According to a story from the ABAJournal, U.S. News is considering adding a diversity measure to its formula for calculating law school rankings. Research director Robert Morse is quoted as saying U.S. News already has a law school diversity index but that it does not factor into the actual rankings because diversity cannot be incorporated "in a fair and meaningful way."
None of the proposals on the table, including measuring state demographic data and surveying diversity professionals, solve this problem. More importantly, while "diversity" in general is a good thing to pursue in law schools (and a constitutionally-endorsed factor in law school admissions if Grotter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), is anything to go by), racial or ethnic diversity alone is not a good measure for the quality of a legal education.
While I am sure the student body at top laws is both more Caucasian and, indeed, more male than female, a lot of this is the direct result of the composition of LSAT takers. At NYU Law, minorities makes up 23% of the student profile (and women make up 44%).
However, while I will not discount the potential benefits of more colorful (and female) student body, one thing I have most desired throughout my time at NYU Law would be more political diversity. While I am something of a political progressive, the drumbeat from liberal professors and liberal students can be deafening. If U.S. News is going to be open to considering diversity, traditionally considered, as a metric of law school quality, it might as well also consider attempts to measure the number of liberal versus conservative faculty members since political and legal philosophy can have a direct impact on the caliber of legal education received.
Of course, in reality, the U.S. News rankings are problematic for a whole host of other reasons. Before the magazine even attempts to tackle diversity in a fair or meaningful way, it might want to work on getting accurate employment statistics out of the law schools. Black or white, male or female, liberal or conservative, I imagine most law school applicants consider their future employment prospects as a good overall gauge for the quality of a law school.