Paul L. Caron

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.

SUper Lawyers magazine is just one of a number of alternative ranking systems for law schools. William WHite, founder of SUper Lawyers, said his magazine's efforts throu a new and unique indicator of quality into the mix.

"Most law school rankings look at things like bar passage rates, professor-to-student ratios and the number of books in the library, but ignore the end product — the quality of lawyers produced," he said. "Not everyone is accepted to or can afford to attend a national school. These students need to know how regional schools compare to one another."

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink


If anything, a list this obviously ridiculous just causes harm to the Super Lawyer brand.

Posted by: jon | Dec 6, 2015 2:07:11 AM

I always get a chuckle out of the superlawyers schtick. The best TRIAL lawyers in the country--government prosecutors and civil litigators--are not included in the “survey.” The only private lawyers who can stay in the same courtroom with a Manhattan AUSA or an ADA from Los Angeles or a DOJ trial attorney are private lawyers who used to be an AUSA, ADA, or DOJ trial attorney. If you don’t believe me, ask 100 judges.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Dec 4, 2015 8:29:42 AM

No one is going to take seriously a poll that puts Baylor before Yale

Posted by: mike livingston | Dec 3, 2015 7:46:24 PM

"Most law school rankings look at things like bar passage rates, professor-to-student ratios and the number of books in the library, but ignore the end product — the quality of lawyers produced"

That National Jurist, the "voice of legal education," is trying to claim Super Lawyers as anything but a popularity-slash-ballet-stuffing contest is truly sad. Bar passage matters. Employment rates and salaries matter. Super Lawyers does not.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Dec 3, 2015 11:55:30 AM

Interested readers might want to Google "Super Lawyers Criticism." There's a long list of negative articles about it, particularly concerning its selection criteria.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Dec 3, 2015 11:49:30 AM