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Monday, March 31, 2008

2009 U.S News Peer Reputation Rankings (v. Overall Rankings)

Us_newsThe new online 2009 U.S. News Law School Rankings do not yet offer a way to sort by the various categories (although I am told that this feature will be added at some point in the future).  On Friday, Richard Schmalbeck (Duke) shared the the Top 44 law schools by academic peer reputation.  Here is the full list of the 184 law schools ranked by U.S. News by academic peer reputation, along with each school's overall ranking:

1.  (4.8)  Harvard (2)
             Yale (1)
3.  (4.7)  Columbia (4)
             Stanford (2)
5.  (4.6)  Chicago (7)
6.  (4.5)  UC-Berkeley (6)
             Michigan (9)
             NYU (5)
9.  (4.4)  Virginia (9)
10.  (4.3)  Penn (7)
11.  (4.2)  Cornell (12)
               Duke (12)
               Georgetown (14)
14.  (4.1)  Texas (16)
               Northwestern (9)
16.  (4.0)  UCLA (16)
17.  (3.8)  Vanderbilt (15)
18.  (3.7)  USC (18)
19.  (3.6)  Minnesota (22)
               Washington U. (19)
21.  (3.5)  George Washington (20)
               Iowa (27)
               North Carolina (38)
24.  (3.4)  Boston U. (21)
               UC-Davis (44)
               UC-Hastings (38)
               Emory (22)
               Illinois (27)
               Ohio State (32)
               Washington & Lee (25)
               Wisconsin (36)
32.  (3.3)  Boston College (26)
               Fordham (27)
               Notre Dame (22)
35.  (3.2)  Arizona (38)
               Florida (46)
               Indiana (36)
               U. Washington (30)
               William & Mary (30)
40.  (3.1)  Colorado (32)
               Georgia (32)
               Tulane (44)
43.  (3.0)  American (46)
               Wake Forest (42)
45.  (2.9)  Alabama (32)
               Arizona State (52)
               Connecticut (46)
               Maryland (42)
               Oregon (82)
50.  (2.8)  BYU (44)
               Florida State (55)
               George Mason (38)
               Pittsburgh (73)
               Miami (82)
               San Diego (82)
               Tennessee (52)
               Utah (51)
58.  (2.7)  SMU (46)
               Brooklyn (63)
               Cardozo (55)
               Case Western (63)
               Chicago-Kent (66)
               Kansas (73)
               Missouri-Columbia (59)
               Temple (59)
               Villanova (68)
67.  (2.6)  Cincinnati (52)
               Houston (55)
               Indiana-Indianapolis (68)
               Loyola-L.A. (63)
               Rutgers-Camden (77)
               Rutgers-Newark (77)
               Santa Clara (77)
74.  (2.5)  Baylor (55)
               Catholic (88)
               Denver (88)
               Kentucky (59)
               Loyola-Chicago (82)
               Marquette (95)
               Nebraska (73)
               New Mexico (68)
               Oklahoma (68)
               Seton Hall (66)
84.  (2.4)  Arkansas-Fayetteville (Tier 3)
               DePaul (88)
               Hawaii (82)
               Hofstra (99)
               Lewis & Clark (73)
               Northeastern (88)
               Pepperdine (59)
               Richmond (68)
               St. John's (88)
               St. Louis (95)
               SUNY-Buffalo (100)
               Syracuse (100)
96.  (2.3)  Georgia State (77)
               Howard (Tier 3)
               LSU (88)
               Louisville (100)
               Maine (Tier 3)
               Missouri-Kansas City (Tier 3)
               Penn State (77)
               Seattle (83)
               South Carolina (95)
               UNLV (88)
               Vermont (Tier 3)
               Wayne State (Tier 3)
108.  (2.2)  Arkansas-Little Rock (Tier 3) 
                 McGeorge (95)
                 Mercer (100)
                 Michigan State (Tier 3)
                 Mississippi (Tier 3)
                 New York Law School (Tier 3)
                 San Francisco (Tier 3)
115.  (2.1)  Albany (Tier 3)
                 Cleveland State (Tier 3)
                 Gonzaga (Tier 3)
                 Idaho (Tier 3)
                 Loyola-New Orleans (Tier 3)
                 Montana (Tier 3)
                 Pace (Tier 3)
                 Southern Illinois (Tier 4)
                 Stetson (100)
                 Suffolk (Tier 3)
                 West Virginia (Tier 3)
                 Willamette (Tier 3)
                 Wyoming (Tier 3)
128.  (2.0)  Baltimore (Tier 3)
                 Creighton (Tier 3)
                 CUNY-Queens (Tier 4)
                 Dayton (Tier 4)
                 Drake (Tier 3)
                 Quinnipiac (Tier 3)
                 North Dakota (Tier 4)
                 South Dakota (Tier 3)
                 Southwestern (Tier 4)
                 Texas Tech (Tier 3)
                 Toledo (Tier 3)
                 Tulsa (Tier 4)
                 Valparaiso (Tier 4)
                 Washburn (Tier 4)
                 Widener (Tier 4)
143.  (1.9)  Akron (Tier 3)
                 Cumberland (Tier 3)
                 Duquesne (Tier 4)
                 Franklin Pierce (Tier 3)
                 Hamline (Tier 3)
                 Memphis (Tier 4)
                 St. Thomas (MN) (Tier 3)
                 William Mitchell (Tier 4)
151.  (1.8)  California-Western (Tier 4)
                 Capital (Tier 4)
                 Chapman (Tier 3)
                 John Marshall (IL) (Tier 4)
                 New England (Tier 4)
                 Nova Southeastern (Tier 4)
                 Roger Williams (Tier 4)
                 St. Mary's (Tier 4)
159.  (1.7)  Golden Gate (Tier 4)
                 North Carolina Central (Tier 4)
                 Northern Illinois (Tier 4)
                 Northern Kentucky (Tier 4)
                 Ohio Northern (Tier 3)
                 Oklahoma City (Tier 3)
                 South Texas (Tier 4)
                 Texas-Wesleyan (Tier 4)
                 Touro (Tier 4)
                 Western New England (Tier 4)
169.  (1.6)  Campbell (Tier 4)
                 Detroit-Mercy (Tier 4)
                 Florida International (Tier 4)
172.  (1.5)  Mississippi College (Tier 4)
                 St. Thomas (FL) (Tier 4)
                 Thomas Jefferson (Tier 4)
175.  (1.4)  Appalachian (Tier 4)
                 District of Columbia (Tier 4)
                 Florida Coastal (Tier 4)
                 Southern (Tier 4)
                 Texas Southern (Tier 4)
                 Thomas Cooley (Tier 4)
                 Whittier (Tier 4)
182.  (1.3)  Ave Maria (Tier 4)
                 Barry (Tier 4)
                 Regent (Tier 4)

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Comments

My Previous post (re "the 44"):

"A difference of 1/10 of 1 point (0.1) or two tenths of 1 point (0.2) could mean a drop of almost 10 or more places! that's a difference of 2% (or 4%) in overall score (0.1 is 2% of 5.0) resulting in the difference between being #21 & #32 or #24 & #35. in fact, there are only 19 different scores leading to a disparity of #1 to #43.

Rid-dic-cu-lous!"

The exaggeration gets WORSE as you get lower where 1/10 or 2/10's of a point can equal a difference of 25-30 spots (e.g 115 to 142--1.9 vs. 2.1; or 84 to 108--2.2 vs. 2.4).

1/10 or 2/10's of a point on this SINGLE FACTOR can make the the difference between tiers or being in the top 100 or not.

[sigh]

-ATP

* see also my other post re: 3 year, 5 year, and 10 year averages being more meaningful

(and I have little to grumble about as my alma matter has hung around in the First Tier (showing my age, remember the First & Second Tier?) for the last decade.)

Posted by: Adjunct Law Prof. | Mar 31, 2008 5:37:26 AM

We recognize that LSAT score and law school rankings are imperfect and inaccurate representations of potential and quality.

Therefore, my question is that, if we are intelligent enough to recognize this, why can't we change it?

If there were no rankings, people would still go to Harvard et al., because, after all, it's Harvard.

I didn't make my choice on which law school to attend based on rankings. However, I seem to be in the minority.

-A Law Student

Posted by: Jason | Mar 31, 2008 11:50:27 AM

Utter Crap. Law school ratings. Law school admissions. Law school reputations. Law School in general.

The research of K. Anders Ericsson is illuminating on this subject. It takes 10 years of consistent hard work to become an expert in any given field, be it chess, singing, gymnastics, golf, or the practice of law. Natural skill, or natural limitations, at the most add or take away a few years to that process.

The best lawyers I've seen in a given area of law are those who've are extremely driven and hardworking enough to plow away for years in obscurity--usually in their 20s and 30s when most of their peers are in the height of enjoying adulthood. Before then, they were as likely to go to good law schools as mediocre law schools. By their 40s and 50s, they're literally the smartest guys in the room on their area of expertise. They can spot trouble in a case coming a mile away, cite obscure and on point law by rote, chastize their associates for mistake before they even make them, or be the people in charge of whatever courthoom they're in.

I've meet a few people like that in my career, in a very few given areas of law, and you'll never forget them when you see them. Or where you'll see them. It won't be in an Appeals Court, or a high-rise corner office. They'll be in a corporate cube-farm preventing their company from making fatal underwriting decisions, or in dingy offices that always seem to stay busy even in slow times, or in county courthouses saying just the right things to the judge and jury to keep their client solvent and out of jail.

Yet the upper-tier law school system is set up as fast food drive-thru kingmaking. One test determines what school you belong in. Then 3 1/2 months exposure to a few areas of law, then taking a brief test, determines how well of a lawyer you will be. Granted, the law school/bar exam system may weed out bad lawyers, but it doesn't determine who will be good ones. The best system of training lawyers is a long term an apprenticeship model (and inevitably needs to be a self-apprenticeship). The 3-year glorified IQ test known as "law school" is an haphazard beginning of that process.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 31, 2008 2:14:14 PM