Why UW Law Will Not Participate in U.S. News Rankings
Dear UW School of Law Community,
In consultation with law faculty, institutional leadership, students, alumni and key stakeholders at the university, I have made the decision that the School of Law will no longer participate in the U.S. News and World Report rankings process. We arrived at this decision because the current methodology undercuts our mission, values and commitment to an equitable and inclusive vision for legal education and society.
Since its founding, our school has prided itself on preparing lawyers to work for the public good while expanding access to the legal profession and justice for underserved communities. The rankings undermine these efforts. Instead of rewarding schools that emphasize public interest work, the methodology penalizes them. Instead of incentivizing increased student diversity, the methodology fails to capture the full merit of candidates. The factors used in determining rankings do not weigh the student experience, and, in fact, discourage investments in critical areas such as wellness, experiential learning, interdisciplinary opportunities, cultural competence, and professional development.
I echo the critiques expressed by our public law school peers, such as UC-Berkeley, UCLA, UC-Davis, and UC-Irvine, and also embrace the leadership provided by Yale on this issue. Our school remains committed to transparently sharing relevant data with prospective students and the legal community. We will continue our efforts to foster an environment where all students feel welcome and empowered to thrive.
Our priorities remain clear: an unwavering commitment to public service, a pedagogy grounded in excellence and equity, and an innovative educational experience built on partnerships across our global university. Ultimately, the rankings do not measure the impact and value that the School of Law provides to the world, and we must direct our energy to what truly matters — our students and our ability to prepare the next generation of leaders.
Tamara F. Lawson
Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law
University of Washington School of Law