October 10, 2016

A Nobel Prize in Law?

 It's Nobel Prize season, and Law, like my other field, Philosophy, is not a recognized subject for the prize.  But what if there were a Nobel Prize?  I surveyed my philosophy readers, and came up with ten deserving candidates.  But what about for law?  I've limited this just to those working in the U.S., though there are many deserving candidates in other legal cultures, but I suspect few readers will know enough about them to meaningfully compare (outside jurisprudence, I hardly know enough to even correctly identify plausible candidates).

So which living legal scholar in the U.S. should get a Nobel Prize in Law? We'll rank the top ten.  Have fun!

ADDENDUM:  I hope it goes without saying that there are no doubt errors of omission in the list.  One that has come to my attention, who might have had a shot for the top ten, is Richard Delgado, now at Alabama.  But I fear there will be others.

A LAST ONE:  Some other good suggestions for folks who should have been included:  Elizabeth Warren, Wayne LaFave, Suzanna Sherry, Charles Lawrence.


October 10, 2016 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

October 03, 2016

50 Best Law Faculties, 2016 edition

Well, respondents to the poll were supposed to be evaluating the scholarly distinction of the faculties, but it's not clear they were, given how close many (but not all) results track the U.S. News nonsense number, which is many things, but not a measure of the scholarly distinction of the faculty.   How else to explain, say, the fact that NYU ranks behind Columbia, a result which fits the U.S. News result but not plausible metrics of faculty quality?   Still there were several schools that over-performed their U.S. News rank, in each case rightly so I think:

UC Irvine came in #21 here, but #28 in U.S. News

Fordham came in #27 here, but #37 in U.S. News

University of Illinois came in #29 here, but #40 in U.S. News

UC Hastings came in #37 here, but #50 in U.S. News

Florida State came in #39 here, but #50 in U.S. News

San Diego came in #44 here, but #74 in U.S. News

Brooklyn came in #46 here, but #97 in U.S. News

Cardozo came in #48 here, but #74 in U.S. News

Schools that underperformed here in comparison to U.S. News by a significant margin include:

Arizona State University:  #25 in U.S. News, #40 here.

Indiana University, Bloomington:  #25 in U.S. news, #35 here.

University of Georgia:  #33 in U.S. News, #43 here

Brigham Young University:  #38 in U.S. News, not in the top fifty here

In some of these cases, there are good reasons why the schools fare better in U.S. News (e.g., caliber of student body, job placement).

In any case, with 422 votes cast here are the results for 2016 (and for comparison, here's 2014--an ambitious person might see whether changes from 2014 to 2016 are explained by change in U.S. news rank of the school!):

1. Yale University  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Harvard University  loses to Yale University by 197–158
3. Stanford University  loses to Yale University by 294–68, loses to Harvard University by 287–72
4. University of Chicago  loses to Yale University by 304–58, loses to Stanford University by 211–144
5. Columbia University  loses to Yale University by 326–43, loses to University of Chicago by 193–154
6. New York University  loses to Yale University by 334–31, loses to Columbia University by 195–154
7. University of California, Berkeley  loses to Yale University by 351–23, loses to New York University by 262–93
8. University of Pennsylvania  loses to Yale University by 351–16, loses to University of California, Berkeley by 205–137
9. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor  loses to Yale University by 355–15, loses to University of Pennsylvania by 181–151
10. University of Virginia  loses to Yale University by 356–10, loses to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor by 189–135
11. Duke University  loses to Yale University by 354–9, loses to University of Virginia by 202–130
12. Georgetown University  loses to Yale University by 356–10, loses to Duke University by 205–128
13. Northwestern University  loses to Yale University by 351–12, loses to Georgetown University by 177–148
14. Cornell University  loses to Yale University by 355–10, loses to Northwestern University by 167–156
15. University of California, Los Angeles  loses to Yale University by 358–12, loses to Cornell University by 176–152
16. University of Texas, Austin  loses to Yale University by 356–7, loses to University of California, Los Angeles by 194–129
17. Vanderbilt University  loses to Yale University by 354–7, loses to University of Texas, Austin by 203–100
18. University of Southern California  loses to Yale University by 346–8, loses to Vanderbilt University by 201–95
19. Tied:
Boston University  loses to Yale University by 353–5, loses to University of Southern California by 192–99
University of Minnesota  loses to Yale University by 347–6, loses to University of Southern California by 181–103
21. University of California, Irvine  loses to Yale University by 355–8, loses to Boston University by 169–124
22. Tied:
George Washington University  loses to Yale University by 350–5, loses to University of California, Irvine by 148–147
Washington University, St. Louis  loses to Yale University by 348–2, loses to University of California, Irvine by 151–144
24. Emory University  loses to Yale University by 347–6, loses to George Washington University by 151–118
25. University of Notre Dame  loses to Yale University by 347–4, loses to Emory University by 164–98
26. University of California, Davis  loses to Yale University by 345–11, loses to University of Notre Dame by 144–129
27. Fordham University  loses to Yale University by 348–6, loses to University of California, Davis by 149–136
28. Boston College  loses to Yale University by 346–8, loses to Fordham University by 137–135
29. University of Illinois  loses to Yale University by 341–4, loses to Boston College by 154–111
30. University of Iowa  loses to Yale University by 342–3, loses to University of Illinois by 129–113
31. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  loses to Yale University by 344–4, loses to University of Iowa by 130–120
32. University of Wisconsin, Madison  loses to Yale University by 341–2, loses to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill by 154–102
33. College of William & Mary  loses to Yale University by 341–6, loses to University of Wisconsin, Madison by 130–123
34. University of Alabama  loses to Yale University by 336–8, loses to College of William & Mary by 143–115
35. Indiana University, Bloomington  loses to Yale University by 337–3, loses to University of Alabama by 126–117
36. Ohio State University  loses to Yale University by 343–3, loses to Indiana University, Bloomington by 130–108
37. University of California, Hastings College of Law  loses to Yale University by 342–5, loses to Ohio State University by 129–114
38. University of Arizona  loses to Yale University by 339–7, loses to University of California, Hastings College of Law by 130–111
39. Florida State University  loses to Yale University by 335–6, loses to University of Arizona by 137–104
40. Arizona State University  loses to Yale University by 331–9, loses to Florida State University by 125–116
41. University of Colorado  loses to Yale University by 335–5, loses to Arizona State University by 124–107
42. George Mason University  loses to Yale University by 340–7, loses to Arizona State University by 137–111
43. University of Georgia  loses to Yale University by 334–4, loses to University of Colorado by 124–102
44. University of San Diego  loses to Yale University by 342–9, loses to University of Georgia by 125–110
45. University of Washington, Seattle  loses to Yale University by 335–3, loses to University of San Diego by 122–113
46. Brooklyn Law School  loses to Yale University by 337–11, loses to University of Washington, Seattle by 131–117
47. University of Florida  loses to Yale University by 330–3, loses to Brooklyn Law School by 125–110
48. Yeshiva University/Cardozo School of Law  loses to Yale University by 331–4, loses to University of Florida by 121–110
49. Washington & Lee University  loses to Yale University by 333–4, loses to Yeshiva University/Cardozo School of Law by 122–100
50. University of Maryland  loses to Yale University by 329–4, loses to Washington & Lee University by 115–101


October 3, 2016 in Rankings | Permalink

September 28, 2016

50 Best Law School Faculties in Terms of Scholarly Distinction, 2016 edition

Here's a list of 76 faculties that might have some claim on having one of the 50 strongest law faculties in terms of scholarly distinction (with apologies to any wrongly omitted).  Have fun!  Detailed ballott reporting will make attempts at strategic voting obvious, so don't!  I'll call out your school!  Remember, this is about the scholarly distinction of the faculties, so if all you know is the U.S. News rank, don't complete the survey, or choose "no opinion" for those schools! 

BAD BEHAVIOR WATCH:  Remarkably, 4  people have ranked Arizona State ahead of Yale!  I wonder where they teach?  By way of comparison, only 3 people ranked Columbia ahead of Yale (though 5 did give that edge to Berkeley)--at least this voting is defensible, depending on one's benchmarks for scholarly excellence.  ASU is one of the top regional law schools in my judgment, but there's no honest ordering in which it comes out ahead of Yale.  (I use Yale as the comparison only because that's easy to read off the data, since Yale is currently #1--when Harvard was #1, the pattern was similar.)  If you want to get a sense of attempted strategic voting, take a look at how much schools lower down the list lose to Yale by:  most lose in a shut-out, but several, including ASU, do not.  Tsk, tsk!


September 28, 2016 in Rankings | Permalink

September 26, 2016

Law school enrollment trends 2010-2015 in one state: Indiana

The Midwest was hit slightly harder by the downturn in applications than other parts of the country, but still this chart shows where we are from the 2010 peak, and also that many schools are recovering a bit.  (2010, it is important to remember, was the peak for applications and enrollments.)


September 26, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

September 20, 2016

The turmoil at the University of Florida over its tax program

Blog Emperor Caron has been tracking this--one might start here.  One peculiarity of the critical analysis of the tax program by UF faculty member Robert Rhee is that, in discussing the Sisk data on faculty citations, he fails to note (at least not that I saw) that tax is a low-citation field compared to corporate or constitutional law or just about every other field!  That does lead me to wonder about the reliability of other parts of his analysis.

Meanwhile, the drama continues here, with Rhee replying to a colleague.  I must admit, the spectacle of this debate about a school's program playing out on blogs is an embarrassment by itself.  Between the Blog Emperor and the perpetually aggrieved Jeffrey Harrison (who naturally, has been weighing in on this affair), also a UF faculty member, Dean Rosenbury has her hands full!   Florida was fortunate to get a Dean of this caliber, folks there should behave better!


September 20, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

September 01, 2016

Law schools with the most alumni on the law teaching market 2016-17

This is based on the first FAR, and includes SJDs and LLMs, as well as JDs:

Harvard University (35)

Georgetown University (31)

Yale University (26)

New York University (25)

University of Michigan (18)

Columbia University (16)

Northwestern University (14)

Stanford University (12)

University of California, Berkeley (12)

University of Pennsylvania (9)

George Washington University (8)

Cornell University (6)

University of Texas, Austin (5)

University of Virginia (5)

Duke University (4)

University of Wisconsin, Madison (4)

Emory University (3)

University of California, Los Angeles (3)

University of Chicago (3)

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (3)

As I noted, this is an unusually small contingent for Chicago this year (we usually have 6-10 candidates), but we do work closely with the vast majority of our alums to time their entry to the teaching market when they can put their best feet forward.  Based on past success rates, I fear some schools may have too many graduates on the market.


September 1, 2016 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

August 26, 2016

Citations to faculty scholarship by federal and state courts

Courtesy of the good folks at St. Thomas.  The number of cites are remarkably few, even for those in "the top ten."  

UPDATE:  A colleage elsewhere writes with an explanation for why the numbers are artificially low:  "They only counted citations in the Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and state supreme courts. Also, they only counted citations to traditional law review articles: Citations to books, treatises, etc were not counted." 


August 26, 2016 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

August 24, 2016

Law schools with the highest percentage of "most-cited" tenured faculty, 2010-2014 (CORRECTED 8/24)

Over the last several months, we've compiled "top ten" or "top twenty" lists of "most-cited" faculty (based on the Sisk data) in the following areas of scholarship:   Constitutional & Public Law; Administrative and/or Environmental Law; Criminal Law & Procedure; Commercial Law; Corporate Law/Securities Regulation; Torts; Property; Civil Procedure; Evidence; Tax; Antitrust; Legal Ethics/Legal Profession; International Law; Intellectual Property/Cyberlaw; Family Law; Law & Economics; Legal History; Law & Philosophy; Law & Social Science (excluding economics); and Critical Theories of Law.

Below, any school with at least three faculty on these lists are ranked by the percentage of tenured faculty (based on the Sisk count) who appeared in some "most cited" list (each faculty member is counted but once, even if they appeared on more than one list). 

 

Rank

School

Tenured Faculty in Sisk study

# of Highly-Cited

Faculty

% faculty highly-cited

1

University of Chicago

29

14

48%

 

Yale University

46

22

48%

3

Harvard University

82

30

37%

4

University of California, Berkeley

53

18

34%

5

New York University

82

26

32%

6

Columbia University

73

22

30%

7

Stanford University

49

14

29%

8

University of Pennsylvania

43

11

26%

9

Duke University

40

10

25%

 

University of California, Irvine

24

  6

25%

 

Vanderbilt University

32

  8

25%

12

University of California, Los Angeles

54

13

24%

13

Cornell University

35

  8

23%

14

Northwestern University

34

  6

18%

15

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

47

  8

17%

 

University of Minnesota

46

  8

17%

17

George Washington University

66

  9

14%

 

Georgetown University

81

11

14%

19

Case Western Reserve University

23

  3

13%

 

George Mason University

31

  4

13%

21

University of California, Hastings

38

  4

11%

 

University of Southern California

28

  3

11%

 

University of Texas, Austin

65

  7

11%

 

University of Virginia

66

  7

11%

 

Wake Forest University

28

  3

11%

26

Brooklyn Law School

33

  3

  9%

27

Boston University

36

  3

  8%

 

Fordham University

53

  4

  8%

 

Ohio State University

36

  3

  8%

 

University of San Diego

37

  3

  8%

Other schools with at least two tenured faculty on the most-cited lists were:   American University; University of Hawaii; University of California, Davis; Arizona State University; University of Arizona; Emory University; University of Illinois; Washington University, St. Louis; Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University; Indiana University/Bloomington; Temple University; University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill.


August 24, 2016 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

10 Most-Cited Family Law Faculty, 2010-2014 (inclusive) [CORRECTED; first posted 7/27]

MOVING TO FRONT:  Turns out family law has evolved quite a bit since the last time we looked at the field more than a decade ago, hence several wrongful omissions, now hopefully all fixed!

Once again, this draws on the data from the 2015 Sisk study:    

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2016

1

Martha Fineman

Emory University

  580

66

2

Naomi Cahn

George Washington University

  540

58

3

Elizabeth Scott

Columbia University

  520

71

4

Lynn Wardle

Brigham Young University

  380

69

5

Mark Strasser

Capital University

  360

61

6

June Carbone

University of Minnesota

  340

62

 

Nancy Polikoff

American University

  340

64

 

Robin Wilson

University of Illinois

  340

48

9

Joanna Grossman

Southern Methodist University

  310

48

 

Melissa Murray

University of California, Berkeley

  310

41

   

Runners-up:

   
 

Kerry Abrams

University of Virginia

  260

45

 

Susan Appleton

Washington University, St. Louis

  260

68

 

Jill Hasday

University of Minnesota

  250

44

 

Carol Sanger

Columbia University

  250

68

   

Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in this area

   
 

Martha Minow

Harvard University

1160

62

 

Janet Halley

Harvard University

  420

64

 

Katharine Bartlett

Duke University

  380

69

 

Mary Anne Case

University of Chicago

  330

59

 

I Glenn Cohen

Harvard University

  320

38

 

 

 


August 24, 2016 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

August 12, 2016

Coming next week...

...a ranking of schools by the percentage of their tenured faculty that made it on to the most-cited faculty lists we've been publishing (based on the Sisk data).


August 12, 2016 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink