This year George Washington tumbled 8 spots in the US News & World Report rankings, largely due to the fact that the notorious ranking began to count evening students.
Senior Associate Dean Greg Maggs told about a dozen law school alumni at “The State of Law School” address that the school’s fall from 20th to 28th was caused mainly by an unannounced change in the way U.S. News and World Report tracks part-time law student GPAs.
“U.S. News, for the first time, without giving us any notice, said they wanted to count full-time and part-time students mixed together,” Maggs said. “Both our GPA and our LSAT [scores] fell substantially from previous years.”
So what did GW do? Simply take its lumps and accept its place as the 28th-ranked law school? Hardly. The school decided to take fewer night students. “We’ve been able to address that in a very simple way,” Maggs said. “We’ve taken less evening students.”
I began law school at Mason as an evening student, and I was extremely happy with the program. I found that while evening students had lower GPA’s and LSAT scores, they brought a wealth of real world experiences to the classroom that young whippersnappers right out of college lacked.
If law schools really want diversity, they should focus on diversity of experience as well.
Update: Thanks to TaxProf Blog, Emperor Caron for the link