TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Is Wake Forest Law School's Offer To Pay Students To Take The GRE A U.S. News Rankings Ploy?

Wake Forest Law School (2016)Above the Law, This Law School Will Pay You To Take The GRE To Save Its U.S. News Rank From The Dreaded LSAT:

Law schools have been trying to do away with using the LSAT as an admissions requirement for quite some time. The ABA first took up the idea of axing the LSAT in 2011, and then in 2014, instituted a new rule that would allow some law schools (i.e., law schools connected to a university or college with an undergraduate program) to fill up to 10 percent of their entering classes with students who hadn’t taken the LSAT. Several law schools, including SUNY Buffalo, Drake, the University of Iowa, the University of Hawaii, and St. John’s University quickly rushed to begin enrolling students without LSAT scores. Just one year later, the ABA voted to repeal its LSAT exemption rule, effective with the incoming class of fall 2017.

Now that evidence of the great law school brain drain is on display for all the world to see, with LSAT profiles of matriculants dipping lower and lower every year, law school administrators are trying even harder to find a way to weasel out of having to admit students who have taken the LSAT (unless, of course, their LSAT scores are amazing; those students are allowed to continue taking the LSAT, if only because those high scores will help the law school’s U.S. News ranking instead of hurting it).

What are law schools trying to do now to keep the LSAT far, far away from their U.S. news ranking? At Wake Forest University School of Law ... has teamed up with Educational Testing Service (ETS) and two other law schools to see if the GRE would work as an alternative to the LSAT for law school admissions, and the school needs assistance from both current students and recent graduates for some experimentation. ...

How desperate is Wake Forest to get rid of the LSAT? Wake Forest is so desperate that it’s willing to pay people to take a standardized test with a math component. Yikes.

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January 30, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, January 25, 2016

SoCal Law Students Invited To ABA Tax Section Careers In Tax Law Dinner On Jan. 28

ABAThe ABA Tax Section invites all Southern California area law students to attend a Careers in Tax Law Dinner this Thursday, Jan. 28, at the J.W. Marriott L.A. Live at 7:00 p.m.:

The ABA Section of Taxation cordially invites you to the Careers in Tax Law Dinner at the 2016 Midyear Meeting. A dynamic panel of tax practitioners will speak about the nature of their jobs, what they do, and how students might best prepare for and pursue careers in this field. Dinner will be provided.

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January 25, 2016 in ABA Tax Section, Law School Rankings, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ayres Data On 1L Enrollment Changes, 2011 To 2014

Following up on yesterday's post, Ayres: The U.S. News Rankings Keep Dozens Of Weak Law Schools Afloat, Preventing A 'Culling Of Legal Education's Herd':  Ian has asked me to post this spreadsheet with the underlying data.  Here is a chart of the law schools (ranked and unranked) with the largest percentage contraction in their first-year class from 2011 to 2014:

Ayres

January 19, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ayres:  The U.S. News Rankings Keep Dozens Of Weak Law Schools Afloat, Preventing A 'Culling Of Legal Education's Herd'

2016 U.S. News RankingsIan Ayres (Yale), Lower-Ranked Law Schools Should Be Thanking U.S. News:

Law professors love to hate on the U.S. News law school rankings. Lower-ranked schools in particular find it very difficult competing for an important segment of applicants who are intent on simply going to the highest ranked school possible.

But these rankings may have been responsible for keeping dozens of lower and unranked law schools in business. ...

The top 50 schools with the highest U.S. News rankings saw their enrollments drop by about 8%. Why wouldn’t highly ranked schools be willing to reduce their admission standards to keep their classes filled?

One important reason is the fear of falling in future U.S. News rankings. A school that dramatically reduced its admission standards would fall in the rankings and have a harder time recruiting applicants in future years (and might have poor bar results which would lead to a further fall in the rankings). ... [A]ny school dropping credentials in order to boost class size would have to worry that its peers would instead invest (by running a deficit) in maintaining students’ entering credentials – and as a result would shoot by them in the U.S. News rankings. ...

If the top 150 ranked schools had maintained their 2011 enrollment class size there would have likely been 5828 fewer students for the 53 unranked law schools to admit. This would have forced the unranked schools as a group to shrink their first year classes by 57.4%. The unranked schools had already seen their first-year enrollment drop by 29.5% (4255) so the loss of 5828 more students would have counterfactually meant a total contraction of 70%. ...

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January 18, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Henderson, McEntee & Shepard Propose Changes To U.S. News Law School Rankings Methodology

2016 U.S. News RankingsKyle McEntee (Law School Transparency), How To Fix The U.S. News Law School Rankings:

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the U.S. News rankings methodology is the expenditures per student component, which actually includes two related metrics. The first, worth 9.75% of total rank, is the amount spent on faculty, staff, and services divided by total JD students. The second, worth 1.5% of total rank, adds the amount spent on financial aid to the equation. If you burn money (literally), you improve your standing on the rankings as long as there’s an educational purpose. ...

Last year, I wrote a memo to Morse and his team, co-signed by Chief Justice Randall Shepard (former CJ of the Indiana Supreme Court) and professor Bill Henderson, asking U.S. News to adopt one of two alternatives to the expenditures per student metric.

We also asked that the new metric replace two other metrics: student-to-faculty ratio and library resources. The library resources component does not relate to a 21st century legal education. Additionally, the ABA Section of Legal Education determined that the student-faculty ratio is an outdated proxy for quality and no longer uses it in assessing accreditation.

In sum, the proposed metric would replace 15% of total rank. Importantly, it aligns rankings incentives with the goal of providing an accessible, affordable legal education. Here are the two proposals:

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January 14, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Here’s What Happened When A Law School Dean Challenged A U.S. News Ranker

2016 U.S. News RankingsBlake Edwards (Bloomberg BNA), Here’s What Happened When a Law School Dean Challenged a U.S. News Ranker:

On Saturday, at the American Association of Law Schools’ annual meeting in New York, the AALS’s Section for the Law School Dean hosted a panel on law school rankings. There were at least a couple hundred people in attendance. Many in the room, including the moderators, directed their frustration at Robert Morse, Chief Data Strategist for U.S. News.

When the meeting was opened up for questions, Nebraska Law School Dean Susan Poser stepped up to the microphone. “I don’t know anything about schools except the one I went to and the one I’m at now,” Poser said. “How do you justify asking us to rank the prestige of other schools, and how do you justify giving this component such a large weight?”

When Posner finished her question, the crowd broke into eager applause. Morse smiled and waited patiently before defending the rankings.

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January 12, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Monday, December 21, 2015

July 2015 California Bar Exam Results

California State BarThe July 2015 California bar passage rates by school are out. Here are the results for first time test takers for the 21 California ABA-approved law schools, along with each school's U.S. News ranking (California and overall):

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)

 

School

US News Rank

CA (Overall)

1 (88.8%)

Stanford

1 (2)

2 (86.7%)

USC

4 (20)

3 (85.4%)

UCLA

3 (16)

4 (84.8%)

UC-Berkeley

2 (8)

5 (79.8%)

UC-Irvine

5 (30)

6 (76.5%)

Loyola-L.A.

10 (75)

7 (74.3%)

UC-Davis

6 (31)

8 (72.0%)

San Diego

9 (71)

9 (71.2%)

Chapman

12 (127)

10 (69.9%)

McGeorge

Tier 2

11 (69.3%)

Santa Clara

11 (94)

12 (68.7%)

Pepperdine

7 (52)

68.2%

Statewide Ave. (CA ABA-Approved)

13 (67.5%)

UC-Hastings

8 (59)

14 (59.9%)

Cal-Western

Tier 2

15 (55.6%)

Western State

Tier 2

16 (53.3%)

La Verne

n/r

17 (50.6%)

Southwestern

Tier 2

18 (47.7%)

T. Jefferson

Tier 2

19 (47.4%)

San Francisco

Tier 2

20 (39.3%)

Golden Gate

Tier 2

21 (37.7%)

Whittier

Tier 2

One of the California-accredited law school (Lincoln Law School of Sacramento) had a higher pass rate (44.3% (23/52)) than two of the ABA-accredited law schools (Golden Gate (39.3%) and Whittier (37.7%)).

Here are the out-of-state schools with the highest and lowest pass rates:

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December 21, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Manhire:  Beyond The U.S. News Index — A Better Measure Of Law School Diversity

2016 U.S. News RankingsJ. T. Manhire (Texas A & M), Beyond the U.S. News Index: A Better Measure of Law School Diversity, 101 Iowa L. Rev. Online 1 (2015):

The U.S. News & World Report publishes a diversity index along with its annual ranking of U.S. law schools. Race and ethnicity are the only factors the magazine uses to measure law school diversity. But is this a meaningful measure of student difference? Are race and ethnicity all that count or are there other differences that contribute to a richer educational experience for students and better outcomes for law schools? In a 2011 Iowa Law Review article, Kevin Johnson argues that law school diversity is not limited to only race and ethnicity. He further argues that law school diversity, defined broadly, is critical to the success of legal education; both for the students and the institutions that serve them.

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December 9, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, December 7, 2015

College And University President Salaries, 2013

Chronicle of Higher Education, Executive Compensation at Private and Public Colleges:

The Chronicle's executive-compensation package has been updated with information on private-college presidents for the 2013 calendar year.

The update provides data on 558 chief executives at 497 private nonprofit colleges in the United States. The median salary for leaders in office for the full year was $436,429. Thirty-two of the presidents earned more than $1 million.

The most recent data on public-college presidents, also from 2013, include information on 238 chief executives at 220 public universities and systems in the United States. The median salary for those in office for the full year was $428,250. Two of the presidents earned more than $1 million.

Here are the Top 15 private college presidents by total 2013 compensation:

Top 8
Top 15

Here are the Top 15 public college presidents by total 2013 compensation:

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December 7, 2015 in Law School Rankings | Permalink | Comments (7)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Law School Rankings By 'Super Lawyer' Alumni

National JuristWhich Schools Produce the Most 'Super Lawyers'?, Nat'l Jurist, Fall 2015, p. 6:

Looking for a super law school? Well, some schools produce grads who turn out to be "Super Lawyers" in higher numbers than other.

Each year, Law & Politics' Super Lawyers magazine selects a pool of outstanding lawyers — no more than 5 percent from each state  — through a patented, multi-phase process that involves peer nominations and independent research in 12 categories, such as honors and awards received and community service undertaken. They're called "Super Lawyers."

The National Jurist took this analysis a step further to see which law schools produced the most Clark Kents of the legal world.

We compared the number of Super Lawyers per school with an estimate for the number of alumni per school to determine the percentage of alumni who are SUper Lawyers. We also included the number of "Rising Stars" in our calculations — attorneys who are younger than 40 or have been in practice for less than 10 years.

It should come as no surprise that some institutions, such as Yale Law School, Harvard Law School and University of Virginia School of Law, top the list. There's not much Kryptonite in those places.

However, our list of the 2015 Super Lawyer schools shows a slew of underdogs that have earned a place at the top, including the No. 1 school — Baylor University School of Law.

Dean Brad Toben said his school prides itself on producing "Baylor Lawyers." It turns out that a good many happen to be super as well. ... The Princeton Review has called Baylor Law School "the Marine Corps of law school" for its focus on discipline and workload demands."

Other schools that place better in their Super Lawyer rankings than in their U.S. News & World Report rankings, including University of Florida Levin College of Law, which placed fourth; Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, with placed 10th; and Boston College Law School, which placed 12th.

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December 3, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Law School Rankings by BigLaw Partners

Edward Adams (Minnesota) & Samuel Engel (J.D. 2016, Minnesota), Does Law School Still Make Economic Sense?: An Empirical Analysis of “Big” Law Firm Partnership Prospects and the Relationship to Law School Attended, 63 Buff. L. Rev. 609 (2015):

This study is the first to comprehensively examine the relationship between law school attended and achieving partnership in the 100 largest American law firms. Seeking to address issues related to a previous study by Ted Seto [Where do Partners Come From, 62 J. Legal Educ. 242 (2012)], the extensive empirical analysis included in this paper is a critical and seminal addition to the increasingly visible debate regarding the value of a legal education, law school rankings, and the factors that should be considered by potential law students when choosing a law school to attend. ...

Table 1 ranks the top 100 law schools, according to an index score based on the number of partners from each school and their weighted class size as further described below.  The table also includes an indicator that states the difference between this ranking and the United States News and World Report ranking.  Although the celebrated T-14 nearly stayed intact, significant differences are seen immediately outside that range.  The index score is included to demonstrate the actual magnitude between different rankings, and the last four columns provide supplementary information helpful in properly analyzing the index score. ...

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December 3, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Law School Rankings By New BigLaw Partners

Following up on my previous posts on law school rankings by the number of BigLaw Partners by Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.), Rob Anderson (Pepperdine), and Edward Adams (Minnesota) (NY Times coverage):  Bloomberg BNA, The Law Schools New Big Law Partners Attended:

How much weight does a prestigious law degree hold when it comes to climbing the ranks at a large law firm? ...

Over the past several months, a number of law firms have announced new classes of partners for the upcoming year, and we thought it would be a fruitful exercise to take a look at who these lawyers are and where they come from. ... Big Law Business reviewed the legal education of 299 lawyers who were elected partners at AmLaw 100 and 200 firms, effective between Oct. 1 and Jan. 2016.

Here are the Top 31 law schools:

1.     Harvard:  21 new partners
2.     NYU:  15
3.     Michigan:  10
4.     Georgetown, Northwestern:  9
6.     Virginia:  8
7.     Chicago, Columbia, UC-Berkeley:  7
10.   Boston College:  6
11.   Boston University, Fordham, George Washington, Illinois, UCLA, Vanderbilt:  5
17.   American, Brooklyn, Cardozo, Case Western, Penn, Stanford, St. Louis, Texas, USC, Yale:  4
27.   Chicago-Kent, Georgia, Notre Dame, San Diego, Tennessee:  3

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November 20, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Creighton Joins Rankings Hall Of Shame; Graduation Rate Was 43%, Not 91%

CreightonU.S. News & World Report, Update to Creighton University's 2015 Best Online Programs Ranking:

Creighton University recently advised U.S. News that it misreported data that were used in the 2015 Best Online Programs rankings. The misreported data resulted in the school's numerical rank being higher than it otherwise might have been in the 2015 Best Online Graduate Business Programs rankings, which exclude MBA programs.

Because of the discrepancy in Creighton University's ranking, U.S. News has moved the school to the "Unranked" category in the 2015 Best Online Graduate Business Programs rankings on usnews.com. Schools in the Unranked category do not receive numerical rankings from U.S. News. ...

Creighton University advised U.S. News that it submitted an incorrect three-year graduation rate for its 2010-2011 entering class. The school told U.S. News that its correct three-year graduation rate for that class was 43 percent; it originally reported the incorrect rate of 91 percent. This is a 48 percentage-point difference.

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November 16, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 13, 2015

U.S. News To Law School Rankings Voters: Oops

2016 U.S. News RankingsI previously blogged how U.S. News & World Report sent defective ballots to voters in the law school specialty rankings (Clinical, Environmental Law, Health Law, Intellectual Property, International Law, Legal Writing, Tax, and Trial Advocacy) by instructing them to "[i]dentify up to fifteen (15) schools that have the highest-quality alternative dispute resolution courses or programs."  As I predicted, U.S. News has sent a new letter to voters, apologizing for the snafu and enclosing new, corrected ballots:

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November 13, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2016 U.S. News Global Universities Rankings

USN 2U.S. News & World Report, Best Global Universities Rankings:

These [750] institutions from the U.S. and nearly 60 other countries have been ranked based on 12 indicators that measure their academic research performance and their global and regional reputations.  Here are the Top 25:

1.   Harvard (100.0)
2.   MIT (94.3)
3.   UC-Berkeley (92.2)
4.   Stanford (89.0)
5.   Oxford (86.7)
6.   Cambridge (86.2)
7.   Cal-Tech (85.1)
8.   UCLA (84.5)
9.   Columbia (83.3)
10. Chicago (82.9)

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November 4, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Economist College Rankings: Alumni Earnings Above Expectations

American universities claim to hate the simplistic, reductive college rankings published by magazines like US News, which wield ever-growing influence over where students attend. Many have even called for an information boycott against the authors of such ratings. Among the well-founded criticisms of these popular league tables is that they do not measure how much universities help their students, but rather what type of students choose to attend each college. A well-known economics paper by Stacy Dale and Alan Krueger found that people who attended elite colleges do not make more money than do workers who were accepted to the same institutions but chose less selective ones instead—suggesting that Harvard graduates tend to be rich because they were already intelligent and hard-working before they entered college, not because of the education or opportunities the university provided.

On September 12th America’s Department of Education unveiled a “college scorecard” website containing a cornucopia of data about universities. The government generated the numbers by matching individuals’ student-loan applications to their subsequent tax returns, making it possible to compare pupils’ qualifications and demographic characteristics when they entered college with their salaries ten years later. That information offers the potential to disentangle student merit from university contributions, and thus to determine which colleges deliver the greatest return and why.

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October 30, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

College Of Charleston Business School Joins Rankings Hall Of Shame; Average GMAT Score Was 539, Not 591

CharlestonBob Morse (U.S. News & World Report), Update to College of Charleston's 2016 Best Business Schools Ranking:

The College of Charleston recently advised U.S. News that it misreported data that were used in the 2016 Best Graduate Schools rankings. 

The misreported data resulted in the school's numerical rank, which U.S. News had calculated but had not published, being higher than it otherwise might have been in the 2016 Best Business Schools rankings. ...

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October 30, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Villanova Law School Is Still Paying A Steep U.S. News Rankings Price For Cooking Its Admissions Books

Villanova Logo (2015)Philadelphia Inquirer, Villanova Law School Paying a Price Despite Doing Right:

Honesty is the best policy, goes the childhood refrain.

But it can come with a price. Just ask Villanova University School of Law, which is finding that the truth still hurts years after it acknowledged a handful of administrators secretly manipulated admissions data of incoming first-year students.

Before disclosure in early 2011 of the admissions fraud, which was perpetrated to boost the school's ranking in the U.S. News & World Report annual survey, Villanova was comfortably positioned among the nation's top 100 law schools. ...

Villanova is still within the top 100, but its U.S. News ranking has plummeted 20 places since the disclosure to No. 87 in the newly released 2016 ranking. And it has had to spend lavishly to stay in the ratings game since it became known that the law school supplied falsified GPA and LSAT scores to both U.S. News and the American Bar Association for an unknown number of years before 2010.

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October 15, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Best U.S. News Voter Swag: Texas A&M

As we approach mid-October, U.S. News ballots soon will be sent to deans, associate deans of academic affairs, faculty appointments committee chairs, and the most recently tenured faculty members at the nation's law schools.  My friend and recently tenured colleague Babette Boliek reports that law porn has been replaced with law swag:  her favorite (thus far):

Texas A&M

October 7, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (14)

Harrison: Law School Rankings And The Law Professor 'Recognition Race'

Jeffrey L. Harrison (Florida), Message or Messenger: The Rise of Professor Porn and the Death of Ideas:

Gone are the days in which law professors could be viewed as people who lived a "life of the mind."[Not being quite old enough, I am not sure they ever lived a life of the mind as much as other academicians and I suspect not.] In those days, teaching, thinking, and writing were the principal activities. Professors put their work out there and it spoke for itself. They might attend a conference or two each year and mail out a few reprints. It seems old fashion now but the process of thinking was in itself a reward. Personal recognition was a side effect.

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October 7, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

2016 U.S. News College Rankings


US NewsU.S. News & World Report today released its 2016 College Rankings. Here are the Top 25 National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges (along with their 2013-2015 rankings): 

2016

Rank

 

National Universities

2015

Rank

2014

Rank

2013

Rank

1

Princeton

1

1

1

2

Harvard

2

2

1

3

Yale

3

3

3

4

Columbia

4

4

4

4

Stanford

4

5

6

4

Chicago

4

5

4

7

MIT

7

7

6

8

Duke

8

7

8

9

Penn

8

7

8

10

Cal-Tech

10

10

10

10

Johns Hopkins

12

12

13

12

Dartmouth

11

10

10

12

Northwestern

13

12

12

14

Brown

16

14

15

15

Cornell

15

16

15

15

Vanderbilt

16

17

17

15

Washington (St. Louis)

14

14

14

18

Notre Dame

18

18

17

18

Rice

19

18

17

20

UC-Berkeley

20

20

21

21

Emory

21

20

20

21

Georgetown

21

20

21

23

Carnegie Mellon

25

23

23

23

UCLA

23

23

24

23

USC

25

23

24

26

Virginia

23

23

24

Pepperdine is ranked #52 (tied with Ohio State, Texas, University of Washington, and Yeshiva).

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September 9, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Law Schools With The Lowest Student Debt

Student Loans

Following up on my previous post, 2016 U.S News Law School Rankings: Average Student Debt:  U.S. News & World Report, 10 Law Schools That Leave Grads With the Least Debt:

SchoolAve. DebtU.S. News Rank
1. BYU $54,203 34 (tie)
2. Hawaii $56,266 82 (tie)
3. N.C. Central $58,061 Not Ranked
4. Nebraska $62,985 56 (tie)
5. Arkansas $63,541 75 (tie)
6. North Dakota $64,818 138 (tie)
7. Tennessee $66,201 52 (tie)
8. Wyoming $67,087 108 (tie)
9. Missouri $67,289 59 (tie)
10. Alabama $69,440 22 (tie)

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September 3, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

U.S. News Law School Rankings 'Echo Chamber' Affects Peer Reputation, Lawyer/Judge Reputation, Selectivity & Tuition, But Not Employers

2016 U.S. News RankingsJeffrey Evans Stake (Indiana) & Michael Alexeev (Indiana), Who Responds to U.S. News & World Report's Law School Rankings?, 12 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 421 (2015):

U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR) publishes annual rankings of ABA‐approved law schools. The popularity of these rankings raises the question of whether they influence the behavior of law teachers, lawyers and judges, law school applicants, employers, or law school administrators. This study explores some indicia of USN&WR influence. Using data purchased from USN&WR, we attempt to determine whether USN&WR might have influenced (1) law faculty members who respond to the USN&WR survey of law school quality, (2) lawyers who respond to USN&WR surveys, (3) law school applicants choosing a school, (4) employers who hire law school graduates, and (5) administrators who set tuition.

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September 2, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Most Liberal And Conservative Law School Graduates

Liberal ConservativeFollowing up on Saturday's post, The Most Liberal And Conservative Lawyers By Practice Area; Law Professors Are The Most Liberal Among 61 Groups:   the paper by Adam Bonica (Stanford), Adam S. Chilton (Chicago) & Maya Sen (Harvard), The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers, also ranks law schools by the most liberal and conservative law school graduates.  Rob Anderson (Pepperdine) mines the data in this post.  Here are the Top 25 of each:

Most Liberal Law School Graduates:

  1. Charlotte
  2. Northern Illinois
  3. Howard
  4. UC-Berkeley
  5. UC-Hastings
  6. Northeastern
  7. Lewis & Clark
  8. Oregon
  9. Maine
  10. University of Washington
  11. Thurgood Marshall
  12. NYU
  13. San Francisco
  14. Golden Gate
  15. UCLA
  16. Seattle
  17. Boston University
  18. Yale
  19. Minnesota
  20. Columbia
  21. Stanford
  22. Pennsylvania
  23. Illinois
  24. New Mexico
  25. USC

Most Conservative Law School Graduates:

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August 31, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The 69 Most-Cited Law Faculties

Gregory C. Sisk (University of St. Thomas) et al.,  Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties in 2015: Updating the Leiter Score Ranking for the Top Third:

This study explores the scholarly impact of law faculties, ranking the top third of ABA-accredited law schools. Refined by Professor Brian Leiter, the “Scholarly Impact Score” for a law faculty is calculated from the mean and the median of total law journal citations over the past five years to the work of tenured members of that law faculty. In addition to a school-by-school ranking, we report the mean, median, and weighted score, along with a listing of the tenured law faculty members at each ranked law school with the ten highest individual citation counts.

1.   Yale
2.   Harvard
3.   Chicago
4.   NYU
5.   Stanford
6.   UC-Irvine
7.   Columbia
8.   Duke
9.   Vanderbilt, UC-Berkeley
11.  Pennsylvania
12.  Northwestern
13.  Cornell, UCLA
15.  Michigan, Georgetown
17.  Virginia, George Washington
19.  Minnesota
20.  Texas
21.  George Mason, Washington University, Boston University
24.  UC-Davis
25.  Case Western, Notre Dame
27.  Illinois, Emory
29.  Cardozo, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio State
33.  North Carolina, Brooklyn
35.  Indiana, Utah, Fordham, San Diego
39.  Florida State, Arizona State, USC, St. Thomas, Iowa
44.  UC-Hastings, William & Mary, Maryland
47.  BYU, Hofstra, Washington & Lee
50.  UNLV, Pittsburgh
52.  Temple, Wake Forest, Florida, Chicago-Kent, Alabama
57.  Georgia, Houston, Loyola-L.A., American, Boston College
62.  Missouri, Toledo
64.  DePaul, Rutgers-Camden, Kansas, Tulane, Hawaii, San Francisco

Here are the 16 Tax Profs among the 10-most cited faculty at the Top 69 law schools:

2.   Harvard:  Louis Kaplow
15.  Michigan: Reuven Avi-Yonah
19.  Minnesota:  Kristin Hickman
24.  UC-Davis:  Dennis Ventry
29.  Cardozo: Ed Zelinsky
33.  North Carolina:  Gregg Polsky
35.  Indiana:  Leandra Lederman; San Diego:  Vic Fleischer
39.  USC:  Ed Kleinbard, Ed McCaffery
47.  BYU:  Cliff Fleming
52.  Temple:  Nancy Knauer; Chicago-Kent: Evelyn Brody
57.  Loyola-L.A.:  Ellen Aprill
64.  Tulane: Marjorie Kornhauser; San Francisco: Joshua Rosenberg

Several law faculties achieve Scholarly Impact Scores well above the rankings reported by U.S. News:

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August 11, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (8)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

2015-16 ExpressO Law Review Rankings

Expresso2015-16 ExpressO Law Review Rankings:

The following list of [100] reviews represents the most popular law reviews chosen by authors using ExpressO, according to 2014 delivery data. These rankings are intended to complement, not replace, other ranking mechanisms such as the number of citations and law school ranking.

  1. Ohio State Law Journal
  2. Hastings Law Journal
  3. Washington and Lee Law Review
  4. University of Pennsylvania Law Review
  5. Cornell Law Review
  6. University of Illinois Law Review
  7. Washington University Law Review
  8. Georgetown Law Journal
  9. University of Colorado Law Review
  10. Alabama Law Review
  11. George Mason Law Review
  12. Brooklyn Law Review
  13. American University Law Review
  14. Washington Law Review
  15. Florida State University Law Review
  16. Florida Law Review
  17. DePaul Law Review
  18. Michigan State Law Review
  19. University of Richmond Law Review
  20. Missouri Law Review
  21. Oregon Law Review
  22. Buffalo Law Review
  23. Boston University Law Review
  24. Penn State Law Review
  25. Rutgers University Law Review

(Hat Tip: Francine Lipman.)

August 6, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Manhire: Beyond The U.S. News Index — A Better Measure Of Law School Diversity

2016 U.S. News RankingsJ.T. Manhire (Texas A&M), Beyond the U.S. News Index: A Better Measure of Law School Diversity, 101 Iowa L. Rev. Online ___  (2015):

The U.S. News & World Report publishes a diversity index along with its annual ranking of U.S. law schools. Race and ethnicity are the only factors the magazine uses to measure law school diversity. But is this a meaningful measure of student difference? Are race and ethnicity all that count or are there other differences that contribute to a richer educational experience for students and better outcomes for law schools? In a 2011 Iowa Law Review article, Kevin Johnson argues that law school diversity is not limited to only race and ethnicity. He further argues that law school diversity, defined broadly, is critical to the success of legal education; both for the students and the institutions that serve them.

Yet, the epistemological question remains: how do law schools know how diverse their student bodies are? If law student diversity is more than just racial diversity, the current U.S. News index is incomplete and fails to provide a meaningful law school diversity measure. This essay proposes an improved diversity index that captures more of the differences that matter to the success of both law students and law schools. The essay begins by very briefly recapping some of Dean Johnson’s compelling arguments for why law school diversity (in its broader conception) is critical, and why measuring it is so important. It then examines the types of differences shown to produce better outcomes in heterogeneous groups, and explains the methodology behind the proposed cognitive diversity index.

July 14, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lipshaw: Law Schools Whose Rankings Are Helped (Or Hurt) By Their Law Reviews

Following up on last week's post, 2015 Brophy Law School Rankings: Median LSAT, Full-Time J.D.-Required Jobs, And Law Review Citations:  

Jeff Lipshaw (Suffolk), Playing With Al Brophy's Alternative Law School Rankings - Student Centered vs. Student/Scholarship Centered Results:

Al did two analyses, one using only the student variables (LSAT and employment - the "2 var" rank) and one using all three (the "3 var rank").  His Table 2 shows the relative 2 var and 3 var rank for each school, but his comparison are all as against USNWR.  I was interested in "law review lift" versus "law review drag."   So I made a list from Al's Table 2, arbitrarily taking a difference of ten or more as the cutoff.

After the jump, you can see a list of [38] schools whose ranking with their law reviews improves by ten spots or more (law review lift) or [36 schools] whose ranking drops by ten spots or more when the law review gets included (law review drag).  I'll leave it to you to theorize about meaning, if any.

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July 6, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rethinking Measures Of Quality And Value In The U.S. News Law School Rankings

2016 U.S. News RankingsChristopher J. Ryan (Vanderbilt), Crunching the Numbers: Rethinking Measures of Quality and Value in National Law School Rankings:

Rankings have become an important, if not essential, element of the law school environment since U.S. News & World Report (“U.S. News”) first began publishing law school rankings in 1987. Since the rankings’ first publication, a new fixation on standings took hold of pre-law school consumers, as well as legal academe, coinciding with a historic rise in law school applicants, students, and graduates.However, in the wake of the Great Recession, since 2013, the law school luster has dulled, due in part to increased concern over increasing tuition and student debt, concurrent with diminishing prospects of employment upon graduation. As these disturbing trends illustrate, both the legal profession and legal education are at a crossroads. Still — and perhaps because of legal education has historically been slow to evolve — the U.S. News rankings are an important, if not essential, element of the new law school environment. While several alternative rankings have begun to gain traction in recent years, for better or for worse, the U.S. News ranking has become the “gold standard of the ranking business,” as well as a proxy for determining a law school’s quality and value.

Good ranking systems help consumers of information determine quality and value; however, many have attacked the U.S. News methodology — whose quality assessment, a survey of scholars and lawyers for their ranking of an institution’s reputation, accounts for 40%, whose measures of selectivity comprising 25%, and whose measures of student and faculty diversity account for 0% of a law school’s total score — and its standard of law school rankings as both a product and a source of stagnation in legal education (Arewa, et al., 2013 [Enduring Hierarchies in Legal Education, 89 Ind. L.J. 941]; Morris & Henderson, 2008 [Measuring Outcomes: Post-Graduation Measures of Success in the U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings, 83 Ind. L.J. 791]; Black & Caron, 2006 [Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance, 81 Ind. L.J. 83]). New measures assessing institutional quality and value, as well as diversity, can and should be developed to address the relevancy of legal education in the 21st Century.

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July 2, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, June 29, 2015

2015 Brophy Law School Rankings: Median LSAT, Full-Time J.D.-Required Jobs, And Law Review Citations

Alfred L. Brophy (North Carolina), Ranking Law Schools, 2015: Student Aptitude, Employment, and Law Review Citations (more here):

This essay builds on a paper released last year that ranked law schools on three variables: the median LSAT of entering students of the most recent class, the most recently available employment outcome for each school’s graduates, and citations to each school’s main law reviews over the past eight years. This paper updates that study with LSAT median data for the class entering in fall 2014, employment data for the class graduating in 2014 ten months after graduation, and the most recent law review citation data for 2007 through 2014. It studies 195 ABA approved law schools.

In addition to using more recent data, this study changes the method of combining those data. Where the last paper used simple ranks for each variable and averaged them, this study has a more granular approach to the data. It converts each school’s median LSAT score and the percentage of students employed in full-time, permanent, JD-required jobs ten months after graduation (excluding school-funded positions and solo practitioners) to standard scores. In addition, given the dramatic differences in number of law review citations among schools, it employs a common log transformation of law review citations and then converts the transformed scores to standard scores. The paper combines the first two scores to provide a two-variable ranking, and then combines all three variables to provide a three-variable ranking. The paper reports average scores for the three-variable ranking, thus permitting examination of how close schools are to each other. It also ranks the 195 ABA-approved law schools in the United States (excluding the three schools in Puerto Rico) that U.S. News included in its rankings released in March 2015. And it compares the new, two- and three- variable rankings to the U.S. News provided ranks in March 2015. It identifies the schools that improve and decline the most with the new rankings.

Here are the Top 25:

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June 29, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Law School Financial Aid Rankings

Business Insider, The 25 US Law Schools That Offer the Best Financial Aid:

The online graduate school guide GraduatePrograms.com polled over 10,000 former and current law school students to find out which US schools offer the best financial aid packages and the smoothest application processes.

They rated their schools on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the strongest. The scores were then averaged and ranked to determine the top law schools for financial aid.

BI

Pepperdine is #21, with a 7.40 financial aid score.

Methodology:

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June 20, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, June 5, 2015

The U.S. News Rankings And Law School Grading Curves

JD Supra, Law School Ranks and Law School Curves:

[A]n extensive list of law school GPA curves can be found at Wikipedia. That list contains target class median GPAs for roughly 100 law schools. The schools represented there are a fairly representative cross-section of all the law schools in the country; most important for our purposes, there is no difference between the mean U.S. News ranking for schools listed and those which do not appear (t = 1.27, p = 0.21).

CurvePlot2

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June 5, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Above The Law 2015 Top 50 Law School Rankings

ATL 2ATL 2015 Law School Rankings:

Out of respect for the 40,000 new law students who still, you know, exist, we welcome you to the third annual installment of the Above the Law Top 50 Law School Rankings. These are the only rankings to incorporate the latest ABA employment data concerning the class of 2014. The premise underlying our approach to ranking schools remains the same: that given the steep cost of law school and the new normal of the legal job market, potential students should prioritize their future employment prospects over all other factors in deciding whether and where to attend law school. The relative quality of schools is a function of how they deliver on the promise of gainful legal employment.

Our list is limited to 50 schools. We want to look at "national" schools, the ones with quality employment prospects both outside of their particular region and/or for graduates who don’t graduate at the top of the class.

Methodology:

  • Employment (30%)
  • Quality Jobs (30%)
  • Supreme Court Clerkships (7.5%)
  • Federal Court Clerkships (7.5%)
  • Education Cost (15%)
  • Alumni Rating (5%)
  • Debt Per Job (5%)

 The ATL Top 13 are the same as the U.S. News Top 13, in a different order:

  1. Harvard (2 in U.S. News)
  2. Stanford (2)
  3. Chicago (4)
  4. Penn (7)
  5. Yale (1)
  6. Virginia (8)
  7. Duke (8)
  8. Columbia (4)
  9. Cornell (13)
  10. NYU (6)
  11. UC-Berkeley (8)
  12. Michigan (11)
  13. Northwestern (12)

Here are the law schools that most underperform and overperform in the ATL Rankings compared to the U.S. News Rankings:

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May 28, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The U.S. News Rankings And Transfer Students: A Reform Proposal

TransferBruce M. Price (San Francisco) & Sara Star (J.D. 2014, San Francisco), The Elephant in the Admissions Office: The Influence of U.S. News & World Report on the Rise of Transfer Students in Law Schools and a Modest Proposal for Reform, 48 U.S.F. L. Rev. 621 (2014):

Students who perform well after the first year of law school are increasingly transferring to schools ranked higher by U.S. News to maximize their chances of getting a law firm job immediately following graduation. This phenomena raises two fundamental and understudied issues: how students make the decision to seek to transfer to a higher-ranked and higher-tier law school, and why such law schools are willing to admit transfer students into their second-year class who they were not willing to admit initially.

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May 27, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Yelp Law School Rankings

YelpChicagoInno,  Yelp Launches First TV and Digital Ads, Pointing Out You Can Rate Law Schools:

Would you ever use Yelp to choose a law school?

Whether you would or not, Yelp wants you to know you can.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based reviews company has long been known for its star ratings and customer review features. Mostly it has been used as a tool to find quick info about a local business-- hours, location, BYOB-- and largely restaurant and bar focused. Now Yelp is launching its first round of TV and digital ads, which specifically point out the site can help you choose a university (as well as where to get the best margarita to celebrate your degree).

An ad currently playing on Pandora lays out this new push:

"Let's say you're hungry for justice, want to study to become a lawyer and don't mind paying off hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loans," said a man in the ad. "We know just the place."

A search for "law schools" near "Chicago, IL" showed that all the major law schools in the area have Yelp pages and a handful of reviews. University of Chicago's Law School has a perfect 5 star rating (from three reviews) while John Marshall College of Law averages three stars (with a total of eight reviews).

A search for "law schools" near "Los Angeles, CA"  yields these result:

5Pepperdine (2 reviews), UCLA (6 reviews)

 

4.5UC-Irvine (3 reviews), USC (5 reviews)

 

4Loyola-L.A. (11 reviews)

 

3.5Western State (15 reviews), Whittier (15 reviews)

 

3Southwestern (22 reviews)

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May 22, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Law School Website Rankings

For the fourth year in a row, Roger V. Skalbeck (Associate Law Librarian for Electronic Resources & Services, Georgetown) has ranked law school websites. Top 10 Law School Home Pages of 2012, 3 J.L. (2 J. Legal Metrics) 51 (2013) (with Matthew L. Zimmerman (Electronic Resources Librarian, Georgetown).  Here are the Top 10 and Bottom 10:

1

Thomas Cooley

192

Ave Maria

1

Pennsylvania

193

Mississippi C.

3

Arkansas

194

Cornell

3

Houston

194

Touro

5

Florida Coastal

196

St. Thomas (FL)

5

Illinois

197

Stanford

5

U. Mississippi

198

U. Puerto Rico

8

Arizona State

199

St. John's

9

New England

200

D.C.

10

CUNY

201

Catholic U. P.R.

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May 12, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 4, 2015

The U.S. News Law School Academic Reputation Scores, 1998-2015

2016 U.S. News RankingsRobert L. Jones (Northern Illinois), Academic Reputation Scores for Law Schools Continue Their Decline in 2015:

This essay summarizes the results of the U.S. News & World Report rankings published in 2015 with respect to the academic reputation scores of law schools.  In addition to analyzing the most recent results for the U.S. News rankings, the essay supplements the more extensive longitudinal study published by this author in 2013 [A Longitudinal Analysis of the U.S. News Law School Academic Reputation Scores between 1998 and 2013, 40 Fla. St. L. Rev. 721 (2013)].  The article also includes updated appendices from the prior study that catalog the U.S. News academic reputation scores for every law school between 1998 and 2015.

Chart A

Chart E

Chart F

Biggest Changes in U.S. News Peer Reputation, 1998-2015

Law School

1998

2015

Change

Alabama

2.5

3.2

+0.7

Michigan State

1.8

2.3

+0.5

Pepperdine

2.2

2.6

+0.4

Texas A&M

1.5

1.9

+0.4

Florida State

2.6

2.9

+0.3

Georgia State

2.2

2.5

+0.3

 

 

 

 

Wisconsin

3.8

3.3

-0.5

Illinois

3.6

3.1

-0.5

Catholic

2.6

2.1

-0.5

New York Law School

2.3

1.8

-0.5

Albany

2.2

1.7

-0.5

Case Western

3.1

2.5

-0.6

Wayne State

2.6

1.9

-0.7

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May 4, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Harper: Law School Moral Hazard

Moral HazardSteven J. Harper (Adjunct Professor, Northwestern), Bankruptcy and Bad Behavior — The Real Moral Hazard: Law Schools Exploiting Market Dysfunction, 23 Am. Bankr. Inst. L. Rev. 347 (2015):

The widespread discussion about the market for law graduates ignores an essential fact: it's not a single market at all. Employment opportunities vary dramatically across schools, yet tuition prices fail to reflect those differences. As a consequence, many schools with the worst placement rates burden their students with the highest levels of educational debt. How is that possible?

The answer is market dysfunction. Current federal student loan and bankruptcy policies encourage all law school deans to maximize tuition and fill classrooms, regardless of their students' job prospects upon graduation. This law school moral hazard combines with prelaw students' unrealistic expectations about their legal careers to produce enormous debt for a JD degree that, for many graduates, does not even lead to a JD-required job.

This article proposes a way to identify three distinct law school submarkets [24 National Law Schools, 88 Regional Law Schools, 89 Problematic Law Schools]. Using those submarkets, it offers a plan to create a more functional market that enhances law school accountability, encourages meaningful price differences among schools based on outcomes, and spurs innovation.

Here are the 24 National Law Schools:

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April 30, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A J.D. Is The Sixth Best Graduate Degree For Jobs In 2015

Payscale LogoFortune, Best and Worst Graduate Degrees for Jobs in 2015:

PayScale crunched the numbers for Fortune and identified the grad degrees that lead to lucrative careers — and those that lead to high stress and low pay.

It’s that time of year when college graduates ponder their future plans, and those heading for more higher learning put down deposits for grad school tuition. In a knowledge economy, the pay gap is the widest it’s been in a generation, between those with more education, versus those with less. Which degrees are the best investment?

To determine the best and worst graduate degrees for jobs, Fortune consulted the careers site, PayScale. The site considered the full-range of graduate degrees, including Ph.D.s, master’s degrees, and law degrees.

The ranking is based upon these factors:

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April 29, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Brookings Value-Added College Rankings

BrookingsBrookings Institution, Beyond College Rankings: A Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools (press release, report, FAQ):

New data and analysis of two - and four - year schools released today by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program provides fresh insight into how well colleges prepare students for high-paying careers.

The report is the first to develop measures of “value added” for a broad array of two- and four-year colleges. To do so, it analyzes data on economic outcomes for graduates of these institutions, adjusting them for the characteristics of their students at the time they are admitted, and other factors. The resulting measures capture the contributions that the colleges themselves make to their graduates’ eventual economic success. ... Compared to popular college rankings, the value-added method focuses on how well colleges contribute to student economic success, rather than simply their ability to attract top students.

Brookings ranked over 7,000 colleges.  The six four-year colleges with the biggest gap between  predicted and actual midcareer earnings for graduates are Cal-Tech, Carleton, Colgate, MIT, Rose-Hulman, and Washington & Lee:

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April 29, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

State Law School Job Placement Rankings: CA, NY, And DC/MD/VA

Job Placement RankingsDerek Muller (Pepperdine) has created state-by-state law school placement rankings by full-time, long-term, bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage positions (with and without school-funded jobs):

For a national ranking of every law school by full-time, long-term, bar passage-required jobs, see here.

April 28, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Class of 2014 Law School Job Placement Rankings

RankingsMatt Leichter, Class of 2014 Employment Report (Leaked Edition):

I’ve been peeking daily at the ABA’s employment summary Web page.  On Friday morning, the class of 2014 data appeared ...  Yet when I returned Friday afternoon, I found it was gone … But not before I downloaded the spreadsheet. ...  I’ve run the numbers, so I just have to leak the results.

58.7 percent of graduates held full-time jobs requiring bar passage, up from 55.9 percent for the class of 2013. However—and this is very important—the actual number of graduates in such jobs fell to 25,292 from 25,762 last year, about a 1.8 percent decline. [43,115 graduated from an ABA-accredited law school outside of Puerto Rico in 2014, compared to 45,824 in 2013, a 4.8% decline.]

Leichter 2

[Here is] the comparison table for each law school, sorted by their 2014 percentage of graduates in full-time bar-passage required jobs less school-funded positions:

Full-Time/Long-Term in Bar-Passage-Required Jobs
(Excluding Law-School-Funded Jobs)

RankLaw School’13’14Change
1. Pennsylvania 85.7% 91.4% +5.7%
2. Cornell 81.3% 90.1% +8.8%
3. Duke 85.1% 87.9% +2.8%
4. Columbia 88.3% 87.2% -1.1%
5. Chicago 86.5% 87.1% +0.6%
6. NYU 86.2% 86.0% -0.2%
7. Harvard 84.9% 85.5% +0.6%
8. UC-Berkeley 78.4% 85.4% +7.0%
9. Stanford 85.1% 85.0% -0.1%
10. Virginia 79.7% 84.8% +5.1%
11. Michigan 81.2% 81.8% +0.6%
12. New Mexico 73.7% 80.2% +6.5%
13. Kentucky 74.4% 80.2% +5.8%
14. Northwestern 77.5% 78.4% +0.9%
15. Iowa 76.3% 77.8% +1.5%
16. Boston College 64.0% 74.4% +10.4%
17. Minnesota 68.2% 73.7% +5.5%
18. Nebraska 66.1% 73.5% +7.4%
19. Vanderbilt 78.2% 73.2% -5.0%
20. Washington University 66.0% 72.9% +6.9%
21. Alabama 71.7% 72.5% +0.8%
22. Ohio State 60.4% 72.4% +12.0%
23. LSU 67.4% 72.4% +5.0%
24. Washburn 62.9% 72.3% +9.4%
25. Seton Hall 68.9% 72.3% +3.4%
26. UCLA 66.6% 71.7% +5.1%
27. Texas 75.1% 71.5% -3.6%
28. Georgia State 62.6% 71.2% +8.6%
29. Georgia 68.4% 70.6% +2.2%
30. Arizona State 61.8% 70.2% +8.4%
31. SMU 70.9% 69.7% -1.2%
32. Georgetown 72.4% 69.6% -2.8%
33. Yale 74.4% 69.6% -4.8%
34. Wake Forest 58.5% 69.5% +11.0%
35. Florida 66.4% 69.3% +2.9%
36. Mercer 65.6% 69.2% +3.6%
37. North Carolina 68.1% 68.7% +0.6%
38. Oklahoma 66.3% 68.5% +2.2%
39. Tulsa 58.0% 68.4% +10.4%
40. Idaho 62.4% 68.3% +5.9%
41. Miami 60.7% 68.2% +7.5%
42. BYU 64.6% 68.1% +3.5%
43. Kansas 64.2% 68.1% +3.9%
44. South Dakota 62.0% 67.9% +5.9%
45. Boston University 61.2% 67.9% +6.7%
46. Fordham 63.4% 67.8% +4.4%
47. Baylor 70.5% 67.6% -2.9%
48. Montana 69.1% 67.5% -1.6%
49. Florida State 69.6% 67.2% -2.4%
50. Colorado 67.0% 66.7% -0.3%

The bottom 10 law schools are:

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April 25, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (16)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

California Law School Job Placement Rankings

RankingsDerek Muller (Pepperdine), Visualizing Legal Employment Outcomes in California in 2014:

I thought I'd recreate last year's data on California law school employment outcomes, with a couple of tweaks due to external changes.

A few things jump out from the data. First, there were fewer graduates: there were about 400 fewer graduates from California schools, from 5185 for the Class of 2013 to 4731 for the Class of 2014.

Second, total job placement remained flat. Between 2800-2900 California graduates obtained unfunded positions in the last three years. This year shows that 2849 obtained these unfunded, full-weight positions, good for 60.2% of California graduates--a percentage better than previous years, no doubt, because of the smaller graduating classes.

Third, school-funded positions continue to rise. There were 145 school-funded positions from California schools .Two schools significantly increased school-funded positions: USC went from 12 to 33 (15% of the graduating class), and UC-Irvine went from 0 to 13 (14% of the graduating class). Davis added 9, and Stanford and Loyola each added 5 more school-funded positions, among other more modest changes. (Keep in mind that the Class of 2012 had just 24 such school-funded positions among California schools.)

Below is a graph of the unfunded and funded full-time, long-term, bar passage-required and J.D.-advantage positions.

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April 21, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law School Rankings And Law Firm Partners

Above the Law, What Your Law School Ranking Says About Your Prospects For Making Partner:

Every year bright-eyed graduates walk from their respective campuses wondering what the future will hold for them. Will I end up at a Biglaw firm? Will I make partner? Where will I live? In many cases, these questions are already answered by looking at statistical trends and correlations. ...

There is a -.54 correlation between law school ranking and “chance of making partner,” meaning the lower (towards 1) your school is ranked, the better “chance” there is of you making partner. 

Here are the stats for the Top 20 Law Schools:

Top 20 LL 4-10

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April 21, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Academic Analytics for Law Schools

Academic AnalyticsCarissa Byrne Hessick (Utah), Contemplating Academic Analytics for Law Schools:

There is a recent trend in higher education to standardize assessment of faculty’s academic achievement across disciplines.  For example, a company called Academic Analytics markets itself as providing university administrators “with objective data that administrators can use . . . as a method for benchmarking in comparison to other institutions.”  As its website explains, it measures productivity and excellence by quantifying:

  1. the publication of scholarly work as books and journal articles
  2. citations to published journal articles
  3. research funding by federal agencies
  4. honorific awards bestowed upon faculty members

Because it is seeking to assess academics generally, the metrics that Academic Analytics uses are not necessarily well suited to assessing law faculty. ... Looking at the academic analytic metrics, I’m contemplating how it is that one might attempt to construct an instrument that would assess law faculty productivity and excellence. ... I’ll share some preliminary thoughts about what those metrics might look like in a future post.

For my perspective, see:

See also Patrick Arthur Woods, Stop Counting (Or At Least Count Better):

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April 6, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

California Law School Job Placement Rankings

Sac BeeSacramento Bee, How California Law School Job Placement Rates Compare:

Though the economy is improving, job placement rates for California law schools dipped in the latest figures.

Look through the slideshow to see California's 21 American Bar Association-approved law schools, ranked by the percentage of 2013 graduates holding full-time, long-term jobs that require a juris doctor degree.

The median rate was 43 percent, down about a point from 2012.

1 Stanford 87.6%
2 UC-Berkeley 86.7%
3 UCLA 75.9%
4 UC-Davis 70.4%
5 USC 65.0%
6 UC-Irvine 64.3%
7 San Diego 53.1%
8 Pepperdine 53.1%
9 Loyola-L.A. 50.6%
10 Santa Clara 44.1%
11 UC-Hastings 42.9%
12 Southwestern 40.0%
13 Chapman 38.2%
14 Western State 37.4%
15 McGeorge 36.8%
16 San Francisco 36.0%
17 Cal-Western 35.2%
18 La Verne 34.9%
19 T. Jefferson 29.0%
20 Whittier 26.7%
21 Golden Gate 22.8%

March 26, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

U.S. News Rankings: 2016 v. 2015 Changes in All Reported Categories for All Law Schools

2016 U.S. News RankingsBrian Huddleston (Senior Reference Librarian, Loyola (New Orleans)) has compiled this wonderful 29-page color-coded chart showing the changes in this year's U.S. News Law School Rankings from last year's rankings in all seventeen of the published U.S. News rankings categories for each of the 198 law schools:

  • Green:  school improved in category in this year's rankings
  • Red:  school declined in category in this year's rankings
  • Yellow:  school's performance in category in this year rankings is same as last year

(Click on chart to enlarge.)

Top 3

Here are Pepperdine's numbers (click on chart to enlarge):

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March 25, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training

NJ CoverBest Schools For Practical Training, Nat'l Jurist, p. 28, Mar. 2015:

The ABA now releases ample data on how many students participate in clinics, externiships and simulation courses. The National Jurist used this data to measure which law schools are delivering when it comes to practical training.

As we did last year, we looked at the percentage of full-time students in clinics, externships, and simulation courses. This year, we also looked at student participation in interscholastic skills competitions, such as moot court tournaments.

We again placed the most weight on clinical experience, at 30 percent. ... Externships -- at 25 percent -- were given second highest weight. ... Simulations accounted for 20 percent. ... School competitions were given a weight of 5 percent. We then asked schools to provide additional information about their additional offerings that are not reflected in these numbers, and this accounted for the final 20 percent. For example, schools requiring pro bono work were awarded points for those efforts.

Overall, law schools delivered more experiential opportunities per full-time student than in the prior year. Clinics grew from .22 clinic position per student to .23, a modest change, but significant for one year. Simulation courses grew from .92 per student to .95 per student. ...

[M]ore schools are earning top grades, as 86 schools received a B or higher.

Top 20

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March 24, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2016 U.S News Law School Rankings: Average Student Debt

Following up on my posts (links below) on the 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings:  U.S. News, Which Law School Graduates Have the Most Debt?:

School (Rank)Ave. Debt of 2014 Grads% Grads With Debt
Thomas Jefferson (Tier 2) $172,445 91%
New York Law School (127) $166,622 83%
Northwestern (12) $163,065 80%
Florida Coastal (Tier 2) $162,785 93%
American (71) $159,316 83%
Vermont (122) $156,713 84%
Touro (Tier 2) $154,855 85%
San Francisco (138) $154,321 88%
Columbia (4) $154,076 76%
Whittier (Tier 2) $151,602 91%

Thirteen law schools did not supply U.S. News with debt data on their graduates: 

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March 18, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ: New ABA Rules on Reporting School-Funded Jobs Could Drop Some Law Schools' U.S. News Ranking

Following up on yesterday's post:  Wall Street Journal, Law Schools Face New Rules on Reporting Graduates’ Success; Move Could Lower Their Standings in U.S. News Rankings:

U.S. law schools face renewed scrutiny over claims about their ability to find work for their graduates, a crucial selling point amid one of the legal industry’s worst-ever job markets.

WSJ 2

Some of the schools have been creating temporary jobs for grads by paying nonprofits and others to employ them, a move that in some cases has boosted the schools’ standings in the much-followed U.S. News & World Report rankings.

A new rule adopted last week by the accrediting arm of the American Bar Association will tighten such claims, giving law schools less credit for jobs that they subsidize. ...

Critics say such jobs unjustifiably burnish the results reported by law school deans, who are under pressure to make their schools stand out as the financial value of a law degree increasingly has been questioned. ...

Under the new ABA rule, effective next year, all 204 schools accredited by the group will have to leave out jobs they subsidize when reporting how many graduates found long-term, full-time employment that requires a law license.

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March 18, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)