TaxProf Blog

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Stetson Named Inaugural ABA Competitions Champion

Stetson (2018)ABA Press Release, Stetson University College of Law Named Inaugural ABA Competitions Champion:

The American Bar Association has named Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Fla., the inaugural ABA Competitions Champion.

Competitions Champion is awarded to the law school that garnered the most points through team achievements and participation in the ABA Law Student Division’s four practical skills competitions: The Arbitration CompetitionNegotiation CompetitionClient Counseling Competition and National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC Moot Court). Ranking criteria and the point totals for the top teams can be found here. ...

ABA competitions teach law students real-world legal skills in a simulated practice environment. Judges for the competitions included volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench. This year, over 1,300 students from 156 law schools participated in one or more of the competitions sponsored by the Law Student Division.

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May 23, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Law School Rankings In Ten Job Categories

10Law.com, Law Grads Hiring Report: Job Stats for the Class of 2017:

The American Bar Association this month released new law school employment data that showed the class of 2017 fared better in the entry-level job market than its recent predecessors.

We’ve waded through the ABA’s trove of employment numbers to break down how schools performed in 10 different areas, including sending graduates into jobs for which bar passage is a requirement; into federal clerkships; into large firm jobs; and government and public interest positions. We’ve also ranked schools according to their percentage of unemployed recent graduates, as well as each school’s underemployment rate—which includes graduates who are unemployed, in part-time or short-term jobs, or in non-professional jobs.

Our charts illustrate how stratified legal education is when it comes to graduate employment. For instance, seven law schools sent 90 percent or more of their 2017 graduates into full-time law jobs that require bar passage, largely considered the gold standard for law jobs. (They were led by Duke Law School, at nearly 94 percent.)

1-7

On the other end of the spectrum, 12 schools sent fewer than 40 percent of their recent graduates into those positions. (Thomas Jefferson School of Law reported the lowest percentage outside of Puerto Rico, at less than 26 percent.)

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May 1, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Muller: Visualizing Law School Employment Outcomes In Florida, Pennsylvania, And Texas

Derek Muller (Pepperdine) has published several posts (with great charts and tables) in his annual series visualizing employment outcomes of law school graduates in various states:  Florida, (the Top 5 continue to be Florida, Miami, Florida International, Florida State, and Stetson), Pennsylvania (Penn continues to dominate), and Texas (the Top 3 continue to be Texas, Baylor, and SMU).

To me, the most interesting story is how Florida International continues its remarkable performance in bar passage and jobs.  I previously blogged July 2017 Florida Bar Exam Results: Florida International Is #1 For 4th Year In A Row.  Derek's data show Florida International #3 in the state in full credit jobs — the second year in a row it has topped the much higher ranked Florida State:

Top 5

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April 16, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Jukin’ The Stats: The Gaming Of Law School Rankings And How To Stop It

U.S. News 2019Darren Bush (Houston) & Jessica Peterson (Durham Jones & Pinegar, Salt Lake City), Jukin’ the Stats: The Gaming of Law School Rankings and How to Stop It, 45 Conn. L. Rev. 1235 (2013):

“Jukin' the stats” means manipulating pertinent information to advance one's position. In the case of law schools, manipulation of law school rankings, put forth by U.S. News and World Report, potentially enables the school to gain advantage relative to competitors. This Article describes the U.S. News Law School rankings methodology followed by prospective law students everywhere. The Article then discusses how law schools manipulate their data submissions in order to change their relative rankings. The Article also describes the inability of the stakeholders in the rankings process to obtain adequate recourse for rankings manipulation, and the lack of incentive U.S. News possesses to strongly police data submissions.

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April 9, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Simkovic: U.S. News And Pepperdine — There But For The Grace Of God Go We All

U.S. News 2019Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Michael Simkovic (USC), U.S. News.com and Pepperdine: There But For The Grace Of God Go We All:

Pepperdine’s law school recently made an error when submitting enrollment data to U.S. News.com.  Pepperdine contacted U.S. News promptly after uncovering the error and submitted corrected data in time for U.S. News to use the corrected data in its ranking.  Although the erroneous data was more positive than the corrected data, no reasons have been given to believe that Pepperdine intentionally sought to deceive U.S. News. 

I know and respect Paul Caron, the current Dean of Pepperdine.  While we don’t always agree on technical or political issues, the notion that he would intentionally commit fraud—and then immediately correct his error—is outlandish.  (In the interest of disclosure, Leiter Reports joined a network of legal education blogs that Paul organized, but Leiter Reports and Caron’s blog, TaxProf, often compete and advance different perspectives.  I have vocally criticized some of the research covered on TaxProf blog.).

Nevertheless, U.S. News punished Pepperdine by making it an “unranked” law school this year.  Those who are not familiar with the reasons for this move in the rakings might mistakenly believe that Pepperdine fell outside the top 100.  According to analyses by Bill Henderson and Andy Morriss, if not for the penalty imposed by U.S. News, in all likelihood Pepperdine’s rank this year would have risen from 72 to between 64 and 62. ...

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April 9, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Value-Added Ranking Of Law Schools

U.S. News 2019CJ Ryan (American Bar Foundation), A Value-Added Ranking of Law Schools:

Before and since the first publication of the U.S. News & World Report (hereinafter “U.S. News”) rankings of law schools, legal education has been characterized by competition. As the first mover in the rankings of law schools, the U.S. News’ rankings have changed the landscape of legal education. Not only do law students to measure the worth of law schools based on these rankings, but law schools are reactive to the categories favored by these rankings’ methodology in order to bolster their position relative to their peers. This fixation on one ranking may foment the progress of legal education toward providing quantifiable value to current and prospective students.

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April 7, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Pepperdine And U.S. News: A Problem Of Unregulated Monopoly?

U.S. News 2019Following up on my previous posts:

Above the Law:  Pepperdine And U.S. News: A Problem Of Unregulated Monopoly?, by LawProfBlawg (anonymous prof at Top 100 school) & TempDean (anonymous prof and current or former interim dean at Top 100 school):

U.S. News ought to have a leniency program to report innocent violations.

Many law schools have been accused of what one of my symposium speakers has called “jukin’ the stats.”  That is, some schools in the past have taken to lying about their data in order to manipulate their position in the all-important law school rankings game.  That is not cool.

However, that isn’t what happened at Pepperdine.  Pepperdine made an innocent mistake, took immediate steps to correct it, and then faced a draconian penalty for its honestly.  That is the topic of today’s post: What should U.S. News have done? ...

There are two issues at stake.  Unless we want to grant U.S. News investigative powers akin to the FBI or B613 (see Scandal), there must be some incentives for law schools to correct their honest mistakes and self-report rather than deliberately cheat, bury the bodies, and hope no disgruntled ex-employees drop a dime on them to U.S. News and the ABA.  Second, there needs to be some way to distinguish the honest mistake from a deliberate obstruction of ranking justice. ...

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April 4, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Law School Rankings By Student Quality (LSAT And UGPA)

U.S. News 2019Christopher J. Ryan Jr. (Vanderbilt) & Brian L. Frye (Kentucky), The 2018 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools:

In A Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, [69 Ala. L. Rev. 495 (2017),] we presented a law school ranking based exclusively on the combined scores of the students in a school’s 2011-16 incoming classes. ... In this article, we present a law school ranking based exclusively on the combined scores of the students in a school’s 2017 incoming class.

Our ranking relies on the ABA Standard 509 Information Reports submitted by all 204 ABA-accredited law schools. Among other things, the Reports provide the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile UGPA and LSAT scores of matriculating students. We used the 2017 Reports to derive an index score for each reporting law school, using those six data points and giving each equal weight. That index score reflects a law school’s ability to compete for the most desirable matriculants. The higher the score, the stronger the students; the lower the score, the weaker the students. Or, viewed another way, the higher the score, the more effectively the school appeals to prospective law students; the lower the score, the less effectively the school appeals to prospective law students.

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April 2, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Pepperdine Is #1 In ADR, #8 In Practical Training

U.S. News 2019For the thirteenth time in fourteen years, Pepperdine Law School's Straus Institute has been ranked the #1 dispute resolution program in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Congratulations to Tom Stipanowich and Sukhsimranjit Singh and their Straus faculty and staff colleagues for this well deserved recognition of the amazing academic programs and training and conferences they offer.

In addition, Pepperdine has been named the eighth best law school for practical training by preLaw (Spring 2018):

This year, 10 schools earned an A+ in our annual study. PreLaw ranks the schools by analyzing their clinic, externship and simulation offerings, as well as their students’ participation in moot court, pro bono work and other innovative programs.

PT

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March 26, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

More On Pepperdine's Place In The 2019 Law School Rankings

U.S. News 2019Updated:  Following up on last week's post, Pepperdine's Place in the Law School Rankings:

National Law Journal, Berkeley Law Returns to the U.S. News' Top 10, Pepperdine Gets Shut Out:

The closely watched law school rankings offer few surprises this year, save for a decision to temporarily delist Pepperdine University School of Law for an data reporting mistake. ...

This year’s list has a little extra controversy.

U.S. News removed Pepperdine University School of Law from the ranking after the school reported a mistake in the median LSAT score it provided to the publication. According to Pepperdine law dean Paul Caron, the school last week realized that it had incorrectly reported its median LSAT score as 162 instead of the correct 160 when it saw the early embargoed version of the rankings that U.S. News provides each school for review. (The initial ranking had Pepperdine moving up from No. 72 to No. 59.)

Rather than recalculate the school’s rank and issue a new list prior to the official release, as the Caron requested, U.S. News removed Pepperdine’s ranking altogether.

“It is, of course, deeply disappointing to be unranked for a year,” Caron wrote in a post on his Tax Prof Blog. “But the reality is that we made great progress in the rankings this year, and should continue our ascent next year.”

Caron said several experts concluded that Pepperdine would have ranked 62nd or 64th using the correct median LSAT.

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March 25, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, March 23, 2018

90% Of Students Pass The Bar Within 2 Years Of Graduation, But 10% Of Law Schools Have Fail Rates > 25%

Inside Higher Ed, A Low Bar for Bar Passage:

Nearly nine out of 10 law school graduates who sat for the bar exam within two years of graduating passed it, according to new data from the American Bar Association.

But more than 10 percent of law schools had at least a quarter of their students fail the exam, and more than one in six schools had rates below 80 percent, the ABA data show.

The new data represent the first time that the ABA has released data for all of its member schools on what it calls the "ultimate" bar passage rate, rather than the one-year rates by which law schools have typically been judged.

Barry Currier, managing director of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which oversees accreditation of law schools, said the change “allows for more current information to be collected and reported,” to help prospective law students better choose schools. “It also gives us a snapshot of how law graduates are doing over a two-year span at each school,” he said.

The ABA, not surprisingly, emphasized the positive in the bar-passage data. The aggregate one-year bar-passage rate for those 2017 graduates who sat for the exam rose to 77.2 percent, up from 74.3 percent in 2016. The one-year rates ranged from 100 percent for Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison to below 30 percent for Arizona Western Law School and Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

About 40,000 students graduated from the ABA's 202 law schools in 2015. Of those who sat for the bar within two years, the ultimate aggregate pass rate was 87.8 percent. (About 1,100 students did not sit for the exam, and law schools were unable to give the ABA information on about 1,000 more.)

But 24 schools had rates below 75 percent, and another 13 had rates below 80 percent, as seen in the table below.

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March 23, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2018 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews

Bryce Clayton Newell (Kentucky), 2018 Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews:

This is an updated ranking of flagship law reviews at US law schools (updated as of March 20, 2018, including the 2019 US News numbers). ... The ranking table below includes all of the law reviews that ranked in the top 150 in in the MetaRanking, including all journals that ranked in the top 100 at least one of the following rankings: US News Peer Reputation Score Ranking (avg., 2010-2019), US News Overall Ranking (avg., 2010-2019), the Washington & Lee University ranking (current version, 2009-2016; default weighting), the Google Scholar ranking (index as of June 2017), and the W&L Impact Factor Ranking (not included in the MetaRank). ...

prRank = US News Peer Reputation score ranking;
usnRank = Overall US News school ranking;
wluRank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Ranking;
gRank = Google Scholar Metrics ranking;
wlu(IF)Rank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Impact Factor Ranking.

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March 21, 2018 in Law Review Rankings, Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2019 U.S. News Tax Rankings

U.S. News 2019Here are the new 2019 U.S. News Tax Rankings, along with last year's ranking:

2019 Rank Tax Program 2018 Rank
1 NYU 1
2 Georgetown 2
3 Florida 3
4 Northwestern 4
5 Virginia 5
6 Harvard 8
7 Boston University 8
8 Loyola-L.A. 6
9 UCLA 7
10 Michigan 14
11 Texas 12
12 Columbia 10
13 Boston College 20
14 USC 15
15 Yale 18
16 San Diego 11
17 Indiana (Maurer) 23
17 Univ. of Washington 20
19 Duke 16
19 Stanford 23
19 Chicago 19
19 Penn 16
23 Miami 12
24 Villanova 20
25 Alabama n/r
25 UC-Berkeley n/r
25 Denver 25

Here are the biggest upward moves:

  • +7:  Boston College (#13)
  • +6:  Indiana (#17)
  • +4:  Michigan (#10), Stanford (#19)
  • +3:  Yale (#15), U. Washington (#17)
  • +2:  Harvard
  • Alabama (#25) and UC-Berkeley (#25) were unranked last year

Here are the biggest downward moves:

  • -11:  Miami (#14)
  • -5:  San Diego (#16)
  • -4:  Villanova (#24)
  • -3:  Penn (#19), Duke (#19)
  • -2:  Loyola-L.A. (#8), UCLA (#9), Columbia (#12)
  • Washington University (#26 last year) is unranked this year

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

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March 21, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Top 100 Law Schools, Based On 5-, 10-, And 15-Year Rolling Average U.S. News Rankings

Bradley A. Areheart (Tennessee), The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data:

The best proxy for how other law professors react and respond to publishing in main, or flagship, law reviews is the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings. This paper utilizes historical USNWR data to rank the top 100 law reviews. The USNWR rankings are important in shaping many – if not most – law professors’ perceptions about the relative strength of a law school (and derivatively, the home law review). This document contains a chart that is sorted by the 10-year rolling average for each school, but it also contains the 5-year and 15-year rolling averages. This paper also describes my methodology and responds to a series of frequently asked questions. The document was updated in March 2018.

1-55
56-75

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March 20, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

2019 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)

U.S. News 2019Continuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2018), here is the full list of the 193 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2019 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology here):

Peer Rank Peer Score School Overall Rank
1 4.8 Yale 1
1 4.8 Stanford 2
1 4.8 Harvard 3
4 4.6 Chicago 4
4 4.6 Columbia 5
4 4.6 NYU 6
7 4.4 Penn 7
7 4.4 Michigan 8
7 4.4 UC-Berkeley 9
10 4.3 Virginia 9
10 4.3 Duke 11
12 4.2 Northwestern 11
12 4.2 Cornell 13
14 4.1 Georgetown 14
14 4.1 Texas 15
16 3.9 UCLA 16
16 3.9 Vanderbilt 17
18 3.6 Washington Univ. 18
18 3.6 Minnesota 20
20 3.5 USC 19
21 3.4 Boston University 22
21 3.4 Emory 22
21 3.4 Notre Dame 24
21 3.4 Wisconsin 27
21 3.4 UC-Davis 37
21 3.4 North Carolina 45
27 3.3 UC-Irvine 21
27 3.3 George Washington 24
27 3.3 Boston College 27
27 3.3 Iowa 27
27 3.3 Ohio State 32
27 3.3 Univ. of Washington 32
33 3.2 Washington & Lee 26
33 3.2 Alabama 27
33 3.2 Georgia 32
33 3.2 Indiana (Maurer) 32
33 3.2 Fordham 37
33 3.2 Illinois 37
33 3.2 William & Mary 37
33 3.2 Florida 41
41 3.1 Arizona State 27
41 3.1 Wake Forest 32
41 3.1 Arizona 41
41 3.1 Colorado 46
45 3.0 Florida State 47
45 3.0 Tulane 54
45 3.0 UC-Hastings 58
48 2.9 BYU 41
48 2.9 Maryland 49
48 2.9 Utah 54
51 2.8 George Mason 41
51 2.8 Connecticut 50
51 2.8 Miami 65
51 2.8 American 80
55 2.7 Temple 47
55 2.7 SMU 50
55 2.7 Cardozo 56
55 2.7 Denver 63
55 2.7 Case Western 65
55 2.7 Tennessee 65
55 2.7 Kansas 74
55 2.7 Pittsburgh 74
55 2.7 Oregon 85
64 2.6 Richmond 50
64 2.6 Houston 56
64 2.6 Georgia State 65
64 2.6 Kentucky 65
64 2.6 Loyola-L.A. 65
64 2.6 Missouri (Columbia) 65
64 2.6 San Diego 95
-- 2.6 Pepperdine --
71 2.5 Nevada 59
71 2.5 Oklahoma 63
71 2.5 Villanova 65
71 2.5 Loyola-Chicago 74
71 2.5 Rutgers 74
71 2.5 Nebraska 80
71 2.5 Brooklyn 83
71 2.5 Chicago-Kent 85
71 2.5 South Carolina 88
80 2.4 Baylor 50
80 2.4 Seton Hall 59
80 2.4 Northeastern 74
80 2.4 Michigan State 88
80 2.4 Lewis & Clark 95
80 2.4 Indiana (McKinney) 98
80 2.4 Hawaii 101
80 2.4 Santa Clara 113
80 2.4 Howard 128
89 2.3 Cinncinnati 65
89 2.3 Penn State (Univ. Park) 74
89 2.3 Texas A&M 80
89 2.3 Arkansas (Fayetteville) 88
89 2.3 LSU 88
89 2.3 New Mexico 88
89 2.3 St. Louis 88
89 2.3 Syracuse 88
89 2.3 Marquette 95
89 2.3 Maine 106
89 2.3 DePaul 128
89 2.3 Seattle 128
101 2.2 Penn State (Dickinson) 59
101 2.2 St. John's 83
101 2.2 Univ. of Mississippi 101
101 2.2 SUNY-Buffalo 106
101 2.2 West Virginia 106
101 2.2 Catholic 110
101 2.2 Hofstra 110
101 2.2 Louisville 113
101 2.2 Vermont 133
101 2.2 Arkansas (Little Rock) 141
111 2.1 New Hampshire 85
111 2.1 Stetson 98
111 2.1 Drexel 101
111 2.1 Tulsa 101
111 2.1 Gonzaga 113
111 2.1 Idaho 119
111 2.1 Missouri (Kansas City) 119
111 2.1 Montana 119
111 2.1 CUNY 125
111 2.1 Wyoming 133
111 2.1 Loyola-New Orleans Tier 2
122 2.0 Wayne State 98
122 2.0 Baltimore 119
122 2.0 Mercer 128
122 2.0 North Dakota Tier 2
122 2.0 San Francisco Tier 2
127 1.9 Florida Int'l 101
127 1.9 Albany 106
127 1.9 New York Law School 110
127 1.9 Cleveland State 113
127 1.9 St. Thomas (MN) 113
127 1.9 Texas Tech 113
127 1.9 Washburn 119
127 1.9 Creighton 125
127 1.9 Pace 125
127 1.9 South Dakota 128
127 1.9 Drake 133
127 1.9 Quinnipiac 133
127 1.9 Memphis 137
127 1.9 Toledo 137
127 1.9 Chapman 139
127 1.9 Akron 144
127 1.9 Suffolk 144
127 1.9 McGeorge Tier 2
127 1.9 Willamette Tier 2
146 1.8 Duquesne 119
146 1.8 Dayton 141
146 1.8 Southwestern Tier 2
146 1.8 Widener (DE) Tier 2
150 1.7 Widener (PA) 143
150 1.7 N. Illinois 144
150 1.7 John Marshall (IL) Tier 2
150 1.7 Mitchell-Hamline Tier 2
150 1.7 Roger Williams Tier 2
150 1.7 Samford Tier 2
150 1.7 South Texas Tier 2
150 1.7 St. Mary's Tier 2
158 1.6 Cal-Western Tier 2
158 1.6 Elon Tier 2
158 1.6 Mississippi College Tier 2
158 1.6 N. Kentucky Tier 2
158 1.6 Nova Tier 2
158 1.6 Ohio Northern Tier 2
158 1.6 S. Illinois Tier 2
165 1.5 Campbell Tier 2
165 1.5 Capital Tier 2
165 1.5 Detroit Mercy Tier 2
165 1.5 District of Columbia Tier 2
165 1.5 Florida A&M Tier 2
165 1.5 Golden Gate Tier 2
165 1.5 NC Central Tier 2
165 1.5 New England Tier 2
165 1.5 Oklahoma City Tier 2
165 1.5 Texas Southern Tier 2
165 1.5 Touro Tier 2
165 1.5 UMass Tier 2
165 1.5 Valparaiso Tier 2
178 1.4 Belmont 139
178 1.4 Southern Tier 2
178 1.4 St. Thomas (FL) Tier 2
178 1.4 W. New England Tier 2
182 1.3 Charleston Tier 2
182 1.3 John Marshall (GA) Tier 2
182 1.3 Regent Tier 2
185 1.2 Appalachian Tier 2
185 1.2 Ave Maria Tier 2
185 1.2 Barry Tier 2
185 1.2 Faulkner Tier 2
185 1.2 Florida Coastal Tier 2
185 1.2 La Verne Tier 2
185 1.2 Liberty Tier 2
192 1.1 W. Mich. Cooley Tier 2
192 1.1 Western State Tier 2

Prior years' rankings:

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March 20, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A National Study Of The Long-Term Outcomes Of A Law Degree

AccessLex Institute, Examining Value, Measuring Engagement: A National Study of the Long-Term Outcomes of a Law Degree:

The Gallup-AccessLex Institute study of Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree holders provides important insights for educators, employers, law school alumni and prospective students about the factors that contribute to great jobs, lives and experiences for law school graduates. A law degree is one of the most valuable advanced degrees as evaluated by law graduates and other degree holders. As described in the key findings, most law graduates strongly agree that they would still get a J.D. if given the opportunity to go back and do it all over again. Furthermore, nearly half strongly agree that their degree was worth the cost. While many recent law graduates have negative views of the J.D., graduates who are more advanced in their careers tend to have higher levels of well-being and more positive assessments of the value of a J.D.

Figure 5

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March 18, 2018 in Law School Rankings | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Pepperdine’s Place In The 2019 U.S. News Rankings

As most of you know, on Tuesday morning U.S. News released to law schools an embargoed confidential electronic version of the 2019 edition of its annual rankings to be published online on Tuesday, March 20.  At Pepperdine, we immediately analyzed the data U.S. News used in calculating our ranking.  To our horror, we learned that we had made an inadvertent data entry error in reporting our median LSAT for the class that began in Fall, 2017.

We immediately contacted U.S. News Tuesday morning to inform them of the error and requested that they update the rankings with the correct median LSAT.  On Tuesday afternoon, anonymous source(s) leaked the embargoed rankings which were posted on several blogs, showing Pepperdine’s ranking as 59 (up from 72 last year).

Unfortunately, U.S. News has denied our request and instead issued a revised embargoed electronic version of the rankings that replaced the original.  In the new version, Pepperdine is removed from the rankings.  Instead, Pepperdine is listed as “unranked due to a data reporting error by the school.” 

We contacted three law school rankings experts — Bill Henderson (Indiana), Andy Morriss (Texas A&M), and Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting) — who all confirmed our analysis that Pepperdine would have ranked 62nd or 64th had U.S. News recomputed the rankings with our correct LSAT median.

It is, of course, deeply disappointing to be unranked for a year. But the reality is that we made great progress in the rankings this year, and should continue our ascent next year. 

For a fuller description of the rankings snafu, see here.

Update:

March 16, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March Madness Law School Bracket

Here is the March Madness Law School Bracket, with outcomes determined by the 2018 U.S. News Law School Rankings (using academic peer reputation and student quality as tiebreakers). The Final Four are Pennsylvania (7), Michigan (8), Virginia (8), and UCLA (15), with Penn beating Virginia in the championship game.

Bracket

March 14, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 12, 2018

U.S. News Strips Ranking From Three Graduate Schools For Submitting False Data

2018 U.S. News GradI previously have blogged reports of over a dozen schools inflating their rankings by submitting erroneous data to U.S. News (BucknellClaremont McKennaCollege of CharlestonCreightonEmoryGeorge WashingtonIllinoisMissouri-Kansas City, TempleTulaneUniversity of Mary Hardin-BaylorVillanovaYork College of Pennsylvania).   U.S. News recently announced that it was removing the rankings of three graduate schools for submitting false data:

The University of Florida's College of Nursing originally reported its fiscal year 2016 NIH educational and practical initiative grants and expenditures at $1,684,495. The school informed U.S. News the corrected value for its fiscal year 2016 NIH grants was $0. ...

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March 12, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, March 9, 2018

NLJ: Law School Rankings By Graduates In BigLaw Jobs

Go To
National Law Journal, The 2018 Go-To Law Schools:

New associate hiring held strong in 2017, with the country’s largest 100 law firms bringing on 4,199 recent law graduates. Among the 50 schools most popular with those firms, 29 percent of last year’s graduates landed associate jobs, up slightly from the previous year. We’ve ranked the top 50 law schools according to the percentage of their 2017 juris doctor graduates who took associate jobs at the largest 100 firms. 

  1. Columbia
  2. Chicago
  3. NYU
  4. Virginia
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Northwestern
  7. Duke
  8. Harvard
  9. Cornell
  10. UC-Berkeley
  11. Stanford
  12. Georgetown
  13. Vanderbilt
  14. Michigan
  15. UCLA
  16. USC
  17. Texas
  18. Yale
  19. Boston University
  20. Fordham

Columbia Law School Tops The List
Columbia Law School has landed at the No. 1 spot on our Go-To List for half a decade. In 2017, the Manhattan school sent nearly 68 percent of graduates into Big Law associate jobs.

BY THE NUMBERS
The Top 50 Go-To Law Schools
These schools sent the highest percentage of 2017 graduates to associate jobs at the largest 100 firms.

Associates to Partner
These schools saw the most alumni promoted to partner in 2017.

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March 9, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Median Private Law School Tuition Discount: 28% (Average Scholarship: $20,129)

Which Schools Are Discounting Tuition the Most?, Nat'l Jurist, Vol. 27, p. 13, Winter 2018:

The National Jurist analyzed ABA grant and scholarship data, using the number of scholarships per school, the percentage of students receiving scholarships and the scholarship amount at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles to estimate an average grant amount. With an average, it then determined the average tuition discount per school.

The median private law school discounted tuition by 28.3 percent, with an average scholarship of $20,129. That was up from 25.4 percent from two years earlier and significantly higher than 2010, when it was an estimated 16 percent.

Here are the 20 private law schools with the highest tuition discounts:

NJ Top 20

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February 28, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2019 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US NewsRobert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News & World Report) announced today that the new 2019 law school rankings will be released on Tuesday, March 20. Here is my coverage of the current 2018 law school rankings:

February 27, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tax J.D. And LL.M. Program Rankings By Tax Hiring Authorities

Tax Talent, 2018 Top in Tax Educational Survey:

This annual survey provides tax employers the opportunity to vote for the best U.S. undergraduate, graduate and legal programs from their perspective for the 2017-2018 school year. 370 total respondents (U.S. tax hiring authorities, from both corporate in-house tax departments and professional service firms). This respondent total is up from 321 the previous year.

Recuiter 10 (JD)

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February 20, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, February 12, 2018

2018 Applicant Pool Projection Update: Good News For Highly-Ranked Law Schools

Applicant Pool Projection Remains at 61,000 to 63,000

Two months ago, I posted a blog with projections for the 2018 application cycle based on the initial Current Volume Report from the LSAC. I am writing now to update the applicant pool projection and provide some further analysis regarding the composition of the applicant pool.

The applicant pool remains up nearly 10% over last year as of late January. As of January 19, there were 29,287 applicants at a point in time when 48% of the final applicant count had been received last year. That extrapolates to approximately 61,000 applicants. As of February 3, there were 35,974 applicants at a point in time when 58% of the final applicant count had been received last year. That extrapolates to approximately 62,000 applicants. So, at the moment, we probably still can anticipate a total applicant pool for the year in a range from 61,000 to perhaps 63,000, depending upon exactly how things unfold over the coming months.

A total applicant pool of 61,000-63,000 would be the largest applicant volume since the 2011-2012 admissions cycle, which saw a total applicant pool of roughly 67,900. For the last four years, the applicant pool has hovered around 55,000-56,000. (Note that due to changes in LSAC reporting on total applicant pool starting in 2016, the comparisons with prior years are not exactly apples to apples.)

Fall 2018 First-Year Class May Be 40,000-41,000

If the percentage of applicants who become matriculants remains around 66% for the current admissions cycle (roughly the average over the last several years as show in Table 1), the entering class in fall 2018 would be between 40,000 and 41,000 first-year students (up roughly 10%).

Improvement in Strength of Applicant Pool (and Matriculants)

While the increasing size of the applicant pool is certainly good news for law schools, for highly-ranked law schools there is some even better news buried in the details of the Current Volume Report. From 2010 to 2017, while the overall applicant volume declined from roughly 87,900 to roughly 56,000, the “composition” of the entering class profile also shifted. During this period, the percentage of applicants and matriculants with a high LSAT of 165 or higher declined, with the percentage of applicants dropping from over 14% to less than 12%, and the percentage of matriculants dropping from just over 18% to just over 15%.

TABLE 1 -- Percentage of Applicants and Matriculants with a High LSAT Score of 165 or Higher from 2010-2017 Based on National Decision Profile Data

Admis. Cycle

Total Apps.

Apps. at 165 and Higher

% of Apps. at 165 or Higher

Total Matrics

Matrics as % of Apps.

Matrics at 165 and Higher

Matrics at 165 or Higher as % of Apps. at 165 or Higher

% of Matrics at 165 or Higher

2009-10

87900

12177

13.9%

52500

59.7%

9477

77.8%

18.1%

2010-11

78500

11190

14.3%

48700

62%

8952

80%

18.4%

2011-12

67900

9226

13.6%

44500

65.5%

7571

82%

17%

2012-13

59400

7532

12.7%

39700

66.8%

6054

80.4%

15.2%

2013-14

55700

7577

13.6%

37900

68%

6189

81.7%

16.3%

2014-15

54500

6667

12.2%

37100

68.1%

5505

82.6%

14.8%

2015-16

56500

7240

12.8%

37100

65.7%

5780

79.8%

15.5%

2016-17

56200

6546

11.6%

37400

66.5%

5688

86.9%

15.2%

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February 12, 2018 in Jerry Organ, Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Rankings Scandal Unfolds At Temple Business School

TempleI previously have blogged reports of over a dozen schools inflating their rankings by submitting erroneous data to U.S. News (BucknellClaremont McKenna, College of Charleston, CreightonEmoryGeorge WashingtonIllinoisMissouri-Kansas CityTulaneUniversity of Mary Hardin-BaylorVillanovaYork College of Pennsylvania).  U.S. News has announced what may be the most egregious case yet:  Temple's online MBA has been ranked #1 for the past four years, based in part on its reporting that 100% of its entering students took the GMAT.  Only 20% of its 2017 entering class did so.  The U.S. News methodology penalizes online MBA programs in its rankings if less than 75% of entering students submit GMAT (or GRE) scores. Temple does not require that applicants take the GMAT in certain circumstances, and in the two years prior to being ranked #1, Temple reported that only 25% and 33% of its entering students took the GMAT.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Temple Online MBA Kicked Out of No. 1 Spot in US News Rankings; Now 'Unranked' Due to Data Error:

According to Poets & Quants, Temple has leveraged its No. 1 U.S. News rankings to expand enrollment in the online M.B.A. program, with a price tag of $59,760. In the last year alone, Temple was able to increase student enrollment by 57 percent to 546 students from 351, one of the largest percentage increases of any online M.B.A. offering.

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January 29, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The 20 Cheapest Law Schools In The U.S. News Top 100

National Law Journal, The 20 Cheapest Law Schools in the ‘U.S. News’ Top 100:

We’ve mashed together the latest nonresident tuition and fees data from the American Bar Association (which law schools provide to it) with the U.S. News numbers to present the 20 cheapest law schools ranked in the U.S. News top 100.

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December 28, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, December 22, 2017

More On The Most Underrated Law Schools In America

2018 U.S. News Law 2Following up on my previous posts:

ABA Journal, These 7 Law Schools May Be the Most Underrated:

The most underrated schools are:

  1. Brigham Young (ranked 20th based on student credentials and 46th by U.S. News, a 26-spot differential.)
  2. Pepperdine (47th on student credentials and 72nd by U.S. News, a 25-spot differential.)
  3. University of Nebraska (37th on credentials and 57th by U.S. News, a 20-spot differential.)
  4. College of William & Mary (24th on credentials and 41st by U.S. News, a 17-spot differential.)
  5. Northeastern (48th on credentials and 65th by U.S. News, a 17-spot differential.)
  6. Southern Methodist University (35th based on credentials and 46th by U.S. News, an 11-spot differential.)
  7. George Mason (32nd based on credentials and 41st by U.S. News, a nine-spot differential.)

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December 22, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

George Washington Shrinks Incoming Class Size To Stop Rankings Slide

George Washington Law Logo (2016)George Washington Hatchet, Law School Shrinks Incoming Class Size to Stop Slide in Rankings:

The law school deliberately enrolled a smaller class this fall in an effort to keep the GPA and standardized test scores of its incoming class in the top-tier of law schools nationwide, the school’s dean told the Faculty Senate Friday.

Dean Blake Morant told faculty that the law school brought in about 9 percent fewer new students this fall as compared to years past. In total the school’s enrollment dropped by about 250 students compared to last fall, according to statistics from the Office of Institutional Research and Planning.

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December 9, 2017 in Conferences, Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Most Underrated Law Schools In America

2018 U.S. News Law 2Following up on my previous posts:

The Seven Most Underrated Law Schools:

Christopher Ryan of Vanderbilt University and Bryan Frye of the University of Kentucky conducted the analysis that will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Alabama Law Review.

Their premise is simple: Judge the quality of law schools based on where the most qualified students go. These candidates have the most at stake and gather a huge amount of information, so you can gauge school quality based on their choices.

Compared to their position in the U.S. News rankings, seven law schools made significant gains and placed in the Top 50 of the country's 204 law schools.

The Most Undervalued Law Schools

Law School

LSAT/UGPA Rank

US News Rank

Spots Gained

BYU

20

46

26

Pepperdine

47

72

25

Nebraska

37

57

20

William & Mary

24

41

17

Northeastern

48

65

17

SMU

35

46

11

George Mason

32

41

9

Rob Anderson asks whether a law school's LSAT and UGPA meadians are a leading indicator of its future U.S. News ranking:

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December 8, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Top 25 Law School Moot Court Programs

Following up on my previous post, 2016-17 Moot Court Rankings:  preLaw, Best Schools For Moot Court:

For the top moot court programs, winning is just a happy side effect. Preparing students to practice law and argue in court is what moot court is really all about. ...

[The] University of Houston Law Center’s Blakely Advocacy Institute ... uses a scoring system that assesses the quality of the competitions a school participated in, the size of the competitions and the school’s performance in those competitions to determine the top 16 programs in the nation.

Moot Court

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November 29, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Will Florida State's Alcohol Ban Cause Law School's Ranking To Fall?

Florida State logoTallahassee Democrat op-ed:  Open Letter to President Thrasher About Unintended Consequences, by Lex Lorenzo (J.D. 2018, Florida State):

I am a law student and president of a registered student organization at FSU Law, one of the around 700 RSOs that have been affected by your broadly worded blanket alcohol ban.

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November 14, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Law School Innovation Rankings

Law.com, Think Your Law School is 'Innovative'? This Professor Has a Ranking System:

If you ask Daniel Linna, professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law, what changes he’d like to see in legal education around technology, he probably won’t share a list of programs and curricular offerings he’s helped put together. Nor is he likely to tell you offhand what changes some of his colleagues at other schools have instituted. Instead, he’ll tell you to check the data.

“We need to become more data-driven in this industry. We can’t just talk about innovation, we can’t just talk about technology. We’ve got to describe what it is, and then we’ve got to measure it,” Linna said.

Linna is director of MSU Law’s LegalRnD program, which trains students in leveraging technology and nontraditional workflows for what its website refers to as “leaner, more effective legal-service delivery.” In August, Linna and a group of students launched the Legal Services Innovation Index, a data collection of law firms’ use of technology and “innovative” workflows.

Recently, he and Jordan Galvin, LegalRnD innovation counsel, expanded the index to measure law schools’ work around innovation and technology. The index now outlines how many different legal technology disciplines 40 different law schools offer.

Ranking

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November 9, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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

U.S. NewsThe 2019 U.S. News Tax Rankings ballots are due on Friday (the 2018 rankings are here)  As in prior years, the survey is intended "to identify the law schools having the top programs in tax law."  The survey is sent "to a selection  of faculty members involved in tax law programs. Law schools supplied names of these faculty members to U.S. News in summer 2017."  Recipients are asked "to [i]dentify up to fifteen (15) schools that have the highest-quality tax law courses or programs. In making your choices consider all elements that contribute to a program's academic excellence, for example, the depth and breadth of the program, faculty research and publication record, etc."

As Donald Tobin (Dean, Maryland) has noted, it is more than strange that NYU has finished ahead of Florida and Georgetown each year that U.S. News has conducted the survey.  Because the survey ranks the schools by how often they appear on the respondents' "Top 15" lists, this means that some folks list NYU, but not Florida and Georgetown, among the Top 15 tax programs.

In filling out your ballot, you may want to consult our forthcoming book, Pursuing a Tax LLM Degree, which compiles information about 13 highly ranked tax LLM programs: (1) NYU; (2) Florida; (3) Georgetown; (4) Northwestern; (5) Miami; (6) Boston University; (7) San Diego; (8) Loyola-L.A./LMU; (9) SMU; (10) Denver; (11) University of Washington; (12) Villanova; and (13) Chapman. The topics on which information is reported in the book include:

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November 7, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Jones: The U.S. News Law School Academic Reputation Scores, 1998-2017

2018 U.S. News LawRobert L. Jones (Northern Illinois), Academic Reputation Scores for Law Schools Rebound in 2016 and 2017 to Reclaim 2013 Levels:

This essay summarizes the results of the U.S. News & World Report (“U.S. News”) rankings published in 2016 and 2017 with respect to the academic reputation scores of law schools. In contrast to the general trend over the last twenty years, the U.S. News academic reputation scores for law schools improved in both 2016 and 2017. With respect to the 172 law schools analyzed as part of a longitudinal study published by this author four years ago, law school academic reputation scores improved by an aggregate of 4.1 points in 2016 and by another 5.9 points in 2017. These recent increases offset declines from 2014 and 2015 and brought the average academic reputation score for the law schools in the data set back to 2.542, virtually the same average for those law schools in 2013.4 The median score of the law schools in the data set rose in 2017 as well, from 2.3 to 2.4.

Chart 3

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November 3, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Princeton Review's Best 169 Law Schools (2018 Edition)

Princeton ReviewThe Princeton Review has published the 2018 edition of The Best 169 Law Schools (press release) (FAQs) (methodology):

The Princeton Review tallied its lists based on its surveys of 19,900 students attending the 169 law schools [an average of 118 per school]. The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their experiences. Some ranking list tallies also factored in school-reported data.

Best Professors:  Based on student answers to survey questions concerning how good their professors are as teachers and how accessible they are outside the classroom.

  1. Virginia
  2. Duke
  3. Boston University
  4. Stanford
  5. Chicago
  6. Pepperdine
  7. Washington & Lee
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Boston College
  10. Charleston

Best Quality of Life:  Based on student answers to survey questions on: whether there is a strong sense of community at the school, whether differing opinions are tolerated in the classroom, the location of the school, the quality of social life at the school, the school's research resources (library, computer and database resources). 

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November 1, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings: Citations

THEFollowing up on my previous posts on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings (links below):  here are the Top 25 law schools in Citations: Research Influence (methodology below the fold), which counts 25% in the overall ranking:

  1. Arizona State (60 overall ranking)
  2. Harvard (9)
  3. Queensland (54)
  4. Ohio State (77)
  5. Yale (3)
  6. Stanford (2)
  7. South Australia (88)
  8. British Columbia(16)
  9. Duke (1)
  10. Chicago(4)
  11. Vanderbilt(46)
  12. Dalhousie (74)
  13. Texas (55)
  14. University of Washington (31)
  15. UC-Irvine (78)
  16. Melbourne (7)
  17. University College London (8)
  18. Leiden (20)
  19. Edinburgh (14)
  20. NYU (12)
  21. Cambridge (5)
  22. Manchester (28)
  23. Amsterdam (23)
  24. Georgetown (25)
  25. Hebrew University of Jerusalem (59)

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October 8, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings: Research

THEFollowing up on my previous posts on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings (links below):  here are the Top 25 law schools in Research: Volume, Income, and Reputation (methodology below the fold), which counts 30.8% in the overall ranking:

  1. Duke (1 overall ranking)
  2. KU Leuven (24)
  3. Cambridge (5)
  4. Oxford (6)
  5. Stanford (2)
  6. Toronto (10)
  7. Hong Kong (18)
  8. Pennsylvania (11)
  9. Harvard (9)
  10. NYU (12)
  11. Chicago (4)
  12. University College London (8)
  13. Yale (3)
  14. UC-Berkeley (19)
  15. Michigan (15)
  16. Leiden (20)
  17. Edinburgh (14)
  18. King's College London (25)
  19. Melbourne (7)
  20. Cornell (22)
  21. Tilburg (36)
  22. National University of Singapore (30)
  23. Amsterdam (23)
  24. McGill (13)
  25. South Wales (31)

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October 7, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 6, 2017

2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings: Teaching

THEFolowing up on yesterday's post, 2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings:  here are the Top 25 law schools in Teaching: The Learning Environment (methodology below the fold), which counts 32.7% in the overall ranking:

  1. Chicago (4 overall ranking)
  2. Stanford (2)
  3. Yake (3)
  4. UCLA (21)
  5. Duke (1)
  6. Georgetown (25)
  7. Virginia (29)
  8. Cornell (22)
  9. Penn (11)
  10. Toronto (10)
  11. NYU (12)
  12. Michigan (15)
  13. McGill (13)
  14. Columbia (17)
  15. Melbourne (7)
  16. UC-Berkeley (15)
  17. British Columbia (16)
  18. Cambridge (5)
  19. Oxford (6)
  20. Harvard (9)
  21. Singapore (30)
  22. Edinburgh (14)
  23. University College London (8)
  24. George Washington (38)
  25. Amsterdam (23)

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October 6, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings

THETimes Higher Education has released its 2018 ranking of the Top 100 Law Schools in the world, based on this methodology:

  • Teaching:  The Learning Environment (32.7%)
  • Research:  Volume, Income and Reputation (30.8%)
  • Citations:  Research Influence (25%)
  • International Outlook:  Staff, Students and Research (9%)
  • Industry Income:  Innovation (2.5%)

Here are the Top 25 law schools:

  1. Duke
  2. Stanford
  3. Yale
  4. Chicago
  5. Cambridge
  6. Oxford
  7. Melbourne
  8. University College London
  9. Harvard
  10. Toronto
  11. Pennsylvania
  12. NYU
  13. Melbourne
  14. Edinburgh
  15. Michigan
  16. British Columbia
  17. Columbia
  18. Hong Kong
  19. UC-Berkeley
  20. Leiden
  21. UCLA
  22. Cornell
  23. Amsterdam
  24. KU Leuven
  25. Georgetown

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October 5, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

2018 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings

WSJ THE2018 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings (methodology):

Outcomes (40%):

  • Graduation rate (11%)
  • Value added to graduate salary (12%)
  • Value added to the loan repayment rate (7%)
  • Academic reputation (10%)

Resources (30%):

  • Finance per student (11%)
  • Faculty per student (11%)
  • Research papers per faculty (8%)

Engagement (20%):

  • Student engagement (7%)
  • Student recommendation (6%)
  • Interaction with teachers and students (4%)
  • Number of accredited programmes (3%)

Environment (10%):

  • Proportion of international students (2%)
  • Student diversity (3%) 
  • Student inclusion (2%)
  • Staff diversity (3%)

The second annual WSJ/THE rankings list over 1,000 schools. Here are the Top 10:

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September 28, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Anderson: Are LSAT/GPA A Leading Indicator, And Peer Reputation A Lagging Indicator, Of The U.S. News Overall Rankings?

US NewsFollowing up on my recent post, Law School Rankings By Student Quality (LSAT And UGPA):  Rob Anderson (Pepperdine):  Predicting the Future of US News Law School Rankings With Revealed Preference Rankings?:

The approach used by US News includes a variety of factors with varying weights but among the most important are factors based on surveys of academics and of lawyers and judges. Specifically, the US News ranking methodology is based 25% on "peer assessment score" (academics) and 15% on "assessment score by lawyers and judges." The both categories are weighted heavier than LSAT scores (.125) and GPA (.10), which are the raw material for the Ryan and Frye ranking.

As might be expected, the Ryan and Frye rankings correlate strongly with US News rankings, but there are some significant outliers. ... [I] thought it might be interesting to examine the potential causes of divergence between the Ryan-Frye approach and US News by comparing the US News survey-based rankings between 1993 (the year of the first full ranking of law schools) and 2018 (the most recent ranking).

The peer ranking is the largest single component of US News and is measured somewhat comparably across the years so I will focus on that component of US News. The chart below shows a plot of the 1993 peer rankings (then called "academic" rankings) and those for 2018. Because higher ranked schools have lower ranking numbers, the highest ranked schools are in the lower left and the lowest ranked schools in the upper right. Schools above the line have improved in their rankings between 1993 and 2018. Schools below the line have lower rankings in 2018 than in 1993. 

Anderson 3

The correlation between the 1993 peer ranks and the 2018 peer ranks is .93, which is evidence of incredible stability over time. As a result, the 1993 rank can predict with a high degree of accuracy the 2018 rank, especially for the higher-ranked schools (the lower left). However, there are some notable outliers, which I've noted with text in the figure. It is interesting to note that among the largest gainers are three that changed names by affiliating with an existing university (Michigan State, New Hampshire, and Quinnipiac). The remainder of the schools with large jumps in peer rankings (Alabama, CUNY, Georgia State, and Pepperdine) have other explanations. My institution (Pepperdine) and Alabama have made major pushes toward emphasis on research productivity, which may explain the changes in their scores. ...

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September 20, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Politico: The U.S. News Rankings Fuel Inequality

U.S. News Logo (2018)Politico, How U.S. News College Rankings Promote Economic Inequality on Campus:

America’s universities are getting two report cards this year. The first, from the Equality of Opportunity Project, brought the shocking revelation that many top universities, including Princeton and Yale, admit more students from the top 1 percent of earners than the bottom 60 percent combined. The second, from U.S. News and World Report, is due on Tuesday — with Princeton and Yale among the contenders for the top spot in the annual rankings.

The two are related: A POLITICO review shows that the criteria used in the U.S. News rankings — a measure so closely followed in the academic world that some colleges have built them into strategic plans — create incentives for schools to favor wealthier students over less wealthy applicants.

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September 12, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Law Schools With The Best Employment Rates

Following up on last week's post, The 49 Law Schools With The Most Improved Employment Rates: The National Jurist, Most Improved Employment Rates:

The National Jurist took into consideration all forms of post-graduation employment. The employment rates were weighted, giving the most heft to full-time jobs that require bar passage. Other jobs, such as J.D.-advantage jobs and positions in other professions, received less weight.

Employment

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September 6, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Survey: Rankings Are The Most Important Factor In Students' Decision On Which Law School To Attend

Following up on yesterday's post on a survey of law school applicants by Blueprint LSAT Preparation:  

What will have the largest impact in determining which law school you will ultimately choose? Rank in order of importance, 1 being the most important and 5 being the least important.

Ranking Survey

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August 31, 2017 in Law School, Law School Rankings | Permalink | Comments (2)

The 49 Law Schools With The Most Improved Employment Rates

The National Jurist, Most Improved Employment Rates:

As the legal market continues to rebound and moves closer to pre-recession levels, law schools big and small are bolstering employer outreach efforts and reconsidering their curricula to strengthen graduate employability. Looking at this year’s employment statistics to find the most improved employment rates, The National Jurist took into consideration all forms of post-graduation employment. The employment rates were weighted, giving the most heft to full-time jobs that require bar passage. Other jobs, such as J.D.-advantage jobs and positions in other professions, received less weight.

Top 50

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August 31, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Top 100 Law Schools, Based On 5-, 10-, And 15-Year Rolling Average U.S. News Rankings

2018 U.S. News Law 3Bradley A. Areheart (Tennessee), The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data:

The best proxy for how other law professors react and respond to publishing in main, or flagship, law reviews is the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings. This paper utilizes historical USNWR data to rank the top 100 law reviews. The USNWR rankings are important in shaping many — if not most — law professors’ perceptions about the relative strength of a law school (and derivatively, the home law review). This document contains a chart that is sorted by the 10-year rolling average for each school, but it also contains the 5-year and 15-year rolling averages. This paper also describes my methodology and responds to a series of frequently asked questions. The document was updated in August 2017.

Here are the Top 25 law schools based on their 10-year rolling average overall U.S. News ranking:

US News

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August 29, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Florida Increases Median LSAT And GPA Of Entering Class, Fueling Rise Toward The Top 35

Florida Logo (2017)Following up on my previous posts (links below):   Florida is continuing its march toward Dean Laura Rosenbury's goal to increase its U.S. News ranking to the Top 35 (from 41 this year and 48 last year). Florida increased its median LSAT (to 161, from 160 in 2016 and 157 in 2015) and UGPA (to 3.69, from 3.60 in 2016 and 3.50 in 2015) while keeping the entering class roughly flat (301, compared to 314 in 2016 and 310 in 2015), fueled by raising $4.5 million in non-endowed scholarship funds:

About half the entering class of the University of Florida's Levin College of Law is receiving scholarship money this year, after an alumnus' $1.5 million fund­raising challenge turned into a $4.5 million windfall for scholarships.

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August 28, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Law Schools Are Looking For Answers In All The Wrong Places

David Barnhizer (Cleveland State), US Law Schools: Looking for Answers in All the Wrong Places:

On a very regular basis we see reports on the state of how many people are taking the LSAT, applying to law school, actually enrolling in law schools, comparing applicants’ LSAT and GPA credentials with students from previous years, as well as how law schools’ graduates fared in the job market.  This latter category has become a bit more complex and slightly more honest, including paying attention to whether the jobs were subsidized by the law schools in an effort to improve the placement statistics, required a law degree and bar passage, or if an advantage was created for people who had received a law degree.

This entire process of “casting bones” to interpret whether law schools have weathered the storm of declining demand for their educational services is mainly a bunch of unproductive “navel gazing”.  This is because it fails to look closely at what is happening in the world external to the parochial focus of law schools in terms of specific tiers of the legal profession, the dramatic and increasing shrinkage in jobs of many kinds — including law — alternative ways to obtain “law knowledge” and legal services, flat or declining wages over an extended period, the rise of the “gig” economy, and the aging of the American population and the significant financial and employment pressures under which Millennials are now functioning. 

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August 16, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (13)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

U.S. News Law School Rankings: Part-Time Applicants

U.S. News & World Report, 10 Law Schools That Draw Part-Time Applicants:

For the top 10 schools, the average number of applications was 602 for fall 2016. The average among all 103 schools was around 183. Below are the 10 schools that received the most part-time law school applications for the fall 2016 entering class.

Law School Part-Time Applications U.S. News Part-Time Rank U.S. News Law School Rank
Georgetown 1,381 1 15 (tie)
Loyola-L.A. 939 9 65 (tie)
Mitchell Hamline 510 38 (tie) RNP
George Mason 508 4 (tie) 41 (tie)
G. Washington 495 2 30 (tie)
American 479 6 (tie) 86 (tie)
Akron 456 50 (tie) 134 (tie)
W. Michigan 455 RNP RNP
NY Law School 407 24 (tie) 112 (tie)
Brooklyn 387 16 (tie) 88 (tie)

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August 10, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Without Any Transparency In The Process, ABA Legal Ed Council Approves Changes To Employment Report And Classification Of Law-School-Funded Positions That Erode Transparency

At its June 1-2 meeting, the ABA Council for the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved a proposal to completely eviscerate the steps it approved in 2015 to assure greater transparency in reporting law-school-funded positions.  Indeed, the Council went even further, changing the rules to make it impossible for anyone to discover what number/percentage of a law school’s graduates are in law-school-funded positions, so long as those positions pay $40,000. 

The Council did this with no notice, no chance for comment, and no presentation of possible concerns associated with this change.  Rather, it simply approved a proposal purporting to simplify reporting of employment outcomes that was submitted by one Council member, Paul Mahoney, whose law school was among several that would benefit from the reclassification of law-school-funded positions. 

More significantly, in approving the proposal, the Council also approved several other changes in reporting of employment outcomes that merit much more discussion.  These changes, discussed below, were not meaningfully discussed in the proposal, nor do they appear to have been meaningfully discussed by the Council in approving the proposal.  Once again, there was no notice of these changes, no chance for comment, and no presentation of possible concerns associated with these changes.

It pains me to write this, as I hold the members of the Council in high regard and believe the Council has done a very good job over the last several years navigating legal education through uncharted waters, particularly with its emphasis on increased transparency regarding conditional scholarships and employment outcomes. 

In this instance, however, the Council’s laudable desire to support simplification in reporting of employment outcomes meant that a number of other policy considerations that merit much more attention and thoughtful deliberation did not get due consideration prior to the Council taking action that effectively erodes transparency.

The Council should rescind its action, and send out the proposed changes for notice and comment and for consideration by the Standard’s Review Committee, which can give due consideration to intended and unintended consequences in recommending an appropriate set of changes regarding the reporting of employment outcomes.

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August 3, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (17)