TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, October 23, 2014

U.S. News Annual Peer Assessment of Law School Tax Programs

U.S. NewsI received in the mail my ballot for the 2016 U.S. News Tax Rankings (2015 U.S. News tax rankings). As in prior years, the survey is intended "to identify the law schools having the top programs in tax law."  The survey is sent "to a selection  of faculty members involved in and who are knowledgeable about the area of tax law. Law schools supplied names of these faculty members to U.S. News in summer 2014."  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 (Dean, Maryland) 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.

In filling out your survey, you may want to consult our forthcoming book, Pursuing a Tax LLM Degree, 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 book 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/2014/10/us-news-annual-peer-assessment.html

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Comments

I'm not sure what's strange about it. LL.M. programs are not necessarily the best tax programs. Does anyone really think Florida has more influence than Harvard? I don't.

Posted by: mike livingston | Oct 24, 2014 4:30:45 AM