Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Friday, September 1, 2006

Top 20 Law Schools by Size of Endowement (based on data from 2000)

Someone recently supplied me this slightly dated information (from the year 2000) about law school endowments.  The numbers would no doubt be higher today in most instances, though the relative ranking might not be that changed (an exception would be UVA, which would be higher in most instances now I suspect).

Three sets of figures are given. Gross endowment is important, since larger schools have economies of scale. Per-student endowment is self-explanatory. Per-student endowment adjusted for regional differences in cost-of-living is significant since at least some of the things that endowment income is spent on--e.g., faculty salary and perks (e.g., housing subsidies)--are sensitive to cost-of-living. Of course, other factors are not: e.g., schools like Notre Dame and UVA in relatively low cost-of-living areas have to spend more money to bring in speakers, host conferences, and put on other events that are part of a thriving academic life (and which are often supported by endowment funds).

Endowment, of course, is only one source of revenue.  State schools also earn revenue from tuition and state support; private schools have only tuition as the other major source of revenue, though their tuitions tend to be significantly higher.  Many law schools also generate some revenue from post-JD programs (e.g., LLM degrees) and Continuing Legal Education programs.

TOP 20 LAW SCHOOLS BASED ON GROSS VALUE OF ENDOWMENT (rounded, in millions)

1.  Harvard University (926)

2.  Yale University (350)

3.  Columbia University (280)

3.  Stanford University (280)

5.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (248)

6.  New York University (211)

7.  University of Chicago (209)

8.  University of California, Berkeley (198)

9.  University of Texas, Austin (168)

10. University of Virginia (165)

11. Northwestern University (151)

12. University of Southern California (145)

13. University of Notre Dame (130)

14. Washington University, St. Louis (121)

15. Georgetown University (117)

16. Mercer University (91)

17. Cornell University (90)

17. University of Pennsylvania (90)

19. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (84)

20. Vanderbilt University (78)

TOP 20 LAW SCHOOLS BASED ON PER-STUDENT VALUE OF ENDOWMENT (rounded, in thousands)

1.  Yale University (590)

2.  Harvard University (559)

3.  Stanford University (518)

4.  University of Chicago (374)

5.  Columbia University (248)

6.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (241)

6.  University of Notre Dame (241)

8.  University of California, Berkeley (235)

9.  Northwestern University (234)

10. University of Southern California (233)

11. Mercer University (224)

12. Washington University, St. Louis (195)

13. Cornell University (167)

14. New York University (156)

15. University of Virginia (150)

16. Vanderbilt University (143)

17. Duke University (124)

18. University of Texas, Austin (122)

19. University of Pennsylvania (117)

20. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (113)

TOP 20 LAW SCHOOLS BASED ON PER-STUDENTE VALUE OF THE ENDOWMENT (rounded, in thousands) AS ADJUSTED FOR COST-OF-LIVING (using Boston as the baseline)

1.  Yale University (900)

2.  Harvard University (559)

3.  University of Notre Dame (526)

4.  Mercer University (494)

5.  Washington University, St. Louis (390)

6.  University of Chicago (386)

7.  Stanford University (360)

8.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (314)

9.  University of Virginia (289)

10. Cornell University (285)

11. Vanderbilt University (276)

12. Northwestern University (242)

13. Duke University (226)

14. Washington & Lee University (214)

15. University of Texas, Austin (208)

16. University of Southern California (200)

17. Case Western Reserve University (196)

18. University of Pennsylvania (181)

19. University of California, Berkeley (178)

20. Columbia University (167)

http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2006/09/top_20_law_scho.html

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