal education, promoting the free exchange of ideas, public service and more.
Goluboff encouraged prospective students to feel empowered given this news, encouraging them to ask questions and consult resources when researching potential law schools.