Postby **JCougar** » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:15 am

ITT: Nervous law students overreact to statistical noise in a partially arbitrary formula that ranks 200 law schools.

I do think the rankings have value, but once you get down past the T20, many of the jumps in ranking can probably be attributed to statistical noise, especially if it's only 5-10 spots. As other posters have already pointed out, the rankings formula spits out a raw number from 1-100, this number is rounded to the nearest whole number, and schools that round to the same whole number are "tied." If a school's formula outcome was 45.51 in 2009, and due to noise in expenditure per student stats dropped to 45.49, the school would have lost a point in the outcome formula and dropped from 46 to 45. And if last year there was a five way tie between the schools that rounded to 46 and a four way tie with schools that rounded to 45, and some of the 45 and 44 schools marginally increased random stats, a school could drop 9-10 ranking spots without anything really changing.