The U.S. News law school rankings should be out in about a week (check out the countdown clock), unless they're leaked early, like last year's were. This, of course, would be more climactic if half of the nation's incoming law students hadn't already made their enrollment decisions.
Last week, Brian Leiter requested that law bloggers not post the rankings at all, because they're "meaningless, often perniciously so."
I agree with Professor Leiter regarding the merits of U.S. News' rankings system. The U.S. News rankins are methodologically weak and often manipulated. However, I think Professor Leiter is wrong in requesting that bloggers not post the rankings. The rankings will be published somewhere, and their prevalence is such that ignoring them really does nothing to mitigate their influence.
The rankings should be posted and publicly critiqued. Writing about the underlying data while ignoring the final result weakens the argument of those critical of the U.S. News system and essentially amounts to backing away from a fight.
I know that there are times when backing away from a fight is a good idea, but I believe the argument against the U.S. News rankings has been gaining momentum of late. Professor Leiter has done great work critiquing the rankings, and he has support.
With all of the recent changes in the economy and the legal industry, now is the time for Professor Leiter and others like him to really attack the U.S. News> methodology and expose, again, the ridiculousness of their rankings. In my humble opinion, a reasoned attack works best when it exposes an opponents' weaknesses, not when it ignores them.
Professor Leiter is right that most people know the rankings are "garbage," but, as my roommates will attest, when you ignore garbage, it just keeps piling up.