Prospective law students, current law students, and law school alumni are eagerly awaiting the release of the 2022 U.S. News Law School Rankings later this month. While you wait until March 30 to see if your law school rose to the occasion during the pandemic or fell victim to COVID’s clutches, we’ve got some news that’s sure to whet your appetite even more for the law school rankings to come.
Earlier this week, rankings guru Bob Morse announced that the publication would be delving into diversity. Here’s a brief excerpt from his recent entry at Morse Code:
Also new with the 2022 edition will be U.S. News’ first standalone ranking based on the percentage of a law school’s enrollment who are underrepresented minorities. This Most Diverse Law Schools ranking takes into account Black, Hispanic, Native American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander enrollment.
Perhaps we should take this as a sign of the times that U.S. News would deign to give credence to a diversity ranking — but not too much credence, mind you. Like the U.S. News law graduate indebetedness ranking, the new diversity ranking will also be a standalone feature that will have no impact on the main rankings.
But can you imagine if diversity did factor into the main U.S. News law school rankings? Law school administrations across the country would be scrambling to strike a balance with the excessive whiteness present in their incoming classes.
Diversity and inclusion should be goals that every law school class strives to meet. Just imagine what we could to do close the justice gap if the legal profession weren’t the least diverse profession in the nation. Think about the ways the justice system could change if the demographics of the lawyer population skewed closer to the demographics of the actual population. Doesn’t this sound lovely?
Maybe in the future U.S. News will make its new diversity ranking matter more. For now, let’s be happy that U.S. News has a diversity ranking at all. It’s a much-needed and important step forward in the right direction.
2022 Best Grad Schools Rankings Coming March 30 [U.S. News]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.