Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The "Deadwood Report"

The Green Bag, self-described as "an entertaining journal of law," has announced plans to join the arena of law-school rankings, reports today's edition of Inside Higher Ed. The announcement came in an editorial which will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Green Bag. This spring the journal will begin work on the "'Deadwood Report,' which it envisions being an annual assessment of 'whether faculty members do the work that the law schools say they do.'" In attempting to assess what faculty do, the Deadwood Report will take dead aim at the phenomenon known as "law porn," the orgy of puffery that law schools engage in every fall as part of their efforts to raise their profiles. Much of the puffery revolves around faculty achievements, an area not covered by the U.S. News & World Report rankings, and the Green Bag will look carefully at such indications of faculty activity as recent scholarship in traditional scholarly journals. In other words, editorials in the New York Times will not "count"; nor will publication in the law reviews of your own school. The Green Bag will be looking carefully at law schools' websites and other marketing tools as part of its evaluation process, so schools will want to make sure that their websites accurately reflect what their faculty are doing. I know I can't wait to see if I quality as "deadwood"!

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