TaxProf Blog

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

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:

(1) tuition; (2) scholarships; (3) the full-time tax professors who teach in each program and the tax courses they teach; (4) the number of full-time and part-time students enrolled in each program; (5) general information about adjunct professors teaching in each program; (6) required courses; (7) elective courses, specialty certificates, and concentrations; (8) opportunities to develop tax practice skills by taking experiential learning courses and simulated practice courses; (9) extracurricular tax activities; (10) opportunities to graduate with honors or receive academic prizes; and (11) career planning and placement services offered to students in each program. The article also ranks the tax faculty at these thirteen law schools by citations (the Top 5 are NYU (1), Florida (2), Georgetown (3), Miami (4), and Northwestern (5)) and SSRN downloads (the Top 5 are Loyola-L.A. (1), NYU (2), Chapman (3), Florida (4), and San Diego (5)).

Other resources available on TaxProf Blog include:

Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink


I hope the strategic voting on the general ballot is lessened this year, or is it actually true that something like 1/3 of law schools are not even "adequate" programs worthy of a 3 or 2? If that's the case, why are they permitted to continue to operate?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 7, 2017 10:00:05 AM

Next we will see colleges mimic the movie studios, who blanket the airwaves with ads for months-old movies during Oscar balloting in an effort to persuade 600-odd Oscar voters. It will be strange hearing two weeks of radio ads extolling the Tax program is at University X.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Nov 7, 2017 11:25:47 AM