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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New 2015 U.S. News Tax Rankings

U.S. News 2015Here are the new 2015 U.S. News Tax Rankings, along with last year's rankings:

2015

Rank

 Tax

Program

2014

Rank

1

NYU

1

2

Florida

3

3

Georgetown

2

4

Northwestern

4

5

Boston University

7

5

Columbia

13

5

Miami

5

8

Harvard

12

8

San Diego

14

10

U. Washington

10

11

Virginia

7

12

UCLA

10

12

USC

5

14

Loyola-L.A.

7

15

Michigan

14

n/r

Boston College

16

n/r

UC-Hastings

17

n/r

Houston

18

The biggest movers are:

  • +8:  Columbia (#5)
  • +6   San Diego (#8)
  • +4:  Harvard (#8)
  • -7:   USC (#12), Loyola-L.A. (#14)
  • -4:   Virginia (#11)  

Boston College (#16), UC-Hastings (#17), and Houston (#18) were ranked last year and are unranked this year.

Here are the rankings of the graduate tax programs, along with last year's rankings.

2015

Rank

Grad Tax

Program

2014

Rank

1

NYU

1

2

Florida

3

3

Georgetown

2

4

Northwestern

4

5

Miami

5

5

Boston University

6

7

San Diego

9

8

U. Washington

8

9

Loyola-L.A.

7

n/r

Houston

10

Houston (#10) was ranked last year and is unranked this year.

The U.S. News tax survey instrument states that it is intended "to identify the law schools having the top programs in tax law." The survey is sent "to a sample of law school faculty listed in the AALS Directory of Law Teachers 2012-2013 as currently teaching a course or seminar in tax law." Recipients are asked "to [i]dentify up to fifteen (15) schools that have the highest-quality tax law courses or programs. In making your choices consider all elements that contribute to a program's excellence, for example, the depth and breadth of the program, faculty research and publication record, etc."

As Donald Tobin (Ohio State) has noted, it is more than strange that NYU has finished ahead of Florida and Georgetown each year that U.S. News has conducted the survey.  Because the survey ranks the schools by how often they appear on the respondents' "Top 15" lists, this means that some folks list NYU, but not Florida and Georgetown, among the Top 15 tax programs.

For more on tax rankings, see our article, Pursuing a Tax LLM Degree: Where?, which compiles information about 13 highly ranked tax LLM programs: (1) NYU; (2) Florida; (3) Georgetown; (4) Northwestern; (5) Miami; (6) Boston University; (7) San Diego; (8) Loyola-L.A./LMU; (9) SMU; (10) Denver; (11) University of Washington; (12) Villanova; and (13) Chapman. The topics on which information is reported in the Article include: (1) tuition; (2) scholarships; (3) the full-time tax professors who teach in each program and the tax courses they teach; (4) the number of full-time and part-time students enrolled in each program; (5) general information about adjunct professors teaching in each program; (6) required courses; (7) elective courses, specialty certificates, and concentrations; (8) opportunities to develop tax practice skills by taking experiential learning courses and simulated practice courses; (9) extracurricular tax activities; (10) opportunities to graduate with honors or receive academic prizes; and (11) career planning and placement services offered to students in each program. The article also ranks the tax faculty at these thirteen law schools by citations (the Top 5 are NYU (1), Florida (2), Georgetown (3), Miami (4), and Northwestern (5)) and SSRN downloads (the Top 5 are Loyola-L.A. (1), NYU (2), Chapman (3), Florida (4), and San Diego (5)).

Other resources available on TaxProf Blog include:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/03/new-2014.html

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Comments

This should be understood as a ranking of tax teaching programs, not academic influence in tax. I, or anyone else, could name individual people at (say) Yale or Penn who have more influence than several of these programs in their entirety. That's not taking away from the programs, it should just be clear what's being ranked

Posted by: michael livingston | Mar 12, 2014 4:54:15 AM

Michael, I'm fairly sure - by which I mean I'm entirely sure - that the primary audience for the US News Law School Rankings is most emphatically not the law professoriate. It is 0L's, followed closely by legal employers, to the misfortune of the profession. Ergo, it would follow that this is a ranking of tax teaching programs and not "academic influence in tax." Though it doesn't necessarily follow that someone looking at the rankings should say, "Hey, BU has a better tax program than Columbia or Harvard, so I shouldn't go to those latter places!"

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Mar 12, 2014 9:06:08 AM