Paul L. Caron

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:

Within the top 10 for Scholarly Impact (at #6), the University of California-Irvine shows the greatest incongruity with the 2016 U.S. News ranking (at #30). Vanderbilt (at #9) is again within the top 10 for Scholarly Impact but falls outside the top ten for U.S. News (at #17)

In the Scholarly Impact top 25, George Mason ranks again at #21, but remains under-valued in U.S. News at #42. Case Western rises to #25 in the Scholarly Impact Ranking, while falling just outside the first quartile (at #59) in U.S. News.

The most dramatically under-valued law school is the University of St. Thomas, which ranks inside the top 40 (at #39) for Scholarly Impact, while being relegated by U.S. News outside the top 100 (at #135)—a difference of 96 ordinal levels. Other schools that have made a scholarly impact at least 20 ordinal positions higher than in U.S. News are Cardozo, Brooklyn, San Diego, Hofstra, Pittsburgh, Chicago-Kent, Toledo, DePaul, Rutgers-Camden, and San Francisco.

Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink


The St. Thomas count is a bit dubious as it includes Lyman Johnson amongst their top 10, who is a tenured professor at Washington and Lee (also listed at W&L's top 10) and is not scheduled to teach anything but independent study at St. Thomas this year.

Posted by: jeb | Aug 13, 2015 3:05:58 AM

How is it "discrediting"? Do you think they made up the numbers? This can all be checked by anyone.

Posted by: Color me puzzled | Aug 12, 2015 9:20:55 AM

Ummmmmm, St. Thomas is 39th? How very jolly for the authors, St. Thomas professors. How very discrediting for readers.

Posted by: Color me Curious | Aug 11, 2015 1:56:16 PM

Hi Michael,
I have seen quite a bit of this gaming in science and social science disciplines- I think likely because impact factor analysis plays such a huge role in advancement and grant-funding. So there are huge incentives to game any and all impact factor statistics as much as possible.

In law, I think there might be some minimal amount of gaming. Especially in a scholar citing their own work repeatedly. But there is very little concern paid to impact analysis in legal academia. In fact if you asked most scholars about something like altmetrics or impact factor analysis- they would just look at you funny. Prestige of the underlying journal of publication is of primary importance. With the JD/PHD hiring exposition, this culture might be changing.

Anyway, for better or worse, I tend to think our little study and similar sort of citation studies probably aren’t important enough to game.

Posted by: Nick Farris | Aug 11, 2015 10:03:29 AM

Is it common for Professors to simply cite each other to game rankings like this, or even simply so their friends can have more cites? I was in a MA/PhD program for a while and I know for a fact it was quite encouraged to try and cite the papers from our faculty in addition to the big guns (ie the Harvards, Yales, Chicagos, of the world). I have no idea if Professors are paid more by being cited or if its an ego thing.

That said, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this (you make a ridiculous ranking, you are asking for it to be gamed), it is simply a question.

Posted by: Michael | Aug 11, 2015 7:56:13 AM

Color me shocked that "[t]he most dramatically under-valued law school is the University of St. Thomas."

Posted by: Former Editor | Aug 11, 2015 7:09:50 AM

It's also interesting how few tax scholars are among the most-cited. This would have been quite different, I think, a generation ago.

Posted by: mike livingston | Aug 11, 2015 4:39:54 AM

It's interesting how different cites are from downloads.

Posted by: mike livingston | Aug 11, 2015 4:38:56 AM