Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Where U.S. Law Faculty Went to Law School

In response to my earlier posting, an Assistant Dean at Michigan sent me some interesting numbers culled from the AALS Directory of Law Teachers.  The data was presented in aggregate form, which works to the advantage of larger schools like Michigan, and covered all those listed in the directory, meaning those who earned their law degees forty years ago, as well as those who earned their degrees ten years ago.  Still, it is easy enough to make a kind of per capita adjustment (to take account of very different school sizes), similar to what I've done for the Supreme Court clerkship listings:  namely, to divide the total number of law teachers by the average recent class size rounded to the nearest 25. 

For the 7,820 tenured and tenure-track law professors listed in the AALS Directory, here are the ten law schools who graduated the most law teachers (adjusted, per above, for class size):

1.  Yale University (3.68)

2.  Harvard University (1.94)

3.  University of Chicago (1.51)

4.  Stanford University (1.33)

5.  Columbia University (0.84)

5.  University of Michigan (0.84)

7.  University of California, Berkeley (0.77)

8.  University of Pennsylvania (0.67)

9.  New York University (0.62)

10. Duke University (0.51)

10. Northwestern Univeristy (0.51)

Obviously schools like Michigan and Penn, which had a more dominant position in legal academia a generation or two ago, fare better by a measure like this, and schools, like NYU, which have improved markedly in the last generation don't do quite as well.  Those changes show up in more recent studies of placement in law teaching.

Michigan also sent me data on the 1,623 faculty at "the top 25" law schools (I don't know what the measure was for "top 25," though I suspect it was U.S. News).  Here are the five law schools that graduated the most law teachers at these "top" schools:

1.  Yale University (1.68)

2.  Harvard University (0.68)

3.  University of Chicago (0.52)

4.  Stanford University (0.39)

5.  Columbia University (0.29)

Michigan comes in at 6th here, with a score of 0.21, followed by Berkeley at 0.20.  The compression of scores thereafter make the further distinctions of dubious significance.

http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2008/01/where-us-law-fa.html

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