Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

U.S. News Reputation Surveys 2013 (surveys done fall 2012)

Here are the academic reputation results (with about a two-thirds response rate) for the top 30 (further out of the top 30, the weirder the results get):

1.  Harvard University (4.8)

1.  Stanford University (4.8)

1.  Yale University (4.8)

4.  Columbia University (4.6)

4.  University of Chicago (4.6)

6.  New York University (4.4)

6.  University of California, Berkeley (4.4)

6.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (4.4)

6.  University of Virginia (4.4)

10. University of Pennsylvania (4.3)

11. Cornell University (4.2)

11. Duke University (4.2)

13. Northwestern University (4.1)

13. Georgetown University (4.1)

13. University of Texas, Austin (4.1)

16. University of California, Los Angeles (3.9)

17. Vanderbilt University (3.8)

18. University of Southern California (3.6)

18. Washington University, St. Louis (3.6)

20. Emory University (3.5)

20. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul (3.5)

20. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (3.5)

23. Boston University (3.4)

23. George Washington University (3.4)

23. University of California, Davis (3.4)

23. University of Notre Dame (3.4)

23. University of Wisconsin, Madison (3.4)

28. Boston College (3.3)

28. Indiana University, Bloomington (3.3)

28. University of Iowa (3.3)

28. Washington & Lee University (3.3)

One interesting general result is the way that the reputational "gaps" between schools have hardened.  Two interesting particular results, and both fair ones, in my view:  Notre Dame, which has made dramatic improvements in faculty quality in the last twenty years, is now solidly in the top 25 in academic reputation; and UC Davis, which has also improved significantly in the last generation, is also now solidly top 25. 

The lawyer/judge repuation surveyr response rate fell to 9% this year, the lowest ever--no doubt reflecting the irrelevance of the US New sresults to employer recruiting.  U.S. News has been averaging results in this category voer two years in these surveys for awhile now, in order to take account of the low response rate:

1.  Harvard University (4.8)

2.  Stanford University (4.7)

2.  University of Chicago (4.7)

2.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (4.7)

2.  Yale University (4.7)

6.  Columbia University (4.6)

6.  New York University (4.6)

6.  University of Pennsylvania (4.6)

6.  University of Virginia (4.6)

10. Cornell University (4.5)

10. Duke University (4.5)

10. Georgetown University (4.5)

13. Northwestern University (4.4)

13. University of California, Berkeley (4.4)

15. University of Texas, Austin (4.3)

16. Vanderbilt University (4.2)

17. University of California, Los Angeles (4.1)

17. University of Southern California (4.1)

19. College of William & Mary (4.0)

19. Indiana University, Bloomington (4.0)

19. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (4.0)

19. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hll (4.0)

19. University of Notre Dame (4.0)

19. Washington & Lee University (4.0)

19. Washington University, St. Louis (4.0)

26. Emory University (3.9)

26. George Washington University (3.9)

26. University of Florida, Gainesville (3.9)

26. University of Washington (3.9)

30. Boston University (3.8)

30. University of California, Hastings (3.8)

30. Wake Forest University (3.8)

These results are very Northeast-centric, due to the way U.S. News surveys law firms.  But the most striking result here is that Columbia and NYU tied, probably the first time ever, in this category.  Another striking result is that UCLA and USC tred in reptuation as well among practitioners, again, I believe, for the first time.

Some other observations:  Florida State came in 48th overall given the U.S. News formula, while Florida came in 46th, though I think it is now common knowledge among academics that FSU has the stronger faculty.  The University of Illinois, which suffered a severe reputational penalty last year for its fraudulent data reporting, sunk even further to 47th overall, and reputational scores outside the top 30 among both academics and practitioners.  In terms of faculty quality, it is now pretty clearly the most underranked law school in U.S. News, but it may also offer a cautionary note to schools that cheat in the reporting. 

http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2013/03/us-news-reputation-surveys-2013-surveys-done-fall-2012.html

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