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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What Makes Lawyers Happy?

Lawrence S. Krieger (Florida State University, College of Law) & Kennon M. Sheldon (University of Missouri (Columbia), Department of Psychological Sciences), What Makes Lawyers Happy? Transcending the Anecdotes with Data from 6200 Lawyers:

Attorney well-being and depression are topics of great concern, but there has been no theory-driven empirical research to guide lawyers and law students seeking well-being. This article reports a unique study establishing a hierarchy of five tiers of factors for lawyer well-being, including choices in law school, legal career, and personal life, and psychological needs and motivations established by Self-Determination Theory. Data from several thousand lawyers in four states show striking patterns, repeatedly indicating that common priorities on law school campuses and among lawyers are confused or misplaced. Factors typically afforded most attention and concern, those relating to prestige and money (income, law school debt, class rank, law review, and USNWR law school ranking) showed zero to small correlations with lawyer well-being. Conversely, factors marginalized in law school and seen in previous research to erode in law students (psychological needs and motivation) were the very strongest predictors of lawyer happiness and satisfaction. Lawyers were grouped by practice type and setting to further test these findings. The group with the lowest incomes and grades in law school, public service lawyers, had stronger autonomy and purpose and were happier than those in the most prestigious positions and with the highest grades and incomes. Additional measures raised concerns: subjects did not broadly agree that judge and lawyer behavior is professional, nor that the legal process reaches fair outcomes. Specific explanations and recommendations for lawyers, law teachers, and legal employers are drawn from the data, and direct implications for attorney productivity and professionalism are explained.

Chart

Chart 2

March 18, 2014 in Law Review Rankings, Law School | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alford: The Strunk & White Law Review Rankings

Strunk & WhiteOpinio Juris:  Omit Needless Words, by Roger Alford (Notre Dame):

Watching my youngest son draft and redraft his high school essays under the watchful eye of his English teacher, who is smitten by the inerrant wisdom of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, I was curious how the best legal scholarship in the country fares by classic rules of writing. To simplify my task, I have chosen one rule that is easily quantifiable. ... "[T]he expression 'the fact that' should be revised out of every sentence in which it occurs." ...

A ten-year search of the number of occurrences “the fact that” appeared in the flagship journals of the top law schools reveals the following: 

  1. Harvard Law Review: 869
  2. Michigan Law Review: 496
  3. Yale Law Journal: 459
  4. Columbia Law Review: 436
  5. Chicago Law Review: 431
  6. NYU Law Review: 428
  7. Penn Law Review: 408
  8. California Law Review: 406
  9. Stanford Law Review: 388
  10. Virginia Law Review: 364

October 10, 2013 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Law Review Circulation and Efficiency Continue to Plummet (2012)

Ross E. Davies (George Mason), The Increasingly Lengthy Long Run of the Law Reviews: Law Review Business 2012 – Circulation and Production, 3 J. of Law 245 (2013):

This article is the latest in a series of simple annual studies of the sales of some leading law reviews, undertaken with an eye to getting an admittedly rough and partial sense of the state of publishing in the legal academy. Over the years, the data itself has turned out to be a little bit interesting in spots. More interesting (perhaps), and more amusing and worrisome (certainly), have been the continuing small discoveries that some law reviews report relatively low paid circulation numbers to the U.S. Postal Service (which appear only in tiny-type government forms buried in the rarely read front- or back-matter of the reporting law review), but then tout higher sales numbers in promotional sections of their websites. It is reminiscent of the way some law schools have number-fudged their presentation of other kinds of data to, for example, U.S. News & World Report. The law review-school comparison might prompt the reader to wonder light-heartedly how many law school deans were once law review editors. But answering that question would be too easy, and too far afield from the focus here on publishing in the legal academy. There is, however, another question whose answer might be more interesting, and more likely to lead to intriguing comparisons. The question: How have the size and composition of law review editorial staffs changed over time, in absolute terms and in terms of their relationship to the product they put out? Possible comparisons will probably suggest themselves. This year’s report covers the usual ground relating to paid circulation and associated editorial behavior. It also offers a limited and tentative first take on the production question.

Chart 1 PNG

Chart 3

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

August 27, 2013 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2003-2012 Tax Journal Rankings: NYU #1, Tax Notes #2

Here are the Washington & Lee tax law review combined rankings of the five major tax journals:

  • Florida Tax Review ("Florida")
  • Tax Law Review ("NYU")
  • Tax Lawyer ("ABA")
  • Tax Notes
  • Virginia Tax Review ("Virginia")

The rankings are based on the annual combined rankings in 2003-2012 among these five journals:by:

Rank

Journal

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

1.1

NYU

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2.9

Tax Notes

4

3

3

2

2

2

5

3

2

3

3.0

Florida

3

4

4

4

3

3

2

2

3

2

3.1

Virginia

1

2

2

3

4

4

3

4

4

4

4.9

ABA

5

5

5

5

5

5

4

5

5

5

As I have previously noted, Tax Notes fares poorly in the Impact Factor category (citations/number of articles published) because W&L apparently counts as "articles" all of the advance sheet material in Tax Notes.

Tax Notes is #1 by a wide margin in the number of citations in law reviews, with more than double the citations of its nearest competitor:

Rank

Journal

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

1.0

Tax Notes

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2.9

ABA

4

3

4

4

3

3

2

2

2

2

3.0

NYU

3

4

3

3

2

2

3

4

3

3

3.1

Virginia

2

2

2

2

4

4

4

3

4

4

5.0

Florida

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

March 6, 2013 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, W&L Tax Journal Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2012 Tax Journal Rankings: Virginia #1, NYU #2

Here are the Washington & Lee tax law review rankings, based on citations to articles published in 2005-2012:

Here are the Top 25 tax journals (out of 48 ranked tax journals):

Rank

Tax Journal

Combined

Impact

Law Reviews

Cases

Currency

1

Virginia Tax Review

100.0

0.72

595

5

1.20

2

Tax Law Review

80.2

0.66

382

1

0.92

3

Elder Law Journal

66.1

0.58

279

8

0.55

4

Florida Tax Review

62.0

0.58

217

0

0.96

5

Tax Notes

54.5

0.01

762

15

0.02

6

Pittsburgh Tax Review

40.5

0.43

81

2

0.25

6

Tax Lawyer

40.5

0.21

335

14

0.14

8

Houston Bus. & Tax J.

39.7

0.34

170

5

0.14

9

Akron Tax Journal

28.9

0.30

71

3

0.38

10

Heckerling Inst. Est. Plan.

26.4

0.21

132

0

0.48

11

Marquette Elder's Advisor

24.8

0.20

124

1

0.14

12

National Tax Journal

23.1

0.11

206

2

0.19

13

Journal of Taxation

17.4

0.03

215

6

0.05

14

New Zealand J. Tax' Law

14.0

0.11

73

0

0.10

15

Estate Planning

13.2

0.04

148

1

0.19

16

Tax Notes International

10.7

0.00

151

0

0.00

17

Exempt Org. Tax Review

5.0

0.00

75

0

0.01

17

Taxes  Magazine

5.0

0.01

55

0

0.04

19

British Tax Review

4.1

0.01

42

0

0.02

19

Tax Management Mem.

4.1

0.01

48

1

0.05

19

Taxation of Exempts

4.1

0.02

40

0

0.10

22

Canadian Tax Journal

3.3

0.02

30

0

0.02

23

eJournal of Tax Research

2.5

0.02

11

0

0.06

23

J. Australasian Tax Ass'n

2.5

0.02

13

0

0.02

23

Tax Management Int'l J.

2.5

0.01

27

0

0.03

Tax Notes is #1 by a wide margin in citations in law reviews (762 v. #2's Virginia Tax Review's 595), but fairs relatively poorly (.001, ranked #20) in the Impact Factor category (citations/number of articles published).  My guess is that W&L counted as "articles" all of the advance sheet material in Tax Notes. (Note:  I omitted the NYU Journal of Law and Business from the above chart because it is not a tax journal.)

Prior W&L Tax Journal Rankings:

(Hat Tip: Omri Marian,)

February 27, 2013 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, W&L Tax Journal Rankings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Google Law Review Rankings

Google Scholar LogoMy friend and colleague Rob Anderson (Pepperdine) has expanded his Google Law Review Rankings to cover 216 law reviews based on articles published in 2007-2011 (with links to the most-cited articles for each journal).  Here are the Top 25, along with each journal's ranking in the Washington & Lee law review rankings:

Rank

Law Review

Google h5-Index

Google h5-Median

W&L Rank

1

Harvard

44

71

1

2

Stanford

44

67

4

3

Columbia

43

70

2

4

Pennsylvania

41

70

8

5

Michigan

38

65

6

6

UCLA

38

59

7

7

Texas

38

55

9

8

Yale

38

53

3

9

Georgetown

36

63

5

10

Virginia

36

55

10

11

California

35

45

12

12

Minnesota

33

53

18

13

Duke

33

52

21

14

Chicago

33

44

24

15

Northwestern

32

49

16

16

Illinois

32

45

27

17

Iowa

31

54

17

18

Cornell

31

50

15

19

J. Law & Econ.

30

51

382

20

Notre Dame

30

45

13

21

UC-Davis

30

39

29

22

NYU

29

54

14

23

Am. J. Int'l Law

29

51

56

24

Vanderbilt

28

49

20

25

Boston University

28

42

22

February 25, 2013 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2011 Tax Journal Rankings: NYU #1, Virginia #2, Tax Notes #3

Here are the Washington & Lee tax law review rankings, based on citations to articles published in 2004-2011:

Here are the Top 25 tax journals (out of 44 ranked tax journals):

Rank

Tax Journal

Combined

Impact

Law Reviews

Cases

Currency

1

Tax Law Review

100.0

0.98

412

1

1.74

2

Virginia Tax Review

89.6

0.71

554

9

1.00

3

Tax Notes

76.0

0.01

1165

14

0.02

4

Florida Tax Review

60.8

0.63

210

0

0.75

5

Elder Law Journal

57.6

0.54

257

8

0.36

6

Tax Lawyer

44.0

0.21

435

10

0.40

7

Pittsburgh Tax Review

41.6

0.48

85

3

0.42

8

Houston Bus. & Tax J.

35.2

0.31

184

4

0.30

9

Journal of Taxation

28.8

0.06

370

5

0.11

10

Heckerling Inst. Est. Plan.

26.4

0.22

150

0

0.41

11

Akron Tax Journal

22.4

0.25

56

3

1.17

12

National Tax Journal

22.4

0.11

217

0

0.16

13

Marquette Elder's Advisor

17.6

0.14

107

1

0.14

14

Estate Planning

14.4

0.04

172

1

0.17

15

Taxes

14.4

0.05

162

0

0.08

15

Tax Notes International

12.8

0.00

193

0

0.00

17

New Zealand J. Tax'n Law

9.6

0.08

58

0

0.00

18

Tax Management Mem.

9.6

0.03

111

1

0.05

18

Tax Management Int’l J.

5.6

0.02

66

0

0.05

20

Taxation of Exempts

4.0

0.02

33

0

0.08

21

British Tax Review

3.2

0.01

36

0

0.01

22

Corporate Taxation

3.2

0.02

31

0

0.04

23

eJournal of Tax Research

3.2

0.03

16

0

0.03

24

Real Estate Taxation

3.2

0.02

24

1

0.01

25

Tax Mgmt Real Estate J.

3.2

0.02

23

0

0.01

Tax Notes is #1 by a wide margin in citations in law reviews (1165 v. #2's Virginia Tax Review's 554), but fairs relatively poorly (.001, ranked #24) in the Impact Factor category (citations/number of articles published).  My guess is that W&L counted as "articles" all of the advance sheet material in Tax Notes. (Note:  I omitted the NYU Journal of Law and Business from the above chart because it is not a tax journal.)

Prior W&L Tax Journal Rankings:

Update: Thanks to Omri Marian for letting me know that Washington & Lee has released an updated ranking based on citations to articles published in 2005-2012.  I will blog those rankings in a forthcoming post.

February 19, 2013 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, W&L Tax Journal Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Need for a New Law Review Ranking System

The Legal Watchdog:  Law Review Publishing: In Search of a Useful Ranking System:

My initial decision on where to publish has typically been guided by the US News rankings of law schools, which, in legal publication circles, is used as a proxy for the quality of a law school’s journal. ... To be sure, there are other means by which to choose among publication offers.  Washington & Lee University, for example, ranks journal impact, i.e., how often the journal is cited. ...

Given the major flaws in the two primary journal ranking systems, I would like to see a law professor develop a ranking methodology based on authors’ experiences with the publishing journals. Law professors are already ranking nearly every imaginable thing under the sun—see, for example, here, here, here, here, and here. And a “law review author ranking” would actually be meaningful. I would love for a semi-mathematically inclined professor to run with this idea, and conduct an annual survey of authors (nearly all of whom will be his/her fellow law professors) in order to rank their law journal editing and publishing experiences.

I’ll get the ball rolling. The categories to be ranked could include: timeliness of the publication (on time = 10 points); time allowed for the author to review edits (two weeks = 10 points); deference to the author’s style (high deference = 10 points); creation of errors during editing process (no editor-created errors = 10 points); responsiveness to the author’s edits (short response time = 10 points); and quality of the journal’s website (an up-to-date website posting the article = 10 points).  Of course, there are probably a dozen other categories that could be included, but the total number of categories ranked should be few, and the respondents should be guaranteed anonymity, in order to induce participation by authors.

It is true that law review editors turn-over every year, and a new batch takes their place.  This means that a great experience with “Journal A” could easily have been a bad experience had the article been published a year earlier or later.  It is further true that some law professors—especially those seeking tenure—will, by necessity, continue to be slaves to the US News rankings when selecting among publication offers.  However, ranking the journals on the quality of their editing process would still do two important things. 

First, by ranking certain categories, such as whether the editors were deferential to the author’s writing style, authors would be clearly communicating to journal editors what they value in the publication process. And most of the editors will likely respond by improving performance in these areas.  ...

And second, if a particular journal ranks high, it will likely be a source of pride, which will transfer to the next year’s editorial board. Similarly, if a particular journal ranks low, that too will be passed on, and will give the next year’s board the incentive to do better than its predecessor board.  Remember, rankings are powerful.  Law review editors are students, and some students do drastic, life-ruining things based on rankings, e.g., going into debt $150,000 or more to go to a law school ranked in the 20s instead of taking a full scholarship at a school ranked in the 50s.

February 10, 2013 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Google Law Review Rankings

Google Scholar LogoFrom my friend and colleague Rob Anderson (Pepperdine), Google Ranks Law Reviews:

Google has announced an enhancement to its Scholar Metrics that allows users to view citation rankings of journals in various categories. Among the rankings is Google's ranking of law reviews, as well as a number of specialty law reviews such as technology law and international law. The rankings are based on Jorge Hirsch's "h-index," which is an alternative to impact factor as a measure of a journal's importance.


Law Reviewh1-indexh5-median
1. Harvard 44 71
2. Stanford 44 67
3. Columbia 43 70
4. Pennsylvania 41 70
5. Michigan 38 65
6. UCLA 38 59
7. Texas 38 55
8. Yale 38 53
9. Georgetown 36 63
10. Virginia 36 55
11. California 35 45
12. Minnesota 33 53
13. Duke 33 52
14. Chicago 33 44
15. Northwestern 32 49
16. Illinois 32 45
17. Iowa 31 54
18. Cornell 31 50
19. J. Law & Econ. 30 51
20. Notre Dame 30 45

November 19, 2012 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Law Review Circulation Continues to Plummet (2011)

Ross E. Davies (George Mason), Law Review Circulation 2011: More Change, More Same, 2 J. Legal Metrics 179 (2012):

In 2011, for the first time since the U.S. Postal Service began requiring law reviews to track and report their circulation numbers, no major law review had more than 2,000 paying subscribers. The Harvard Law Review remains the top journal, but its paid circulation has declined from more than 10,000 during much of the 1960s and ’70s to about 5,000 in the 1990s to 1,896 last year.

Davies

February 29, 2012 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fall 2011 Law Review Article Submission Guide

Nancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Fall 2011 submission season covering 202 law reviews.

The first chart (pp. 1-64) contains information gathered from the journals’ websites on:

  • Methods for submitting an article (such as by e-mail, ExpressO, or regular mail)
  • Any special formatting requirements
  • How to request an expedited review
  • How to withdraw an article after it has been accepted for publication elsewhere

The second chart (pp. 65-71) contains the ranking of the law reviews and their schools under six measures:

  • U.S. News: Overall Rank
  • U.S. News: Peer Reputation Rating
  • U.S. News: Judge/Lawyer Reputation Rating
  • Washington & Lee Citation Ranking
  • Washington & Lee Impact Factor
  • Washington & Lee Combined Rating

They also have posted a list of links to the submissions information on each law journal’s website.

July 27, 2011 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Galle: Scholarly Influence in Law Review Rankings

Tax Prof Brian Galle (Boston College) offers his thoughts on law review rankings:

Maybe it’s the hundred-degree heat talking, but I think law review rankings are a little bit useful. As a reader and researcher, I do make some use of an article’s placement as a screen for how close of an initial read to devote to it. When I look at the c.v.’s of two scholars whose work I’ve never read, I’m probably inclined to look more attentively at the work of the one with the fancy cites.  Yeah, I said it. Put away the pitchforks, dear readers: I don’t think I’m alone. Satisficing is not going away. ...

It would be nice, then, if there were reliable guides to the signaling value of a given journal placement. U.S. News gives us a decent if limited signal; since most authors agree that at the pinnacle its rankings are roughly meaningful, we get scarcity.  So we can assume that journals at the top are more selective than others.  Whether they make good decisions when picking the few from the many we don't know. ... Is there a better way to rank journals?  ...

An approximation of a value-neutral approach might be to simply rank publications based on the use others scholars make of them.  (For a thoughtful review of why that method works and what its problems are, see Russell Korobkin, 26 FSU L. Rev. 851, and Ronen Perry.)  Korobkin argues that, basically, citation counts create the least bad set of incentives; usefulness to others seems like a decent result even if it's somewhat distorting of the real scholarly mission. ...

Well, the Washington & Lee Law Library, as many readers will know, offers a ranking of law journals based on total citations and "impact factor," or IF. ... As weak as IF is in general, W&L’s implementation is particularly problematic. ...Finally, to be parochial, W&L only uses Westlaw to generate its citation counts, and Westlaw doesn’t include Tax Notes, a major publication for us tax types. (This is also our gripe with Leiter). So tax articles are (sniff) even more under-appreciated. ...

[W]hat I'd particularly like to see is some kind of quality-weighted influence measure, along the lines of google pageview, as described here.

July 21, 2011 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring 2011 Law Review Article Submission Guide

Nancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Spring 2011 submission season covering 202 law reviews.

The first chart (pp. 1-72) contains information gathered from the journals’ websites on:

  • Methods for submitting an article (such as by e-mail, ExpressO, or regular mail)
  • Any special formatting requirements
  • How to request an expedited review
  • How to withdraw an article after it has been accepted for publication elsewhere

The second chart (pp. 73-79) contains the ranking of the law reviews and their schools under six measures:

  • U.S. News: Overall Rank
  • U.S. News: Peer Reputation Rating
  • U.S. News: Judge/Lawyer Reputation Rating
  • Washington & Lee Citation Ranking
  • Washington & Lee Impact Factor
  • Washington & Lee Combined Rating

They also have posted a list of links to the submissions information on each law journal’s website.

February 14, 2011 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Law Review Circulation Continues to Plummet

Ross E. Davies (George Mason) has published The Dipping Point: Law Review Circulation 2010, 14 Green Bag 2d 547 (2011). Here is the abstract:

For the past couple of years we have needled the Harvard Law Review (HLR) about its tendency to err on the side of inflation when describing the size of its subscriber base. So, it seems only fair now to salute the HLR’s recent correction, and to note that the extravagant circulation claims made these days by the Virginia Law Review make the HLR’s old claims seem downright modest. This year we are offering two new perspectives on the law review business. The first is really just a bigger version of an old one. We have added several law schools’ flagship law reviews to our little tables of journal circulation rates. The newcomers are: Boston University Law Review, Emory Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Illinois Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Iowa Law Review, William and Mary Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Alabama Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Washington Law Review, Washington and Lee Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal, UC Davis Law Review, Georgia Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review. We also corrected a few errors in earlier versions of the tables and filled in a few blanks, an exercise that will doubtless be repeated in the future. The second new perspective is a look at the distant past, when only a few law reviews published any circulation numbers. A casual review of some of those early numbers, in tandem with an equally casual glance at the advertising pages of those early law reviews, provides an ironic reminder of a plausible piece of conventional wisdom about the decline in sales of print editions of law reviews: that the decline has been and is being caused by the rise of searchable electronic databases and of an Internet via which to conveniently tap into those databases.

[T]ake a look at the graph on page 550. It shows the trends in paid subscriptions at three leading law reviews — the HLR, the Yale Law Journal, and the Columbia Law Review — for which we have at least some data from the 1960s to the present. (The graph is prettier than it ought to be because we have filled in the blanks and smoothed the curves for each journal by assuming that its circulation rates in years for which we lack data are the same as the rates in the immediately preceding years.) The gray bar cutting across all three circulation trend lines marks the period during which Westlaw advertisements began appearing in the law reviews. Correlation does not indicate causation, of course, but it is hard to resist the thought that the appearance of that ink-on-paper Westlaw advertisement in the November 1979 ink-on-paper HLR marked what might eventually turn out to be the beginning of the end for the ink-on-paper HLR, and for ink-on-paper law reviews more generally.

Chart 

January 27, 2011 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Law Review Rankings by Social Science Impact

Mikhail Koulikov (Reference/Research Librarian, New York Law Institute) has published Indexing and Full-Text Coverage of Law Review Articles in Nonlegal Databases: An Initial Study, 102 Law Lib. J. 39 (2010). Here is the abstract:

Mr. Koulikov examines the level of coverage that articles originally published in law reviews receive in eight major general academic databases. His findings are very similar to those of other discipline-specific database coverage studies, and reveal that coverage varies widely by database, regardless of the database’s claim to cover legal periodicals. This has particular implications for the level of engagement that nonlegal scholars have with the literature of the legal academia, and for the potential for meaningful interaction between legal scholars and their peers in other academic fields.

Journals

(Hat Tip: Blackbook Legal Blog.)

May 3, 2010 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Law Review Circulation Continues to Plummet

Ross E. Davies (George Mason) has posted Law Review Circulation 2009: The Combover, Green Bag Almanac & Reader 419 (2010).  Here is the abstract:

For our second annual study of the law review business [see the first study here], we added circulation data for four flagship law reviews (UCLA, Texas, USC, and Washington University) and two specialty journals (NYU’s Tax Law Review and Duke’s Law and Contemporary Problems). We also corrected a few errors in the tables in our first study and filled-in a few blanks. And, finally, we noticed something that might be worth thinking about: the possibility that the law school combover culture has infected law reviews.

Davies documents an enromous decline in law review circulation over the 1979-2009 period.  The Tax Law Review's circulation, for example, has declined 89.1% from a peak of 5,685 in 1980-81 to 620 in 2006-07.

Update: National Law Journal, Study Finds Sharp Decline in Law Review Circulation.

February 17, 2010 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Brophy: The Signaling Value of Law Reviews -- An Exploration of Citations and Prestige

Alfred L. Brophy (North Carolina) has published The Signaling Value of Law Reviews:  An Exploration of Citations and Prestige, 36 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 229 (2009).  Here is the abstract:

This brief Essay reports a study of citations to every article published in 1992 in thirteen leading law journals. It uses citations as a proxy (an admittedly poor one) of article quality and then compares the citations across journals. There are, not surprisingly, vast differences in the number of citations per article. While articles in the most elite journals receive more citations on average than the other less elite (but still highly regarded) journals studied, some articles in the less elite journals are more heavily cited than many articles in even the most elite journals. In keeping with studies in other disciplines and other citation studies of legal journals, the results here suggest that we should be wary of judgments about quality based on place of publication. We should also be wary of judgments about quality of scholarship based on the number of citations, and we should, therefore, continue to evaluate scholarship through close reads of it.

Brophy

August 28, 2009 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Law School Rankings iPhone App

Law School 100 Following up on yesterday's post:  the Law School 100 rankings are now available as an app for your iPhone (at a cost of 99 cents).  From the iTunes description:

Since the year 2000, LawTV has compiled the list of the best law schools in the United States, based on qualitative (rather than quantitative) criteria.  More than half a million pre-law students, law students, law professors, and lawyers use the Law School 100 rankings each year.

The Law School 100 includes every ABA-accredited law school.  The top 100 law schools are listed in their ranking order.  The second 100 law schools (Tier 2 law schools) are listed in alphabetical order.

(Hat Tip: Legal Blog Watch.) 

     

August 11, 2009 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rankings Boost For UC-Hastings?

UC-Hastings opens a new parking garage.  (Hat Tip:  Law School Headlines.)

May 21, 2009 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This Won't Help Arizona State in the U.S. News Rankings

Monday, February 2, 2009

Law Review Circulation Down 62%

From our article, What Law Schools Can Learn from Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics, 82 Tex. L. Rev. 1483, 1534-35 & n.296 (2004):

[L]aw reviews could be ranked, as are newspapers and other periodicals, based on circulation. Surprisingly, although the U.S. Post Office collects circulation figures for periodicals desiring reduced postage rates, we found no attempt in the literature to rank law reviews based on circulation. Our own preliminary ranking of law reviews by circulation yielded surprising results. Only five of the top twenty law reviews, but eight of those ranked lower than one-hundred (as measured by U.S. News & World Report), are included in the top twenty law reviews based on circulation figures.

[Here were the Top 10 law reviews by circulation, along with the schools' U.S. News peer reputation ranking:

1. Harvard 7500 (1)
2. Arkansas (Fayetteville) 5000 (97)
3. Yale 4500 (1)
4. Arkansas (Little Rock) 3800 (119)
5. Cornell 3500 (11)
6. McGeorge 3200 (108)
7.  Boston University 3000 (25)
     Brooklyn 3000 (64)
     Seattle 3000 (108)
     South Carolina 3000 (87)]

Ross E. Davies (George Mason) has compiled the circulation figures of the general law reviews at the Top 15 law schools as ranked by U.S. News in Law Review Circulation, Green Bag Almanac & Reader 164 (2009).  Here is the abstract:

Many law reviews are required by law to publish accurate reports of basic information about their subscribers and circulation. But many do not -- do not report accurate information or do not report information at all. Perhaps this is in response to steep declines in subscriptions, which the available reports illustrate.

Davies documents a 62.4% decline in law review circulation over this 29-year period, from 47,543 in 1979-80 (3,170 per law review) to 17,878 in 2007-08 (1,192 per law review) (using data from the closest year if data was missing for either 1979-80 or 2007-08).  The biggest percentage declines were:

  1. Virginia:  -77.9%
  2. Michigan:  -73.5%
  3. Harvard:  -70.2%
  4. Georgetown:  -71.1%
  5. Northwestern:  -67.5%
  6. UC-Berkeley:  -65.3%

See Inside Higher Ed, Documenting the Decline of (Print) Law Reviews, by Doug Lederman.

February 2, 2009 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Update on LSAT-Free Admissions and LSAT Retesting of Admitted Applicants

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ranking Scholarly Journals: The European Experience

In this week's Chronicle of Higher Education: New Ratings of Humanities Journals Do More Than Rank — They Rankle, by Jennifer Howard:

A large-scale, multinational attempt in Europe to rank humanities journals has set off a revolt. In a protest letter, some journal editors have called it "a dangerous and misguided exercise." The project has also started a drumbeat of alarm in this country, as U.S.-based scholars begin to grasp the implications for their own work and the journals they edit.

The ranking project, known as the European Reference Index for the Humanities, or ERIH, is the brainchild of the European Science Foundation, which brings together research agencies from many countries. It grew from a desire to showcase high-quality research in Europe. Panels of four to six scholars, appointed by a steering committee, compiled initial lists of journals to be classified in 15 fields. Each journal was assigned to a category — A, B, or C — depending on its reputation and international reach.  (See box below.) ...

Continue reading

October 7, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

LSAT-Free Law School Admissions Can Goose U.S. News Ranking

My MoneyLaw colleague Tom Bell (Chapman) notes Michigan's new Wolverine Scholars Program -- in which Michigan undergrads with a minimum 3.80 GPA are admitted to Michigan Law School if they agree to not take the LSAT.  The rankings benefit is that there is no LSAT score to report to U.S. News, while the minimum 3.80 GPA will boost Michigan's median 3.64 GPA, which counts 10% in U.S. News' methodology. Other schools presumably will follow Michigan's lead and create similar programs to recruit their undergrads while also goosing their U.S. news ranking.

Update #1: As usual, my Law Professor Blog Network colleague Bill Henderson (Indiana) hits the nail on the head:

The rankings motive is further corroborated by the disqualification if the potential Wolverine Scholar has taken the LSAT. ... [T]here are terrible externalities from this alleged merit-based program. It is impossible to deny that the Wolverine Scholars program will encourage students to (a) take easier classes and majors to avoid the need to take the LSAT to get into an elite law school, (b) discourage extracurriculars that will threaten the 3.8, and (c) make a lot of Michigan undergraduate professors miserable with complaints from students that their B+ or A- grade is going to blow their Wolverine Scholar application.

From a rankings perspective, what happens when you get 20, 30, or 40 candidates with 3.8+ UPGA and no LSAT score? From day 1 of admissions season, Michigan has much greater latitude to lock in higher median LSAT and UPGA numbers--because zero Wolverine Scholars are dragging down the LSAT and all are helping the UPGA numbers. Further, because of the idiosyncrasies of the USNWR rankings formula, see Ted Seto's Understanding the U.S. News Law School Rankings, at the upper ranges, small changes in UGPA have a much greater sway on rankings that a single LSAT point. For example, in the simulation model that Andy Morriss and I created, a move from 3.64 to 3.66 has a greater effect than a move from 169 to 170. If Michigan can get to a 3.80 UGPA, they could tie with NYU at #5.

Update #2:  A reader let me know that Georgetown has a similar Early Assurance Program:

Early Assurance applicants are exempt from taking the LSAT and registering with the LSDAS. Instead, please include an official transcript with at least five semesters of undergraduate grades. Early Assurance applicants must submit two recommendations, one of which must be the Early Assurance Dean's Certification Form. Competitive Early Assurance applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.8.

Update #3:  For more, see:

September 25, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Texas Law School Rankings

Texas Lawyer has released its annual ranking of the nine Texas law schools, based on a survey completed by 1,132 students enrolled at the school (the response rate ranged from 10%-25% at each school).  The ranking equally weighs eight variables:

  • Teaching Quality
  • Faculty Accessibility
  • Preparation for Practice
  • Placement Office Helpfulness
  • Collegiality
  • Student Diversity
  • Technology
  • Library Services

Here is the overall ranking of the Texas law schools under the Texas Monthly methodology, along with their ranking in U.S. News and World Report (overall and peer reputation) and SSRN downloads (as well as their ranking among U.S. law schools) [click on chart to enlarge]:

Texas_law_school_rankings_2008_4 

August 22, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Forbes College Rankings

Forbes has launched a new ranking of 569 colleges and universities, based on this methodology:

  • Listing of Alumni in Who's Who in America (25%)
  • Student Evaluations of Professors from Ratemyprofessors.com (25%)
  • Four- Year Graduation Rates (16 2/3%)
  • Enrollment-adjusted numbers of students and faculty receiving nationally competitive awards (16 2/3%)
  • Average four year accumulated student debt of those borrowing money (16 2/3%)

Here are Forbes' Top 25:

  1. Princeton
  2. California Institute of Technology
  3. Harvard
  4. Swarthmore
  5. Williams
  6. U.S. Military Academy
  7. Amherst
  8. Wellesley
  9. Yale
  10. Columbia
  11. Northwestern
  12. Wabash
  13. Centre College (KY)
  14. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  15. Bowdoin College
  16. U.S. Air Force Academy
  17. Middlebury
  18. University of Chicago
  19. Smith
  20. Pomona
  21. Wesleyan
  22. Haverford
  23. Stanford
  24. Hamilton
  25. Sarah Lawrence

August 15, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Seto on the Proposed Boycott of the U.S. News Rankings

Theodore P. Seto (Loyola-L.A.), author of the influential article, Understanding the U.S. News Law School Rankings, 60 SMU L. Rev. 493 (2007), shares his thoughts on Case Dean Gary Simson's call to boycott the U.S. News rankings (blogged here, here, and here): 

Writing in the on-line edition of the National Law Journal, Dean Gary Simson of Case Western says the following about U.S. News’ recent announcement of possible changes to its methodology:

This announcement, and the wrench that it threatens to throw into structural changes that have been made to avoid being disadvantaged by a deeply flawed methodology, should cause law school faculties and administrations everywhere to finally say ‘enough’ and that they are done participating in a ranking system that has done substantial harm and little, if any, good to legal education in the United States.

In response, Mr. Robert Morse of U.S. News states;

If a law school refuses to provide U.S. News directly with statistical data from their annual American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation data questionnaire, then U.S. News still can get almost all of that school’s official ABA data from the ABA website. U.S. News would still be able to rank a law school, even if it refused to participate

Mr. Morse’s response is correct, but only with significant caveats.

Continue reading

July 28, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

U.S. News Responds to Case Dean's Call to "Just Say No" to Rankings

Robert Morse, Director of Data Research at U.S. News & World Report, responds to the forthcoming National Law Journal op-ed by Gary J. Simson, Dean at Case Western (which fell ten places in the U.S. News overall rankings last year to #63), Say "Enough" to "U.S. News" (blogged here):

I was asked yesterday to comment on criticisms of the U.S. News law school rankings raised in an article Dean Calls on Peers to Unite, Kick U.S. News Rankings to the Curb that was published on the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog. ...

The U.S. News rankings also do not, as the dean implies, have a negative impact on legal education and law school admissions. The rankings provide prospective law school students with information about the relative merits of law schools that is not available from any other source. Going to a law school is a very expensive and time-consuming process, and our rankings provide one tool for students to use in choosing the best school for their needs.

If a law school refuses to provide U.S. News directly with statistical data from their annual American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation data questionnaire, then U.S. News still can get almost all of that school's official ABA data from the ABA website. U.S. News would still be able to rank a law school, even if it refused to participate.

The next U.S. News law school rankings aren't published until late March 2009, and we do not plan to make a decision on this issue until fall 2008 or early 2009. As we have done in the past before we change our methodology, U.S. News will carefully consider the impact of any such modification.

July 24, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Case Western Dean: Just Say No to U.S. News

Op-ed in next week's National Law Journal:  Say "Enough" to "U.S. News," by Gary J. Simson, Dean at Case Western (which fell ten places in the U.S. News overall rankings last year to #63):

Many law school deans are upset about the recent announcement by U.S. News & World Report that it is seriously considering revising its law school rankings methodology to treat part-time students' entering credentials (LSAT score and undergraduate GPA) no differently than full-time students'. [blogged here, here, here, here, here, here, and here] ...

There is much room for reasonable debate among law deans as to how problematic the U.S. News proposal is, whether any deficiencies in it are curable with fine-tuning, and whether U.S. News should instead be thinking seriously about its treatment of transfer students. However, it seems beyond debate that it is truly depressing that law deans, who have so many important educational issues to address, feel the pressure they undeniably feel to make important decisions about their schools in response to a popular magazine's educationally unsophisticated decisions about ranking methodology. ...

Deans feel obliged to become experts in the ways of winning in the rankings, and in seeking higher rankings; the faculty and administration all too often make structural decisions about the law school with the rankings foremost in mind. In an effort to boost entering students' credentials they cut, often quite dramatically, the number of students in the first-year class. Then, to make up for the lost income to their heavily tuition-dependent school, they increase, often quite dramatically, the number of transfer students or LL.M. students and they develop a part-time program or expand an existing one. They economize by not filling faculty lines vacated by retirements and departures and by downsizing the staff. They diminish or even eliminate need-based financial aid in favor of using scholarship money to target incoming students who will boost the median LSAT and GPA. ...

What, then, do I propose now in response to the U.S. News announcement of a possible change in its ranking formula? I propose that law school faculties and administrations treat the announcement as a wake-up call and recognize how much they have allowed themselves to be at the mercy of editors whose primary interest is selling magazines, rather than providing a means of ranking schools that actually might promote the things that make for genuine greatness in a law school. This announcement, and the wrench that it threatens to throw into structural changes that have been made to avoid being disadvantaged by a deeply flawed methodology, should cause law school faculties and administrations everywhere to finally say "enough" and that they are done participating in a ranking system that has done substantial harm and little, if any, good to legal education in the United States. Even the faculty and administration at the most highly ranked schools — those schools that today appear to be winning in the rankings game — should recognize that they have a major stake in abandoning a system that, at some magazine editors' whim, could be suddenly revamped in ways that could send those schools plummeting from their lofty perch.

July 23, 2008 in Law Review Rankings, Law School | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More on Value-Added Law Schools

I previously blogged the interesting posts by Jason Solomon (Georgia) on value-added law schools.  His subsequent posts (here and here) have been equally illuminating, culminating in today's post:  Paul Caron, Moneyball, and the Most Important Chart In the History of Legal Education (based on this TaxProf Blog post):

Assessing “value added” on a relative basis by school is not only knowable; we actually know it for many schools. So we just need to present the data in a convenient and user-friendly way for survey respondents, and then the rankings will move for at least a handful of schools, beginning next spring – and then we get our race to the top, beginning next summer. Caron's chart tells us: it can be done. Which is why, in my humble opinion, this chart might well be the most important in the history of legal education.

Princeton_review_v_us_news_2008_3_3   

July 16, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 7, 2008

NLJ: Deans Dislike Proposed Change in U.S. News Rankings Methodology

I previously blogged (here, here, here, and here) the announcement (here and here) by Robert Morse, Director of Data Research at U.S. News & World Report, that the magazine is "seriously studying" two changes to its law school rankings methodology that would affect 24.5% of the overall ranking:

  • Counting both full-time and part-time entering student admission data for the median LSAT score (12.5% of ranking) and median undergraduate GPA (10%) ranking categories.
  • Compute the bar passage rate (2%) (school's bar pass rate/jurisdiction's bar passage rate) using only the data of first-time takers who are graduates of ABA-accredited schools.

In this week's National Law Journal:  Deans Dislike Ranking Proposals; Use of Part-Time Students' Scores of Deep Concern, by Peter Page:

The proposal is strongly opposed by deans at schools with part-time programs designed for students who are years past college graduation and often well into careers outside the law. They warn that a school's place on the U.S. News list is so important that some schools would drop the part-time programs rather than slip lower in the national rankings.

July 7, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Feminist Perspective on the Proposed U.S. News Rankings Change

I previously blogged (here, here, and here) the announcement (here and here) by Robert Morse, Director of Data Research at U.S. News & World Report, that the magazine is "seriously studying" two changes to its law school rankings methodology that would affect 24.5% of the overall ranking:

  • Counting both full-time and part-time entering student admission data for the median LSAT score (12.5% of ranking) and median undergraduate GPA (10%) ranking categories.
  • Compute the bar passage rate (2%) (school's bar pass rate/jurisdiction's bar passage rate) using only the data of first-time takers who are graduates of ABA-accredited schools.

Ann Bartow (South Carolina) offers a feminist perspective in Law School Rankings By USNews: Does Cheating Benefit or Harm Women?:

If US News starts counting the LSATs of part time and transfer students, currently cheating law schools have to choose between tuition and rankings. The schools that choose ranking concerns over tuition receipts will admit fewer people with lower LSAT scores, who are likely to be disproportionately older, poorer, female, and/or People of Color. The schools that choose tuition will admit these students into their full time first year classes, treating them like everybody else, rather than as second class citizens. So whether this change helps or hurts women (and other affected groups) is going to depend on how many law students prioritize tuition, and perhaps also value the increased diversity of their first year classes that will likely result from accepting students with somewhat lower LSAT scores.

July 6, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Leiter and Solove Criticize Proposed Change to U.S. News Rankings Methodology

I previously blogged the announcement by Robert Morse, Director of Data Research at U.S. News & World Report, that the magazine is "seriously studying" two changes to its law school rankings methodology that would affect 24.5% of the overall ranking:

  • Counting both full-time and part-time entering student admission data for the median LSAT score (12.5% of ranking) and median undergraduate GPA (10%) ranking categories.
  • Compute the bar passage rate (2%) (school's bar pass rate/jurisdiction's bar passage rate) using only the data of first-time takers who are graduates of ABA-accredited schools.

Brian Leiter and Dan Solove both criticize the first proposed change because it will result in schools cutting back on their night programs and thus the opportunities they provide to nontraditional students,

July 1, 2008 in Law Review Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)