Pitt’s School of Law will no longer participate in U.S. News & World Report ranking


TPN File Photo

The Barco Law Building.

By Punya Bhasin, News Editor

Pitt will no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report’s law school rankings. This decision is consistent with that of many other universities, including Penn State, that have withdrawn amid criticism of the ranking’s methodology. 

Nick France, a University spokesperson, said the decision follows “careful consideration” and was made “in close consultation” with Pitt’s stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students and alumni. Interim dean and law professor Haider Ala Hamoudi said the ranking system is “flawed.”

“Some aspects of the U.S. News rankings are inconsistent with Pitt Law’s mission and values, including our longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” Hamoudi said. “The U.S. News ranking system is systematically flawed and harmful to both legal education and the legal profession.”

Hamoudi also said the ranking system places too much value on admission criteria that disadvantage marginalized students. 

“Among other things, the rankings overvalue the amount spent on legal education without regard to how those resources are used, and they place a heavy emphasis on admissions criteria, including standardized tests, in a manner that is not welcoming to students from disadvantaged communities who have been systematically and historically marginalized in our legal system,” Hamoudi said. 

Pitt Law said it will share more employment data on its website as it is collected.

In response to numerous schools withdrawing — including the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Harvard and more — U.S. News & World Report announced last month it would change how it ranks law schools. It said it would change the weighting in certain data points, including “a reduced emphasis on the peer assessment surveys of academics, lawyers and judges, and an increased weight on outcome measures.”