University of Wisconsin Law School withdraws from US News rankings

The University of Wisconsin Law School building on the UW-Madison campus.

The University of Wisconsin Law School won’t participate in this year’s US News & World Report rankings, a decision made in protest of how the magazine prioritizes metrics that the school says conflict with its underlying values ​​of accessibility and affordability.

The school’s decision, announced Thursday, follows more than a dozen other law schools in a cross-country revolt against the rankings. The withdrawals began last fall when Yale Law School, long ranked No. 1 in the country, said it would not participate because of how the rankings made it harder for schools to admit and support low-income students.


UW Law School Dean Dan Tokaji called the US News rankings “problematic” for a variety of reasons. The rankings consider a range of metrics, with particular emphasis on median LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs.

“That causes law schools to spend a lot of their money, including scholarship money, trying to hit those numbers,” Tokaji said in an interview. “LSAT and GPA are really useful and important tools. But incentivizing us to focus single-mindedly on those things is not a good thing for legal education as a whole.”