Monday, August 16, 2021
J.B. Heaton (JD, MBA & Ph.D., University of Chicago; Google Scholar), Who Fields the Best Team?: A (Better) Measure of the Top Ten U.S. Law Schools by Faculty Impact:
I rank the Top 10 U.S. Law Schools by examining the ability of schools to field their highest-ranked specialist in both a broad set of areas (including, in addition to “core” areas tested in multistate bar exams fields like legal philosophy, antitrust, election law, etc.) and, separately in only the core areas. In both analyses, NYU places first, an improvement over two widely-watched rankings.
By contrast, the University of Chicago, usually ranked in the top 5 in other rankings, barely slips into the Top 10 with the broad test and falls out of the Top 10 when the analysis is limited to core specialties.
The study also identifies several law schools that are under-ranked in current studies given the quality of their teams. These include Georgetown, UCLA, George Washington, and Irvine. The methodology applied here improves current rankings by rewarding a school for balance in its excellence, limiting the impact of faculties heavy in specialties that do not reflect the breadth of specialties of academic importance or the core areas that students must master for bar exams and practice.
Update: One should take this study with more than a grain of salt because it does not adjust for the size of a school's faculty.