TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, March 17, 2016

2017 U.S. News Tax Rankings

2017 U.S. News LogoHere are the new 2017 U.S. News Tax Rankings, along with last year's rankings:

2017

Rank

 Tax

Program

2016

Rank

1

NYU

1

2

Georgetown

2

3

Florida

2

4

Northwestern

4

5

Loyola-L.A.

10

6

Virginia

5

7

Harvard

8

8

Boston University

7

9

Columbia

8

9

UCLA.

11

9

Michigan

14

12

Miami

13

12

San Diego

6

12

USC

12

15

Texas

19

16

U. Washington

15

17

Boston College

19

18

Duke

22

18

Pennsylvania

17

20

Indiana

16

20

Yale

24

22

Chicago

19

23

Florida State

n/r

23

Villanova

18

25

Stanford

n/r

The biggest upward moves:

  • +5:  Michigan (#9), Loyola-L.A. (#5)
  • +4   Texas (#15), Duke (#18), Yale (#20)
  • +2:  UCLA (#9), Boston College (#17)
  • Florida State (#23) and Stanford (#25) were unranked last year

The biggest downward moves:

  • -6:  San Diego (#12)
  • -5:  Villanova (#23)
  • -4:  Indiana (#20)
  • -3:  Chicago (#22)
  • Washington University (#22 last year) and Denver (#24 last year) are unranked this year

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

2017

Rank

Grad Tax

Program

2016

Rank

1

NYU

1

2

Georgetown

2

3

Florida

3

4

Northwestern

4

5

Loyola-L.A.

7

6

Boston University

6

7

Miami

8

8

San Diego

5

9

U. Washington

8

10

Villanova

10

The biggest upward move:  

  • +2:  Loyola-L.A. (#5)

The biggest downward move:

  • -3:  San Diego (#8)

The U.S. News tax ballot states that it 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 knowledgeable about the area of tax law. Law schools supplied names of these faculty members to U.S. News in summer 2015." 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.

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/2016/03/2017-us-news-tax-rankings.html

Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Comments

Essentially they are using the survey method they dropped for the overall peer reputation surveys back in the 1990s! The problem with such a method is that the dumbest evaluator (e.g., the one who forgets to put Georgetown in the top 15) determines the final results. The more serious problem, of course, is that the results really track who offers a "program" not the best tax faculties, which is obvious to anyone familiar with tax scholarship.

Posted by: Brian | Mar 17, 2016 11:32:41 AM