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### Relevance of USNWR Law School Rankings Over Time

Right now in the damp “Golden State,” a conflict has arisen between the hospital rankings of U.S. News and World Report and the San Francisco City Attorney’s office, evolving into a legal battle. San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu issued two subpoenas to U.S. News and World Report earlier this month regarding hospital rankings and other healthcare institutions. The first subpoena requested information about the company’s hospital ranking process, which includes generating revenue from healthcare facilities by selling ‘badges’ that high-scoring institutions often display on their websites and marketing materials. The second subpoena sought internal business records to shed light on U.S. News’ ranking methodology and any potential influence of financial ties with hospitals.

This legal dispute is poised to be intriguing. California has enshrined laws against unfair business practices, raising questions about whether these rankings could be deemed as such, a matter to be resolved in the lawsuit filed by USNWR in federal court.

USNWR contends that the subpoenas infringe upon the First Amendment and is seeking an injunction to halt compliance with them.

Why is this relevant to lawyers? Consider this – the revered USNWR law school rankings have long served as a guide for aspiring law students in selecting where to apply, assessing school compatibility, and weighing the institution’s reputation in their decision-making process.

Could this litigation set a precedent for potential future targets? It is conceivable that certain law schools, particularly those in lower tiers, are closely monitoring this legal battle. Some law schools have already taken notice, and more are likely to follow suit.

As a legal professional, why should one take note of these developments? This perspective is not unique. Do these rankings hold significance beyond academia and into actual legal practice? While they may carry weight in prestigious law firms, the practical value of these “predictive” scores diminishes over time. Has a client ever inquired about your GPA or LSAT score? Unlikely.

The true measure lies in the education and skills honed during practice, not merely the rankings one held in law school. The fallacy of rankings lies in their subjective nature, akin to beauty – a subjective concept with varying interpretations.

Decisions should not hinge solely on rankings. Prospective law students must evaluate various factors when choosing a school, considering academic fit, financial implications, and the level of debt they are willing to undertake for a professional degree. John Grisham’s novel serves as a cautionary reminder in this regard.

Expanding beyond law school rankings, USNWR has recently unveiled its inaugural list of “Best Companies to Work For,” focusing on Biglaw firms. The criteria encompass not only financial aspects but also work environment, employee experience, and growth opportunities, reflecting a shift towards holistic evaluations.

Reviewing the top 10 Biglaw firms in USNWR’s list, factors such as pay quality, work-life balance, stability, comfort, belongingness, and professional development are considered. Are these rankings reminiscent of the desire to belong to the popular group in high school, reflecting grown-up aspirations? It’s a thought-provoking question.

Lastly, on a lighter note, don’t forget that tomorrow, February 2, marks Groundhog Day. As Punxsutawney Phil emerges to forecast the weather, one can’t help but wish for a prediction on the duration until the 2024 election, hoping for a swift resolution amidst the impending months of campaigning ahead.

old lady lawyer elderly woman grandmother grandma laptop computerJill Switzer has been an active member of the State Bar of California for over 40 years. She recalls practicing law in a more amiable era, with a diverse legal career spanning roles as a deputy district attorney, a solo practitioner, and various senior in-house positions. Presently, she dedicates her time to full-time mediation, observing interactions between individuals of different generations – from dinosaurs to millennials and those in-between, which are not always harmonious. For further communication, you can reach her via email at .**