ArticlesVolume 12, Number 3 (2003)

Feminist Law Journals and the Rankings Conundrum


Spring is a fitting season to discuss the relationship between rankings and feminist law journals, as U.S. News and World Report prepares to release its annual rankings of American law schools. Decried by many academics as arbitrary and unfair, these rankings nonetheless exert an extraordinary influence on law school life .

Rankings of this sort not only drive decisions made by schools (which students to recruit, admit, and, most importantly, entice with scholarship money) and by applicants (where to apply, where to matriculate, and whether to transfer), but also decisions that are more central to the academic enterprise. Law school deans and faculties make decisions about resource allocation, faculty hiring, curriculum, and the like, against the backdrop of rankings, which at least indirectly place a point value on each such decision.