bgdddymtty wrote:Before you go tearing into the methodology of the above study, realize that I'm not saying that Yale is the 39th-best law school in the country. But it isn't necessarily the best, either, and the fact that "everyone" believes that it is is due mostly to the fact that a supposed authority on the subject keeps saying so over and over again.
It's reasonable that the USNWR rankings reinforce hierarchies, but to argue that the rankings themselves determine hierarchies is a stretch. Do you really think that the rankings influence school perception more than school perception influences the rankings? It's a two-way street, to some extent, but to say the former is what's "mostly" responsible for the way we look at schools doesn't seem right. Everyone thinks Yale is number one because it has the highest yield rate, highest selectivity, highest student numerical quality, and, per capita, bests other schools' placement in pretty much everything. This was true before the USNWR rankings ever existed.
Yale is not the top school because the USNWR says it is. The USNWR says it is because Yale is the top school.