As I noted in my prior post, although the model does a pretty good job of duplicating USN&WR's results, the scores of a few schools diverge in notable—and puzzling—ways. Running regressions on the above data might help to explain the cause of those divergences. A regression might, for instance, quantify what casual observation suggests: Schools that got much lower scores in the model than in the USN&WR rankings tend to have relatively low z-scores in the "Expenditures/Student" category and relatively high ones in the "Financial Aid/Student" category.
That sort of analysis will have to wait, however. I need to take a break from blogging about the USN&WR rankings so that I can attend the American Association of Law School's Mid-Year meeting in Vancouver, Canada. I'm slated to present a talk at the Conference on New Ideas for Law School Teachers: Teaching Intentionally, entitled, "The Theory and Practice of Pedagogical Fun." Or perhaps I should say that I'm slated to perform; I plan to cap my talk by whipping out my guitar and singing "Excuses," the country-and-western-flavored song I wrote explaining the contract law defenses of mistake, frustration, and impracticability. It's my first gig! I'm terrified.
What with packing, travel, and practice, I'll find it hard to keep blogging about the USN&WR law school rankings. Soon, though, I'll wrap up the series with a post revealing the score curve for all the law schools ranked by USN&WR, a long-promised post summarizing some suggested reforms, and maybe a couple of other topics. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing some of my fellow legal academics in the Great Northwest.
[Please note that I've edited this post to reflect corrections that I made once and edits that I made to my model of the USN&WR rankings.]
Earlier posts about the 2007 USN&WR law school rankings:
- Change to U.S. News Law School Rankings Methodology
- "Financial Aid" Revised in U.S. News Methodology
- How USN&WR Counts Faculty for Rankings
- Whence Come the LSATs and GPAs Used in the Rankings?
- Gains and Losses Due to USN&WR's Use of Reported Median LSATs and GPAs
- How to Model USN&WR's Law School Rankings
- Why to Model USN&WR's Law School Rankings
- The ABA and USN&WR's Law School Rankings
- Accuracy of the Model of USN&WR's Law School Rankings