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Monday, May 12, 2014

Law School Rankings: U.S. News v. SSRN

US News SSRNIn Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance, 81 Ind. L.J. 83 (2006), Bernie Black (Northwestern) and I compared the ranking of law schools using U.S. News and SSRN downloads.  I have updated the chart on pages 98-102, showing the ranking of law schools under U.S. News (overall and peer reputation) and SSRN (recent and all-time downloads) of the Top 50 law schools (according to the U.S. News overall ranking):

School

US News Overall

US News Peer

SSRN Recent

SSRN All-Time

Yale

1

1

2

2

Harvard

2

1

1

1

Stanford

3

3

5

6

Columbia

4

4

6

4

Chicago

4

4

7

3

NYU

6

6

4

5

Pennsylvania

7

9

12

9

Virginia

8

9

17

19

UC-Berkeley

9

6

9

12

Michigan

10

6

15

18

Duke

10

11

18

15

Northwestern

12

12

10

10

Cornell

13

12

29

25

Georgetown

13

12

8

8

Texas

15

15

20

23

UCLA

16

16

13

11

Vanderbilt

16

17

14

14

Washington U.

18

18

22

27

Emory

19

22

38

41

Minnesota

20

19

16

17

USC

20

19

28

22

G. Washington

20

22

3

2

Alabama

23

35

66

72

William & Mary

24

28

83

74

U. Washington

24

35

27

66

Notre Dame

26

22

40

37

Boston Univ.

27

26

32

24

Iowa

27

28

35

39

Indiana

29

28

42

36

Georgia

29

35

73

61

North Carolina

31

19

37

45

Wisconsin

31

26

55

68

Ohio State

31

28

71

40

Wake Forest

31

35

106

87

Arizona State

31

43

46

48

UC-Davis

36

22

34

34

Boston College

36

28

76

51

Fordham

36

28

21

20

BYU

36

46

77

85

Arizona

40

35

43

32

Illinois

40

35

11

13

SMU

42

53

104

106

Wash. & Lee

43

28

68

64

Colorado

43

43

56

47

Florida State

45

46

36

44

Tulane

46

43

128

125

Maryland

46

46

41

43

George Mason

46

53

19

16

Florida

49

35

49

52

Utah

49

49

58

55

On page 124 of the article, we listed the most "undervalued" and "overvalued" law schools, based on the spread between their U.S. News peer reputation and SSRN all-time downloads. Here are the updated figures:

Schools Undervalued by US News

Schools Overvalued by US News

School

US News

SSRN

Spread

School

US News

SSRN

Spread

George Mason

53

16

-37

Tulane

43

125

+82

Illinois

35

13

-22

SMU

53

106

+53

G. Washington

22

2

-20

Wake Forest

35

87

+52

Fordham

28

20

-8

William & Mary

28

74

+46

UCLA

16

11

-5

Wisconsin

26

68

+42

Georgetown

12

8

-4

BYU

46

85

+39

Vanderbilt

17

14

-3

Alabama

35

72

+37

Arizona

35

32

-3

Wash. & Lee

28

64

+36

Maryland

46

43

-3

U. Washington

35

66

+31

Northwestern

12

10

-2

North Carolina

19

45

+26

Minnesota

19

17

-2

Georgia

35

61

+26

Boston Univ.

26

24

-2

Boston College

28

51

+23

Florida State

46

44

-2

Emory

22

41

+19

Chicago

4

3

-1

Florida

35

52

+17

NYU

6

5

-1

Notre Dame

22

37

+15

 

 

 

 

Cornell

12

25

+13

 

 

 

 

Michigan

6

18

+12

 

 

 

 

UC-Davis

22

34

+12

 

 

 

 

Ohio State

28

40

+12

 

 

 

 

Iowa

28

39

+11

Interestingly, Florida State, George Washington, and George Mason are on the undervalued lists for both 2006 and 2014.  BYU, Georgia, Notre Dame, Tulane, University of Washington, and Wisconsin are on the overvalued lists for both years.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/05/law-school-rankings.html

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

Are the downloads calculated on a per capita basis, i.e., relative to the # of faculty members? Harvard has a huge law faculty, much larger than Yale, so on that basis alone Harvard will have a higher number of downloads. But, Yale could come out ahead on a per capita basis.

Posted by: Andy Patterson | May 12, 2014 9:54:00 AM

I think you should repost this when professors are filling out US News surveys. I think US News respondents are psychologically anchored to prior-year data. It's time to reward the GW's of the world and punish the ND's of the world.

Posted by: HTA | May 12, 2014 6:04:48 PM