Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Macleans Ranking of Canadian Law Schools

Results in the four main components of the ranking (placement at elite law firms, national placement success, Supreme Court clerkship placement, and scholarly impact of the faculty), plus a discussion of the methodology and its rationale are now on-line.  The overall results are available in the printed version of the magazine, which is on newstands now.  The top three law schools, overall, were, in order, Toronto, McGill, and Osgoode, though more interesting in my view is how the schools fared by the individual measures.

UPDATE:  A couple of folks have asked why LSAT scores weren't part of this ranking.  Several reasons:  (1) those figures would be self-reported by the schools, and some might not want to report it, and there would be no way to verify the accuracy of what was reported; (2) LSAT scores are very weak indicators of either academic or professional success or competence; (3) there are always problems about the meaningfulness of comparing the median of different-sized groupings, which would result given that Canadian law schools range from the very small to the very big; and (4) if one gives significant weight to LSAT score as a factor in the ranking that gives schools a (bad) incentive to over-emphasize a credential of limited academic value in future admissions cycles (that's already happened in the U.S., to the detriment of legal education).

ANOTHER:  The Macleans site doesn't make clear (at least not currently) that "elite firm" placement included the top New York law firms, as well as top firms in all the markets throughout Canada.

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