Tuesday, March 13, 2007
...the number of graduates who made LawDragon's list of the top 500 lawyers and judges in America. A somewhat odd list (though not that much odder than U.S. News).
UPDATE: Doug Melamed, a partner at Wilmer Cutler in Washington, DC, writes:
Even if the LawDragon list were a good measure, the rankings would be meaningful only if they were expressed in terms of the number of listed lawyers as a percentage of living alumni of the law school. (Alumni who are currently practicing law would be the best denominator, but I doubt that those numbers are available.) Yale, for example, would be well ahead of Harvard, and Columbia would fall several notches.
That must surely be right. Harvard, Georgetown, and Texas are among the largest law schools in the country (graduating, respectively, 550, 600, and 450 new lawyers per year); Yale and Chicago among the smallest (graduating roughly 200 or fewer lawyers per year).
AND ANOTHER: Ted Seto, the tax scholar at Loyola Law School (Los Angeles), has a different view:
I'm not as certain as you are about the superiority of per capita measures. It depends on what you're trying to measure. A per graduate measure tells you something about the average quality of graduates. An overall measure, by contrast, tells you something about the impact a school has on the legal community. Both are relevant. Average quality
matters. But size matters as well. The University of Texas, for example, would not be nearly as well-known or influential if it were the size of my parent institution, Loyola Marymount University, even if all of its per capita indicators remained identical. Is it really the case that a small school with one Nobel laureate is "better" than a school ten times
the size with "only" nine?