Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

ATL's approach to ranking law schools: decide what the result should be, then adjust the criteria accordingly

I wish I were making this up, but here it is:

“The top 15 or so are roughly the same schools as you would find in U.S. News and elsewhere,” explains Brian Dalton, research director for Above the Law. “Yale, Harvard and Stanford are the top three as they would be under any credible ranking scheme…"

Note that when U.S. surveyed lawyers and judges last fall (with a 32% respones rate, an all-time high for these surveys), here were "the top three":

1.  Harvard University (4.8)

1.  Stanford University (4.8)

3.  Columbia University (4.7)

3.  University of Chicago (4.7)

3.  Yale University (4.7)

But, heck, what do lawyers and judges know.

And here are the "top three" schools based on scholarly impact in the study by Greg Sisk (St. Thomas) and colleagues in 2012:

1.  Yale University

2.  Harvard University

3.  University of Chicago

And the "top three" according to The National Law Journal based on big firm placement:

1.  Columbia University

2.  University of Chicago

3.  New York University

 And the "top three" in the business law areas:

1.  Harvard University

2.  Columbia University

3.  New York University

But, of course, any "credible" ranking must replicate U.S.

If they really aren't about to go under, they surely deserve to if this is really their approach.

Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink