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US News Still Ranks Law Schools, Stops Hard-Copy Subscriptions

By Jason Beahm on November 10, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

U.S. News & World Report is one step closing to becoming yet another publication that moves entirely online. Forgive me if that sounds ominous, it doesn't seem like a bad thing. As we've seen with the rise of reading news by computer and recently tablets, it is inevitable that publications will go digital. And so we'll cut down fewer trees and be able to carry many newspapers and magazines at once. The future is now, or something like that.

Back to the U.S. News & World Report, they're not actually killing off all print production, they're still going to print a small number of issues like the school rankings, which remain popular.

Law students and attorneys are no strangers to the U.S. News & World Report school rankings issue. Many law students recall the obsession over school rankings: the methodology of the system, whether law schools should fight aggressively for higher rankings, or whether they should dismiss concern over rankings entirely.

"We're really focusing on digital," editor Brian Kelly said in an interview with "Print is a really small part of our business. We're really stressing the rankings we do. We've added a bunch of new products. We see ourselves moving more and more down that road. We average at least 8 to 9 million uniques a month."

A memo to the company, from the editor and president read:

"Colleagues, We're finally ready to complete our transition to a predominantly digital publishing model with selected, single-topic print issues. We can't sit still. We have to keep improving the existing products while selectively creating new ones."

That seems like solid advice with the way publishing market is shifting so quickly. Law students and proud graduates will still be able to scour the law school rankings in hard copy form with their own hands, though.

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