Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 8, 2007

A MoneyBall Guide to Law Schools

As long time readers of this blog know, I have an interest (obssession?) in the application of objective metrics, à la Michael Lewis's wonderful MoneyBall book, in measuring law school and law professor success.  With Rafael Gely, I published What Law Schools Can Learn from Billy Beane and the Oakland Atheltics, 82 Tex. L. Rev. 1483 (2004), and then organized the first academic symposium of law school rankings, and have since joined Jim Chen's MoneyLaw blog.  Bill Henderson builds on this great post with today's LSSSE Data and MoneyLaw/MoneyBall:

My bottomline on MoneyLaw/MoneyBall is simple: The metric is money. Sure, Moneyball can be used to identify future professors who will produce more and better scholarship, but that will take an institution only so far. MoneyBall principles therefore need to be deployed to build a better institution. Better institutions engender loyal alumni and attract benefactors who want to finance a powerful vision of the future. That money can be used to recruit gifted students and buy and keep academic talent--and the institutional mission and culture of the law school could be just as magnetic as the extra funds. The longer the track record, the more exponential the effects.

So how would a "Billy Beane" administrator build a better institution? ... [With LSSSE data,] we have an empirical basis to evaluate our institution, set priorities, allocate scarce resources, and actually measure our progress--just like any first-rate organization.

Prior TaxProf Blog MoneyBall coverage:

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Tell me the last time that Beane's Oakland A's won the World Series. How about the last time they won the AL?

Posted by: joe | Jun 9, 2007 7:25:32 AM