Paul L. Caron
Dean


Monday, November 11, 2019

Sisk: Citations — 'A Valid, If Imperfect, Proxy For Faculty Scholarly Impact On A National Scale

Gregory C. Sisk (St. Thomas-Minnesota), Measuring Law Faculty Scholarly Impact by Citations: Reliable and Valid for Collective Faculty Ranking, 60 Jurimetrics J. ___ (2019) (reviewing Paul J. Heald (Illinois) & Ted M. Sichelman (San Diego), Ranking the Academic Impact of 100 American Law Schools, 60 Jurimetrics J. ___ (2019)):

No single metric of faculty scholarly activity can fully capture every individual contribution. For that reason, evaluating a single professor’s scholarly work requires a nuanced, multifaceted, and individually focused assessment. However, for a contemporary sketch of the collective scholarly impact of a law school faculty, citation measurements in the legal literature are both reliable and valid.

The new Heald-Sichelman study of citations in the HeinOnline database confirms the reliability of the multiyear results of the Leiter-Sisk Scholarly Impact Ranking based on the Westlaw journals database. Despite using a different law journal database, counting citations differently, including pre-tenure faculty, and even adding download statistics into the mix, the Heald-Sichelman ranking correlates powerfully at 0.88 with the most recent Leiter-Sisk ranking. An objective citation measurement is time-sensitive and corresponds to informed awareness of law school faculty developments around the country. A citation-based ranking thus is a valid, if imperfect, proxy for faculty scholarly impact on a national scale.

With appropriate qualifications and necessary adjustments, a citation-based ranking should be considered in any evaluation of the overall quality of a law school faculty. For the U.S. News ranking of American law schools, an up-to-date, citation-based ranking would have considerable merit as an objective forward-directed control to the subjective past-looking academic reputation survey. ...

In an ideal world of infinitely elastic resources, the eternity of time, and omniscient observers, every individual law professor and every law school’s faculty would be fully known, sensitively understood, and thoroughly evaluated based on complete, detailed, and nuanced information. A dean or faculty committee conducting an annual evaluation of an individual faculty member may conduct a more focused individualized assessment. Similarly, a candidate for a faculty position at a particular law school may have the opportunity for a more targeted exploration of the scholarly culture and activity and arrive at a more specified assessment of that school’s progress as a scholarly community.

When comparing large numbers of law faculties across the country, however, a generalized assessment approach has considerable merit and the imperfections of a robust proxy for scholarly accomplishment will wash out at the macro level. That is no reason to be insensitive to flaws in a particular method or to resist adjustments that improve the accuracy and meaning of the results, even if at the margins. And honesty demands acknowledging the limitations of any single approach, allowing the reader to avoid ascribing perfect confidence.

With those qualifications in mind, a citation-based measurement of law faculty scholarly impact has proven to be a reliable method and should be recognized as a valid if imperfect proxy for faculty scholarly achievement. Citation ranking has established itself as a worthwhile factor in comparative assessment of law faculty scholarly impact.

November 11, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Heald & Sichelman: The Top 100 Law School Faculties In Citations (Hein) And Impact (SSRN Downloads)

Paul J. Heald (Illinois) & Ted M. Sichelman (San Diego), Ranking the Academic Impact of 100 American Law Schools, 60 Jurimetrics J. ___ (2019):

U.S. News & World Report and rankings-minded scholars have constructed several measures of faculty impact at U.S. law schools, but each has been limited in a variety of ways. For instance, the U.S. News “peer assessment” rankings rely on the qualitative opinions of a small group of professors and administrators and largely mirror the overall rankings (correlations of 0.96 in 2016). While the scholarly rankings improve upon U.S. News by using the quantitative measure of citation counts, they have relied on the Westlaw database, which has notable limitations. Additionally, these rankings have failed to capture the component of scholarly impact on the broader legal community. We overcome these limitations by offering citation-based rankings using the more comprehensive Hein database and impact rankings based on Social Science Research Network (SSRN) download counts, as well as a combination of the two metrics.

Notably, we find a high correlation with the previous scholarly rankings (about 0.88), but a significantly lower correlation with the U.S. News peer assessment rankings (about 0.63). Specifically, we find that many law schools in dense urban areas with large numbers of other law schools that are highly ranked in the U.S. News survey are underrated in the U.S. News peer assessment rankings relative to our faculty impact metrics. Given the relatively low correlation between our rankings and the U.S. News peer assessment rankings—and the fact the U.S. News peer assessment rankings largely track its overall rankings—we strongly support U.S. News’s plans to rank schools on the basis of citation counts and recommend that U.S. News adopt a quantitative-based metric as a faculty reputation component of its overall rankings. ...

Here, pursuant to our suggested weighting discussed earlier, we combine the SSRN and Hein scores equally. Because SSRN download counts are substantially higher than Hein citation counts, we determine the number of standard deviations (z-score) from each school’s score from the mean for that metric, then average the SSRN and Hein z-scores together for a final score.

Table 3. Ranking by SSRN Download and Hein Citation Metrics

Combined Ranking

School

Total SSRN Score

Hein Total Score

SSRN Z-score

Hein
Z-score

Average
Z-score

1

Yale

18,753

 5223

2.56

5.25

3.91

2

Harvard

23,608

 3856

3.60

3.53

3.56

3

Columbia

17,820

 3075

2.36

2.55

2.45

4

Chicago

19,103

 2414

2.64

1.71

2.17

5

Vanderbilt

21,124

 1995

3.07

1.19

2.13

6

Penn

18,340

 2364

2.47

1.65

2.06

7

NYU

12,569

 3114

1.24

2.60

1.92

8

Stanford

11,336

 2837

0.97

2.25

1.61

9

UC-Irvine

15,786

 2027

1.93

1.23

1.58

10

Duke

12,194

 2029

1.16

1.23

1.19

11

GW

14,037

 1617

1.55

0.71

1.13

12

Northwestern

11,648

 1939

1.04

1.12

1.08

13

Cornell

10,942

 1970

0.89

1.15

1.02

14

UCLA

11,956

 1782

1.11

0.92

1.01

15

G. Mason

15,120

 1150

1.78

0.12

0.95

16

Georgetown

9906

 1758

0.67

0.89

0.78

17

Virginia

9325

 1702

0.54

0.82

0.68

18

UC-Berkeley

9781

 1609

0.64

0.70

0.67

19

Michigan

10,305

 1519

0.75

0.59

0.67

20

Minnesota

10,315

 1462

0.75

0.52

0.63

21

St. Thomas

11,487

 1155

1.00

0.13

0.57

22

Illinois

10,927

 1159

0.88

0.13

0.51

23

Texas

6611

 1873

-0.04

1.03

0.50

24

UC-Davis

10,805

 1098

0.86

0.06

0.46

25

Arizona

9696

 1058

0.62

0.01

0.31

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November 11, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Society For Empirical Legal Studies Urges U.S. News To Use Google Scholar Rather Than HeinOnline In Scholarly Impact Rankings

SELS

Following up on my recent posts on the U.S. News Faculty Scholarly Impact Rankings (links below): Kevin Cope (Virginia) passed along this five page letter to Robert C. Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News & Woirld Report) from the Society for Empirical Legal Studies (SELS) Board of Directors (David S. Abrams (Pennsylvania), David Bjerk (Claremont McKenna College), Dawn Chutkow (Cornell), Christoph Engel (Max Planck), Michael Frakes (Duke), Andrew Green (Toronto), James Greiner (Harvard), Eric Helland (Claremont McKenna), James Hines (Michigan), Daniel Ho (Stanford), William Hubbard (Chicago), Daniel Krauss (Claremont McKenna College), Anthony Niblett (Toronto), J.J. Prescott (Michigan), Paige Skiba (Vanderbilt), Sonja Starr (Michigan), Eric Talley (Columbia), Albert Yoon (Toronto) & Kathryn Zeiler (Boston University)):

2020 US News Law SchoolWe write on behalf of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies (SELS) to express our concern about U.S. News’ plan to create a law school “scholarly impact” ranking based on HeinOnline data. We appreciate your willingness to consider input from the legal academic community, and particularly your May 2, 2019, statement that “neither the methodology nor the metrics for the proposed new rankings have been finalized.” We were further reassured to read that — contrary to other recent reports — you “do not have any current plans to incorporate scholarly impact rankings . . . in [your] Best Law Schools rankings.” We hope those plans do not change; for the reasons explained below, incorporating the HeinOnline data into Best Law Schools would introduce statistical biases that could do serious damage to U.S. legal education.

Although no ranking system is perfect, one strength of the existing ranking approach — as U.S. News officials themselves have argued — is that it provides several accurate metrics for consumers to evaluate for themselves. Unlike other indicators like graduation rate and bar-passage rate, however, HeinOnline’s current citation system does not appear to accurately capture what it represents to. HeinOnline’s metric would purportedly measure a faculty member’s “scholarly impact.” But the method suffers from a variety of systemic measurement flaws so significant that they undermine its validity as a measure of scholarly impact — and with it, the validity of any metric incorporating it. Making the HeinOnline data part of the Best Law Schools ranking would therefore deviate from your longstanding practice of offering readers accurate information.

HeinOnline’s present citation-measurement system has three principal problems: (1) it is biased against interdisciplinary legal scholarship; (2) it omits all book manuscripts and chapters; and (3) it systematically undervalues the academic contributions of junior scholars, which would inhibit law schools from recruiting diverse faculties. We elaborate on each of these problems below and suggest an alternative for measuring scholarly influence. ...

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October 29, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 16, 2019

July 2019 Florida Bar Exam Results: Florida International Is #1 For 5th Year In A Row

Florida Bar 2The July 2019 Florida bar passage rates by school are out. The overall pass rate for first-time takers is 73.9%, up 6.7 percentage points from last year. For the fifth year in a row, Florida International is #1. Here are the results for the 11 Florida law schools, along with each school's U.S. News ranking (Florida and overall):

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)

 

School

US News Rank

FL (Overall)

1 (95.7%)

Florida Int'l

4 (91)

2 (87.9%)

Florida

1 (31)

3 (86.8%)

Florida State

2 (48)

4 (80.8%)

Miami 

3 (67)

5 (77.6%)

Stetson

5 (108)

6 (71.4%)

St. Thomas

Tier 2

7 (71.0%)

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

8 (65.9%)

Nova

Tier 2

9 (61.1%)

Florida A&M

Tier 2

10 (57.8%)

Barry

Tier 2

11 (52.6%)

Ave Maria

Tier 2

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September 16, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Extending Leiter-Sisk Citation Counts To Interdisciplinary Scholarship

J. B. Ruhl, Michael P. Vandenbergh & Sarah Dunaway (Vanderbilt), Total Scholarly Impact: Law Professor Citations in Non-Law Journals:

This Article provides the first ranking of legal scholars and law faculties based on citations in non-law journals. Applying the methods, as much as possible, of the widely used Leiter-Sisk “Scholarly Impact Score,” which includes only citations in law publications, we calculate a “Interdisciplinary Scholarly Impact Score” from the non-law citations over a five-year period (2012-2018) to the work of tenured law faculty published in that period in non-law journals. We also provide the weighted scores for law faculty at the top 25 law schools as ranked by the US News rankings, a school-by-school ranking, and lists of the top five faculty by non-law citations at each school and of the top fifty scholars overall.

IDR Final

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September 16, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

2020 U.S. News College Rankings

US NewsU.S. News & World Report has released its 2020 College Rankings. Here are the Top 25 National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges (along with their 2017-2019 rankings):

2020

Rank

 

National Universities

2019

Rank

2018

Rank

2017

Rank

1

Princeton

1

1

1

2

Harvard

2

2

2

3

Columbia

3

5

5

3

MIT

3

5

7

3

Yale

3

3

3

6

Chicago

3

3

3

6

Stanford

7

5

5

6

Penn

8

8

8

9

Northwestern

10

11

12

10

Duke

8

9

8

10

Johns Hopkins

10

11

10

12

Cal-Tech

12

10

12

12

Dartmouth

12

11

11

14

Brown

14

14

14

15

Vanderbilt

14

14

15

15

Notre Dame

18

18

15

17

Cornell

16

14

15

17

Rice

16

14

15

19

Washington (St. Louis)

19

18

19

20

UCLA

19

21

24

21

Emory

21

21

20

22

UC-Berkeley

22

21

20

22

USC

22

21

23

24

Georgetown  

22

20

20

25

Carnegie Mellon

25

25

24

25

Michigan

27

28

27

Pepperdine is ranked #50 (tied with Georgia, Lehigh, and RPI).

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September 10, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, September 5, 2019

2020 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings

WSJ THE2020 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings (methodology):

Outcomes (40%):

  • Graduation rate (11%)
  • Value added to graduate salary (12%)
  • Debt after graduation (7%)
  • Academic reputation (10%)

Resources (30%):

  • Finance per student (11%)
  • Faculty per student (11%)
  • Research papers per faculty (8%)

Engagement (20%):

  • Student engagement (7%)
  • Student recommendation (6%)
  • Interaction with teachers and students (4%)
  • Number of accredited programs (3%)

Environment (10%):

  • Proportion of international students (2%)
  • Student diversity (3%) 
  • Student inclusion (2%)
  • Staff diversity (3%)

The fourth annual WSJ/THE rankings list 801 schools. Here are the Top 10:

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September 5, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The 30 Most Fun Law Schools

Online Paralegal Programs, 30 Law Schools With The Most To Do For Fun:

Law schools in the United States have long been considered among the world’s finest – and perhaps most well situated – offering top-class training amid exciting cities and stunning scenery. What’s more, although the 21st century has undoubtedly brought a wealth of online opportunities in legal and paralegal training, a more in-person experience that caters to students’ educational needs and personal interests can be especially rewarding. Finding the right school, however, may be a challenge.

Here are 30 law schools that meet all tastes, opening doors to everything from vibrant metropolises and college towns known for live music, sports and cuisine, to picturesque campuses within easy reach of the great outdoors. [See methodology here.] ...

The Top 10 are:

  1. Colorado
  2. San Diego
  3. UC-Berkeley
  4. Cornell
  5. Georgia
  6. Florida
  7. Chicago
  8. Northwestern
  9. Pepperdine
  10. Hawaii

Here is the description of #9 Pepperdine:

Located in an area that has what A Luxury Travel Blog calls “the most perfect weather on the planet,” Pepperdine University School of Law ought to appeal to those looking to complete their studies in one of California’s most spectacular beach communities. The school’s position on the university’s main Malibu campus affords tantalizing views of legendary surf spot First Point, while Pepperdine students also have easy access to the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Meanwhile, fine dining and hip nightlife can be found amid Malibu’s affluent, celebrity-infused community of around 12,600 residents; the various beach bars and restaurants lining the Pacific Coast Highway are great starting points. According to U.S. News & World Report, the school itself boasts the top-ranked dispute resolution program in the country, and in addition it offers notable entertainment law teaching.

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September 3, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Impact Of The U.S. News Rankings On The Cost Of Law School

Following up on my previous post, Symposium: Uncomfortable Conversations About Legal Education — Student Debt, Diversity, And More:  Law.com, Cracking the Case of Law School Cost:

2020 US News Law SchoolHere’s the million-dollar question on my mind today: How do you make a law degree more affordable?

That was the focus on a day-long session I attended last week on bringing down the cost of a legal education held at the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco. It was an interesting—and at times frustrating—discussion, so I’m going to devote this newsletter to parsing some of the ideas that emerged. ...

The U.S. News rankings loomed large in the day’s conversation, and Law School Transparency Executive Director Kyle McEntee tackled it head on with a talk about how the rankings can be improved and their influence curbed. He proposed a change to the rankings formula that would do away with the expenditure-per-student metric, which rewards schools for spending money. In its place, he proposed an alternative measure that would divide the total amount of J.D. revenue a school receives annually by the number of long-term, fulltime bar passage required or J.D. advantage jobs its graduates land. This would essentially reward schools for keeping tuition low while also sending graduates on to good legal jobs.

McEntee also made news when he announced that in 2020 Law School Transparency will launch its own law school certification system, which is intended to create some competition for U.S. News in terms of evaluating the quality of law schools. It will award badges to law schools that meet its criteria in different areas, such as affordability and diversity and inclusion. The badges will offer schools alternative benchmarks that don’t hinge solely on the U.S. News formula, McEntee said. Law schools can then use the LST badges in their marketing materials and websites as a signifier of quality, along the lines of LEED certification for energy efficient construction. He said law deans are hungry for alternatives to the U.S. News rankings because they feel very constrained by those rankings’ narrow definition of what makes a good law school and the perverse incentives they create, such as the need to devote funds to merit scholarships at the expense of need-based ones. ...

[Q]uite a few legal educators associate efforts to reduce student costs with also reducing the quality of legal education. That’s a pretty serious obstacle to overcome. The way I see it, faculty and the various stakeholders involved in legal education need to buy into the idea that law school can cost less while also serving as the gatekeeper into the profession if there is ever to be progress made.

August 21, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

2019 World Law School Rankings

QS RankingsQuacquarelli Symonds has released the 2019 World Law School Rankings as part of its World University Rankings. The methodology is 50% academic reputation, 30% employer reputation, 15% h-index per faculty member, and 5% citations per paper.  The rankings consist of 300 law schools, 150 in the United States.  Here are the U.S. law schools in the Top 50, along with each school's position in the latest SSRN Top 750 Law School Faculty Rankings -- Total Downloads):

1. Harvard (#1 in SSRN)
4. Yale (#6)
5. Stanford (#2)
8. UC-Berkeley (#4)
9. Columbia (#5)
10. NYU (#3)
11. Chicago (#7)
17. Georgetown (#9)
23. UCLA (#15)
27. Michigan (#12)
30. Pennsylvania (#11)
33. Duke (#18)
35. Cornell (#27)
50. Northwestern (#14)

August 20, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

More On A Dean's Perspective On Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings

My talk last week at SEALS on A Dean's Perspective On Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings focused on the tension faced by deans and faculty as they try to increase the diversity of their student bodies in the light of the great weight U.S. News places on median LSATs and UGPAs in its law school rankings methodology — 22.5% of the total ranking. Several folks asked for copies of this chart of the racial and ethnic composition of the 2017-2018 law school applicant pool from LSAC data:

2017-18 Applicants  LSAT  Race

The chart shows that Caucasian and Asian applicants are over-represented (compared to their share of the applicant pool) in the top 160-180 LSAT band (Caucasians comprise 57% of total applicants, and 68% of the top LSAT band; Asians: 10%, 15%), and African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are under-represented in the top LSAT band (African-Americans: 13%, 3%; Hispanic/Latinos: 12%, 7%). In terms of raw numbers, only 590 African-Americans in the applicant pool scored at least 160 on the LSAT. African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are over-represented in the bottom 120-149 LSAT band (African-American: 13%, 27%; Hispanic/Latinos: 12%, 17%).

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August 6, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

February 2019 California Bar Exam Results

California State Bar (2014)Following up on my previous post, 31% Passed February 2019 California Bar Exam, Up 4% From Last Year: the California State Bar has released school-by-school data on the February 2019 California Bar Exam. The pass rate for first-time test-takers from California ABA-approved law schools was 45.2%, down 0.1% from last year. Here are the results for the California ABA-approved law schools with ten or more test-takers released by the bar (as well as Pepperdine's data) and each school's U.S. News ranking (California and overall):

Bar Pass Rank (Rate) School US News Rank CA (Overall)
1 (66.7%) Pepperdine 7 (51)
1 (66.7%) Santa Clara 11 (104)
3 (64.3%) San Diego 10 (86)
4 (63.6%) USC 4 (17)
5 (45.8%) Cal-Western Tier 2
45.2% Statewide Avg. (CA ABA-Approved)
6 (43.8%) McGeorge Tier 2
7 (42.9%) Western State Tier 2
8 (42.1%) Loyola-L.A. 8 (62)
9 (38.5%) Golden Gate Tier 2
10 (29.5%) Thomas Jefferson Tier 2
11 (28.6%) Southwestern Tier 2
12 (25.0%) Chapman 12 (132)
12 (25.0%) Whittier Tier 2

The pass rate for repeat test-takers from California ABA-approved law schools was 37.9%, up 6.6% from last year. Here are the results for the California ABA-approved law schools with ten or more test-takers released by the bar and each school's U.S. News ranking (California and overall):

Bar Pass Rank (Rate) School US News Rank CA (Overall)
1 (64.3%) UCLA 3 (15)
2 (59.3%) UC-Irvine 5 (23)
3 (58.7%) UC-Davis 6 (31)
4 (53.1%) San Diego 10 (86)
5 (52.5%) Pepperdine 7 (51)
6 (50.0%) UC-Berkeley 2 (10)
6 (50.0%) USC 4 (17)
8 (48.3%) UC-Hastings 8 (62)
9 (46.8%) Loyola-L.A. 8 (62)
10 (40.9%) Southwestern Tier 2
11 (40.7%) Cal-Western Tier 2
37.9% Statewide Avg. (CA ABA-Approved)
12 (37.1%) Santa Clara 11 (104)
13 (35.6%) Chapman 12 (132)
14 (34.9%) McGeorge Tier 2
15 (27.0%) Western State Tier 2
16 (26.8%) San Francisco Tier 2
17 (25.4%) Golden Gate Tier 2
18 (21.3%) Whittier Tier 2
19 (19.4%) Thomas Jefferson Tier 2
20 (12.2%) La Verne Tier 2

The Recorder, How Law Schools Fared on California's February 2019 Bar Exam:

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June 20, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Muller: Significant One-Year Drops In U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation

U.S. News Law (2019)Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Significant One-Year Peer USNWR Survey Score Drops, Their Apparent Causes, and Their Longevity:

  • Rutgers-Camden, 2002, 2.8 to 2.5 ...
  • Loyola Law School, 2009, 2.6 to 2.3 ...
  • Illinois, 2012, 3.5 to 3.1 ...
  • Villanova, 2012, 2.6 to 2.2 ...
  • St. Louis University, 2013, 2.4 to 2.0 ...
  • Albany, 2015, 2.0 to 1.7 ...
  • Vermont Law School, 2.2 to 1.9, 2019 ...

This post isn’t really to shame any particular school or approve of how the peer rankings have reacted to scandals. It’s simply to note that some strong reactions do exist.

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June 6, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Former Student Files Class Action Against University Of Oklahoma For Submitting False Data To Inflate Its U.S. News Ranking For 20 Years

U.S. News Generic RankingsFollowing up on my previous post, University Of Oklahoma Inflated Its Alumni Giving Data For 20 Years, U.S. News Strips Its #127 Ranking:

OU Daily, Former Student Files Lawsuit Against OU For Providing False Data to US News & World Report, Inflating University's Ranking:

A former OU student has filed a class action lawsuit against the University of Oklahoma as a result of the university being stripped of its U.S. News & World Report ranking. [Gretzer v. Oklahoma, No. 19-490 (W.D. OK May 28, 2019]

The lawsuit, which was filed May 28 on behalf of former OU student Elani Gretzer and all OU undergraduate students since 1999, alleges the university broke contract by providing false alumni giving data to U.S. News & World Report, inflating its ranking in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" ranking as a result.

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June 1, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 31, 2019

Alabama Donor Doesn't Want His $21 Million Back; He Wants Law School To Increase Enrollment And 'Tell U.S. News, F*** You.’

Alabama Logo (2018)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Law.com, Culverhouse's Rift with Law School—Fomented by Abortion Law—Puts $27M Gift in Peril

The University of Alabama is poised to return more than $21 million given to the law school after a dispute seemingly touched off by the state’s new abortion law—a move that would strip the name Hugh Culverhouse from its law school. ...

Culverhouse on Wednesday called for students to boycott the University of Alabama in a bid to pressure state lawmakers to roll back the law, which bans abortion. But university officials responded that tensions between the law school and its namesake donor predate the abortion law and that they would not stand for donor meddling.

Culverhouse said in an interview Thursday that he has pushed law school dean Mark Brandon to increase the size of the student body and offer more scholarships to bring in students, but that the school has instead opted to maintain it class size in a bid to preserve its U.S. News & World Report ranking. (The school is currently ranked No. 25, up two spots from the previous year.) ...

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May 31, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Alabama Donor Doesn't Want His $21 Million Back; He Wants Law School To Increase Enrollment And 'Tell U.S. News, F*** You.’

Alabama Logo (2018)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Law.com, Culverhouse's Rift with Law School—Fomented by Abortion Law—Puts $27M Gift in Peril

The University of Alabama is poised to return more than $21 million given to the law school after a dispute seemingly touched off by the state’s new abortion law—a move that would strip the name Hugh Culverhouse from its law school. ...

Culverhouse on Wednesday called for students to boycott the University of Alabama in a bid to pressure state lawmakers to roll back the law, which bans abortion. But university officials responded that tensions between the law school and its namesake donor predate the abortion law and that they would not stand for donor meddling.

Culverhouse said in an interview Thursday that he has pushed law school dean Mark Brandon to increase the size of the student body and offer more scholarships to bring in students, but that the school has instead opted to maintain it class size in a bid to preserve its U.S. News & World Report ranking. (The school is currently ranked No. 25, up two spots from the previous year.) ...

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May 30, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 24, 2019

University Of Oklahoma Inflated Its Alumni Giving Data For 20 Years, U.S. News Strips Its #127 Ranking

U.S. News Generic RankingsU.S. News Rankings Updates:

University of Oklahoma: The school told U.S. News that it had inflated its alumni giving data since 1999, which affects its placement in the National Universities, Best Value Schools, Top Public Schools, Best Colleges for Veterans and A-Plus Schools for B Students rankings and lists. For the 2019 Best Colleges rankings, the University of Oklahoma originally reported its two-year alumni giving rate at 14 percent. The school informed U.S. News the correct value is 9.7 percent. The average alumni giving rate has a weight of 5 percent in the Best Colleges ranking methodology.

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May 24, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

How To Fix The U.S. News Law School Rankings

U.S. News Law (2019)Christopher D. Iacono (J.D. 2019, Pennsylvania), Legally Unhappy: How US News and Law Schools Have Failed and How This Can Be Fixed:

Law schools are deficient in directing students to career paths that suit their interests. Research has shown that top law school graduates are not happy. Why are some of the most driven people on earth dissatisfied with their legal careers? Too much emphasis has been placed on the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings [hereinafter US News]. US News does not structure their rankings on categories that reflect a high-quality law school experience. Law school deans have found ways to manipulate rank. Law school graduates are forced into BigLaw to service the huge debt that often comes with attending the “best” schools. Law schools ignore these issues and increase their tuition to pay full-time faculty who focus more on scholarship than teaching.

The issues are soluble. First, US News should revamp their criteria to accentuate value and satisfaction. Law schools should mirror those goals through practical steps to reduce tuition and enhance professional satisfaction. ...

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May 22, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Best LL.M. Programs

International JuristThe Best LL.M. Programs, The International Jurist (2019):

To identify the best LL.M. programs, we looked to see which schools place a premium on four key areas: the law school experience; career assistance; value; and academics. We asked the more than 150 schools with LL.M. programs for foreign attorneys to respond to a survey to offer insight into their offerings. ...

The Law School Experience.  This category looks at several factors, including whether students can work on law journals and participate in clinics, whether the school provides mentors, the number of extracurricular offerings, the level of involvement with U.S. students, networking opportunities, organized excursions and what the law school does to help LL.M. students adjust to the U.S. and the school. ...

IJ1

Value. We assessed net cost, which is tuition and housing minus scholarships, and weighed that against the school’s performance in the Law School Experience category.

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May 15, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Anderson: 2019 Law School Rankings By Employment Outcomes

Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), 2019 Law School Rankings by Employment Outcomes:

The new ABA employment outcomes data for law schools have been released, and that means it's time for a new WITNESSETH law school employment A-Rankings. As I have in the past, I've ranked law schools using all of the data in the ABA employment reports. The technique used incorporates each outcome with a unique weight, rather than simply counting "good" and "bad" outcomes. In fact, this technique does not rely at all on a subjective determination of what outcomes are good or bad. It's an unsupervised machine learning technique that determines the weight of each outcome based on its relationship to other outcomes among the 201 schools. Therefore, this is a truly objective ranking measure.

As in past years, the results differ slightly from typical US News rankings.

Here are the Top 25 in Rob's ranking:

A-Rank

Law School

Score

1

PENNSYLVANIA

0.460322

2

CHICAGO

0.453658

3

VIRGINIA

0.443592

4

COLUMBIA

0.418959

5

HARVARD

0.408021

6

DUKE

0.40102

7

NYU

0.396698

8

YALE

0.390213

9

CORNELL

0.388366

10

STANFORD

0.38659

11

NORTHWESTERN

0.384478

12

UC-BERKELEY

0.37934

13

MICHIGAN

0.365023

14

VANDERBILT

0.312403

15

GEORGETOWN

0.288056

16

FORDHAM

0.250512

17

TEXAS

0.247994

18

WASHINGTON U.

0.206468

19

BOSTON U.

0.199171

20

NOTRE DAME

0.185449

21

UCLA

0.167739

22

SETON HALL

0.166374

23

UC-IRVINE

0.162925

24

MINNESOTA

0.143225

25

IOWA

0.139478

Rob's full ranking of all 201 law schools is here.

Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), Law School Employment Outcomes by "Employment Status":

Yesterday I posted my new 2019 law school rankings based on employment outcomes. In this post, I explore how the different categories of "Employment Status" (as the ABA calls them) affect the rankings of the schools. Some of the Employment Status categories are unambiguously bad or good: "Unemployed" is bad and "Employed Bar Passage Required Full Time Long Term" is good. The analysis performed in my rankings confirms that these two polar opposite outcomes are on opposite ends of the continuum, as shown in the table below.  ...

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May 7, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, May 6, 2019

Muller: Visualizing Legal Employment Outcomes In California, DC-Maryland-Virginia, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, And Texas

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Visualizing Legal Employment Outcomes in California:

This is the eighth and final in a series of visualizations on legal employment outcomes for the Class of 2018. Following posts on outcomes in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Florida, DC-Maryland-Virginia, and New York, here is a visualization for legal employment outcomes of graduates of law schools in California for the Class of 2018. ...

California Employment Outcomes (2018)

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May 6, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kuehn: The U.S. News Law School Specialty Program Rankings: Is The Tail Wagging The Dog?

Kuehn (2019)Tax Prof Blog op-ed:  Law School Specialty Program Rankings: Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?, by Robert Kuehn (Associate Dean for Clinical Education, Washington University):

In addition to its annual ranking of law schools, U.S. News ranks nine law school specialty programs. Although the school rankings rely on a number of factors to compute a final score (peer assessment, lawyers/judges assessment, LSAT, undergraduate GPA, etc.), specialty rankings are based solely on reputation. A faculty member teaching in the specialty area at each school is asked to assess the specialty programs at the almost 200 other ABA accredited schools. As this column explains, there are serious problems with this type of ranking.

In previous years, the person rating other schools was directed to choose the top 15 programs in that specialty area. U.S. News would then list the top 12 to 20 programs (and even more behind a paywall) based on how often the school was listed by raters. This year, U.S. News asked survey participants to rate specialty programs on a 5-point scale of Outstanding (5) to Marginal (1), mirroring the much-criticized method used to assess the academic reputation of schools among peers and lawyers/judges.

The response rates among the faculty who received this year’s specialty program ballot varied from 44% (International Law) to 65% (Clinical Training). With the new scale, U.S. News chose to rank in order every program that received at least 10 ratings. This resulted in publicized rankings from 1st to 186th, with individual school scores ranging from 4.9 to 1.0 and average program scores from 2.1 (Intellectual Property and International Law) to 2.9 (Dispute Resolution).

A glance at the new rankings shows noticeable bunching of schools ranked highest by U.S. News also at the top of most specialty programs and an overpopulation of lowest ranked schools at the bottom. Is this because the highest ranked schools also happen to have the highest quality specialty programs and vice-versa for the lowest ranked schools? Or, might the over-representation at the two ends be due in part to a halo effect where the academic reputation of a school is influencing the rating of that school’s specialty program? This effect could be especially pronounced this year, when raters were asked to not just opine on the quality of 15 specialty programs but to express an informed opinion on 200.

To examine the strength of the relationship between a school’s peer assessment and specialty program reputation, scores for each school in every specialty were collected and analyzed. The Pearson’s correlation coefficients between the two scores are set out below:

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May 6, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ousted Business School Dean Files $25 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Temple For Unfairly Blaming Him In U.S. News Rankings Scandal

Temple University (2018)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Poets & Quants, Ousted Temple Dean Sues School For $25M:

It’s like the cockroach of rankings scandals. It just won’t die.

Almost exactly 10 months after being forced out of his two-decade-long post as dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, former Dean Moshe Porat announced today (May 2) he is suing his former school and university President Richard Englert for $25 million in a defamation case.

The 72-year-old Porat, whose relationship with Temple began in 1976 when he immigrated to the U.S. from Israel as a graduate student, alleges that he was unfairly blamed for the reporting of false rankings data to U.S. News and that his reputation — and legacy — were destroyed:

In July 2018, and again in October 2018, Temple falsely told the world that I “knowingly provided false information” and was “removed” for “falsifying data” to rankings organizations like U.S. News & World Report. The administration at Temple took away the job I loved, damaged my health, and destroyed my reputation and the legacy of my life’s work I spent decades building. They did this with a false narrative invented for its expediency in public relations – and to deflect attention from the University’s own role in all of this. I have been made a scapegoat. ...

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May 6, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 2, 2019

U.S. News Offers More Guidance, Meeting With Law School Deans On New Scholarly Impact Rankings

U.S. News Law (2019)Following up on my recent posts on the U.S. News Faculty Scholarly Impact Rankings (links below):  Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News), U.S. News Responds to the Law School Community:

U.S. News has sent an open letter to law school deans about the proposed scholarly impact rankings.

U.S. News & World Report recently received feedback from many in the law school community, including deans and professors, regarding the proposal to evaluate scholarly impact at law schools across the country.

Much of the input U.S. News has received to date has focused on questions about the scholarly impact ranking methodology, how the scholarly impact rankings will fit into U.S. News' overall law school rankings and the data sources U.S. News plans to use to create these rankings.

In light of these questions, U.S. News has shared an open letter to the law school dean community addressing the preliminary methodology and our work with HeinOnline to create the scholarly impact rankings. U.S. News is interested in continuing the dialogue regarding our plans and appreciates the time, energy and resources the law school community devotes to U.S. News' annual surveys, and the input the community consistently provides.

An Open Letter from U.S. News & World Report to the Law School Dean Community:

Over the last several weeks, U.S. News has received input from many law schools deans, professors and other members of the legal community regarding our proposed scholarly impact rankings. We appreciate the constructive comments and the time and thought that clearly went into that feedback.

Much of the input we have received to date has focused on questions about U.S. News’ scholarly impact rankings methodology, how the scholarly impact rankings will fit into U.S. News’ overall law school rankings, and the resources that U.S. News plans to use to create the scholarly impact rankings.

Methodology
I would like to address a few points regarding our methodology and related issues that have been raised to date.

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May 2, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Metric Society Has Exacerbated Competition, Comparisonitis, And Inequality On The Road To A 21st Century Dystopia

The Metric SocietySteffen Mau (Humboldt University (Berlin)), The Metric Society: On the Quantification of the Social (2019):

In today’s world, numbers are in the ascendancy. Societies dominated by star ratings, scores, likes, and lists are rapidly emerging, as data are collected on virtually every aspect of our lives. From annual university rankings, ratings agencies, and fitness tracking technologies to our credit score and health status, everything and everybody is measured and evaluated.

In this important new book, Steffen Mau offers a critical analysis of this increasingly pervasive phenomenon. While the original intention behind the drive to quantify may have been to build trust and transparency, Mau shows how metrics have in fact become a form of social conditioning. The ubiquitous language of ranking and scoring has changed profoundly our perception of value and status. What is more, through quantification, our capacity for competition and comparison has expanded significantly — we can now measure ourselves against others in practically every area. The rise of quantification has created and strengthened social hierarchies, transforming qualitative differences into quantitative inequalities that play a decisive role in shaping the life chances of individuals.

This timely analysis of the pernicious impact of quantification will appeal to students and scholars across the social sciences, as well as anyone concerned by the cult of numbers and its impact on our lives and societies today.

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April 25, 2019 in Book Club, Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training

Practical TrainingBest Schools For Practical Training (preLaw Spring 2019):

[W]e honor the Best Schools for Practical Training and outline what they are doing to make a difference in key, lifechanging areas. ... We used information from the schools’ ABA 509 Reports as part of our analysis. We looked at which schools provided the most clinical opportunities, externships and simulation classes. We also looked at their pro bono requirements and other offerings. ... While the 509 Reports are the bedrock of our rankings, we also ask schools to provide more information about pro bono programs and other offerings. ...

As we’ve done in the past, we gave the most weight — 38 percent — to clinical experience because of its effectiveness as a practical- training tool. Externships counted for 24 percent, while simulations counted for 21 percent. Both are considered valuable practical- training experiences, but they don’t quite rise to the level of clinical work. For clinics and simulations, we calculated the percentage of seats offered per enrollment. For externships, we looked at the number filled per enrollment. Responses from individual schools helped us determine the final 17 percent of the calculation.

A+

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April 16, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Top 100 Law Schools, Based On 5-, 10-, And 15-Year Rolling Average U.S. News Rankings

U.S. News Law (2019)Bradley A. Areheart (Tennessee), The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data:

The best proxy for how other law professors react and respond to publishing in main, or flagship, law reviews is the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings. This paper utilizes historical USNWR data to rank the top 100 law reviews. The USNWR rankings are important in shaping many – if not most – law professors’ perceptions about the relative strength of a law school (and derivatively, the home law review). This document contains a chart that is sorted by the 10-year rolling average for each school, but it also contains the 5-year and 15-year rolling averages. This paper also describes my methodology and responds to a series of frequently asked questions. [Were there any ties? If two law school’s 10-year rolling averages were within 2/10 of a point, I tied them and then attempted to break those ties based on the current year’s peer reputation scores. You’ll see that where there was a tie, I have included the peer rep scores in parentheses for those schools. If the peer rep scores were the same, I allowed the tie to remain.] The document was updated in April 2019.

Here are the Top 75 law schools based on their 10-year rolling average overall U.S. News ranking:

Rank School 10-Year Rank
1 Yale 1.0
2 Harvard (4.8) 2.4
3 Stanford (4.7) 2.4
4 Chicago (4.7) 4.3
4 Columbia (4.7) 4.3
6 NYU 6.0
7 Penn 7.0
8 Virginia 8.2
9 Michigan (4.4) 8.7
9 UC-Berkeley (4.4) 8.9
11 Duke 10.4
12 Northwestern 11.4
13 Cornell 13.1
14 Georgetown 13.9
15 Texas 15.0
16 UCLA 15.8
17 Vanderbilt 16.5
18 USC 18.4
19 Washington U. 18.7
20 Minnesota 20.5
21 George Washington (3.5) 22.4
21 Notre Dame (3.5) 22.5
23 Emory 22.9
24 Boston University 24.0
25 Iowa 25.1
26 UC-Irvine 26.0
27 Alabama 27.4
28 Indiana 28.4
29 Boston College (3.4) 29.5
30 Arizona State (3.2) 29.4
31 U. Washington 30.3
32 Georgia 31.2
33 Wisconsin 31.7
34 UC-Davis 32.2
35 William & Mary (3.3) 32.6
36 Washington & Lee (3.2) 32.7
37 Ohio State 33.5
38 North Carolina (3.4) 34.8
39 Fordham (3.3) 35.0
40 Illinois (3.3) 36.7
41 Wake Forest (3.1) 36.6
42 BYU 40.1
43 Arizona 41.1
44 Colorado (3.1) 42.3
45 George Mason (2.7) 42.2
46 Florida 44.5
47 Utah 45.3
48 Maryland 46.0
49 SMU 47.8
50 Florida State (3.1) 49.1
51 Tulane (3.0) 49.0
52 UC-Hastings 51.3
53 Baylor 53.6
54 Houston (2.7) 55.7
54 Temple (2.7) 55.8
56 Connecticut (2.9) 56.8
57 Pepperdine (2.7) 56.7
58 Richmond 58.1
59 Cardozo 60.2
60 Georgia State 60.7
61 Tennessee 61.6
62 Case Western (2.6) 62.9
62 Kentucky (2.6) 63.0
64 Seton Hall 63.7
65 Loyola-L.A. 64.8
66 American 66.7
67 Miami (2.8) 67.5
68 Penn State-Dickinson (2.7) 67.5
69 Oklahoma 68.4
70 UNLV (2.6) 70.0
71 Penn State-Univ. Park (2.4) 70.0
72 Denver 70.3
73 Cincinnati (2.4) 70.7
73 Nebraska (2.4) 70.8
75 Kansas 72.7

April 15, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

U.S. News Law School Academic Reputation Scores, 1998-2019

Robert L. Jones (Northern Illinois), Academic Reputation Scores for Law Schools Stagnate in 2018 and Rise Modestly in 2019:

This essay summarizes the results of the U.S. News & World Report rankings published in 2018 and 2019 with respect to the academic reputation scores of law schools. In addition to analyzing the most recent results for the U.S. News rankings, the essay supplements the more extensive longitudinal study published by this author in 2013. The article also includes updated appendices from the prior study that catalog the U.S. News academic reputation scores for every law school between 1998 and 2019. 

Jones Pre 1

Jones 1

Jones 2

School 2019 Peer Assessment Score 1998 Peer Assessment Score Change Between 1998 & 2019
Texas A&M 2.4 1.5 0.9
Alabama 3.2 2.5 0.7
Michigan State 2.4 1.8 0.6
Pepperdine 2.7 2.2 0.5
Florida State 3.1 2.6 0.5
Georgia State 2.7 2.2 0.5
Howard 2.6 2.1 0.5
CUNY 2.2 1.8 0.4
Arizona State 3.2 2.9 0.3
Fordham 3.3 3.0 0.3
Seattle 2.3 2.0 0.3
Denver 2.8 2.5 0.3
Georgia 3.3 3.0 0.3
Washington Univ. 3.7 3.4 0.3

Pepperdine Peer Reputation (040219)

April 2, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

$26.5 Million Donor Completes Naming Gift Ahead Of Schedule Due To Alabama Law School's Rise In The U.S. News Rankings

Alabama Logo (2018)Following up on my previous post, University Of Alabama Law School Receives $26.5 Million Naming Gift; Donor Hopes For Top 10-15 Ranking:  Crimson White, Law School Donation Fulfilled Ahead of Schedule:

The Hugh F. Culverhouse School of Law at the University of Alabama was recently ranked the eighth highest public law school in U.S. News & World Report’s list, and to celebrate, Hugh F. Culverhouse is fulfilling the last $5 million of his $25 million donation two years ahead of his original four-year schedule.

In September of 2018, the University announced the donation of $25 million from Hugh F. Culverhouse. Culverhouse’s original plan was to make multiple installments toward his pledge over a four-year time period, but after hearing of the law school’s new ranking, he decided to pay off the last $5 million later this year.

“The key is, I work hard,” Culverhouse said. “I’m fortunate enough to make money. I have no desire to make that school wait four to five years to get money if they can get it sooner.” ...

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March 30, 2019 in Law School Rankings | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, March 25, 2019

2020 U.S. News Trial Advocacy Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2020 U.S. News Trial Advocacy Rankings include the trial advocacy programs at 187 law schools (the faculty survey had a 53% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.0 Stetson
2 3.9 Baylor
3 3.8 Temple
4 3.7 Loyola-L.A.
5 3.6 American
5 3.6 Chicago-Kent
7 3.5 Denver
7 3.5 Pacific
9 3.4 Fordham
9 3.4 South Texas
11 3.3 Drexel
11 3.3 Georgetown
11 3.3 Northwestern
11 3.3 NYU
15 3.2 Houston
15 3.2 Loyola-Chicago
15 3.2 Notre Dame
15 3.2 Samford
15 3.2 Suffolk
15 3.2 UC-Berkeley
21 3.1 Georgia
21 3.1 Georgia State
21 3.1 John Marshall (IL)
21 3.1 UC-Hastings
21 3.1 Wake Forest
21 3.1 Washington Univ.
27 3.0 Campbell
27 3.0 Emory
27 3.0 Missouri (Kansas City)
27 3.0 Syracuse
27 3.0 Texas
27 3.0 UC-Davis
27 3.0 Virginia
34 2.9 Akron
34 2.9 Florida
34 2.9 George Washington
34 2.9 Harvard
34 2.9 Hofstra
34 2.9 Howard
34 2.9 Michigan
34 2.9 North Carolina
34 2.9 South Carolina
43 2.8 Alabama
43 2.8 Arizona
43 2.8 Faulkner
43 2.8 Maryland
43 2.8 St. Mary's
43 2.8 Tennessee
43 2.8 Tulane
43 2.8 UCLA
43 2.8 Univ. of Washington
43 2.8 Utah
43 2.8 Vanderbilt
43 2.8 Wisconsin

As I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of nine law school specialty programs:

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March 25, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 22, 2019

2020 U.S. News Legal Writing Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2020 U.S. News Legal Writing Rankings include the legal writing programs at 163 law schools (the faculty survey had a 43% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 UNLV
2 4.1 Seattle
3 4.0 Stetson
3 4.0 Suffolk
5 3.9 Arizona State
5 3.9 Oregon
5 3.9 Wake Forest
8 3.8 Denver
8 3.8 John Marshall (IL)
8 3.8 North Carolina
11 3.7 Temple
12 3.6 Arkansas (Little Rock)
12 3.6 Georgetown
14 3.5 Drexel
14 3.5 Duquesne
14 3.5 Marquette
14 3.5 Mercer
14 3.5 Michigan
14 3.5 UC-Irvine
20 3.4 Drake 
20 3.4 Indiana (McKinney)
20 3.4 Missouri (Kansas City)
20 3.4 Northwestern
20 3.4 Nova
20 3.4 Pacific
20 3.4 Rutgers
20 3.4 Texas Tech
20 3.4 Washburn
29 3.3 Arizona
29 3.3 Baltimore
29 3.3 Boston College
29 3.3 Brooklyn
29 3.3 Lewis & Clark
29 3.3 Memphis
29 3.3 Texas
29 3.3 Villanova
37 3.2 Chicago-Kent
37 3.2 Iowa
37 3.2 Ohio State
37 3.2 Tennessee
37 3.2 Texas A&M
42 3.1 Arkansas (Fayetteville)
42 3.1 DePaul
42 3.1 Duke
42 3.1 Loyola-Chicago
42 3.1 Loyola-New Orleans
42 3.1 Northeastern
42 3.1 South Carolina
42 3.1 Syracuse
42 3.1 Univ. of Washington
42 3.1 Wyoming

As I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of nine law school specialty programs:

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March 22, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 21, 2019

2020 U.S. News International Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2020 U.S. News International Law Rankings include the international law programs at 186 law schools (the faculty survey had a 44% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.8 NYU
2 4.5 Harvard
3 4.4 Columbia
4 4.3 Yale
5 4.2 George Washington
5 4.2 Georgetown
5 4.2 Michigan
8 4.1 Duke
9 4.0 American
10 3.9 UC-Berkeley
10 3.9 Virginia
12 3.8 Stanford
13 3.7 Cornell
14 3.6 Pennsylvania
14 3.6 UCLA
16 3.5 Chicago
16 3.5 Texas
16 3.5 Vanderbilt
19 3.4 Case Western
19 3.4 Fordham
19 3.4 Georgia
19 3.4 Temple
19 3.4 Washington Univ.
24 3.3 Minnesota
24 3.3 Northwestern
24 3.3 Notre Dame
27 3.1 Arizona State
27 3.1 Indiana (Maurer)
27 3.1 UC-Davis
27 3.1 Wisconsin
31 3.0 Boston College
31 3.0 Boston University
31 3.0 Emory
31 3.0 Miami
31 3.0 Tulane
31 3.0 UC-Hastings
31 3.0 UC-Irvine
38 2.9 Pacific
38 2.9 Washington & Lee
40 2.8 Denver
40 2.8 Iowa
40 2.8 Santa Clara
40 2.8 Univ. of Washington
40 2.8 William & Mary
45 2.7 Colorado
45 2.7 Illinois
45 2.7 Pittsburgh
48 2.6 Arizona
48 2.6 Cardozo
48 2.6 North Carolina
48 2.6 Ohio State
48 2.6 San Diego
48 2.6 USC

As I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of nine law school specialty programs:

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March 21, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

March Madness Law School Bracket

Here is the March Madness Law School Bracket, with outcomes determined by the 2020 U.S. News Law School Rankings (using academic peer reputation as the tiebreaker). The Final Four are Yale (1), Virginia (8), Michigan (9), and North Carolina (34), with Yale beating Virginia in the championship game.

March madness

March 21, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sichelman: A Defense And Explanation Of The U.S. News 'Citation' Ranking

SichelmanTaxProf Blog op-ed: A Defense and Explanation of the U.S. News “Citation” Ranking, by Ted Sichelman (San Diego):

Since U.S. News & World Report released its plans to rank law schools on the basis of citation counts, the blogosphere has been agog in criticism of the proposed ranking (e.g., here, here, here, and here). Unfortunately, much of the consternation is based on pure speculation as to how the ranking will be constructed, resulting in an echo chamber of misinformation that has now led some law school deans to consider a “boycott” of the rankings. At the same time, other critics bemoan yet another quantitative metric to “rank” law schools, buttressed by concerns that a ranking based on faculty citations will do little to aid would-be law students focused on teaching quality and jobs.

Here, I attempt to clear the air by dispelling this misinformation and by offering a brief defense of the proposed ranking. As background, I have been constructing a similar ranking with Paul Heald (at Illinois), using in part much of the same HeinOnline data that will be used for the U.S. News ranking. Additionally, I have been providing substantial input to Hein on its citation metrics. As such, I am intimately familiar not only with the limitations (and substantial benefits) of the HeinOnline database, but also of constructing such a ranking more generally. With that background, I address the major arguments lodged against U.S. News’s proposal in turn.

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March 20, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (17)

2020 U.S. News Intellectual Property Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2020 U.S. News Intellectual Property Law Rankings include the intellectual property law programs at 190 law schools (the faculty survey had a 55% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.7 Stanford
1 4.7 UC-Berkeley
3 4.2 NYU
4 4.1 Santa Clara
5 3.9 George Washington
5 3.9 New Hampshire
7 3.8 Houston
8 3.6 American
8 3.6 Boston University
8 3.6 Duke
8 3.6 Pennsylvania
8 3.6 Texas A&M
13 3.5 Cardozo
13 3.5 Chicago-Kent
13 3.5 Georgetown
13 3.5 Michigan
13 3.5 Univ. of Washington
18 3.4 Northwestern
19 3.3 Columbia
19 3.3 Harvard
19 3.3 San Diego
19 3.3 Texas
19 3.3 UC-Irvine
19 3.3 UCLA
25 3.2 Indiana (Maurer)
25 3.2 Notre Dame
27 3.1 Emory
27 3.1 Fordham
27 3.1 Loyola-L.A.
27 3.1 Vanderbilt
27 3.1 Virginia
32 3.0 Chicago
32 3.0 Colorado
32 3.0 DePaul
32 3.0 George Mason
32 3.0 Richmond
32 3.0 UC-Davis
38 2.9 Boston College
38 2.9 Minnesota
38 2.9 William & Mary
41 2.8 Akron
41 2.8 Case Western
41 2.8 John Marshall (IL)
41 2.8 North Carolina
41 2.8 Northeastern
41 2.8 Ohio State
41 2.8 Washington Univ.
48 2.7 Cornell
48 2.7 Illinois
48 2.7 Loyola-Chicago
48 2.7 Suffolk
48 2.7 UC-Hastings

As I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of nine law school specialty programs:

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March 20, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Law School Rankings: Incentives, Culture, And Change In Legal Education

U.S. News Law (2019)Caleb N. Griffin (Regent), Incentives, Culture, and Change in American Legal Education, 87 U. Cin. L. Rev. 325 (2018):

In theory, law school rankings merely describe law schools as they are, providing basic details about each school that may be relevant to prospective law students. In practice, however, law school rankings have a tremendous influence on law students and the legal profession. For better or for worse, the rank of a given student’s school will often have a substantial impact on the arc of his or her legal career.

Rankings also have a tremendous influence on law schools themselves. One source of this influence is that a high ranking draws strong candidates, and strong candidates reinforce the high ranking. This phenomenon of self-reinforcement has the effect of cementing law schools in a relatively static position and obscuring important changes relevant to prospective students and legal employers.

But is this a problem? The status quo might be acceptable if law school rankings were based solely on objective data that measured factors in a way that was truly reflective of the needs of students, legal employers, and society at large. Such an ideal ranking would provide a useful service for prospective students, and it would incentivize law schools to engage in socially beneficial behavior.

This Article sets out to explore what factors ought to be used in an ideal ranking system.

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March 19, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

2020 U.S. News Health Care Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2020 U.S. News Health Care Law Rankings include the health care law programs at 129 law schools (the faculty survey had a 52% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 St. Louis
2 4.3 Georgia State
2 4.3 Loyola-Chicago
4 4.2 Boston University
5 4.1 Harvard
6 4.0 Georgetown
6 4.0 Houston
6 4.0 Maryland
9 3.9 Case Western
9 3.9 Northeastern
11 3.7 Indiana (McKinney)
11 3.7 Seton Hall
11 3.7 Stanford
11 3.7 UC-Hastings
15 3.5 American
16 3.4 Arizona State
16 3.4 Duke
16 3.4 Temple
16 3.4 Yale
20 3.3 Pennsylvania
21 3.2 Mitchell Hamline
21 3.2 Wake Forest
23 3.1 DePaul
23 3.1 Drexel
23 3.1 Michigan
23 3.1 Minnesota
27 3.0 Arizona
27 3.0 North Carolina
27 3.0 Ohio State
27 3.0 Pittsburgh
27 3.0 Virginia
32 2.9 George Washington
32 2.9 Texas
32 2.9 Washington Univ.
32 2.9 Wisconsin
36 2.8 Emory
36 2.8 UCLA
36 2.8 Univ. of Washington
36 2.8 UNLV
36 2.8 Utah
36 2.8 Vanderbilt
42 2.7 Georgia
42 2.7 Washington & Lee
44 2.6 Quinnipiac
44 2.6 UC-Berkeley
44 2.6 UC-Irvine
47 2.5 Chicago
47 2.5 Columbia
47 2.5 Indiana (Maurer)
47 2.5 Louisville
47 2.5 USC

As I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of nine law school specialty programs:

Continue reading

March 19, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Law School Rankings By Attractiveness To Students (25/50/75 LSAT/UGPA, Transfers In/Out)

CJ Ryan (Roger Williams) & Brian L. Frye (Kentucky), The 2019 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools:

In 2017, we published A Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, which presented the first (intentionally) objective ranking of law schools. Other law school rankings are subjective because their purpose is to tell prospective law students where to matriculate. Our “revealed-preferences” ranking is objective because its purpose is to ask where prospective law students actually choose to matriculate. In other words, subjective rankings tell students what they should want, but our objective ranking reveals what students actually want. These rankings were originally based on an average of the previous five-years of LSAT and GPA quartile and median averages for law schools. We updated these rankings with a 2018 ranking that focused exclusively on the 75th, median, and 25th quartiles of each of these measures for the entering class in Fall 2017. We have modified our rankings yet again to evaluate law schools based not only on their success at matriculating the most desirable first year law students, but also on their success at retaining those students and attracting transfer students.

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March 18, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

2020 U.S. News Environmental Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2020 U.S. News Environmental Law Rankings include the environmental law programs at 183 law schools (the faculty survey had a 55% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 Lewis & Clark
1 4.5 Pace
3 4.4 UC-Berkeley
4 4.3 UCLA
4 4.3 Vermont
6 4.1 Columbia
6 4.1 Harvard
8 4.0 Colorado
8 4.0 Georgetown
8 4.0 NYU
8 4.0 Oregon
8 4.0 Utah
13 3.9 Duke
13 3.9 Maryland
13 3.9 Vanderbilt
16 3.8 George Washington
16 3.8 Stanford
16 3.8 Tulane
19 3.7 Denver
19 3.7 Florida State
21 3.5 Arizona State
21 3.5 Florida
21 3.5 Houston
24 3.4 UC-Davis
24 3.4 Virginia
24 3.4 Yale
27 3.3 Boston College
27 3.3 Minnesota
27 3.3 Texas
30 3.2 Hawaii
30 3.2 Indiana (Maurer)
30 3.2 UC-Hastings
30 3.2 UC-Irvine
30 3.2 Univ. of Washington
35 3.1 Michigan
36 3.0 American
36 3.0 Arizona
36 3.0 William & Mary
39 2.9 Montana
39 2.9 Pennsylvania
41 2.8 BYU
41 2.8 Cornell
41 2.8 CUNY
41 2.8 Fordham
41 2.8 Loyola-New Orleans
41 2.8 North Carolina
41 2.8 Northwestern
41 2.8 Notre Dame
41 2.8 Widener (DE)
50 2.7 Emory
50 2.7 Idaho
50 2.7 Illinois
50 2.7 New Mexico
50 2.7 South Carolina
50 2.7 Wake Forest
50 2.7 Washington Univ.

As I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of nine law school specialty programs:

Continue reading

March 18, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 15, 2019

2020 U.S. News Clinical Training Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2020 U.S. News Clinical Training Rankings include the clinical training programs at 180 law schools (the faculty survey had a 65% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.6 Georgetown
2 4.4 American
3 4.3 CUNY
3 4.3 Yale
5 4.2 NYU
6 4.1 Michigan
7 4.0 Denver
7 4.0 Maryland
7 4.0 Stanford
7 4.0 UC-Berkeley
7 4.0 UC-Irvine
7 4.0 Washington Univ.
13 3.9 District of Columbia
13 3.9 Northwestern
15 3.8 Baltimore
15 3.8 New Mexico
15 3.8 Seattle
15 3.8 UC-Hastings
19 3.7 Fordham
19 3.7 Harvard
19 3.7 Suffolk
19 3.7 Tennessee
23 3.6 Columbia
23 3.6 Loyola-New Orleans
23 3.6 Pennsylvania
26 3.5 George Washington
26 3.5 Georgia State
26 3.5 Northeastern
26 3.5 Rutgers
26 3.5 Texas
26 3.5 UCLA
26 3.5 Univ. of Washington
33 3.4 Chicago
33 3.4 Georgia
33 3.4 Miami
33 3.4 Pepperdine
33 3.4 UC-Davis
33 3.4 Washington & Lee
33 3.4 Wisconsin
40 3.3 Boston College
40 3.3 Brooklyn
40 3.3 Drexel
40 3.3 Mitchell Hamline
40 3.3 South Carolina
40 3.3 Texas A&M
40 3.3 Tulane
40 3.3 UNLV
48 3.2 Alabama
48 3.2 Albany
48 3.2 Boston University
48 3.2 Duke
48 3.2 Indiana (Maurer)
48 3.2 Loyola-Chicago
48 3.2 Minnesota
48 3.2 North Carolina
48 3.2 Notre Dame
48 3.2 St. Thomas (MN)
48 3.2 Temple
48 3.2 Virginia
48 3.2 William & Mary

As I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of nine law school specialty programs:

Continue reading

March 15, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

2020 U.S. News Dispute Resolution Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2020 U.S. News Dispute Resolution Rankings include the dispute resolution programs at 92 law schools (the faculty survey had a 54% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 Ohio State
2 4.4 Pepperdine
3 4.3 Harvard
3 4.3 Missouri (Columbia)
5 4.1 Mitchell Hamline
5 4.1 UNLV
7 4.0 Oregon
8 3.9 Cardozo
8 3.9 Marquette
10 3.8 Arizona State
10 3.8 Northwestern
10 3.8 UC-Hastings
13 3.7 Maryland
13 3.7 Texas A&M
15 3.5 Quinnipiac
16 3.4 Suffolk
17 3.3 Columbia
17 3.3 Georgetown
17 3.3 Stanford
17 3.3 UC-Davis
21 3.2 Creighton
21 3.2 Fordham
21 3.2 Texas Tech
24 3.1 Florida
24 3.1 Lewis & Clark
24 3.1 Michigan
24 3.1 Nebraska
24 3.1 Texas
24 3.1 USC
24 3.1 Washington Univ.
31 3.0 South Texas
31 3.0 Stetson
31 3.0 UC-Berkeley
31 3.0 Willamette
35 2.9 Baltimore
35 2.9 Chicago-Kent
35 2.9 Kansas
35 2.9 Pace
35 2.9 Penn State (Dickinson)
35 2.9 Pennsylvania
35 2.9 St. John's
35 2.9 UCLA
35 2.9 Univ. of Washington
44 2.8 Arkansas (Little Rock)
44 2.8 Georgia State
44 2.8 Houston
44 2.8 Michigan State
44 2.8 Northeastern
44 2.8 NYU
44 2.8 William & Mary

As I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of the nine law school specialty programs:

Continue reading

March 14, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

2020 U.S. News Tax Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiAs I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of nine law school specialty programs:

Law school specialty rankings ... are based solely on peer assessments by law school faculty who teach in that specialty area. The peer assessment surveys for the specialty law school area rankings were conducted in fall 2018 and early 2019 by U.S. News.

This year for the first time, law school faculty members who teach in each specialty area rated the other law schools in that specialty area on a 5-point scale. Those schools with the highest average scores among those raters who rated them appear in the rankings and are ranked in descending order based on their average peer score they received in that specialty area. In all the previous law school specialty rankings, the law school raters chose their top 15 in a specialty area. This new methodology produced a significantly larger number of schools that were ranked in each specialty area – in some cases five or six times more. ... [A]ll programs that received 10 or more ratings are numerically ranked in that specialty. Schools with less than 10 ratings in a specialty aren't listed. [The response rate of the tax faculty survey was 50%.].

The new 2020 U.S. News Tax Rankings include the tax programs at 175 law schools. Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.9 NYU
2 4.5 Georgetown
3 4.4 Florida
4 4.2 Northwestern
5 4.1 Virginia
6 4.0 Columbia
6 4.0 Stanford
8 3.9 Harvard
8 3.9 UC-Irvine
8 3.9 UCLA
11 3.8 Chicago
11 3.8 Michigan
11 3.8 Pennsylvania
14 3.7 Boston College
14 3.7 Boston University
14 3.7 Duke
14 3.7 Loyola-L.A.
14 3.7 USC
14 3.7 Texas
20 3.6 Indiana (Maurer)
20 3.6 Yale
22 3.5 San Diego
23 3.4 UC-Berkeley
24 3.2 Miami
25 3.1 Temple
25 3.1 UC-Hastings
25 3.1 Minnesota
25 3.1 North Carolina
25 3.1 Pittsburgh
25 3.1 Univ. of Washington
25 3.1 Villanova
32 3.0 Florida State
32 3.0 Fordham
32 3.0 George Washington
32 3.0 Pepperdine
32 3.0 UC-Davis
37 2.9 BYU
37 2.9 Alabama
37 2.9 Georgia
37 2.9 Houston
37 2.9 Washington & Lee
37 2.9 Washington Univ.
43 2.8 Arizona State
43 2.8 Georgia State
43 2.8 Notre Dame
46 2.7 Brooklyn
46 2.7 Emory
46 2.7 Ohio State
46 2.7 Tulane
46 2.7 Illinois
46 2.7 Iowa
46 2.7 William & Mary

Among the law schools in the tax rankings last year, ranked last year Here are the biggest upward moves:

  • +13:  Stanford (#6)
  • +8:  Chicago (#11), Penn (#11)
  • +6:  Columbia (#6)
  • +5:  Duke (#14)

Here are the biggest downward moves:

  • -30:  Denver (55)
  • -8:  Univ. of Washington (#25)
  • -7:  Boston University (#14)
  • -6:  Loyola-L.A. (#14), San Diego (#22)
  • -5:  Yale (#20)

Here are the rankings of law schools with graduate tax programs:

Continue reading

March 13, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Rankings | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

2020 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiContinuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2019), here is the full list of the 192 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2020 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology here):

Peer Rank Peer Score School Overall Rank
1 4.9 Stanford 2
1 4.9 Harvard 3
3 4.8 Yale 1
4 4.7 Chicago 4
4 4.7 Columbia 5
6 4.6 NYU 6
7 4.4 Penn 7
7 4.4 Virginia 8
7 4.4 Michigan 9
7 4.4 UC-Berkeley 10
11 4.3 Cornell 13
12 4.2 Duke 10
12 4.2 Northwestern 10
12 4.2 Georgetown 14
15 4.1 UCLA 15
15 4.1 Texas 16
17 4.0 Vanderbilt 18
18 3.7 USC 17
18 3.7 Washington Univ. 18
20 3.6 Minnesota 20
21 3.5 Notre Dame 21
21 3.5 George Washington 22
21 3.5 Boston University 23
21 3.5 UC-Irvine 23
21 3.5 Emory 26
26 3.4 Boston College 27
26 3.4 UC-Davis 31
26 3.4 North Carolina 34
29 3.3 Georgia 27
29 3.3 Iowa 27
29 3.3 Florida 31
29 3.3 Indiana (Maurer) 34
29 3.3 Ohio State 34
29 3.3 Wisconsin 34
29 3.3 Fordham 39
29 3.3 William & Mary 39
29 3.3 Univ. of Washington 44
38 3.2 Alabama 25
38 3.2 Arizona State 27
38 3.2 Washington & Lee 34
38 3.2 Arizona 39
38 3.2 Illinois 39
43 3.1 Wake Forest 31
43 3.1 Colorado 45
43 3.1 Florida State 48
43 3.1 UC-Hastings 62
47 3.0 Tulane 52
47 3.0 Maryland 52
49 2.9 BYU 39
49 2.9 Utah 47
49 2.9 Connecticut 52
52 2.8 Cardozo 52
52 2.8 Denver 67
52 2.8 Miami 67
52 2.8 American 77
52 2.8 Oregon 83
57 2.7 George Mason 45
57 2.7 Temple 48
57 2.7 Pepperdine 51
57 2.7 SMU 52
57 2.7 Richmond 52
57 2.7 Houston 59
57 2.7 Loyola-L.A. 62
57 2.7 Georgia State 67
57 2.7 Pittsburgh 77
57 2.7 San Diego 86
67 2.6 UNLV 58
67 2.6 Tennessee 59
67 2.6 Missouri (Columbia) 64
67 2.6 Kansas 67
67 2.6 Brooklyn 71
67 2.6 Case Western 71
67 2.6 Kentucky 71
67 2.6 Loyola-Chicago 77
67 2.6 Rutgers 77
67 2.6 Chicago-Kent 87
67 2.6 Howard 108
78 2.5 Seton Hall 59
78 2.5 Northeastern 64
78 2.5 Oklahoma 71
78 2.5 Villanova 71
78 2.5 Hawaii 91
78 2.5 South Carolina 91
78 2.5 Santa Clara 104
78 2.5 Indiana (McKinney) 108
86 2.4 Baylor 48
86 2.4 Penn State (Univ. Park) 64
86 2.4 Nebraska 77
86 2.4 Texas A&M 83
86 2.4 Cincinnati 83
86 2.4 Michigan State 91
86 2.4 New Mexico 91
86 2.4 Lewis & Clark 104
94 2.3 St. John's 77
94 2.3 St. Louis 90
94 2.3 Marquette 91
94 2.3 Syracuse 91
94 2.3 Arkansas (Fayetteville) 91
94 2.3 Seattle 122
100 2.2 Penn State (Dickinson) 71
100 2.2 Drexel 100
100 2.2 Hofstra 100
100 2.2 LSU 100
100 2.2 West Virginia 100
100 2.2 SUNY-Buffalo 104
100 2.2 CUNY 108
100 2.2 Univ. of Mississippi 108
100 2.2 Missouri (Kansas City) 108
100 2.2 Maine 126
100 2.2 DePaul 132
100 2.2 Arkansas (Little Rock) 143
112 2.1 New Hampshire 87
112 2.1 Florida Int'l 91
112 2.1 Wayne State 91
112 2.1 Stetson 104
112 2.1 Catholic 108
112 2.1 Louisville 108
112 2.1 Montana 115
112 2.1 Gonzaga 117
112 2.1 Baltimore 126
112 2.1 Idaho 126
112 2.1 Loyola-New Orleans 138
123 2.0 Tulsa 87
123 2.0 Albany 115
123 2.0 Wyoming 132
123 2.0 Suffolk 143
127 1.9 Creighton 117
127 1.9 New York Law School 117
127 1.9 Texas Tech 117
127 1.9 St. Thomas (MN) 117
127 1.9 Drake 122
127 1.9 Pace 122
127 1.9 Quinnipiac 126
127 1.9 Toledo 126
127 1.9 Chapman 132
127 1.9 Washburn 132
127 1.9 Vermont 136
127 1.9 Mercer 138
127 1.9 San Francisco Tier 2
127 1.9 Pacific Tier 2
127 1.9 Willamette Tier 2
142 1.8 Duquesne 122
142 1.8 Cleveland State 126
142 1.8 Memphis 138
142 1.8 South Dakota 138
142 1.8 Akron 143
142 1.8 Mitchell-Hamline Tier 2
142 1.8 Southwestern Tier 2
142 1.8 North Dakota Tier 2
142 1.8 Widener (DE) Tier 2
151 1.7 Roger Williams Tier 2
151 1.7 John Marshall (IL) Tier 2
151 1.7 Dayton Tier 2
154 1.6 Elon Tier 2
154 1.6 N. Illinois Tier 2
154 1.6 Nova Tier 2
154 1.6 Samford Tier 2
154 1.6 South Texas Tier 2
154 1.6 S. Illinois Tier 2
154 1.6 St. Mary's Tier 2
161 1.5 Ohio Northern 136
161 1.5 Cal-Western Tier 2
161 1.5 Campbell Tier 2
161 1.5 Florida A&M Tier 2
161 1.5 Golden Gate Tier 2
161 1.5 Mississippi College Tier 2
161 1.5 New England Tier 2
161 1.5 NC Central Tier 2
161 1.5 N. Kentucky Tier 2
161 1.5 Oklahoma City Tier 2
161 1.5 St. Thomas (FL) Tier 2
161 1.5 Touro Tier 2
161 1.5 Detroit Mercy Tier 2
161 1.5 UMass Tier 2
161 1.5 District of Columbia Tier 2
161 1.5 Widener (PA) Tier 2
177 1.4 Belmont 138
177 1.4 Capital Tier 2
177 1.4 Southern Tier 2
177 1.4 Texas Southern Tier 2
177 1.4 W. New England Tier 2
182 1.2 Appalachian Tier 2
182 1.2 Ave Maria Tier 2
182 1.2 Barry Tier 2
182 1.2 Charleston Tier 2
182 1.2 Faulkner Tier 2
182 1.2 Florida Coastal Tier 2
182 1.2 Liberty Tier 2
182 1.2 Regent Tier 2
182 1.2 La Verne Tier 2
191 1.1 W. Mich. Cooley Tier 2
191 1.1 Western State Tier 2

2020 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

Prior Years' U.S. News Peer Reputation And Overall Rankings:

Continue reading

March 12, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Pepperdine’s Place In The 2020 U.S. News Law School Rankings

U.S. News Law (2019)By now many of you have seen the news that Pepperdine Law has risen to #51 in the 2020 U.S. News Law School Rankings. Our rise is especially gratifying in light of the decision by U.S. News last year to remove us from the rankings when we self-reported a single data reporting error one week before the publication date (for more details, see the links at the bottom of this post).

We have improved our ranking from #72 in 2017 to (unofficially) #62 in 2018 and #51 in 2019. This 21-point increase in our ranking over the past two years is the largest increase of any law school among the Top 100 law schools as ranked by U.S. News. We are in the second year of our plan to reduce the size of the student body by 20% to increase the quality of all aspects of our academic program.

We do not chase rankings at Pepperdine Law. Every decision we make is guided by a single question: what is in the best interest of our students? Often those decisions produce a rankings benefit as well, and we gladly reap those results. I am proud that our rankings rise is driven by the increasing selectivity of our incoming 1L class, the improved outcomes achieved by our graduates, the additional resources we have been able to deploy to improve our students’ educational experience, and our growing reputation among legal academics, lawyers, and judges.

Pepperdine Law also was recognized by U.S. News for excellence in several specialty programs in rankings voted on by faculty in those fields, including rankings of #2 in dispute resolution, #32 in tax law, and #33 in clinical training.

This news is especially meaningful to us following the Woolsey Fire last August which caused massive destruction in Malibu and threatened Pepperdine. Thanks to great planning by our university and the heroic efforts of firefighters on the ground and in the air, not a single building on campus was lost (for more, see the links at the bottom of this post).

Fire High Res 5 (No Ocean)

I have a confession to make. Our annual law school dinner is ordinarily held each year in early March. But after last year’s rankings hiccup, I decided to move this year’s dinner to March 30 so it would take place after the release of the new law school rankings. I was so confident about the direction of our law school that we decided that the theme of this year’s dinner would be that Pepperdine Law is “on the rise.” As I wrote when we re-opened the law school after being closed for 17 days after the fire (and following my emergency surgery for detached retinas in both of my eyes), Pepperdine Law Rises From The Ashes: Better, Stronger, United.

Dinner

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage of Pepperdine's 2019 U.S. News ranking: 

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage of the impact of the Woolsey Fire on Pepperdine:

Update

Law.com, Latest US News Law School Ranking Offers Few Surprises:

Back on the list this year is Pepperdine University School of Law, which nearly cracked the top 50, coming in at No. 51. U.S. News left Pepperdine off the rankings last year after the school flagged a mistake in the figures it had reported to U.S. News pertaining to the median LSAT score of its newest class. (U.S. News provides each school an early copy of the list to check the accuracy of the data.) School administrators predicted that Pepperdine would have claimed the 62nd position had the correct LSAT number been factored in. The school’s last official ranking was No. 72.

Pepperdine law dean Paul Caron said he believes his widely read TaxProfBlog has helped spread the word about the law school and raise awareness of its strengths. That exposure, coupled with the stronger credentials and employment outcomes that the school has achieved due to smaller class sizes, has bolstered its ranking, he said.

“Our law school dinner is ordinarily held each year in early March,” Caron said. “But after last year’s rankings hiccup, I decided to move this year’s dinner to March 30 so it would take place after the release of the new law school rankings. I was so confident about the direction of our law school that we decided that the theme of this year’s dinner would be that Pepperdine Law is ‘on the rise.’ I am glad I was right, or it would have been a very awkward dinner!”

The Recorder, Stanford Holds Steady, USC Jumps 2 Spots In Latest US News Law School Ranking:

This year's list is unusually stable compared with previous years. But Pepperdine University School of Law nearly cracked the top 50 after the school was omitted from the list last year after flagging a mistake in the figures it reported pertaining to the median LSAT score of its newest class.

Above the Law, This Law School Had A Great Year — At Least According To The Latest U.S. News Rankings:

After a big snafu last year, the law school's back on track.

According to the leaked U.S. News Law School Rankings for 2020, what school’s ranking increased the most?

Hint: Due to some misreporting, the school was unranked in the 2019 rankings, but the 2020 list puts them up 21 spots from where they were in 2018.

Answer: Pepperdine. You can find out all about last years rankings misadventure for the school here, and read all about this year’s rankings here.

Above the Law, The LEAKED 2020 U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Here:

Way to go, Pepperdine! After a rankings hiccup last year that landed the school among the unranked thanks to some misreporting, the school has soared.

March 12, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, March 11, 2019

How The U.S. News Scholarly Impact Rankings Could Hurt Niche Subjects

U.S. News Law (2019)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Jeff Sovern (St. John's), How the New US News Scholarly Impact Ranking Could Hurt Niche Subjects, Like Consumer Law:

There's been a lot of talk among law professors about the US News plan to measure faculty scholarly impact in part by citations to faculty scholarship (see here for a blog post citing to commentary).  While for now US News says it will not incorporate the citation rankings into its general law school rankings, US News may in the future replace the faculty reputation measure to some extent with a measure of how frequently professors are cited.  That could create disturbing incentives for faculty hiring and retention, as well as affect what professors write about. 

To be more concrete, imagine that a law school is hiring a new professor and has two candidates.  One candidate writes about criminal law and the other writes about consumer law.  The law school wants to maximize its ranking, and so wants to hire the candidate whose work will be cited more.  The universe of people writing scholarly articles about criminal law is much larger than the universe of professors writing about consumer law, and so, all other things being equal, the criminal law professor is likely to rack up more citations and so help with the school's ranking more.  ...

This isn't just bad for consumer law scholars. It's also bad for consumer law, and indeed any subject that isn't taught at all or nearly all law schools.

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March 11, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Muller: Gaming The New U.S. News Citation Rankings

U.S. News Law (2019)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Gaming Out Hein Citation Metrics in a USNWR Rankings System:

There are two reasons to be worried—non-random biases and law school administrative reactions. ... [M]y colleague Professor Rob Anderson notes one virtue of the Sisk rankings that are not currently present in Hein citation counts: “The key here is ensuring that Hein and US News take into account citations TO interdisciplinary work FROM law reviews, not just citations TO law reviews FROM law reviews as it appears they might do. That would be too narrow. Sisk currently captures these interdisciplinary citations FROM law reviews, and it is important for Hein to do the same. The same applies to books.” 

We simply don’t know (yet) whether these institutional biases exist or how they’ll play out. But I have a few preliminary graphics on this front.

It’s not clear how Hein will measure things. Sisk-Leiter measures things using a formula of 2*mean citations plus median citations. The USNWR metric may use mean citations plus median citations, plus publications.

Understanding that Sisk-Leiter is an approximation for Hein at this point, we can show the relationship between the top 70 or so schools in the Sisk-Leiter score (and a few schools we have estimates for at the bottom of the range), and the relationship of those schools to their peer scores.

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March 6, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Thursday, February 21, 2019

U.S. News Updates FAQ On Law School Scholarly Impact Rankings To Address Inclusion Of Non-Doctrinal Faculty

U.S. News Law (2019)Following up on my previous post, U.S. News FAQ: Law School Scholarly Impact Rankings:  U.S. News has updated the FAQ with this new paragraph:

Which faculty will be included in the scholarly impact rankings?
US News is requesting from each law school a list of all fall 2018 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty. US News is also requesting that each law school identify each of these faculty members as doctrinal faculty, clinicians, librarians, legal writing faculty, or externship instructors. US News is still evaluating whether and how non-doctrinal faculty will be included in the rankings. At the time the rankings are published U.S. News will publish a methodology (see below), including a description of which faculty were included in the scholarly impact analysis.

Prior coverage of the U.S. News Faculty Scholarly Impact Rankings:

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February 21, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Law Prof Commentary On The U.S. News Faculty Scholarly Impact Rankings

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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February 19, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2020 U.S. News Law School Rankings


U.S. News Law (2019)Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News & World Report) announced today that the new 2020 law school rankings will be released on Tuesday, March 12. Here is my coverage of the current 2019 law school rankings:

February 19, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)