"There’s a surprising amount of movement among the top law schools. And there are some interesting tidbits from elsewhere within the rankings," says David Lat.
Here's a list showing the various gains and losses in rank. (My school, Wisconsin, stays at the same place, #35, but we suffered a loss last year.) The University of Washington went up 10 spots to #20, Arizona [State] soared 14 places to 26. Meanwhile, Illinois plummeted to 35 (to join UW). There is pain in Austin, Texas (falling 3), and cheer in Georgetown, which climbed over Cornell.
Biggest loss in the top 10 is Michigan, falling 3 places to #10. Biggest top 10 gain is Berkeley, up 2 spots to 7. The coveted 2d and 3d places switch hands with Stanford popping up over Harvard.
At Wisconsin, we like to single out the "peer reputation ranking," and Paul Caron has broken out that list. We're #24 on that scale, which, we like to think, extracts the wealth factor. If only we had more money to bulk up our other numbers, that's where we'd be overall. And: If only we'd go all hardcore on LSAT and GPA admissions instead of the soft factors, we'd be — who knows where? — up there with Texas. But why should we change? Let those other schools stop taking advantage of those factors!
Blah blah blah. If you're not a law school person, you're going to tell me how meaningless this all is. Why am I bothering you with this. If you are a law school person, you know this is our lifeblood. Our hated lifeblood. But our lifeblood nonetheless. It's a marketplace, and the currency is U.S. News ranking.