breadbucket wrote:TLS people seem to live in this reality where because they find UNSWR to be corrupt, flawed, and/or not credible that means the rankings are useless. However, if you ever happen to study communication/rhetorical criticism, you'll learn that perception is indeed reality.
But the thing is, few people outside of law school deans and prospective students perceive them as important. Yes, you're right that law is a prestige-whoring industry, but it doesn't follow that the USNWR rankings are therefore meaningful. HYS are the most prestigious schools in the country because they are the best, not because USNWR says they're the best. Cooley doesn't suck because it is a TTTT according to USNWR, they suck because they are a laughingstock of a school. You're conflating the cause and the effect.
I entered WUSTL when it was ranked 18th. If I graduate from WUSTL when it is a T23 or something, it will have virtually no impact on the value of my degree, and no impact on the job prospects of myself or my peers. That's what we mean when we say rankings are meaningless; they have no real world impact on the students at the school. No firm is going to start pulling out of OCI because of fluctuations in rankings or valuing degrees more or less because of USNWR. Look at the NLJ 250 statistics over the past 5 years, and then compare that to the USNWR rankings. You'll see that fluctuations in USNWR have not impacted how schools place relative to their peers. Again, USNWR is a rough proxy for job placement, but it is not a driver for job placement.
You guys can repeat this "perception = reality" schtick ad naseum, and maybe there is some truth to it in the abstract, but until people outside of the hordes of mouth-breathing 0Ls start perceiving them as important, then the reality is that they aren't that important.