Paul L. Caron

Monday, January 13, 2020

Dispatches From The AALS Annual Meeting: Rankings, Rankings, And More Rankings

Following up on my previous coverage (links below):  Karen Sloan (, Dispatches from the Association of American Law Schools' Annual Meeting:

2020 US News Law SchoolRankings, Rankings, and More Rankings
In case that headline didn’t tip you off, rankings were a big deal at this year’s annual meeting. More specifically, U.S. News & World Report’s introduction of a “scholarly impact” ranking of faculties appears to have more than a few people in a tizzy. That ranking was a focus of no less than three separate panels over the weekend, two of which featured Bob Morse, U.S. News’ chief data strategist and the person responsible for the law school rankings. Legal academics love to hate on Morse and the U.S. News rankings, primarily for what they see as the outsized influence of the rankings on prospective students and the pernicious effects of playing the rankings game. So Morse is used to facing the slings and arrows of law professors, and frankly, he got away from this year’s AALS relatively unscathed. ...

Here are some of the big concerns raised by academics about the project:

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January 13, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Changes To U.S. News Law School Rankings Met With Skepticism

Karen Sloan (, Changes to US News Law School Rankings Met With Skepticism:

2020 US News Law SchoolU.S. News & World Report is adding as many as five new categories to its suite of law school specialty rankings this year, an expansion that’s getting a cold reception from legal academics. ...

[U.S. News Chief Data Strategist Bob Morse] revealed that the latest rankings survey, which is now out in the field, for the first time asks reviewers to rank law schools on their constitutional law, criminal law, business corporations, and contracts programs. That joins nine existing specialty rankings, including intellectual property, clinical training, and tax law. U.S. News sends the survey to four people at each law school and for the specialty rankings, respondents are asked to rate each school’s programs on a scale of 1 to 5. ...

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January 9, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Benefits Of Greater Transparency In Reporting Of Law Graduate Employment Outcomes

Ten years ago, there was no standardized reporting format law schools had to follow for reporting graduate employment outcomes.  As a result, it was very difficult to make comparisons across law schools because the data were presented by law schools in a way that did not facilitate apples to apples comparisons.  At that time, many law schools presented employment outcomes data in a manner that reflected as favorably as possible on the institution.

Following the Great Recession, the ABA mandated greater transparency in the way law schools report employment outcomes, requiring each law school to report disaggregated results for all law school graduates using a common template — the Employment Summary Report.  This mandated reporting format has fostered much greater transparency with respect to graduate employment outcomes by increasing both the amount and detail of employment outcomes data and by fostering comparisons across law schools due to a consistent reporting framework. 

Interestingly, however, throughout this period of time, there has been some variability in how entities compiling employment outcomes data report such data, particularly as it relates to the "top line" statistic — what proportion of each class of new law graduates is working nine (now ten) months after graduation — an interval long enough to take and get results on a bar exam.  While NALP has reported its results on a consistent basis throughout this period of time, US News and World Report has significantly changed its methodology for reporting employment outcomes, largely in response to the ABA’s requirement of increased transparency with respect to employment outcomes data.

To understand the extent to which the ABA’s mandate for increased transparency in reporting of employment outcomes data has mattered, one need only compare aggregated employment outcomes data as reported by NALP and USNews for the Class of 2004 and the Class of 2014 (five years before and five years after the Great Recession).  As shown below, the ABA’s requirement for greater transparency in reporting of employment outcomes data has resulted in public dissemination of much more realistic understandings of employment outcomes of law graduates. 

Table 1 shows the comparison of reported employment outcomes for the class of 2004 and for the class of 2014 as presented by NALP (reporting data on all graduates with reported employment outcomes) and by USNews (reporting the average of employment outcomes for the top 100 law schools in each year).

TABLE 1 – Class of 2004 and Class of 2014 Employment Outcomes Percentages as Reported by NALP (All Graduates with Reported Employment Outcomes) and USNews (Avg. of Top-100 Law Schools)


Class of 2004

Class of 2014

Change 2004 to 2014





USNews (Avg. of Top-100 Law Schools)








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December 19, 2019 in Jerry Organ, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, December 16, 2019

2019 Transfer Data Show Continued Decline In Number And Percentage Of Transfers

This blog posting updates my blog postings of December 2014December 2015March 2017, December 2017 and December 2018 regarding what we know about the transfer market. With the ABA’s posting of the 2019 Standard 509 Reports, we now have six years (2014-2019) of more detailed transfer data from which to glean insights about the transfer market among law schools.


As shown in Table 1 below, the number of transfers decreased to 1294 (3.3%), 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 several years, the transfer market 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, and now down to 3.4% in 2019.

Table 1 – Number of Transfers and Percentage of Transfers from 2011-2019











Number of Transfers










Previous Year First Year Enrollment










% of Previous First-Year Total










While it is hard to know for sure what might be causing this decline in transfers over the last several years, I believe the most likely explanation for the continuing decline in transfers over the last several years is the corresponding decline in law schools with conditional scholarship programs.  As I noted in a blog posting on conditional scholarship programs in January 2018, the number of law schools with conditional scholarship programs declined from 140 to 89 between 2011-12 and 2016-17.  As of the 2017-2018 academic year, there were only 77 law schools with conditional scholarships that were reduced or eliminated.  This decline in the number of law schools with conditional scholarship programs likely has reduced the number of rising second-year law students considering transferring.  In past years, it is likely that a reduced or eliminated conditional scholarship was a catalyst for some law students to consider transferring.  If they were going to have to pay more to continue their legal education because of a reduced or eliminated scholarship, they might as well consider transferring to a more highly ranked law school.  With the reduction in the number of law schools with conditional scholarship programs, however, this financial incentive to consider transferring has been diminished.


Table 2 lists the top 15 law schools participating in the transfer market in descending order in Summer 2016 (fall 2015 entering class), Summer 2017 (fall 2016 entering class), Summer 2018 (fall 2017 entering class), and Summer 2019 (fall 2018 entering class).

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December 16, 2019 in Jerry Organ, Law School, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 15, 2019

July 2019 California Bar Exam Results For Out-Of-State Law Schools

CA state bar logo PNGFollowing up on yesterday's post on the July 2019 California Bar Exam results for in-state law schools: the state bar has <released comparable data for out-of-state law schools. Overall, 50.1% of all applicants passed the California bar exam. Among graduates of ABA-accredited law schools, first-time takers from in-state law schools passed at a lower rate (71.3%) than students from out-of state law schools (73.0%).

Out-of-state law schools with the highest pass rates:
Chicago: 100% (25 students took the exam)
Duke: 100% (16)
Michigan: 97.1% (34)
Harvard: 96.6% (88)
Penn: 96.5% (22)
NYU: 96.2% (26)
Virginia: 95.2% (21)
Columbia: 93.2% (44)
Yale: 91.2% (34)
Cornell: 86.7% (15)
Northwestern: 85.0% (20)
Georgetown: 80.9% (47)

Out-of-state law schools with the lowest pass rates:

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

Saturday, December 14, 2019

July 2019 California Bar Exam Results

California State BarThe California State Bar has released school-by-school data on the July 2019 California Bar Exam.  Here are the results for first time test takers for the 21 California ABA-accredited law schools, along with each school's U.S. News ranking (California and overall):

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)



US News Rank

CA (Overall)

1 (94%)


1 (2)

2 (89%)


2 (10)

3 (88%)


3 (15)

4 (86%)


4 (17)

5 (84%)


6 (31)

6 (82%)


7 (51)

7 (80.3%)


5 (23)

8 (79.9%)


8 (62)

9 (79%)


8 (62)

10 (75%)

San Diego

10 (86)


Statewide Ave. (CA ABA-accredited)

11 (64%)

Santa Clara

11 (104)

12 (63%)


Rank Not Published

13 (60%)


Rank No Published

14 (59%)


12 (132)

15 (58%)

Western State

Rank Not Published

16 (51%)


Rank Not Published

17 (42%)

Golden Gate

Rank Not Published

18 (39.7%)

La Verne

Rank Not Published

19 (39.6%)

San Francisco

Rank Not Published

20 (22%)

Thomas Jefferson

Rank Not Published

21 (11%)


Rank Not Published

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

Monday, December 9, 2019

Top Law Schools: Business Law

Business LawTop Law Schools: Business Law, preLaw, Vol. 23, No. 2, Fall 2019, at 41:

preLaw magazine graded law schools based on the breadth of their curricular offerings. The scores were weighted as follows: 30% for a concentration, 24% for a clinic, 12% for a center, 12% for an externship, 9% for a journal, 8% for a student group, 5% for a certificate and added value for other offerings.

13 schools [got] an A+ in our roundup of Top Schools for Business Law. Many schools were honored for exceptional offerings in this area. Thirty-two schools earned an A grade, while another 41 earned an A-. That is more than any other specialty.

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December 9, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 5, 2019

July 2019 New York Bar Exam Results: Columbia #1

NYSBA (2017)The July 2019 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)



US News Rank

NY (Overall)

1 (96.9%)


1 (5)

2 (95.8%)


2 (6)

3 (93.8%)


3 (13)

4 (91.0%)


4 (39)

5 (88.9%)

St. John's

7 (77)

6 (87.7%)


8 (91)

7 (86.4%)


5 (52)


Statewide Average

8 (81.5%)


6 (71)

9 (78.5%)

New York Law School

13 (117)

10 (75.5%)


12 (115)

11 (74.8%)


11 (108)

12 (73.4%)


14 (122)

13 (72.5%)


10 (104)

14 (65.3%)


9 (100)

15 (63.4%)


15 (Tier 2)

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December 5, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Top Law Schools: Tax Law

Following up on my previous post, 2020 U.S. News Tax Rankings (175 Law Schools)Top Law Schools: Tax Law, preLaw, Vol. 23, No. 2, Fall 2019, at 44:

preLaw magazine graded law schools based on the breadth of their curricular offerings. The scores were weighted as follows: 30% for a concentration, 24% for a clinic, 12% for a center, 12% for an externship, 9% for a journal, 8% for a student group, 5% for a certificate and added value for other offerings.

Tax Law

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December 4, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 25, 2019

U.S. News Pulls Five College From Rankings For Misreporting Data

Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News) & Eric Brooks (Senior Data Strategist, U.S. News), U.S. News Withdraws Five Schools' 2019 Best Online Rankings:

US News Online 3Five Institutions notified U.S. News they misreported data used to calculate their rankings for the 2019 edition of Best Online Programs. They are Western Colorado University (one program unranked), Missouri University of Science & Technology (one program), Auburn University (two programs), Ohio University (three programs) and the University of Dallas (one program). [See details here.]

The misreporting by each program resulted in their numerical ranks being higher than they otherwise would have been. Because of the discrepancies, U.S. News now lists these programs as "Unranked," meaning they no longer have numerical ranks. Each school's profile page has been updated with the Unranked status, and U.S. News deleted the incorrect data on their profiles. All rankings of other schools are unchanged.

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November 25, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Crawford: SSRN And The (Arbitrary) Determination Of 'Scholarly' Merit

Bridget J. Crawford (Pace), SSRN and the (Arbitrary) Determination of 'Scholarly' Merit, 22 Green Bag 2d 201 (2019):

SSRN Logo (2018)This article, published in the Green Bag, investigates and critiques SSRN’s (lack of clear) criteria for classification of material as a “scholarly paper” or “other paper.” In the former category appear to be “scholarly research papers,” bibliographies, briefs filed before some courts, some (but not all) teaching materials, and some (but not all) articles published in the Green Bag, for example. In the latter category are data tables, summary book reviews, opinion pieces, advocacy and satirical papers. “Other papers” are internet-searchable but are not displayed on the author’s SSRN page. Downloads of “other papers” are not included for purposes of SSRN’s various rankings.

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November 20, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Rankings, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Chilton & Masur: What Should Law School Rankings Measure And How Should We Measure it — A Comment On Heald & Sichelman's Rankings

Adam S. Chilton (Chicago) & Jonathan S. Masur (Chicago), What Should Law School Rankings Measure and How Should We Measure it: A Comment on Heald & Sichelman's Rankings, 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)):

There are obvious benefits to ranking academic departments based on objective measures of faculty research output. However, there are considerable difficulties associated with producing reliable and accurate rankings. In this short comment, we offer an evaluation of Heald & Sichelman's recent foray into the project of ranking law schools. Heald & Sichelman are to be commended for the transparency and rigor of their rankings effort. At the same time, it is important to note that their rankings involve a series of contestable discretionary choices and could give rise to potential counter-productive gaming by law schools seeking to improve their place in the rankings. In particular, Heald & Sichelman's system places a thumb on the scale on behalf of more senior faculty who publish in traditional law reviews and write in popular substantive areas like constitutional law.

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November 12, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 (3)

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


Total SSRN Score

Hein Total Score

SSRN Z-score






































































































G. Mason










































St. Thomas


































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November 11, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Princeton Review's Best 167 Law Schools (2020 Edition)

Princeton ReviewThe Princeton Review has published the 2020 edition of The Best 167 Law Schools (press release) (FAQs) (methodology):

The ranking lists, reported in 14 categories, each name the top 10 law schools. The education services company tallied the lists based on its surveys of 19,000 students attending 167 law schools [an average of 114 per school] in the U.S., and of administrators at those schools. The Princeton Review's 80-question student survey for this project asked students to rate their law schools on dozens of topics and report on their school experiences. The survey of law school administrators, which numbered more than 200 questions, covered topics from academic offerings and admission requirements to data about currently enrolled students as well as graduates' employment. Six of the 14 ranking lists were tallied using both student and administrator-reported data, five solely from student data, and three solely from administrator 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. Washington & Lee
  5. Stanford
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Boston College
  8. Boston University
  9. Michigan
  10. Northwestern

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 6, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 1, 2019

Clinical Legal Education Association Statement On The U.S. News Clinical Program Rankings

Statement on U.S. News and World Report Rankings for Clinical Programs:

2020 US News Law SchoolThe Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) recognizes that many who receive U.S. News & World Report ballots in their capacity as clinical program directors find this ranking process uncomfortable. There are a number of problems with the ranking of clinical programs. First, it places us in competition with each other, when we as a group see ourselves in a shared struggle for social justice, equality, and improved legal education. Second, there are no articulated factors for ranking clinical programs, so the voting can be arbitrary to a degree. Third, some schools may unfairly suffer because they do not have the budget or the support of their administration to market their program or send their clinical faculty to annual conferences.

While we might wish the rankings did not exist or hope to solve the collective action problem that bedevils creative responses, the USNWR rankings have remained a feature of our collective landscape. So, since rankings presently exist, what can we do now as faculty who teach clinics?

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November 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | 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


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)

Thursday, October 17, 2019

July 2019 Pennsylvania Bar Exam: Pittsburgh #1

Penn BarHere are the results of the July 2019 Pennsylvania Bar Exam for first-time test-takers by law school, along with each school's U.S. News ranking:

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)



US News Rank

PA (Overall)

1 (91.4%)


6 (77)

2 (88.5%)

Penn State - Dickinson

4 (71)

3 (88.2%)


1 (1)

4 (87.9%)


8 (122)

5 (86.9%)


4 (71)

6 (85.4%)


2 (48)

7 (81.8%)

Penn State - University Park

3 (64)


Statewide Average


8 (78.5%)


7 (100)

9 (66.7%)



10 (66.1%)

Widener - Pennsylvania

9 (Tier 2)

11 (63.2%)

Widener - Delaware

(Tier 2)

October 17, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Problems Of Measuring Scholarly Impact (‘Stuff’)

Following up on last week's post, The U.S. News Citation Ranking Is A 'Rigged Metrics Game' That 'Imperils Legal Academia':  LawProfBlawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), The Problems Of Measuring Scholarly Impact (‘Stuff’):

If we’re seeking to adopt some measure to assess scholarly impact, there are serious caveats that need to be addressed before we begin.

Professor Robert Anderson at Pepperdine Law School (place from which I wouldn’t mind a job offer — HINT) [How can we make you an offer (or measure your scholarly impact or teaching effectiveness) if we don't know who you are?] asked me a series of questions on Twitter, all of which are important.

If you don’t know Professor Anderson, you should.  His Twitter feed is a discussion of scholarly impact, and things related to problems of measurement and hierarchies in academia.  I’ve found his tweets cause me to think.  I blame him for this blog post.

His tweet that got me to thinking was this one:  “My pal @lawprofblawg has got some points here, but I think at some point s/he has got to get a little more concrete with an alternative. Is the status quo working? Why would citation-based metrics be worse? Should law schools evaluate scholarship at all? How should hiring work?”

All good questions.  There was some discussion in that thread about the fact that we ought to have some measure of stuff.  In fact, we already do when we hire people to join the faculty, when they go up for tenure, and even (to varying degrees of noneffectiveness) when we review them post-tenure.  They are imperfect, filled with biases, and are often deployed in an arbitrary fashion.  Sometimes they are hardly metrics at all.

Nonetheless, Professor Anderson is correct: I am in favor of having some metrics.  However, the current metrics aren’t working.   My coauthor and I have explained the biases and entry barriers facing certain potential entrants into legal academia.  Eric Segall and Adam Feldman have explained that there is severe concentration in the legal academy, focused on only a handful of schools that produce the bulk of law professors.  While in the academy, barriers block advancement.  And those barriers are reflected, in my opinion, in current citation and scholarly impact measurements seeking to measure stuff.

But if we’re seeking to adopt some measure, whether it is a global standard that could ultimately replace U.S. News or just a standard at one’s own law school, I think there are serious caveats that need to be addressed before we begin to measure stuff.  When I have seen these issues raised before, I have seen them too quickly dismissed.  So let’s try again.

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October 16, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Minnesota Law School Enrolls Largest 1L Class Since 2011 As Part Of Plan To Eliminate Multi-Million Dollar Deficit By 2021 While Defending Its Top 20 Ranking

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Minnesota Daily, UMN Law School Sees Largest First-Year Class in Almost a Decade:

This fall, the University of Minnesota Law School saw its largest entering juris doctorate class in eight years. The school is recovering after a decline in enrollment following the 2008 recession.

Reasons why enrollment is bouncing back at the law school range from a strong economy, the school’s high ranking and the current political climate, according to students and those in the industry.


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October 10, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

The U.S. News Citation Ranking Is A 'Rigged Metrics Game' That 'Imperils Legal Academia'

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  LawProfBlawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), The Taylorism Of Legal Academia: Another Rigged Metrics Game, and It Imperils Legal Academia:

U.S. News Law (2019)The legal academy is on a precipice.  As people seek to figure out exactly the mystery of what academics do, they want to come up with more metrics to determine which academics are good, and which academics are not.  It’s like if Santa Claus were a management consultant with a basic understanding of stats.

To some degree, academia has endured measurement in terms of student evaluations.  The good professors are the ones with good evaluations, and the bad ones are the ones who lack them.  It’s only recently that people have discovered that which many have known for decades: Student evaluations are rigged, and you can pretty much guess the direction of the biases.  Despite that, we still use them, apparently because measuring something poorly is way better than not measuring it at all.

Now, professors and university administrators are becoming more focused on measuring the impact of scholars.  The term “scholarly impact” describes the complicated system of measuring whose work makes a difference, at least according to whatever metrics are used.  In the old days, it was SSRN.  Now, with U.S. News teaming with Heinonline, a new king of the metric is in town.  And you’d be kidding yourself if you think it won’t be used to target some untenured professors and chide some tenured professors who think scholarly impact might be measured in a more meaningful way (or not at all).  My coauthor and I have said our peace about these measures of “quality” here.

But universities are starting to measure faculty productivity.  The alleged goal is quality, but I’m thinking the real goal is to produce “more stuff.” ...

Making the world a better place might mean spending more time working with students, or writing something not counted in the “stuff” measure that targets the general population.  In short, I fear that instead of focusing on making the world a better place, measuring “stuff” will lead to a more conformist academy (if that’s possible) and one whose direction has been handed over to university administrators and external data miners.

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October 10, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Law School Trial Team Rankings: Stetson Is #1

Trial Competition Performance Rankings:

The Trial Competition Performance Ranking (TCPR) is an objective snapshot of achievement in interscholastic law school trial competitions.

Fordham University School of Law
Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Center
2018 - 2019 Academic Year Fall 2016 - Present
1 Stetson 21 points 1 Stetson 43 points
2 Loyola Chicago 17 points 2 Drexel 29 points
3 UCLA 15 points 3 Fordham 26 points
4 South Carolina 14 points St. Johns 26 points
5 Akron 12 points Wake Forest 26 points
Campbell 12 points 6 Baylor 25 points
7 American 11 points Campbell 25 points
UC-Berkeley 11 points Cumberland 25 points
9 Emory 10 points Loyola Chicago 25 points
10 Baylor 9 points 10 American 24 points
Brooklyn 9 points South Carolina 24 points
Cumberland 9 points UC-Hastings 24 Points
William & Mary 9 points 13 Georgetown 23 points
14 Catholic 8 points 14 Chicago-Kent 22 points
Loyola-L.A. 8 points Northwestern 22 points
SMU 8 points UCLA 22 points
Temple 8 points 17 Akron 21 points
18 Drexel 7 points Loyola-L.A. 21 points
Harvard 7 points 19 Florida 20 points
John Marshall Chicago 7 points Maryland 20 points
St. Thomas 7 points 21 UC-Berkeley 19 points
22 Faulkner 6 points 22 NYU 18 points
Fordham 6 points 23 Brooklyn 17 points
Georgetown 6 points Harvard 17 points
NYU 6 points Temple 17 points
McGeorge 6 points
Syracuse 6 points


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October 9, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

University Of Florida Law School Continues Its Rise In Student Quality And Rankings

The University of Florida Levin College of Law continues its extraordinary rise in student quality and rankings:


Median LSAT

Median UGPA

US News Rank

Fall 2015




Fall 2016




Fall 2017




Fall 2018




Fall 2019




UF Law Celebrates 110th Anniversary With New Culverhouse Challenge:

University of Florida Levin College of Law is pleased to announce its third annual Culverhouse Challenge in honor of the 110th anniversary of UF Law.

Hugh Culverhouse, from the UF Law Class of 1974, has committed to a 10:1 match of 1,000 donations of $110, for a total gift of $1.1 million to fund student scholarships. ...

In addition to his own generous gifts, Culverhouse has spurred several fundraising challenges at UF Law, generating millions of dollars in new student scholarship support.

In 2017, Culverhouse initiated a challenge to the UF Law community to raise $1.5 million to match his $1.5 million commitment. His gift was then matched by the university, resulting in $4.5 million in new scholarship support. In 2018, Culverhouse joined with UF Board of Trustees Chairman Mori Hosseini, who each committed $500,000 to match $1 million in donations from alumni and friends. Once again the university matched their gifts, resulting in $3 million in new scholarship support.

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October 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Top Law Schools For Human Rights

Top Law Schools: Human Rights Law, preLaw, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2019, at 40:

Human RightsAssuring the Gift of Humanity
Protecting human rights is one of the world’s most vexing challenges. Name a nation that hasn’t seen struggles in doing so, including the United States, where migrants are enduring harsh conditions in over-crowded detention centers along our southern border. Helping to defend human rights has long been a vital mission of many law schools. A number of those schools have religious ties. ...

American University Washington College of Law is one of only four schools to get [an A+]. Another 14 schools earned A grades, which shows the emphasis that many schools place on this work.

Unfortunately, the need to defend and protect human rights seems unlikely to go away. Think of all the stresses on human rights, from wars to hostile regimes to poverty to discrimination. ... Many schools that focus on human rights work all around the globe. ... Much of the work takes place in Africe. ... But human rights issues occur in our backyard as well.

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September 21, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tax Prof Twitter Rankings

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)



US News Rank

FL (Overall)

1 (95.7%)

Florida Int'l

4 (91)

2 (87.9%)


1 (31)

3 (86.8%)

Florida State

2 (48)

4 (80.8%)


3 (67)

5 (77.6%)


5 (108)

6 (71.4%)

St. Thomas

Tier 2

7 (71.0%)

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

8 (65.9%)


Tier 2

9 (61.1%)

Florida A&M

Tier 2

10 (57.8%)


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

Arizona State Business School Abandons Tuition-Free MBAs After Rankings Boost Fades

Wall Street Journal, A ‘Free’ M.B.A. Sometimes Isn’t Enough to Lure Students:

Arizona State University LogoArizona State University’s business school used a $50 million donation to bet on a future where its M.B.A. is free. Four years after slashing tuition costs for full-time students to zero, the dean says the cost is still too high for many people.

Turns out, luring talented graduate students to a two-year degree program in the current hot job market requires even more creative financing, says Amy Hillman, dean of ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. The sticker price of business school, which can add up to six figures, is just one of several factors that keep millennials from pursuing an M.B.A.

“We thought by announcing that everyone would be getting the same deal on a world-class education, we’d get a very different class,” she says. “We didn’t know how much scholarships were being used by our peer schools” to lure the same small pool of talent.

In 2015 when the university launched its novel experiment to draw a more diverse M.B.A. class, the news of free M.B.A.s for everybody accepted was met with a flood of interest. Admissions officers were inundated with a record number of applications for the inaugural class of fully funded business-school candidates.

The scholarship program successfully paved a path for many early-career workers in the nonprofit sector and education, Ms. Hillman says. But school leaders underestimated the fierceness of the competition from other M.B.A. programs.

Many universities have started to heavily subsidize the cost of a degree—which can top $200,000 with living expenses at highly ranked programs such as Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania—by awarding millions of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year. Ms. Hillman says schools like hers, regarded among the nation’s top 50 programs by academic-rankings publishers, attract thousands of candidates eager to pursue an M.B.A. at a fraction of the prices those elite schools charge.

Free tuition alone doesn’t provide a strong enough incentive to return to school for some prospects who might need two years’ worth of living expenses to attend full-time, she says. Other admitted applicants were turning down Carey’s offer for even richer scholarship packages at other business schools, the dean adds, highlighting the value of a more flexible financial-aid strategy.

Arizona State

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September 10, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Top 100 Business Schools For Faculty Research

The University of Texas-Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management has released its annual ranking of the Top 100 business schools based on faculty research published in the Top 24 journals. The current ranking is based on publications in the most recent five-year period (2014-2018). Here are the Top 10 in faculty publications, along with each school's in new SSRN download rankings and overall ranking in Poets & Quants (US News (35%), Forbes (25%), Financial Times (15%), Businessweek (15%), and The Economist (10%)):

Faculty Research





Poets & Quants (US News, Forbes, Financial Times, Businessweek, The Economist)



Penn (Wharton)




NYU (Stern)








Texas-Dallas (Jindal)








USC (Marshall)




Chicago (Booth)




Michigan (Ross)




MIT (Sloan)






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

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)

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Self-Citation And 'Citation Farms' Distort Citation Metrics

Science Alert, Some of The World's Most-Cited Scientists Have a Secret That's Just Been Exposed:

A new study has revealed an unsettling truth about the citation metrics that are commonly used to gauge scientists' level of impact and influence in their respective fields of research.

Citation metrics indicate how often a scientist's research output is formally referenced by colleagues in the footnotes of their own papers – but a comprehensive analysis of this web of linkage shows the system is compromised by a hidden pattern of behaviour that often goes unnoticed.

Specifically, among the 100,000 most cited scientists between 1996 to 2017, there's a stealthy pocket of researchers who represent "extreme self-citations and 'citation farms' (relatively small clusters of authors massively citing each other's papers)," explain the authors of the new study, led by physician turned meta-researcher John Ioannidis from Stanford University [A Standardized Citation Metrics Author Database Annotated For Scientific Field]. ...

One of those problems, Ioannidis says, is how self-citations compromise the reliability of citation metrics as a whole, especially at the hands of extreme self-citers and their associated clusters. "I think that self-citation farms are far more common than we believe," Ioannidis told Nature [Hundreds of Extreme Self-Citing Scientists Revealed in New Database]. "Those with greater than 25 percent self-citation are not necessarily engaging in unethical behaviour, but closer scrutiny may be needed." ...

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August 31, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The 50 Most Impressive Law School Buildings In The World

Best Choice Schools, The 50 Most Impressive Law School Buildings in the World:

DurhamFrom stunning examples of Gothic revival to Brutalism’s giant box-like constructions, the world’s most impressive law school buildings span decades and even centuries. With modern marvels like Frank Gehry’s Loyola Law campus and the new University of Sydney Faculty of Law building, and traditional structures like Yale Law’s Sterling Law Building, these architectural giants were chosen for their ingenuity, aesthetic beauty, and commitment to creating an environment that honors the history and study of law. Many of these buildings house some of the world’s most prestigious and selective law programs, and a number of them set a precedent for green building standards and solutions.

Here are the Top 10:

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August 31, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, August 26, 2019

Applications Plunge At The Top 25 MBA Programs For Second Year In A Row; Expert Predicts 10%-20% Of Top 100 Will Close In Next Few Years

Poets & Quants, Apps To Major U.S. MBA Programs Plunge Again:

MBA 2According to Poets&Quants’ study of preliminary Class of 2021 profile data, for the second consecutive year even the highest-ranked business schools in the U.S. are seeing significant declines in full-time MBA applications, with many MBA programs experiencing double-digit drops.

Last year, the top 10 business schools combined saw a drop of about 3,400 MBA applicants, a 5.9% falloff to 53,907 candidates for the 2017-2018 admissions cycle versus 57,311 a year earlier. ... This year, data from more than half of the schools in P&Q‘s top 25 (see table on following page) shows year-over-year declines in all but two schools, and declines across the board going back three cycles, to 2016-2017.

“For the second consecutive year, the top ten schools all saw significant declines in applications,” William Boulding, dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, tells P&Q. “I have been hearing that some schools in the top ten are in double-digit territory, so I think it is going to be worse than last year when all is said and done.”

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August 26, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

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:, 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

Anderson: Citation Engagement v. One-Off Citations

Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), Citation Engagement Counts - The Case of Corporate Law Scholars:

Citation counts (and other types of citation-based metrics) are increasing in importance in the legal academy. Some people like the objectivity of these measures and others lament their failure to capture important non-quantifiable aspects of scholarly influence.

One of the most influential citation count rankings in the legal academy is the Sisk-Leiter approach that Greg Sisk updates every three years. Last fall when the new Sisk et al. citation count study came out I proposed a small change to the Sisk-Leiter method that would attempt to measure engagement, defined as citing a particular article more than once. This was designed to address the "throwaway" citation problem that critics of citation counts have raised — that some papers may receive a large number of perfunctory "one off" citations that are less meaningful as a measure of scholarly influence.

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August 6, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Caron Presents A Dean's Perspective On Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings Today At SEALS

One of the Legal Ed panels today at the 2019 SEALS Annual Conference in Boca Raton, Florida:

SEALs Logo (2013)Building Bridges: Socioeconomics, the LSAT and U.S. News and World Report Rankings
This panel explores methodologies and programs that will help students from low income and diverse backgrounds have opportunities available to them to attend law school. AALS President Wendy Perdue of the University of Richmond has said: “As our society struggles with this problem of deep polarization, lawyers and law schools have an important role to play. Lawyers, are, after all, in the dispute resolution business. Resolving conflict is central to what we do. And today, perhaps more than ever before, the skills that we as lawyers have, and we as law professors teach, are of critical importance.” In order to resolve these conflicts, we need to make sure that all communities have access to engage in these important conversations. The Before the J.D. Study shows that African American and Hispanic students think about going to law school before going to high school and college. In addition, the study highlights that over 60% of students report the most important advice about going to graduate or professional school comes from a family member or relative. Many students from low-income backgrounds do not have family members who are lawyers and are at a disadvantage in getting advice about going to law school because they may not be encouraged by these close family members or friends. There is still a small percentage of African American and Latino/a attorneys Nationwide 5% of lawyers are African American and 5% are of Hispanic origin. These percentages have remained consistent for almost the past ten years. So many students from these racial and ethnic backgrounds also can’t readily turn to family members or friends for inspiration and advice about going to law school. The ABA reports that the entering class for 2017 has an aggregate African American enrollment of 8.6% and 13.2% for Hispanics. Meanwhile, African Americans consist of approximately 13% and Hispanics approximately 18% of the overall U.S. population. These two racial groups, along with Asian Americans, are on target to be a majority of the U.S. population in the next 30 years. Given the growth trends in these demographic groups, there will be an insufficient percent of lawyers from these groups to meet their (and society’s) legal needs in the next few years. Moreover, some scholars have argued that there is a strong tie between socioeconomics and law schools admissions. There has recently been a very passionate Twitter discussion of this issue on Lawprofblawg. Some believe that the LSAT and U.S. News privileges those from middle- and upper middle-class backgrounds. Others point out the LSAT’s strength in providing an accurate assessment of core skills required for success in law school and that an admission process that correctly uses the LSAT as one factor in a multi-factor holistic admission process is fairest to applicants. Recently, U.S. News attempted to reduce economic privilege in its rankings of undergraduate schools by injecting socio economic factors. The formula now includes indicators meant to measure "social mobility" and drops an acceptance rate measure that benefited schools that turned the most students away. A recent Politico article reported that U.S. News will change its methodology at the college level. This panel consists of experts who examine these issues in terms of the LSAT, U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, and socioeconomic and diversity issues.

  • Leonard Baynes (Dean, Houston), Pre-Law Pipeline Program: We’ve Got The Power
  • Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), A Dean's Perspective on Diversity, Socioeconomics, the LSAT, and the U.S. News Law School Rankings
  • Victor Quintanilla (Professor & Co-Director, Center for Law, Society & Culture, Indiana), Initial Results on Relationship Between the LSAT, USNWR, SES, and Demographics From the Productive Mindset Intervention Study
  • Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News), Building Bridges: Socioeconomics, the LSAT and U.S. News and World Report Rankings  
  • Kellye Testy (President & CEO, LSAC; former Dean, University of Washington), Adversity and Admission: Tackling “Opportunity to Learn”

July 31, 2019 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Ranking Legal Publications

Michael Birnhack (Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law), Oren Perez (Bar-Ilan University, Faculty of Law), Ronen Perry (University of Haifa, Faculty of Law) & Doron Teichman (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law), Ranking Legal Publications: The Israeli Inter-University Committee Report:

PressThe Report offers a global ranking of academic legal publications, covering more than 900 outlets, and using a four-tier categorization. The ranking is based on a combined quantitative and qualitative methodology. The Report was composed in the context of the Israeli academic system, but the methodology and the results are not jurisdiction-specific.

Evaluating academic publications is a never-ending challenge. Such evaluation is an integral part of internal hiring, promotion, and tenure procedures, and of external funding decisions and institutional rankings. The proper way to evaluate academic publications has been the subject of fierce debate.

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July 30, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Maintaining Scholarly Integrity In The Age Of Bibliometrics

Andrew T. Hayashi (Virginia) & Gregory Mitchell (Virginia), Maintaining Scholarly Integrity in the Age of Bibliometrics, 68 J. Legal Educ. ___ (2019):

Journal of Legal Education (2018)As quantitative measures of scholarly impact gain prominence in the legal academy, we should expect institutions and scholars to engage in a variety of tactics designed to inflate the apparent influence of their scholarly output. We identify these tactics and identify countermeasures that should be taken to prevent this manipulation. The rise of bibliometrics poses a significant risk to the scholarly endeavor but, with foresight, we can maintain scholarly integrity in the age of bibliometrics.

July 30, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 29, 2019

U.S. News Pulls Rankings Of UC-Berkeley (#22), Scripps (#30), And 3 Other Colleges For Misreporting Data

U.S. News & World Report, Updates to 5 Schools' 2019 Best Colleges Rankings Data:

U.S. News 2019 College RankingsFive Schools Notified U.S. News that they misreported data used to calculate their rankings for the 2019 edition of Best Colleges. The schools are the University of California-Berkeley, Scripps College, Mars Hill University, the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and Johnson & Wales University.

What Does This Mean?
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 five schools' Unranked status will last until the publication of the next edition of the Best Colleges rankings 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 2019 Best Colleges will remain the same on

University of California—Berkeley: The school originally reported that its two-year average alumni giving rate for fiscal years 2017 and 2016 was 11.6%. UC-Berkeley informed U.S. News that its correct average alumni giving rate for just fiscal year 2016 was 7.9%. The school also told U.S. News that it incorrectly included pledges in the alumni giving data provided to U.S. News since at least 2014. The average alumni giving rate has a weight of 5% in the Best Colleges ranking methodology.

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July 29, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 26, 2019

Hyphens In Paper Titles Harm Citation Counts

IHE 2American Association for the Advancement of Science, Hyphens in Paper Titles Harm Citation Counts and Journal Impact Factors:

According to the latest research results, the presence of simple hyphens in the titles of academic papers adversely affects the citation statistics, regardless of the quality of the articles. The phenomenon applies to all major subject areas. Thus, citation counts and journal impact factors, commonly used for professorial evaluations in universities worldwide, are unreliable.

This breakthrough finding poses a fundamental challenge to the rule of the game in determining the contributions of papers, journals, and professors. It is unveiled in a paper titled Metamorphic Robustness Testing: Exposing Hidden Defects in Citation Statistics and Journal Impact Factors by Zhi Quan Zhou, T.H. Tse, and Matt Witheridge, recently published in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, the top journal in the field. ...

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July 26, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

2019 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews

Bryce Clayton Newell (Kentucky), 2019 Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews:

This is an updated ranking of flagship law reviews at US law schools (updated as of July 23, 2019, including the 2020 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., 2011-2020), US News Overall Ranking (avg., 2011-2020), the Washington & Lee University ranking (current version, 2010-2017; default weighting), the Google Scholar ranking (index as of July 2019), 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.

Journal MetaRank prRank usnRank wluRank gRank wlu(IF)Rank
Yale Law Journal  1 2 1 1 1 2
Harvard Law Review  2 1 3 2 2 26
Stanford Law Review  3 3 2 4 3 1
Columbia Law Review  4 4 4 5 5 7
Univ. of Pennsylvania Law Review 5 9 7 3 4 3
NYU Law Review 6 6 6 11 13 12
Virginia Law Review  6 9 8 7 12 5
California Law Review  8 7 9 15 7 17
Georgetown Law Journal  9 13 14 6 6 8
Michigan Law Review  9 8 10 7 14 5
Univ. of Chicago Law Review 9 5 4 21 9 29
Texas Law Review  12 15 15 10 7 19
UCLA Law Review  13 16 16 9 10 4
Duke Law Journal  14 11 11 16 16 9
Cornell Law Review 15 12 13 16 21 9
Minnesota Law Review  16 20 20 12 14 14
Vanderbilt Law Review  17 17 17 18 16 11
Iowa Law Review  18 28 25 14 10 15
Northwestern Univ. Law Review 19 14 12 26 30 22
Boston Univ. Law Review  20 26 24 20 19 36
Notre Dame Law Review  21 24 22 19 26 20
G. Washington Law Review 22 23 21 31 24 34
Southern Calif. Law Review 22 19 18 38 24 30
Emory Law Journal 24 21 23 35 21 26
Washington Univ. Law Review 25 18 19 32 32 23
Boston College Law Review  26 29 30 23 21 24
Fordham Law Review  27 34 39 13 18 39
Indiana Law Journal  28 31 28 27 26 21
William & Mary Law Review  29 33 35 22 29 18
U.C. Davis Law Review  30 27 34 34 26 32
North Carolina Law Review  31 22 38 29 43 25
Wisconsin Law Review 32 25 33 36 39 28
Univ. of Illinois Law Review 33 35 41 30 31 33
Washington Law Review  33 37 31 49 20 49
Washington & Lee Law Review 35 36 36 37 33 41
Florida Law Review  36 39 46 24 34 16
Ohio State Law Journal 37 30 37 39 40 31
Wake Forest Law Review  38 44 40 40 35 46
Hastings Law Journal  39 40 52 33 35 43
Arizona Law Review  40 42 43 42 35 43
Alabama Law Review 41 41 27 45 53 43
UC Irvine Law Review 42 32 26 66 51 57
Cardozo Law Review  43 53 59 25 40 38
Connecticut Law Review  44 52 56 28 47 13
Maryland Law Review 45 47 48 46 46 47
Colorado Law Review  46 42 44 60 43 69
American Univ. Law Review  47 49 66 41 35 40
Arizona State Law Journal 48 45 29 67 51 82
BYU Law Review 49 50 42 48 53 60
Georgia Law Review 50 38 32 51 85 37
George Mason Law Review  51 55 45 44 65 35
Utah Law Review  52 51 47 47 68 50
Houston Law Review 53 66 54 52 47 56
Case Western Reserve Law Review 54 63 63 57 40 71
Tulane Law Review  55 46 51 61 74 83
Florida State Univ. Law Review 56 48 50 68 72 55
Univ. of Miami Law Review 56 54 67 70 47 62
Pepperdine Law Review 58 68 58 54 59 60
Lewis & Clark Law Review  59 82 86 42 47 41
Seton Hall Law Review 60 83 64 54 59 54
San Diego Law Review 61 57 76 72 56 69
Univ. of Richmond Law Review 62 75 57 69 65 65
Brooklyn Law Review 63 69 81 56 68 72
Temple Law Review 63 59 55 83 77 59
SMU Law Review  65 64 49 98 68 115
Denver Univ. Law Review 66 60 71 71 85 85
Univ. of Cincinnati Law Review 67 80 72 61 77 74
Michigan State Law Review 67 97 92 58 43 81
Nevada Law Journal 67 87 70 74 59 58
Missouri Law Review 70 67 75 83 68 96
Chicago-Kent Law Review 71 70 80 85 65 96
Univ. of Kansas Law Review 71 61 74 88 77 96
Oregon Law Review 73 56 89 63 93 67
Loyola Univ. Chicago Law Journal 74 74 78 63 93 62
Tennessee Law Review 75 62 61 93 93 78
Nebraska Law Review 75 79 73 98 59 78
Seattle Univ. Law Review 77 89 103 50 72 62
Penn State Law Review 78 92 69 53 101 47
DePaul Law Review 79 100 109 58 58 53
Oklahoma Law Review 80 78 68 122 59 125
Indiana Law Review 81 76 94 82 85 104
Rutgers Univ. Law Review 82 73 83 92 93 85
Kentucky Law Journal 83 70 62 95 116 78
Loyola of L.A. Law Review 84 65 65 80 135 91
Santa Clara Law Review 84 77 104 63 101 52
Buffalo Law Review 86 101 98 72 77 51
Villanova Law Review 87 86 85 102 77 96
Marquette Law Review 88 90 101 75 85 74
Georgia State Univ. Law Review 89 72 60 96 124 115
Univ. of Pittsburgh Law Review 90 58 79 115 108 96
South Carolina Law Review 91 91 99 86 93 85
Louisiana Law Review 92 102 88 76 106 66
Mitchell Hamline Law Review 93 143 141 90 1000 123
Albany Law Review 94 126 116 78 56 115
Catholic Univ. Law Review 95 96 100 91 90 74
Saint Louis Univ. Law Journal 95 98 95 94 90 105
West Virginia Law Review 97 110 96 107 74 105
Arkansas Law Review 97 95 83 132 77 161
Hofstra Law Review 99 99 107 97 85 118
Syracuse Law Review 100 94 93 128 74 141
Mississippi Law Journal 101 104 108 89 93 85
Howard Law Journal 102 93 116 102 101 93
UMKC Law Review 103 106 115 100 93 123
Baylor Law Review 104 88 53 138 1000 126
Idaho Law Review 105 114 125 133 53 132
Akron Law Review 106 145 134 76 77 67
St. John’s Law Review 107 103 87 135 108 141
Vermont Law Review 108 109 132 79 116 73
Gonzaga Law Review 109 111 113 108 1000 94
Texas Tech Law Review 110 135 112 87 108 85
New York Law School Law Review 111 125 131 81 108 94
Maine Law Review 112 105 123 121 108 130
Duquesne Law Review 112 149 138 111 59 122
Univ. of Louisville Law Review 114 107 97 128 1000 113
Univ. of Hawaii Law Review 115 80 90 170 124 166
Cleveland State Law Review 116 140 120 105 101 74
Drake Law Review 117 131 111 104 124 96
New Mexico Law Review 118 85 76 156 1000 152
Pace Law Review 119 133 136 100 106 110
Univ. of San Francisco Law Review 120 119 140 109 1000 105
Wyoming Law Review 121 115 122 141 101 137
Texas A&M Law Review 122 134 133 1000 108 83
Quinnipiac Law Review 123 132 127 136 93 132
Maryland Law Review  124 120 118 116 135 150
Univ. of Baltimore Law Review 124 122 121 123 1000 91
Tulsa Law Review 126 124 91 151 124 170
The Wayne Law Review 127 116 102 142 135 135
Creighton Law Review 128 128 119 111 142 126
Washburn Law Journal 129 136 130 106 131 105
Chapman Law Review 130 141 129 116 120 103
Univ. of the Pacific Law Review 131 127 137 119 124 155
CUNY Law Review 132 118 127 136 1000 105
Drexel Law Review 133 117 114 145 1000 138
Stetson Law Review 134 112 105 155 1000 182
Southwestern Law Review 134 137 147 123 120 118
Univ. of Memphis Law Review 136 144 145 109 131 90
Northeastern Univ. Law Journal 137 84 82 182 1000 179
Loyola Law Review 138 113 143 127 148 126
Suffolk Univ. Law Review 139 130 150 119 135 146
Univ. of St. Thomas Law Journal 140 139 126 138 1000 118
South Dakota Law Review 141 146 145 118 135 110
Univ. of Arkansas Law Review 142 108 135 152 1000 161
Capital Univ. Law Review 143 169 161 111 108 96
Montana Law Review 143 121 124 162 142 152
Willamette Law Review 145 123 139 146 1000 146
New England Law Review 146 166 161 114 1000 130
Univ. of Toledo Law Review 146 142 142 125 146 146
Touro Law Review 148 167 161 134 108 158
FIU Law Review 149 153 110 160 150 170
John Marshall Law Review 150 150 153 126 150 141

July 25, 2019 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Robert Morse Of U.S. News Receives Lifetime Ranker Achievement Award

Robert Morse Honored with Lifetime Ranker Achievement Award:

Morse (Robert)Robert Morse Received the “Lifetime Ranker Achievement Award” from the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence at their 2019 conference in May in Bologna, Italy. Morse has been at the helm of the U.S. News & World Report Education rankings since 1987. Over the last three decades, Morse led the expansion of U.S. News’ flagship Best Colleges rankings from a reputation survey to a data-driven evaluation of 1,800 schools across the country.

Additionally, U.S. News Education rankings now span from high school to graduate programs. These include the Best High Schools rankings, Best Graduate Schools, Best Online Programs and Best Global Universities. U.S. News also offers its millions of users year-round editorial content and advice on topics such as finding the right collegeapplying to graduate degree programs and paying for online education.

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July 24, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

U.S. News Requests University Of Oklahoma President And Board Chair To Certify Accuracy Of Its Rankings Data For Next Three Years

U.S. News Generic RankingsFollowing up on my previous posts:

Robert Morse (Director of Data Research, U.S. News & World Report), U.S. News Requests Data Certification From University of Oklahoma Chairman and President:

U.S. News has asked both of the university’s top officials to certify the data submitted for the next three years of Best Colleges rankings.

U.S. News & World Report was told by the University of Oklahoma that it submitted inflated alumni giving data to U.S. News for many years. Oklahoma University also disclosed to U.S. News that, for many years, Oklahoma University’s Health Sciences Center’s data was incorrectly included with Oklahoma University's data reported to U.S. News for our Best Colleges rankings.

In light of both these misreporting issues, U.S. News has asked Oklahoma University's Chairman of the Board of Regents Leslie Rainbolt and Oklahoma University's president, Joseph Harroz Jr. to provide a letter certifying the accuracy of Oklahoma University's data in its data submissions to U.S. News for the next three Best Colleges rankings.

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July 23, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Blog Must Go On For This Law Dean, The Blog Must Go On for This Law Dean:

Caron Headshot Cropped (2019)Pepperdine University Law Dean Paul Caron reflects on his two years of running a law school while also publishing his widely read TaxProf Blog, which chronicles legal education's biggest stories.

Paul Caron—legal education’s so-called Blog Emperor—took the reins at Pepperdine University School of Law in 2017, and his two years as dean have been a remarkable ride.

Things got off to a rough start in the spring of 2018 when the school was removed from the U.S. News & World Report rankings after Pepperdine discovered a mistake in the data it submitted that artificially increased its ranking and reported it to the publication. (Pepperdine returned to the ranking this year, moving up from its previous No. 72 to No. 51).

The challenges didn’t end there. In November, a Pepperdine law student was present at a nearby music venue when an armed man opened fire, killing 12. The law student was unharmed but the massacre, in which a Pepperdine undergraduate died, shook the Malibu, California, campus. A day later, the so-called Woolsey Fire tore through the area and came close to leveling the campus. The law school was spared, but closed for more than two weeks in the aftermath.

Through it all, Caron maintained his role as the town crier of legal education with his TaxProf Blog, which aggregates news about tax law and law schools. The 15-year-old blog is a must-read for legal educators and has become an important tool to raise Pepperdine’s profile and stature in the academy. Caron posts stories about events and initiatives at Pepperdine, not to mention plenty of photos of its seaside campus. caught up with Caron this week to discuss juggling the blog with his dean duties and why he hasn’t given TaxProf Blog up. His answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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July 18, 2019 in About This Blog, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (6)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Journal Prestige And Journal Impact In Law

Ignacio Cofone (McGill) & Pierre-Jean G. Malé (Harvard), Journal Prestige and Journal Impact in Law:

While much has been said about the curiosity of the American law review submissions system, something even more curious has been overlooked: American legal scholars ignore the impact-factor of journals, and choose in which journal to publish based on publishing school’s ranking. To investigate whether ranking translates into impact, we collect and analyze historical data from American law journal’s impact-factor and the ranking of their publishing law schools. We first show that there is a correlation between prestige ranking and impact-factor over the years. However, the correlation is not perfect and it varies substantially over time. Second, journal impact-factor shows a larger inter-annual variation than school ranking. This means that impact-factor is a worse predictor of future journal impact than school ranking is of future school prestige. Third, we show that journals published by better law schools have higher inter-annual variation in impact-factor but lower variation in impact-factor based ranking. This result is surprising. We hypothesize that journals from high-ranked schools belong to a less homogeneous pool: few journals make most of the impact due to an exposure bias. We then move to consider authors’ utility from publishing in one journal or another. The optimal strategy for authors will depend on whether they prefer to maximize their prestige among their peers or their impact on the discipline, and how risk averse they are. Conditional on desiring impact, risk-averse scholars should look at school ranking and risk-neutral scholars should look at impact-factor.

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July 15, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

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)

Friday, June 7, 2019

'Adversity' In Law School Admissions?

LSAT (2017), 'Adversity' In Law School Admissions?:

The College Board made headlines last month when it unveiled plans for a new “adversity score” it would calculate for each SAT taker—a metric intended to help colleges gauge the challenges their applicants have encountered in their lives. Officials haven’t unveiled exactly how the score will be calculated, but it will take into account factors such as the percentage of students in the applicant’s high school who qualify for free and reduced lunch, and the average income in the test taker’s zip code. (It won’t factor in race). The adversity scores will be reported separately from SAT scores, and college and university admissions offices will be free to use or not use them in their decision making.

The announcement caused a stir and touched off quite a bit of criticism. This got me wondering whether a similar score could be created for the LSAT, as law schools have long struggled to improve the racial and socio-economic diversity of their student bodies. So I called up Aaron Taylor, the executive director of AccessLex Center for Legal Education Access. Taylor has spent years researching issues of diversity and access within legal education, so I was particularly interested in his thoughts on whether an “adversity score” could work in the law school context. ...

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June 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)