Do Mailings Lead to Better Rankings?

A haiku to celebrate the season:

Fall is in the air.

Law school mailings everywhere.

Rankings on the rise?

It’s fall, the season for tailgating, bonfires, and trick-or-treating. It’s also the time of the year when the U.S. News and World Report Magazine begins collecting data for the purpose of ranking U.S. law schools. When I check my work mailbox, I can almost always count on receiving postcards, pamphlets, magazines, and other mailings from law schools extolling the virtues of their programs and recent faculty hires. One of my colleagues – my most recently tenured colleague – even received law school swag.

Do these mailings actually positively impact the rankings of the schools that send them? Last year, the ranking methodology for law schools included a quality assessment based on two scores – a peer assessment score and an assessment score by lawyers and judges. Do these mailings lead to higher peer assessments and assessments by lawyers and judges?

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. I’m thinking of starting a pledge among my immediate colleagues (we share a mail drop) that whoever sorts the mail throws out the law-school mailings.

  2. David Bernstein says:

    No, they don’t.

  3. Frank says:

    It strikes me that there’s a bit of an arms race here in the “specialty rankings”–such as for IP or health care law. I’m astonished by how professionally produced some schools’ materials are. Some could have useful information, and a school that does a lot in a field like that should have some way to communicate it. But I’m afraid that, without a standardized format to compare the schools on, there’s not much chance a good mailer would (or should) displace existing perceptions of quality.

  4. palz says:

    Deans think with ads.

    No one knows much

    it will cost students and alums.