Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Top Producers of New Law Teachers 2003-2006

Utilizing the data that Larry Solum has compiled for three years on where newly hired law teachers earned their first degree (here and here and here), I've compiled a list of the top 15 producers of new law teachers during this time period.  (Note:  Solum's listings aren't comprehensive, as some appointments do not get reported to him.  I've no reason to think this favors one school as against any other.)  Next to the name of each school appears the number of graduates who took tenure-track jobs in the last three years; and following that number is the number of students in a typical class (rounded to the nearest 50) based on recent ABA Guides to U.S. Law Schools.  t of them earned their law degrees 3-8 years ago.)  Because the numbers that enter law teaching are so small, and because the sample size here (just three years), is also small, it's hard to know whether per capita measures are informative, or just confusing.  (The reality of hiring, too, is that it helps to have a lot of graduates of your school in law teaching:  institutional loyalty and all that.)  Yet surely it is relevant when comparing, e.g., Harvard and Yale, that Harvard is two-and-a-half-times the size of Yale, yet Yale places almost as many graduates in teaching as Harvard.  So while the first ranking below is based on total number of graduates placed in law teaching jobs during this period, the second ranking is based on a crude per capita figure (crude because we don't know precisely the number of graduates from which those entering law teaching were drawn).  (Remember:  because the totals for most schools are small, another year's data could change the results significantly.)

Note that Solum's data, and my aggregation of it here, do not control for quality of the school at which graduates are hired, or for the number of graduates who earned other degrees from other institutions prior to securing a post in law teaching.  (This is important, e.g., in the case of Kansas, perhaps the most surprising performer on the list.)  I will be publishing soon an updated version of an earlier study of placement in law teaching, which will control for quality, looking at tenure-track faculty at the top 50 schools (by U.S. News measures) and the top 40 schools by academic measures (like reputation, citations, etc.). 

Top Producers of New Law Teachers, 2003-2006 

By Total Number

1.  Harvard University (77) (550)

2.  Yale University (67) (200)

3.  Columbia University (28) (400)

4.  New York University (22) (400)

5.  Stanford University (21) (150)

5.  University of Chicago (21) (200)

7.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (15) (350)

7.  University of Virginia (15) (350)

9. University of California, Berkeley (11) (250)

9. University of Pennsylvania (11) (250)

11. Georgetown University (10) (600)

12. Duke University (8) (200)

12. University of Texas, Austin (8) (450)

14. University of California, Los Angeles (6) (250)

15. Cornell University (4) (200)

15. Northwestern University (4) (200)

15. University of Kansas (4) (150)

By Per Capita Number

1.  Yale University (.34)

2.  Harvard University (.14)

2.  Stanford University (.14)

4.  University of Chicago (.11)

5.  Columbia University (.07)

6.  New York University (.06)

7.  Duke University (.04)

7.  University of California, Berkeley (.04)

7.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (.04)

7.  University of Pennsylvania (.04)

7.  University of Virginia (.04)

12. University of Kansas (.03)

13. Cornell University (.02)

13. Northwestern University (.02)

13. Georgetown University (.02)

13. University of California, Los Angeles (.02)

13. University of Texas, Austin (.02)

UPDATE:  A couple of readers point out that a better measure than the per capita one would be the ratio of hires to those who applied for law teaching jobs.  Unfortunately, I know of no way to efficiently gather that data.  Of course, only if an interest in law teaching is unevenly distributed among students at top schools (I would guess, e.g., that the interest is higher among students at Yale, Harvard, and Chicago than at other top law schools) should we expect this to yield very different results.

ANOTHER:  For the benefit of the slow, the "per capita" figures are (obviously, I would have thought) rounded.  Given that we don't know the actual number of graduates in the relevant pools, and given that the number getting teaching jobs are small, even the rounded figures may reflect a misleading amount of precision.

http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2006/05/top_producers_o.html

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Brian Leiter, using data from Larry Solum's law professor hiring reports from 2003-2006, has compiled information about the law schools that manufacture the most new law professors. The Top 5 producers of law professors, on a per capita basis, are:... [Read More]

Tracked on May 19, 2006 5:36:24 PM