TaxProf Blog

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

2018 ABA Data Show Continued Decline In Number And Percentage Of Transfers

This blog posting updates my blog postings of December 2014, December 2015, March 2017, and December 2018 regarding what we know about the transfer market. With the release of the 2018 Standard 509 Reports, we know have five years of more detailed transfer data from which to glean insights about the transfer market among law schools.

NUMBERS AND PERCENTAGES OF TRANSFERS: 2011-2018

The number of transfers decreased to 1494 (4%), continuing a steady decline since a peak of 2,501 (5.8%) in 2013. It is also the lowest number and percentage of transfers we have seen since at least 2011.

For the last five years, the transfer market has not been growing, it has been shrinking, having declined from 5.8% in 2013, to 5.2% in 2015, to 4.8% in 2017, to 4.0% in 2018.

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Number of Transfers

2495

2438

2501

2187

1979

1749

1797

1494

Previous Year First Year Enrollment

52,000

47,600

43,200

39,800

38,000

37,100

37,100

37,300

%   of Previous First-Year Total

4.8%

5.1%

5.8%

5.5%

5.2%

4.7%

4.8%

4.0%

SOME LAW SCHOOLS CONTINUE TO DOMINATE THE TRANSFER MARKET

The following two charts list the top 15 law schools participating in the transfer market in descending order in Summer 2015 (fall 2014 entering class), Summer 2016 (fall 2015 entering class), Summer 2017 (fall 2016 entering class), and Summer 2018 (fall 2017 entering class). One chart is based on “numbers” of transfers and the other chart is based on the number of transfer students as a percentage of the prior year’s first year class.

Note that in these two charts, the “repeat players” are bolded – those schools in the top 15 for all four years are in black, those schools in the top 15 for three of the four years are in blue.  Nine of the top 15 have been on the list for the largest number of transfers all four years.  Even though George Washington remains one of these nine law schools, the number of transfers it has accepted has declined from over 100 in 2015 and 2016, to 67 in 2017, to 31 in 2018.

Largest Law Schools by Number of Transfers from 2015-2017

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December 17, 2018 in Jerry Organ, Law School, Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

U.S. News Rejects Democratic Senators' Demand To Change Its Rankings Methodology

U.S. News Generic RankingsChronicle of Higher Education, In Unusual Letter, Democratic Senators Ask ‘U.S. News’ to Change Emphasis of College Rankings:

A handful of Democratic senators want an influential ranker of colleges to reconsider what’s important in higher education.

Specifically, the six senators wrote in a letter to U.S. News & World Report, compiler of the most prominent college rankings in the country, that more weight should be given to institutions that open their doors to students from underrepresented backgrounds.

“We urge U.S. News to use its influential platform to better align its rankings with the three longstanding goals behind federal financial aid: improving college access, supporting student success, and providing every talented student a pathway to economic stability and meaningful participation in our country’s economic, social, and civic life,” they wrote in the letter, released on Monday.

College leaders, too, have warned that the nation’s obsessive focus on the ubiquitous rankings may carry significant costs. U.S. News appears to have gotten the message, at least in part. It tweaked this year’s rankings to give greater weight to the graduation rates of students who receive Pell Grants. But the new measures are only a sliver of the statistics that determine an institution’s ranking.

The magazine also removed from the formula a college’s acceptance rate and reduced the importance of students’ standardized-test scores and high-school class standing, the type of markers more commonly associated with students who come from wealthier families.

The senators acknowledged the “modest improvements” the publication had made in its ranking formula, but wrote that more needed to be done.

U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News Responds to Senators on Social Mobility in the Best Colleges Rankings:

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December 6, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Princeton Review's Best 165 Law Schools (2019 Edition)

Princeton ReviewThe Princeton Review has published the 2019 edition of The Best 165 Law Schools (press release) (FAQs) (methodology):

The Princeton Review tallied its lists based on its surveys of 17,700 students attending the 165 law schools [an average of 107 per school] in 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18. The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their experiences. Some ranking list tallies also factored in school-reported data.

Best Professors:  Based on student answers to survey questions concerning how good their professors are as teachers and how accessible they are outside the classroom.

  1. Virginia
  2. Duke
  3. Chicago
  4. Stanford
  5. Washington & Lee
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Pepperdine
  8. Boston College
  9. Vanderbilt
  10. Boston University

Best Quality of Life:  Based on student answers to survey questions on: whether there is a strong sense of community at the school, whether differing opinions are tolerated in the classroom, the location of the school, the quality of social life at the school, the school's research resources (library, computer and database resources).

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November 27, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Big Change In The U.S. News Law School Specialty Rankings

U.S. News Law (2019)U.S. News Report is making a dramatic change in their ranking of nine law school specialty programs (Clinical Training, Dispute Resolution, Environmental, Health Care, Intellectual Property, International, Legal Writing, Tax, Trial Advocacy).  Since their inception, the specialty ranking ballots have asked professors teaching in those areas to identify up to a given number (currently 15) of law schools having the top programs in the area.  This year, the ballots give faculty the opportunity to rank all 200 law schools on a 1-5 scale, the approach used in the overall peer reputation survey:

Please review the entire list of law schools before rating individual programs. Identify the law schools you are familiar with, and then rate the overall academic quality of their _____ law courses or programs. In making your choices consider all elements that contribute to a program's academic excellence, the depth and breadth of the program, faculty research and publication record, etc. Rate programs on a scale of outstanding (5) to marginal (1). If you are not familiar with a school’s faculty, programs and graduates, please mark “No answer.”

US News

I contacted Robert Morse, Director of Data Research at U.S. News, for an explanation of the change.  His answer:

Our intent/goal is to enable more programs to get enough ratings to be ranked. We don’t expect raters to have in depth knowledge of a specialty in all schools. We do believe they likely know more than 15. They should definitely only rate the schools they know. Our intent/plan is that the law specialties rankings would be based on the average peer score and we would show the average score so there would be more of understanding of the “difference” between schools. 4.8 vs 3.2 for example.

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November 20, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Elite Teaching The Elite: Who Gets Hired By The Top Law Schools?

Eric Segall (Georgia State) & Adam Feldman (USC), The Elite Teaching the Elite: Who Gets Hired by the Top Law Schools?:

Do you want to teach at a top 25 law school? If so, you had better excel at something you will encounter years before you will even consider applying to be a law professor. Something that has no relationship at all to the skills academics need. You better score extremely high on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) (or now at some schools the GRE). If you don’t score towards the very top, you will likely not be admitted to a top 10 ranked law school. And if you do not attend a top 10 ranked law school, no matter what you accomplish during the school you do attend (even a top 20 school) or afterwards, your chances of teaching at a top law school are virtually non-existent. The reality is that by far the most important credential one needs to teach at a top law school is to attend a top law school. The elite, teaching the elite, who will then teach more elites.

Top 10(1)

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November 15, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (12)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

July 2018 New York Bar Exam Results: NYU #1

NYSBA (2017)The July 2018 New York bar passage rates by law school are out. Here are the results for first time test takers for the 15 New York ABA-approved law schools, along with each school's U.S. News ranking (New York and overall).

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)

 

School

US News Rank

NY (Overall)

1 (98.4%)

NYU

2 (6)

2 (98.3%)

Columbia

1 (5)

3 (94.1%)

Cornell

3 (13)

4 (89.1%)

Fordham

4 (37)

5 (86.7%)

St. John's

6 (83)

6 (83.5%)

Syracuse

8 (88)

83.0%

Statewide Average

7 (80.5%)

Cardozo

5 (56)

8 (75.9%)

Albany

9 (106)

9 (73.8%)

CUNY

13 (125)

10 (72.3%)

Brooklyn

6 (83)

11 (70.2%)

SUNY-Buffalo

9 (106)

12 (65.9%)

Pace

13 (125)

13 (64.1%)

New York Law School

11 (110)

14 (62.0%)

Hofstra

11 (110)

15 (48.6%)

Touro

15 (Tier 2)

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November 14, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 9, 2018

Scholars With Surnames Beginning With Letters Early In The Alphabet Have An Unfair Advantage In Citation Studies

Jeffrey R. Stevens (Nebraska) & Juan F. Duque (Arcadia), Order Matters: Alphabetizing In-Text Citations Biases Citation Rates, Psychonomic Bulletin & Reviews (2018):

Though citations are critical for communicating science and evaluating scholarly success, properties unrelated to the quality of the work—such as cognitive biases—can influence citation decisions. The primacy effect, in particular, is relevant to lists, which for in-text citations could result in citations earlier in the list receiving more attention than those later in the list. Therefore, how citations are ordered could influence which citations receive the most attention. Using a sample of 150,000 articles, we tested whether alphabetizing in-text citations biases readers into citing more often articles with first authors whose surnames begin with letters early in the alphabet.

We found that surnames earlier in the alphabet were cited more often than those later in the alphabet when journals ordered citations alphabetically compared with chronologically or numerically.

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November 9, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Which Law Schools Overperform And Underperform On The Bar Exam?

Jeffrey Kinsler (Former Dean, Belmont) & Jeffrey Omar Usman (Belmont), Law Schools, Bar Passage, and Under and Over-Performing Expectations, 36 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 183 (2018):

The focus of this article is to build a foundation for exploring whether there is a meaningful solution to help address the bar passage problem that can be found looking to the legal education programs of law schools that are particularly successful in preparing students to pass the bar exam. To accomplish this aim, a critical and essential step is to begin to identify the law schools that are adding the most in terms of assisting their students to pass the bar exam. That first critical step is the step taken by this article. A common-sense assumption, which finds support in this article, is that students with lower UGPAs and LSAT scores are less likely to pass the bar exam than students with higher UGPAs and LSAT scores. The central question this article explores is that once a predicted bar passage rate is calculated based upon UGPA and LSAT scores, what law schools are over-performing and what law schools are under performing in terms of preparing their students to pass the bar exam?

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November 1, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Economist MBA Rankings

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Arizona Summit And Valparaiso Law Schools To Close

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Sokol: Citation Rankings Should Be Based Only On The Top 10 Faculty At Each School

SokolTaxProf Blog op-ed:  A New Way of Thinking About the Sisk Rankings — Inspired by a Starting 5 NBA Approach, by Daniel Sokol (Florida):

The Sisk rankings, which rank US law faculties based on mean and median citation counts, came out last month. Many Deans and faculty members spend lots of time discussing the most impactful faculties based on the rankings. After having a conversation with a friend at another institution, I am convinced that the Sisk rankings have it (partially) wrong. While it is interesting to see which non-scholars bring down particular faculties in terms of school-wide rankings or which significant individual pickups lead to a big increase (Orin Kerr and Herb Hovenkamp, for example, this last time around), school-wide rankings do not accurately reflect the impact of a school. The rankings tend to benefit schools with smaller faculties where one or two faculty members with high citations make up for a number of less productive or inactive scholars. 

I propose an alternative measurement to augment the Sisk rankings. I draw upon my NBA watching experience to explain. The biggest difference between the NBA regular season and playoffs in the NBA is largely one of a shrinking rotation.  You want your better players on the floor longer because that is how you win games. Typically, but not always, your starting five players are your best players on the team and get the most minutes. Why don't we treat the faculty rankings in a similar way?

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October 3, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 21, 2018

University Of Alabama Law School Receives $26.5 Million Naming Gift; Donor Hopes For Top 10-15 Ranking

Alabama Logo (2018)UA Law School Named for Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. in Recognition of $26.5 Million Donation:

The University of Alabama School of Law announced today a $26.5 million donation from prominent business executive and attorney Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr.

To honor Culverhouse’s impact and generosity, the UA School of Law will now bear his name, becoming the Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law at The University of Alabama.

The commitment includes a $25 million gift, the largest in the University’s 187-year history. The gift will be funded over four years; more than $11.5 million of the total donation has already been received.

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September 21, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Symposium: Legal Issues Surrounding Race, Religion, Gender And Class

Symposium, Finding Unique Ways To Solve Legal Issues Surrounding Race, Religion, Gender and Class, 18 U. Md. L.J. Race, Religion, Gender & Class 1-234 (2018):

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September 18, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 2018 Florida Bar Exam Results: Florida International Is #1 For 4h Year In A Row

Florida Bar 2The July 2018 Florida bar passage rates by school are out. The overall pass rate for first-time takers is 67.2%, down 4.1 percentage points from last year. For the fourth 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 (88.1%)

Florida Int'l

5 (101)

2 (84.8%)

Florida State

2 (47)

3 (83.2%)

Miami

3 (65)

4 (70.9%)

Florida 

1 (41)

5 (70.2%)

St. Thomas

Tier 2

6 (67.2%)

Stetson

4 (98)

7 (62.5%)

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

8 (58.5%)

Ave Maria

Tier 2

9 (50.6%)

Florida A&M

Tier 2

10 (45.2%)

Barry

Tier 2

11 (42.9%)

Nova

Tier 2

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September 18, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

More On The New U.S. News College Rankings

Friday, September 14, 2018

A College President's 'Modest Proposal' To Reform The U.S. News Rankings

USNChronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  The ‘U.S. News’ College Rankings: A Modest Proposal, by Brian Rosenberg (President, Macalester College):

As I enter my 16th year as a college president, it is long past time for me to correct an oversight about which I have been in recent times most troubled. 

I want to thank the good people at U.S. News & World Report for generously and wisely deciding to rank colleges and universities. ... [I]t is painful to think back to the days before 1983 — the first year of what I shall hereafter call The Rankings — a time when prospective college students were forced to select an institution without a number affixed to its name. Even to imagine a time when the distinction between College #37 and College #39 was concealed from the consumer is difficult. ...

Even the most successful of human endeavors, however, can aspire to be better, so, while of course deferring in the end to their greater wisdom, I would like to offer to the compilers of The Rankings a modest proposal for their improvement that would save time and effort and offer greater benefits to colleges and their future students.

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September 14, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

2019 U.S. News College Rankings

US NewsU.S. News & World Report has released its 2019 College Rankings. Here are the Top 25 National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges (along with their 2016-2018 rankings):

2019

Rank

 

National Universities

2018

Rank

2017

Rank

2016

Rank

1

Princeton

1

1

1

2

Harvard

2

2

2

3

Chicago

3

3

3

3

Columbia

5

5

4

3

MIT

5

7

7

3

Yale

3

3

3

7

Stanford

5

5

4

8

Duke

9

8

8

8

Penn

8

8

9

10

Johns Hopkins

11

10

10

10

Northwestern

11

12

12

12

Cal-Tech

10

12

10

12

Dartmouth

11

11

12

14

Brown

14

14

14

14

Vanderbilt

14

15

16

16

Cornell

14

15

15

16

Rice

14

15

18

18

Notre Dame

18

15

18

19

UCLA

21

24

23

19

Washington (St. Louis)

18

19

15

21

Emory

21

20

21

22

Georgetown

20

20

21

22

UC-Berkeley

21

20

20

22

USC

21

23

22

25

Carnegie Mellon

25

24

23

25

Virginia

25

24

26

Pepperdine is ranked #46 (tied with Georgia and Illinois).

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September 12, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

8 Colleges Benefited From Misreported Data In Recruiting Fall 2018 Class; U.S. News Pulled Their Rankings Last Week, But They Will Be Included In New Rankings Released Sept. 10 For Recruiting Fall 2019 Class

US News 2U.S. News & World Report, Updates to 8 Schools' 2018 Best Colleges Rankings Data:

Eight schools notified U.S. News & World Report that they misreported data used to calculate their rankings for the 2018 edition of Best Colleges. The schools are Austin Peay State University, Dakota Wesleyan University, Drury University, Hampton University, Oklahoma City University, Randolph College, Saint Martin's University and St. Louis University.

The misreporting by each school resulted in their numerical ranks being higher than they otherwise would have been. Because of the discrepancies, U.S. News has moved the schools to the "Unranked" category, meaning they do not receive numerical ranks.

All eight schools' Unranked status will last until the publication of the next edition of the Best Colleges rankings [Sept. 10] and until the schools confirm the accuracy of their next data submission in accordance with U.S. News' requirements. All other schools' rankings in the 2018 Best Colleges will remain the same on usnews.com.

Inside Higher Ed, 8 More Colleges Submitted Incorrect Data for Rankings:

The eight new colleges are blaming human error, not malice, for the flaws in their data. And the colleges themselves told U.S. News about the errors.

A summary by U.S. News of rankings problems is as follows:

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August 28, 2018 in Law School Rankings | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Balkin: The Most Cited Women In American Legal Scholarship

Following up on my previous posts:

Jack Balkin (Yale), The Most Cited Women in American Legal Scholarship:

This is my very rough attempt at a list of the most cited women in American legal scholarship today. It looks at citation counts on Westlaw between 2013 and 2017. ...

Balkin lists the 32 most-cited women.  Here are the Top 10:

 

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Reva Siegel

Yale

1340

62

2

Michelle Alexander

Union

1030

50

3

Judith Resnik

Yale

1000

68

4

Deborah Rhode

Stanford

980

66

5

Martha Nussbaum

Chicago

930

71

6

Lee Epstein

Washington U.

840

60

7

Martha Minow

Harvard

820

63

8

Jody Freeman

Harvard

800

54

9

Catharine MacKinnon

Michigan

780

71

10

Rachel Barkow

NYU

775

47

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August 27, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Anderson: Google Scholar 2018 Law Review Rankings

Google Scholar (2015)Following up on my previous post, 2018 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews:  Rob Anderson (Pepperdine), Google Scholar Metrics 2018 Law Review Rankings:

Google Scholar has released its 2018 Scholar Metrics data, and the new law review rankings are available here. I have published these rankings for law reviews for most of the past several years, although they have often stimulated some controversy

This year, I decided to compare the Scholar Metrics results with the widely used Washington and Lee law review rankings. ...

Note that you can click the hyperlinked numbers in the “Google h5-index” column to see the most cited articles published in the last five years for each journal.

Rank

Journal

Google h5-index

Google h-median

Google Avg

W&L Combined

W&L Journals

1

Harvard 

45

76

60.5

100

6240

2

Yale 

45

67

56

94.7

5539

3

Columbia 

34

61

47.5

78.6

4260

4

Pennsylvania

34

60

47

74.8

4204

5

Stanford

36

56

46

73.2

4005

6

L. & Hum. Behavior

34

48

41

7.2

394

7

Georgetown

31

49

40

77.6

4223

8

California

27

53

40

60.3

3269

9

Cornell

31

48

39.5

60.1

3030

10

Am. J. Int'l L.

26

53

39.5

24.2

1490

11

Texas

29

49

39

61.7

3646

12

Fordham

31

46

38.5

61.4

3661

13

NYU

31

44

37.5

63

3277

14

Virginia

29

46

37.5

55.4

3174

15

J. L., Med. & Ethics

32

40

36

11.3

700

16

UCLA

29

41

35

60.5

3256

17

Minnesota

28

41

34.5

62.8

3376

18

University of Chicago

31

38

34.5

48.9

2873

19

J. L. & Econ.

25

43

34

8.8

462

20

Iowa

29

38

33.5

60.6

3229

21

Vanderbilt

25

41

33

52.6

2842

22

Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y

23

41

32

33.7

1798

23

Duke

26

37

31.5

60.1

3030

24

Michigan

28

34

31

69

3540

25

Boston University

26

35

30.5

52.2

2997

Rob Anderson (Pepperdine), 2018 Law Review Rankings from Google Scholar Metrics:

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August 21, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 20, 2018

New Research Shows Extent Of Gender Gap In Citations

THEFollowing up on last week's posts:

Inside Higher Ed, New Research Shows Extent of Gender Gap in Citations:

Research into the gendered citation patterns of academics has confirmed what many have long suspected — that male authors tend to cite other men over women in their article bibliographies. But such underlying biases can apply even in a journal with a majority of female authors, and may spread to papers co-authored by women with men, the work suggests.

Analyzing every article published across three political science journals and three social science methodology journals between 2007 and the end of 2016, researchers from McMaster University in Canada and the Universities of Iowa and Minnesota matched up the gender of the authors to the gender of the researchers who produced each study cited in their bibliographies, using the analytical tool genderizeR.

In this way, they were able to determine the “gender gap in citations” in articles by women and men, as well as those co-authored by women and men.

The goal of the project, according to Sara Mitchell, professor of political methodology at Iowa and co-author of Gendered Citation Patterns Across Political Science and Social Science Methodology Fields, published in Political Analysis, was to analyze how the overall representation of women in a research field influences the gender citation gap.

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August 20, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The 68 Most-Cited Law Faculties

Gregory C. Sisk (St. Thomas) et al., Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties in 2018: Updating the Leiter Score Ranking for the Top Third:

This updated 2018 study explores the scholarly impact of law faculties, ranking the top third of ABA-accredited law schools. Refined by Brian Leiter, the “Scholarly Impact Score” for a law faculty is calculated from the mean and the median of total law journal citations over the past five years to the work of tenured faculty members. In addition to a school-by-school ranking, we report the mean, median, and weighted score, along with a listing of the tenured law faculty members at each school with the ten highest individual citation counts.

1.   Yale 
2.   Harvard 
3.   Chicago
4.   NYU
5.   Columbia
6.   Stanford
7.   UC-Berkeley
8.   Duke
9.   Pennsylvania
10. Vanderbilt
11.  UCLA
12.  UC-Irvine
13.  Cornell
14.  Michigan, Northwestern
16.  George Washington, Virginia, Georgetown 
19.  Texas, George Mason
21.  Minnesota, Washington University
23.  UC-Davis, St. Thomas, USC
26.  Notre Dame
27.  Boston University
28.  William & Mary
29.  Colorado, Florida State, Fordham
32.  Cardozo, Emory, Case Western, Arizona
36.  Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, San Diego, Arizona State
41.  Maryland, Utah, Ohio State
44.  Wake Forest, UC-Hastings, Chicago-Kent, Brooklyn
48.  Kansas
49.  Alabama, BYU, Hofstra
52.  Temple, UNLV
54.  San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Missouri
58.  Florida, Iowa, Santa Clara, Boston College, Georgia, Houston
64.  Denver, Hawaii, American, Loyola-L.A., Washington & Lee

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August 15, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The U.S. News Peer Reputation Rankings And The Availability Heuristic

Jeff Lipshaw (Suffolk), Submission Angsting and the Availability Heuristic:

Paul Caron over at Tax Prof Blog does us the community service every year of re-ranking the schools by their "peer assessment" number, which ranges from 1.1 at the low end to 4.8 at the top.  I am assuming for this exercise that the peer assessment is meaningful even though I have my doubts.

My doubts stem largely from the likelihood that so much of this is determined by the availability heuristic, the term coined by Tversky and Kahneman for a mental strategy in which people make judgments about probability, frequency, or extremity based on the ease with which and the amount of information that can be brought to mind.  Hence, we bias our judgments based on available information.

Having said that, here goes.  One of the most available pieces of information is the linear ranking in US News.  It's really available.  It's available to the people who send in their votes for peer ranking and it's available to authors trying to place their articles.  What is not so available (thank you Paul) because you have to pay to get it isn't just the re-ranking by peer assessment but the actual peer score.

The histogram above shows the peer assessment scores from the 2019 US News law school ranking by the number of schools at each peer score from 1.1 to 4.8.  You can draw your own conclusions, but I think trying to thin-slice differences between scores close to each other is kind of silly.

US News

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August 14, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

BYU And Pepperdine Are The Most Ideologically Balanced Faculties Among The Top 50 Law Schools (2013)

Adam Bonica (Stanford), Adam S. Chilton (Chicago), Kyle Rozema (Northwestern) & Maya Sen (Harvard), The Legal Academy's Ideological Uniformity, 47  J. Legal Stud. 1 (2018):

Ideology 2

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August 14, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (9)

Monday, August 6, 2018

Is Climbing The Research Rankings Worth The Price Tag? The Case Of St. Louis University

St. Louis UniversityChronicle of Higher Education Special Report, Is Climbing the Research Rankings Worth the Price?:

While you may gain prestige, grant money, and talented researchers, be prepared for high costs and steep competition – and make sure your goals align with your values.

Is Climbing the Carnegie Research Rankings Worth the Price Tag?:

Saint Louis University has a lot going for it: a billion-dollar endowment, more than a dozen academic programs ranked in the top 50 by U.S. News & World Report, and a place among just seven Roman Catholic colleges listed in the Carnegie Classification’s second-highest tier of research institutions. (That tier, called Research 2, designates "Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity.") 

But the university’s leaders have even loftier goals: They want to double the amount of grants, private contracts, and donations awarded for faculty research — to $100 million — in just five years. They also hope to join the exclusive group of universities classified by Carnegie as R-1, or Research 1, which would put them in the company of institutions like Georgetown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The criteria for reaching that classification include several measures of research spending, staff levels, and the number of doctorates an institution awards. ...

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August 6, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Average Starting Salaries For Graduates Of The 144 Law Schools Ranked By U.S. News

U.S. News & World Report, What Type of Salary You Can Expect With Your Law Degree:

Many high-paying law firms recruit recent J.D. grads from top-ranked law schools. In U.S. News' 2019 Best Law Schools ranking, law school degree grads from the class of 2016 who completed their degree at an institution ranked among the top 15 earned $180,000 on average in the private sector, according to data submitted to U.S. News by 179 ranked law schools in an annual survey. ...

Prospective and current law students can compare salary data in the interactive graphic below for law schools ranked in the top 144 of the 2019 Best Law Schools rankings.

July 31, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Temple’s Ranking Scandal Spreads To Six Additional Programs; University Also Admits To Three Errors In The Data It Submitted For Its Undergraduate College Ranking

Temple LogoFollowing up on my previous posts:

Temple Press Release, Second Update on Rankings:

The university has been carefully scrutinizing rankings data submissions to identify misreporting for other Fox programs. Although the review is ongoing, we have concluded that misreporting similar to that involving the Online MBA also occurred with respect to the Executive MBA, Global MBA, Part-Time MBA, Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Master of Science in Digital Innovation in Marketing. These programs all had issues related to the reporting of one or more metrics, including the number of new entrants providing GRE/GMAT scores, student indebtedness and applicants’ undergraduate GPAs. For the Online Bachelor of Business Administration, misreporting related to student indebtedness was found. As a result, we have reported to U.S. News that we cannot verify data related to these programs, and we are not participating in or submitting business school surveys at this time. ...

In a related update, U.S. News asked Temple to provide a letter verifying the accuracy of our data submissions for the 2018 and 2019 Best Colleges rankings. The university conducted a painstaking review of the voluminous data contained in these submissions. On July 20, Temple provided U.S. News with the requested letter, in which we verified the accuracy of our submissions for both the 2018 and 2019 rankings. We also made three corrections: one inadvertent transposition and two typographical errors. Additionally, we updated originally reported endowment information to ensure consistency in survey responses. U.S. News also had requested information on additional programs, and that review is underway.

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July 30, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

After Temple Admitted That Its Business School Misreported Data To Goose Its Ranking, U.S. News Demands Certification Of Other Schools' Data (Including Law School)

TempleFollowing up on Tuesday's post, Temple Business School Dean Fired For Knowingly Submitting False Data To Inflate U.S. News Ranking Over Several Years:  U.S. News has sent a letter to Temple asking it to certify the accuracy of data submitted by its other schools and programs (including the law school) because "the scope and duration of the misreporting at Fox calls into question all of Temple University’s submissions to U.S. News."

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July 12, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Saturday, June 23, 2018

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Stetson Named Inaugural ABA Competitions Champion

Stetson (2018)ABA Press Release, Stetson University College of Law Named Inaugural ABA Competitions Champion:

The American Bar Association has named Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Fla., the inaugural ABA Competitions Champion.

Competitions Champion is awarded to the law school that garnered the most points through team achievements and participation in the ABA Law Student Division’s four practical skills competitions: The Arbitration CompetitionNegotiation CompetitionClient Counseling Competition and National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC Moot Court). Ranking criteria and the point totals for the top teams can be found here. ...

ABA competitions teach law students real-world legal skills in a simulated practice environment. Judges for the competitions included volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench. This year, over 1,300 students from 156 law schools participated in one or more of the competitions sponsored by the Law Student Division.

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May 23, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Law School Rankings In Ten Job Categories

10Law.com, Law Grads Hiring Report: Job Stats for the Class of 2017:

The American Bar Association this month released new law school employment data that showed the class of 2017 fared better in the entry-level job market than its recent predecessors.

We’ve waded through the ABA’s trove of employment numbers to break down how schools performed in 10 different areas, including sending graduates into jobs for which bar passage is a requirement; into federal clerkships; into large firm jobs; and government and public interest positions. We’ve also ranked schools according to their percentage of unemployed recent graduates, as well as each school’s underemployment rate—which includes graduates who are unemployed, in part-time or short-term jobs, or in non-professional jobs.

Our charts illustrate how stratified legal education is when it comes to graduate employment. For instance, seven law schools sent 90 percent or more of their 2017 graduates into full-time law jobs that require bar passage, largely considered the gold standard for law jobs. (They were led by Duke Law School, at nearly 94 percent.)

1-7

On the other end of the spectrum, 12 schools sent fewer than 40 percent of their recent graduates into those positions. (Thomas Jefferson School of Law reported the lowest percentage outside of Puerto Rico, at less than 26 percent.)

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May 1, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Muller: Visualizing Law School Employment Outcomes In Florida, Pennsylvania, And Texas

Derek Muller (Pepperdine) has published several posts (with great charts and tables) in his annual series visualizing employment outcomes of law school graduates in various states:  Florida, (the Top 5 continue to be Florida, Miami, Florida International, Florida State, and Stetson), Pennsylvania (Penn continues to dominate), and Texas (the Top 3 continue to be Texas, Baylor, and SMU).

To me, the most interesting story is how Florida International continues its remarkable performance in bar passage and jobs.  I previously blogged July 2017 Florida Bar Exam Results: Florida International Is #1 For 4th Year In A Row.  Derek's data show Florida International #3 in the state in full credit jobs — the second year in a row it has topped the much higher ranked Florida State:

Top 5

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April 16, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Jukin’ The Stats: The Gaming Of Law School Rankings And How To Stop It

U.S. News 2019Darren Bush (Houston) & Jessica Peterson (Durham Jones & Pinegar, Salt Lake City), Jukin’ the Stats: The Gaming of Law School Rankings and How to Stop It, 45 Conn. L. Rev. 1235 (2013):

“Jukin' the stats” means manipulating pertinent information to advance one's position. In the case of law schools, manipulation of law school rankings, put forth by U.S. News and World Report, potentially enables the school to gain advantage relative to competitors. This Article describes the U.S. News Law School rankings methodology followed by prospective law students everywhere. The Article then discusses how law schools manipulate their data submissions in order to change their relative rankings. The Article also describes the inability of the stakeholders in the rankings process to obtain adequate recourse for rankings manipulation, and the lack of incentive U.S. News possesses to strongly police data submissions.

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April 9, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Simkovic: U.S. News And Pepperdine — There But For The Grace Of God Go We All

U.S. News 2019Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Michael Simkovic (USC), U.S. News.com and Pepperdine: There But For The Grace Of God Go We All:

Pepperdine’s law school recently made an error when submitting enrollment data to U.S. News.com.  Pepperdine contacted U.S. News promptly after uncovering the error and submitted corrected data in time for U.S. News to use the corrected data in its ranking.  Although the erroneous data was more positive than the corrected data, no reasons have been given to believe that Pepperdine intentionally sought to deceive U.S. News. 

I know and respect Paul Caron, the current Dean of Pepperdine.  While we don’t always agree on technical or political issues, the notion that he would intentionally commit fraud—and then immediately correct his error—is outlandish.  (In the interest of disclosure, Leiter Reports joined a network of legal education blogs that Paul organized, but Leiter Reports and Caron’s blog, TaxProf, often compete and advance different perspectives.  I have vocally criticized some of the research covered on TaxProf blog.).

Nevertheless, U.S. News punished Pepperdine by making it an “unranked” law school this year.  Those who are not familiar with the reasons for this move in the rakings might mistakenly believe that Pepperdine fell outside the top 100.  According to analyses by Bill Henderson and Andy Morriss, if not for the penalty imposed by U.S. News, in all likelihood Pepperdine’s rank this year would have risen from 72 to between 64 and 62. ...

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April 9, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Value-Added Ranking Of Law Schools

U.S. News 2019CJ Ryan (American Bar Foundation), A Value-Added Ranking of Law Schools:

Before and since the first publication of the U.S. News & World Report (hereinafter “U.S. News”) rankings of law schools, legal education has been characterized by competition. As the first mover in the rankings of law schools, the U.S. News’ rankings have changed the landscape of legal education. Not only do law students to measure the worth of law schools based on these rankings, but law schools are reactive to the categories favored by these rankings’ methodology in order to bolster their position relative to their peers. This fixation on one ranking may foment the progress of legal education toward providing quantifiable value to current and prospective students.

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April 7, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Pepperdine And U.S. News: A Problem Of Unregulated Monopoly?

U.S. News 2019Following up on my previous posts:

Above the Law:  Pepperdine And U.S. News: A Problem Of Unregulated Monopoly?, by LawProfBlawg (anonymous prof at Top 100 school) & TempDean (anonymous prof and current or former interim dean at Top 100 school):

U.S. News ought to have a leniency program to report innocent violations.

Many law schools have been accused of what one of my symposium speakers has called “jukin’ the stats.”  That is, some schools in the past have taken to lying about their data in order to manipulate their position in the all-important law school rankings game.  That is not cool.

However, that isn’t what happened at Pepperdine.  Pepperdine made an innocent mistake, took immediate steps to correct it, and then faced a draconian penalty for its honestly.  That is the topic of today’s post: What should U.S. News have done? ...

There are two issues at stake.  Unless we want to grant U.S. News investigative powers akin to the FBI or B613 (see Scandal), there must be some incentives for law schools to correct their honest mistakes and self-report rather than deliberately cheat, bury the bodies, and hope no disgruntled ex-employees drop a dime on them to U.S. News and the ABA.  Second, there needs to be some way to distinguish the honest mistake from a deliberate obstruction of ranking justice. ...

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April 4, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Law School Rankings By Student Quality (LSAT And UGPA)

U.S. News 2019Christopher J. Ryan Jr. (Vanderbilt) & Brian L. Frye (Kentucky), The 2018 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools:

In A Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, [69 Ala. L. Rev. 495 (2017),] we presented a law school ranking based exclusively on the combined scores of the students in a school’s 2011-16 incoming classes. ... In this article, we present a law school ranking based exclusively on the combined scores of the students in a school’s 2017 incoming class.

Our ranking relies on the ABA Standard 509 Information Reports submitted by all 204 ABA-accredited law schools. Among other things, the Reports provide the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile UGPA and LSAT scores of matriculating students. We used the 2017 Reports to derive an index score for each reporting law school, using those six data points and giving each equal weight. That index score reflects a law school’s ability to compete for the most desirable matriculants. The higher the score, the stronger the students; the lower the score, the weaker the students. Or, viewed another way, the higher the score, the more effectively the school appeals to prospective law students; the lower the score, the less effectively the school appeals to prospective law students.

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April 2, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Pepperdine Is #1 In ADR, #8 In Practical Training

U.S. News 2019For the thirteenth time in fourteen years, Pepperdine Law School's Straus Institute has been ranked the #1 dispute resolution program in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Congratulations to Tom Stipanowich and Sukhsimranjit Singh and their Straus faculty and staff colleagues for this well deserved recognition of the amazing academic programs and training and conferences they offer.

In addition, Pepperdine has been named the eighth best law school for practical training by preLaw (Spring 2018):

This year, 10 schools earned an A+ in our annual study. PreLaw ranks the schools by analyzing their clinic, externship and simulation offerings, as well as their students’ participation in moot court, pro bono work and other innovative programs.

PT

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March 26, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

More On Pepperdine's Place In The 2019 Law School Rankings

U.S. News 2019Updated:  Following up on last week's post, Pepperdine's Place in the Law School Rankings:

National Law Journal, Berkeley Law Returns to the U.S. News' Top 10, Pepperdine Gets Shut Out:

The closely watched law school rankings offer few surprises this year, save for a decision to temporarily delist Pepperdine University School of Law for an data reporting mistake. ...

This year’s list has a little extra controversy.

U.S. News removed Pepperdine University School of Law from the ranking after the school reported a mistake in the median LSAT score it provided to the publication. According to Pepperdine law dean Paul Caron, the school last week realized that it had incorrectly reported its median LSAT score as 162 instead of the correct 160 when it saw the early embargoed version of the rankings that U.S. News provides each school for review. (The initial ranking had Pepperdine moving up from No. 72 to No. 59.)

Rather than recalculate the school’s rank and issue a new list prior to the official release, as the Caron requested, U.S. News removed Pepperdine’s ranking altogether.

“It is, of course, deeply disappointing to be unranked for a year,” Caron wrote in a post on his Tax Prof Blog. “But the reality is that we made great progress in the rankings this year, and should continue our ascent next year.”

Caron said several experts concluded that Pepperdine would have ranked 62nd or 64th using the correct median LSAT.

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March 25, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, March 23, 2018

90% Of Students Pass The Bar Within 2 Years Of Graduation, But 10% Of Law Schools Have Fail Rates > 25%

Inside Higher Ed, A Low Bar for Bar Passage:

Nearly nine out of 10 law school graduates who sat for the bar exam within two years of graduating passed it, according to new data from the American Bar Association.

But more than 10 percent of law schools had at least a quarter of their students fail the exam, and more than one in six schools had rates below 80 percent, the ABA data show.

The new data represent the first time that the ABA has released data for all of its member schools on what it calls the "ultimate" bar passage rate, rather than the one-year rates by which law schools have typically been judged.

Barry Currier, managing director of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which oversees accreditation of law schools, said the change “allows for more current information to be collected and reported,” to help prospective law students better choose schools. “It also gives us a snapshot of how law graduates are doing over a two-year span at each school,” he said.

The ABA, not surprisingly, emphasized the positive in the bar-passage data. The aggregate one-year bar-passage rate for those 2017 graduates who sat for the exam rose to 77.2 percent, up from 74.3 percent in 2016. The one-year rates ranged from 100 percent for Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison to below 30 percent for Arizona Western Law School and Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

About 40,000 students graduated from the ABA's 202 law schools in 2015. Of those who sat for the bar within two years, the ultimate aggregate pass rate was 87.8 percent. (About 1,100 students did not sit for the exam, and law schools were unable to give the ABA information on about 1,000 more.)

But 24 schools had rates below 75 percent, and another 13 had rates below 80 percent, as seen in the table below.

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March 23, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2018 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews

Bryce Clayton Newell (Kentucky), 2018 Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews:

This is an updated ranking of flagship law reviews at US law schools (updated as of March 20, 2018, including the 2019 US News numbers). ... The ranking table below includes all of the law reviews that ranked in the top 150 in in the MetaRanking, including all journals that ranked in the top 100 at least one of the following rankings: US News Peer Reputation Score Ranking (avg., 2010-2019), US News Overall Ranking (avg., 2010-2019), the Washington & Lee University ranking (current version, 2009-2016; default weighting), the Google Scholar ranking (index as of June 2017), and the W&L Impact Factor Ranking (not included in the MetaRank). ...

prRank = US News Peer Reputation score ranking;
usnRank = Overall US News school ranking;
wluRank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Ranking;
gRank = Google Scholar Metrics ranking;
wlu(IF)Rank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Impact Factor Ranking.

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March 21, 2018 in Law Review Rankings, Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2019 U.S. News Tax Rankings

U.S. News 2019Here are the new 2019 U.S. News Tax Rankings, along with last year's ranking:

2019 Rank Tax Program 2018 Rank
1 NYU 1
2 Georgetown 2
3 Florida 3
4 Northwestern 4
5 Virginia 5
6 Harvard 8
7 Boston University 8
8 Loyola-L.A. 6
9 UCLA 7
10 Michigan 14
11 Texas 12
12 Columbia 10
13 Boston College 20
14 USC 15
15 Yale 18
16 San Diego 11
17 Indiana (Maurer) 23
17 Univ. of Washington 20
19 Duke 16
19 Stanford 23
19 Chicago 19
19 Penn 16
23 Miami 12
24 Villanova 20
25 Alabama n/r
25 UC-Berkeley n/r
25 Denver 25

Here are the biggest upward moves:

  • +7:  Boston College (#13)
  • +6:  Indiana (#17)
  • +4:  Michigan (#10), Stanford (#19)
  • +3:  Yale (#15), U. Washington (#17)
  • +2:  Harvard
  • Alabama (#25) and UC-Berkeley (#25) were unranked last year

Here are the biggest downward moves:

  • -11:  Miami (#14)
  • -5:  San Diego (#16)
  • -4:  Villanova (#24)
  • -3:  Penn (#19), Duke (#19)
  • -2:  Loyola-L.A. (#8), UCLA (#9), Columbia (#12)
  • Washington University (#26 last year) is unranked this year

Here are the rankings of the graduate tax programs, along with last year's rankings.

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March 21, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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

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. The document was updated in March 2018.

1-55
56-75

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March 20, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

2019 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)

U.S. News 2019Continuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2018), here is the full list of the 193 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2019 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology here):

Peer Rank Peer Score School Overall Rank
1 4.8 Yale 1
1 4.8 Stanford 2
1 4.8 Harvard 3
4 4.6 Chicago 4
4 4.6 Columbia 5
4 4.6 NYU 6
7 4.4 Penn 7
7 4.4 Michigan 8
7 4.4 UC-Berkeley 9
10 4.3 Virginia 9
10 4.3 Duke 11
12 4.2 Northwestern 11
12 4.2 Cornell 13
14 4.1 Georgetown 14
14 4.1 Texas 15
16 3.9 UCLA 16
16 3.9 Vanderbilt 17
18 3.6 Washington Univ. 18
18 3.6 Minnesota 20
20 3.5 USC 19
21 3.4 Boston University 22
21 3.4 Emory 22
21 3.4 Notre Dame 24
21 3.4 Wisconsin 27
21 3.4 UC-Davis 37
21 3.4 North Carolina 45
27 3.3 UC-Irvine 21
27 3.3 George Washington 24
27 3.3 Boston College 27
27 3.3 Iowa 27
27 3.3 Ohio State 32
27 3.3 Univ. of Washington 32
33 3.2 Washington & Lee 26
33 3.2 Alabama 27
33 3.2 Georgia 32
33 3.2 Indiana (Maurer) 32
33 3.2 Fordham 37
33 3.2 Illinois 37
33 3.2 William & Mary 37
33 3.2 Florida 41
41 3.1 Arizona State 27
41 3.1 Wake Forest 32
41 3.1 Arizona 41
41 3.1 Colorado 46
45 3.0 Florida State 47
45 3.0 Tulane 54
45 3.0 UC-Hastings 58
48 2.9 BYU 41
48 2.9 Maryland 49
48 2.9 Utah 54
51 2.8 George Mason 41
51 2.8 Connecticut 50
51 2.8 Miami 65
51 2.8 American 80
55 2.7 Temple 47
55 2.7 SMU 50
55 2.7 Cardozo 56
55 2.7 Denver 63
55 2.7 Case Western 65
55 2.7 Tennessee 65
55 2.7 Kansas 74
55 2.7 Pittsburgh 74
55 2.7 Oregon 85
64 2.6 Richmond 50
64 2.6 Houston 56
64 2.6 Georgia State 65
64 2.6 Kentucky 65
64 2.6 Loyola-L.A. 65
64 2.6 Missouri (Columbia) 65
64 2.6 San Diego 95
-- 2.6 Pepperdine --
71 2.5 Nevada 59
71 2.5 Oklahoma 63
71 2.5 Villanova 65
71 2.5 Loyola-Chicago 74
71 2.5 Rutgers 74
71 2.5 Nebraska 80
71 2.5 Brooklyn 83
71 2.5 Chicago-Kent 85
71 2.5 South Carolina 88
80 2.4 Baylor 50
80 2.4 Seton Hall 59
80 2.4 Northeastern 74
80 2.4 Michigan State 88
80 2.4 Lewis & Clark 95
80 2.4 Indiana (McKinney) 98
80 2.4 Hawaii 101
80 2.4 Santa Clara 113
80 2.4 Howard 128
89 2.3 Cinncinnati 65
89 2.3 Penn State (Univ. Park) 74
89 2.3 Texas A&M 80
89 2.3 Arkansas (Fayetteville) 88
89 2.3 LSU 88
89 2.3 New Mexico 88
89 2.3 St. Louis 88
89 2.3 Syracuse 88
89 2.3 Marquette 95
89 2.3 Maine 106
89 2.3 DePaul 128
89 2.3 Seattle 128
101 2.2 Penn State (Dickinson) 59
101 2.2 St. John's 83
101 2.2 Univ. of Mississippi 101
101 2.2 SUNY-Buffalo 106
101 2.2 West Virginia 106
101 2.2 Catholic 110
101 2.2 Hofstra 110
101 2.2 Louisville 113
101 2.2 Vermont 133
101 2.2 Arkansas (Little Rock) 141
111 2.1 New Hampshire 85
111 2.1 Stetson 98
111 2.1 Drexel 101
111 2.1 Tulsa 101
111 2.1 Gonzaga 113
111 2.1 Idaho 119
111 2.1 Missouri (Kansas City) 119
111 2.1 Montana 119
111 2.1 CUNY 125
111 2.1 Wyoming 133
111 2.1 Loyola-New Orleans Tier 2
122 2.0 Wayne State 98
122 2.0 Baltimore 119
122 2.0 Mercer 128
122 2.0 North Dakota Tier 2
122 2.0 San Francisco Tier 2
127 1.9 Florida Int'l 101
127 1.9 Albany 106
127 1.9 New York Law School 110
127 1.9 Cleveland State 113
127 1.9 St. Thomas (MN) 113
127 1.9 Texas Tech 113
127 1.9 Washburn 119
127 1.9 Creighton 125
127 1.9 Pace 125
127 1.9 South Dakota 128
127 1.9 Drake 133
127 1.9 Quinnipiac 133
127 1.9 Memphis 137
127 1.9 Toledo 137
127 1.9 Chapman 139
127 1.9 Akron 144
127 1.9 Suffolk 144
127 1.9 McGeorge Tier 2
127 1.9 Willamette Tier 2
146 1.8 Duquesne 119
146 1.8 Dayton 141
146 1.8 Southwestern Tier 2
146 1.8 Widener (DE) Tier 2
150 1.7 Widener (PA) 143
150 1.7 N. Illinois 144
150 1.7 John Marshall (IL) Tier 2
150 1.7 Mitchell-Hamline Tier 2
150 1.7 Roger Williams Tier 2
150 1.7 Samford Tier 2
150 1.7 South Texas Tier 2
150 1.7 St. Mary's Tier 2
158 1.6 Cal-Western Tier 2
158 1.6 Elon Tier 2
158 1.6 Mississippi College Tier 2
158 1.6 N. Kentucky Tier 2
158 1.6 Nova Tier 2
158 1.6 Ohio Northern Tier 2
158 1.6 S. Illinois Tier 2
165 1.5 Campbell Tier 2
165 1.5 Capital Tier 2
165 1.5 Detroit Mercy Tier 2
165 1.5 District of Columbia Tier 2
165 1.5 Florida A&M Tier 2
165 1.5 Golden Gate Tier 2
165 1.5 NC Central Tier 2
165 1.5 New England Tier 2
165 1.5 Oklahoma City Tier 2
165 1.5 Texas Southern Tier 2
165 1.5 Touro Tier 2
165 1.5 UMass Tier 2
165 1.5 Valparaiso Tier 2
178 1.4 Belmont 139
178 1.4 Southern Tier 2
178 1.4 St. Thomas (FL) Tier 2
178 1.4 W. New England Tier 2
182 1.3 Charleston Tier 2
182 1.3 John Marshall (GA) Tier 2
182 1.3 Regent Tier 2
185 1.2 Appalachian Tier 2
185 1.2 Ave Maria Tier 2
185 1.2 Barry Tier 2
185 1.2 Faulkner Tier 2
185 1.2 Florida Coastal Tier 2
185 1.2 La Verne Tier 2
185 1.2 Liberty Tier 2
192 1.1 W. Mich. Cooley Tier 2
192 1.1 Western State Tier 2

Prior years' rankings:

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March 20, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A National Study Of The Long-Term Outcomes Of A Law Degree

AccessLex Institute, Examining Value, Measuring Engagement: A National Study of the Long-Term Outcomes of a Law Degree:

The Gallup-AccessLex Institute study of Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree holders provides important insights for educators, employers, law school alumni and prospective students about the factors that contribute to great jobs, lives and experiences for law school graduates. A law degree is one of the most valuable advanced degrees as evaluated by law graduates and other degree holders. As described in the key findings, most law graduates strongly agree that they would still get a J.D. if given the opportunity to go back and do it all over again. Furthermore, nearly half strongly agree that their degree was worth the cost. While many recent law graduates have negative views of the J.D., graduates who are more advanced in their careers tend to have higher levels of well-being and more positive assessments of the value of a J.D.

Figure 5

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March 18, 2018 in Law School Rankings | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Pepperdine’s Place In The 2019 U.S. News Rankings

As most of you know, on Tuesday morning U.S. News released to law schools an embargoed confidential electronic version of the 2019 edition of its annual rankings to be published online on Tuesday, March 20.  At Pepperdine, we immediately analyzed the data U.S. News used in calculating our ranking.  To our horror, we learned that we had made an inadvertent data entry error in reporting our median LSAT for the class that began in Fall, 2017.

We immediately contacted U.S. News Tuesday morning to inform them of the error and requested that they update the rankings with the correct median LSAT.  On Tuesday afternoon, anonymous source(s) leaked the embargoed rankings which were posted on several blogs, showing Pepperdine’s ranking as 59 (up from 72 last year).

Unfortunately, U.S. News has denied our request and instead issued a revised embargoed electronic version of the rankings that replaced the original.  In the new version, Pepperdine is removed from the rankings.  Instead, Pepperdine is listed as “unranked due to a data reporting error by the school.” 

We contacted three law school rankings experts — Bill Henderson (Indiana), Andy Morriss (Texas A&M), and Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting) — who all confirmed our analysis that Pepperdine would have ranked 62nd or 64th had U.S. News recomputed the rankings with our correct LSAT median.

It is, of course, deeply disappointing to be unranked for a year. But the reality is that we made great progress in the rankings this year, and should continue our ascent next year. 

For a fuller description of the rankings snafu, see here.

Update:

March 16, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March Madness Law School Bracket

Here is the March Madness Law School Bracket, with outcomes determined by the 2018 U.S. News Law School Rankings (using academic peer reputation and student quality as tiebreakers). The Final Four are Pennsylvania (7), Michigan (8), Virginia (8), and UCLA (15), with Penn beating Virginia in the championship game.

Bracket

March 14, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 12, 2018

U.S. News Strips Ranking From Three Graduate Schools For Submitting False Data

2018 U.S. News GradI previously have blogged reports of over a dozen schools inflating their rankings by submitting erroneous data to U.S. News (BucknellClaremont McKennaCollege of CharlestonCreightonEmoryGeorge WashingtonIllinoisMissouri-Kansas City, TempleTulaneUniversity of Mary Hardin-BaylorVillanovaYork College of Pennsylvania).   U.S. News recently announced that it was removing the rankings of three graduate schools for submitting false data:

The University of Florida's College of Nursing originally reported its fiscal year 2016 NIH educational and practical initiative grants and expenditures at $1,684,495. The school informed U.S. News the corrected value for its fiscal year 2016 NIH grants was $0. ...

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March 12, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, March 9, 2018

NLJ: Law School Rankings By Graduates In BigLaw Jobs

Go To
National Law Journal, The 2018 Go-To Law Schools:

New associate hiring held strong in 2017, with the country’s largest 100 law firms bringing on 4,199 recent law graduates. Among the 50 schools most popular with those firms, 29 percent of last year’s graduates landed associate jobs, up slightly from the previous year. We’ve ranked the top 50 law schools according to the percentage of their 2017 juris doctor graduates who took associate jobs at the largest 100 firms. 

  1. Columbia
  2. Chicago
  3. NYU
  4. Virginia
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Northwestern
  7. Duke
  8. Harvard
  9. Cornell
  10. UC-Berkeley
  11. Stanford
  12. Georgetown
  13. Vanderbilt
  14. Michigan
  15. UCLA
  16. USC
  17. Texas
  18. Yale
  19. Boston University
  20. Fordham

Columbia Law School Tops The List
Columbia Law School has landed at the No. 1 spot on our Go-To List for half a decade. In 2017, the Manhattan school sent nearly 68 percent of graduates into Big Law associate jobs.

BY THE NUMBERS
The Top 50 Go-To Law Schools
These schools sent the highest percentage of 2017 graduates to associate jobs at the largest 100 firms.

Associates to Partner
These schools saw the most alumni promoted to partner in 2017.

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March 9, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Median Private Law School Tuition Discount: 28% (Average Scholarship: $20,129)

Which Schools Are Discounting Tuition the Most?, Nat'l Jurist, Vol. 27, p. 13, Winter 2018:

The National Jurist analyzed ABA grant and scholarship data, using the number of scholarships per school, the percentage of students receiving scholarships and the scholarship amount at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles to estimate an average grant amount. With an average, it then determined the average tuition discount per school.

The median private law school discounted tuition by 28.3 percent, with an average scholarship of $20,129. That was up from 25.4 percent from two years earlier and significantly higher than 2010, when it was an estimated 16 percent.

Here are the 20 private law schools with the highest tuition discounts:

NJ Top 20

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February 28, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)