March 05, 2014
More signs of the time: declining 1L enrollments
Blog Emperor Caron has the sordid details. Not all declines are created equal: some are due to dramatic drops in applicants, but some are surely due to a desire to preserve the numerical quality of the study body and thus rankings. The schools with increases in enrollment, also noted, are interesting.
March 03, 2014
NLJ 250 Placement Rankings corrected...
February 25, 2014
Where the NLJ 250 firms hire
Blog Emperor Caron reports on the brand new listing. Some shuffling about, but basically the same as in prior years (Columbia, Harvard, Chicago, Penn almost always in the top five; NYU, Northwestern almost always in the top six; Stanford, Cornell, Duke, Berkeley almost always in the top ten; etc.). Yale's typically weak performance is due to the fact that the NLJ 250 study does not capture graduates who go into clerkships, are doing PhDs, going into government service, joining elite litigation boutiques, and so on.
February 20, 2014
Law firm hiring, the latest NALP report for fall 2013
Good, not great: much better than the depths of the recession, and holding steady or improving from last year in most parts of the country, but not close to being back to pre-recession levels (no surprise there).
January 28, 2014
California bar passage rates...
UPDATE: Blog Emperor Caron breaks out the data in a chart. Here's how the school's rank by percentage of first-time test-takers who passed the bar between 1997 and 2011 (the number in parentheses is the rank for the period 2007-2011, which gives a sense of which schools have improved their performance, and which have not):
1. Stanford University (1)
2. University of California, Berkeley (3)
3. University of California, Los Angeles (4)
4. University of Southern California (2)
5. University of California, Hastings (7)
6. University of California, Davis (7)
7. Pepperdine University (5)
8. Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (6)
9. University of San Diego (13)
10. University of San Francisco (9)
January 05, 2014
SSRN Download Mystery
I just happened to look, for the first time in a few months, at the download stats for law professors at SSRN, and here's what I found for the last 12 months (the first number is the total number of downloads in the last 12 months, the second is the download rank, and the third is the number of new papers in the last 12 months):
The mystery is: what happened to Cass Sunstein (Harvard) and Daniel Solove (George Washington), who are usual mainstays of the top ten? (Several years ago, Solove published a paper that got picked up by the media and which has been downloaded some 135,000 times all by itself!). Shoot me an e-mail if you know.
UPDATE: An astute reader notes that it appears Harvard and George Washington faculty were somehow not counted, since also missing from the law list are high download authors like Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard) and Orin Kerr (George Washington)!
SOLUTION: The "all authors" list includes the missing law professors, yielding the following top ten list for law faculty:
1. Cass Sunstein (Harvard)
2. Daniel Solove (George Washington)
3. Glenn Reynolds (Tennessee)
4. Dan Kahan (Yale)
5. Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard)
6. Mark Lemley (Stanford)
7. Brian Leiter (Chicago)
8. Orin Kerr (George Washington)
9. Ryan Goodman (NYU)
10. G. Mitu Gulati (Duke)
The only real surprise there is Reynolds, though considering his blog has at least a half million readers, I'm surprised he isn't #1!
December 31, 2013
Signs of the times: 2013 in review
A useful wrap-up from Karen Sloan at The National Law Journal.
Happy New Year to all readers!
December 17, 2013
1l Enrollment in fall 2013 down 11% from the prior year
The ABA report is here:
The 202 ABA-approved J.D. programs reported that 39,675 full-time and part-time students began their law school studies in the fall of 2013. This is a decrease of 4,806 students (11 percent) from the fall of 2012 and a 24 percent decrease from the historic high 1L enrollment of 52,488 in the fall of 2010.
Approximately two-thirds of ABA-law schools (135) experienced declines in first-year enrollment from last year. At 81 law schools, 1L declines exceeded 10 percent.
At 63 schools, 1L enrollment increased from 2012. At 27 of those schools, enrollment increased 10 percent or more.
At 34 schools, the number of 1L students stayed within five students above or below last year’s figures.
December 13, 2013
More signs of the times: cost-competition among Philly law schools
December 12, 2013
Ranking of law schools by percentage of Class of 2012 that got jobs with large law firms or federal clerkships
It's here, and somewhat misleadingly titled "elite" employment outcomes. But since it uses a size cut-off, it means that graduates who go to Barlit Beck in Chicago, or Kellogg Huber in D.C. (high-end litigation boutiques that pay top dollar and only hire the best of the best) don't count as "elite" employment outcomes! Such is life, and no measure is ever perfect, and the results are still useful and not wholly surprising:
1. University of Pennsylvania (75.2%)
2. Stanford University (74.0%)
3. Harvard University (69.7%)
4. Columbia University (66.5%)
5. University of Chicago (66.0%)
6. Yale University (64.7%)
7. Cornell University (63.9%)
8. Duke University (63.7%)
9. University of California, Berkeley (60.3%)
10. New York University (57.3%)
11. Northwestern University (55.4%)
12. University of Virginia (52.7%)
13. University of California, Irvine (51.8%)
14. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (51.4%)
After these fourteen, there is a big-drop off to the next cluster:
15. Georgetown University (39.3%)
16. Vanderbilt University (38.8%)
17. University of California, Los Angeles (38.0%)
18. University of Southern California (37.6%)
19. University of Texas, Austin (34.9%)
20. Fordham University (33.2%)
21. Boston University (31.9%)
22. University of Notre Dame (31.1%)
23. Boston College (27.7%)
24. Emory University (27.0%)
25. University of Georgia (26.2%)
26. Washington University, St. Louis (25.9%)
27. George Washington University (24.2%)
28. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (22.8%)
29. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (20.7%)
30. West Virginia University (20.4%)
31. Wake Forest University (19.2%)
32. University of Houston (19.1%)
33. Southern Methodist University (17.4%)
33. University of Alabama (17.4%)
35. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul (17.2%)
36. Howard University (16.6%)
37. College of William & Mary (15.7%)
38. Washington & Lee University (15.4%)
39. Tulane University (15.2%)
39. Villanova University (15.2%)
41. University of California, Hastings (15.1%)
42. University of Kentucky (15.0%)
Why does Penn come out ahead of Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Chicago and Yale? Penn clearly has excellent big firm placement, but I suspect they also have fewer JD/PhD students, fewer graduates going to elite litigation boutiques, and fewer going into government work--all jobs that don't count in this listing. Geography is clearly important, too: Fordham has long been the #3 law school in the country's biggest "big firm" legal market, and it shows up in their placement. Schools with regional importance, like West Virginia and Georgia, do well in federal clerkships and placement with the large firms in their areas. But this is useful information for students to keep in mind, since the 42 schools with 15% or more of their 2012 graduates at big firms or in federal clerkships does not correspond to the top 42 schools in terms of faculty quality, or U.S. News.