Not that I totally buy this at all, but some excerpts from the Dean's email:
U.S. News today released the 2013 Law School Rankings, in which our Law School placed 62 among 195 U.S. law schools. In light of our steady progress in recruiting talented and diverse faculty members, expanding our academic programs in key areas such as intellectual property and energy and environmental law, and equipping our beautiful campus with state of the art classrooms, these magazine results cannot be accepted as a full measure of what our community is accomplishing every day. Nonetheless it is important for you to know that with the University's strong support the Law School has recently adopted a firm plan to reverse the downward trend that began in 2008 when the magazine changed its methodology in ways disadvantageous to Connecticut. Success may not be immediate, but I am confident that our school remains on an upward trajectory that will eventually reflect itself in the rankings.
Let me start with a few of the positive numbers. Our academic reputation score among our peers increased from 2.8 to 2.9. Were schools ranked using this score alone our Law School would be within the top 50. Our Connecticut bar pass rate exceeded 95%. And, our part-time program rose from 18th to 13th in the nation. In short, we continue to hit metrics related to the core aspects of our academic program while also winning tangible victories that magazines do not measure such as saving clients from deportation in our Asylum and Human Rights Clinic or besting Harvard and NYU in portions of the Jessup Moot Court competition..
Our preliminary assessment indicates that we suffered in the rankings as a result of two challenges we have faced in recent years. Law school applications in our region have fallen off, and our scholarship budgets have been insufficient for us to recruit all the bright students we wish to attract. Moreover, the job market for attorneys in our region has been particularly hard hit by the recent recession, and Connecticut has been a bit slower in emerging from the downturn. Accordingly, 81.1% of our 2010 graduates reported having jobs by February 2011, a number that lagged behind some of our competitor schools, particularly since 2010 was the last year in which schools could report as employed graduates working at jobs funded by their own law schools. We have never engaged in this effort to manipulate the numbers, and the ABA has made such tactics more difficult for next year’s rankings. But we do need help from newly minted alumni/ae whose diligence in reporting employment status can boost us a few percentage points. In the compressed scoring of U.S. News, every person counts.
Thanks to strong support...the Law School has augmented its scholarship budget for students entering in the fall of 2012. Attracting the most talented and accomplished student in today’s market requires our offering more scholarships to deserving students. I expect these funds will help us hit higher LSAT and GPA metrics, which represent important aspects of the U.S. News formula.
Equally important, the Law School has been steadily expanding its programming in areas of the law in which we are confident our graduates will find the jobs of the future. In the last few years, we have added an Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, a Certificate Program in Energy and Environmental Law, and a semester in D.C. program to our longstanding centers of excellence in insurance and financial services, international law, tax, and clinical programs. As our University expands its reach in the health sciences, we plan to invest in these areas of law as well...