Continuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2013), here is the full list of the 194
law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall
rank, in the new 2014 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology here):
Law schools ranked by US News & World Report magazine in the 50 to
150 range were the ones most affected by the availability this year, for
the first time, of more detailed graduate employment data from the ABA,
according to US News rankings czar Bob Morse.
The new data
"unmasked" that some of those schools had a relatively small number of
their students taking full-time long-term jobs that require a JD, Morse
tells Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia.
Many schools on the east and
west coasts also saw drops in their rankings as a result of the new
data, Morse said. University of San Francisco School of Law had this
year's biggest drop, declining 38 places on the rankings, coming in dead
last at 144 on the list.
At the top of the list, Yale continued to claim the #1 spot, with Harvard inching up one slot to tie with Stanford at #2.
to last month's controversial National Jurist magazine ranking of
schools, which was meant to provide an alternative to US News' list,
Morse says "welcome to the world of law school rankings, and the world
of being criticized for your methodology."
As for the power of US
News' rankings, which some deans blame for legal education's woes,
Morse says, "US News isn't the ABA . . . We're not responsible for the
cost law school, the state of legal employment, the impact that the
recession has had on hiring, or the fact that there are 10 or 20 new law
schools that have opened over the past couple of decades. And we're not
responsible for the imbalance of jobs to graduates."
Below I’ve created a table listing the top fifty-five law schools
according to their “peer” ranking on U.S. News, with the last column
showing each school’s ranking according to the latest “scholarly impact” study conducted by folks at St. Thomas Law School.
Two schools stand out as being wildly underranked by their peers
compared to their scholarly impact: George Mason, ranked 55 by peers but
21 by scholarly impact, and Cardozo, ranked 51 by peers and 25 by
scholarly impact. In fact, no other schools ranked as well as Cardozo
and George Mason in scholarly impact ranked lower than 23rd in the U.S.
News peer rankings.
The most overranked school by these measures is Wisconsin, which is
ranked 23 by peers but is not in the top 55 by scholarly impact. (St.
Thomas, by the way, is well out of the top 55 by peer ranking, but is
number 31 in scholarly impact.)