Major methodological changes caused some schools to move up or down by dozens of spots.
I think we can still refer to HYS until people stop turning down significant scholarships at Chicago and Penn to pay full freight at Harvard.
If I had been asked by U.S. News what it should do when Yale Law and the others withdrew from participation, I would have counseled it to embrace the afterlife by admitted that the its faux ranking was a revenue-producing fiction and by following that admission with an apology to law students, faculty and law school communities. Instead, we are asked to get back aboard the redesigned U.S. News train. Please. Give it up! This gig is over.
I don't think the rankings of the top 15 matter since the schools that occupy it don't change that often and are still considered "elite" law schools. The law schools that get ranked after that probably care more because a change in their ranking may make a difference in perception by potential students (unless my Gen X thinking is outdated). While I am sure that many Columbia and Harvard people disagree with the rankings (my Columbia friends are adamant that they're better than NYU), no sympathy here.