June 11, 2014

Ten most cited law faculty in the U.S. 2009 through 2013

Next week, I'll have up on the ranking site a new study of the ten most-cited faculty during the years 2009 through 2013 in 11 different areas of legal schoarship (everything from corporate law to legal history to tax).  As a teaser, here are the ten most-cited faculty overall (who are still in law teaching) for the period 2009-2013, listed by the schools they teach at:

 Ten Most Cited Faculty Overall




Total Citations

Age in 2013


Cass Sunstein

Harvard University




Erwin Chemerinsky

University of California, Irvine




Richard Epstein

New York University, University of Chicago




Eric Posner

University of Chicago




Mark Lemley

Stanford University




William Eskridge, Jr.

Yale University




Mark Tushnet

Harvard University




Akhil Amar

Yale University




Lawrence Lessig

Harvard University




Daniel Farber

University of California, Berkeley




Laurence Tribe

Harvard University



Prominent judges who still teach part-time were not included in this study; but just for fun, here are the figures for the three most prominent:  Judge Posner (Chicago) was cited 6980 times during this period; Judge Easterbrook (Chicago) was cited 2130 times; and Judge Calabresi (Yale) was cited 1290 times. 

(Note:  total citations really means the total number of articles in which the scholar is cited.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 11, 2014 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

ABA Section on Legal Education recommends changes...

...including new rules for auditing employment data and permitting law schools to admit up to 10% of the class without the LSAT.

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 11, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

June 10, 2014

U of Minnesota provides $2 million to offset law school's deficit

Story here.  If a major state law school, perenially top 20ish, is in this situation, I would imagine many other law schools are as well.

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 10, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

June 06, 2014

UC Irvine Law School now fully accredited by the ABA

I was just forwarded the e-mail confirming that milestone.  Not a surprise, of course, given all that's been accomplished in a remarkably short time, but this also means that UC Irvine will be subjected to U.S. News.com ranking next year.  The lawyer/judge reputation survey results are very hard to predict; it will be interesting to see how the academic reputation survey comes out (UCI ought to get a top 20 score there, but we'll see if that happens).

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 6, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

May 15, 2014

Federal clerkship placement rankings by school, 2011-2013

The ranking.

Posted by Brian Leiter on May 15, 2014 in Rankings, Student Advice | Permalink

May 09, 2014

Corporate Practice Commentator's Top 10 Articles of 2013

They are:

The Top 10 Corporate and Securities Articles of 2013

The Corporate Practice Commentator is pleased to announce the results of its twentieth annual poll to select the ten best corporate and securities articles.  Teachers in corporate and securities law were asked to select the best corporate and securities articles from a list of articles published and indexed in legal journals during 2013.   More than 550 articles were on this year’s list.  Because of the vagaries of publication, indexing, and mailing, some articles published in 2013 have a 2012 date, and not all articles containing a 2013 date were published and indexed in time to be included in this year’s list.

The articles, listed in alphabetical order of the initial author, are:

Armour, John, Bernard Black and Brian Cheffins. Is Delaware losing its cases? 9 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 605-656 (2012).

Bebchuk, Lucian A. The myth that insulating boards serves long-term value. 113 Colum. L. Rev. 1637-1694 (2013). 

Bratton, William W. and Michael L. Wachter. A theory of preferred stock. 161 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1815-1906 (2013). 

Choi, Stephen, Jill Fisch, and Marcel Kahan. Who calls the shots? How mutual funds vote on director elections. 3 Harv. Bus. L. Rev. 35-82 (2013).

Coates, John C. IV. Corporate politics, governance, and value before and after Citizens United. 9 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 657-696 (2012).

Gilson, Ronald J. and Jeffrey N. Gordon. The agency costs of agency capitalism: Activist investors and the revaluation of governance rights. 113 Colum. L. Rev. 863-927 (2013). 

Grundfest, Joseph A. and Kristen A. Savelle. The brouhaha over intra-corporate forum selection provisions: A legal, economic, and political analysis. 68 Bus. Law. 325-410 (2013). 

Klausner, Michael. Fact and fiction in corporate law and governance. 65 Stan. L. Rev. 1325-1370 (2013). 

Langevoort, Donald C. and Robert B. Thompson. "Publicness" in contemporary securities regulation after the JOBS Act. 101 Geo. L.J. 337-386 (2013). 

Rock, Edward B. Adapting to the new shareholder-centric reality. 161 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1907-1988 (2013). 

By institutional affiliation, the schools with the most authors represented are:  Penn (4), Harvard (2), NYU (2), Columbia (2), Stanford (2), Georgetown (2).


Posted by Brian Leiter on May 9, 2014 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

May 01, 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. News.com 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. News.com....

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

Posted by Brian Leiter on May 1, 2014 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

April 30, 2014

I don't get to agree with Justice Alito that often...

...but I can happily agree with this observation (from this profile):

The U.S. News and World Report rankings of law schools are an abomination. The legal profession and the country would be better off if they were eliminated. I gather that all these rankings are one of these things that keeps U.S. News and World Report in the black—unlike Newsweek.

(Thanks to Ronald Collins for the pointer.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 30, 2014 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

March 31, 2014

Top U.S. research universities, 2014

Here, based on aggregation of U.S. News reputational data, for those who are interested.

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 31, 2014 in Rankings | Permalink

March 20, 2014

Falsehood of the day: "U.S. News, for all of its faults, is how employers think of you"

Elie Mystal, one of the bloggers at "Above the Law," wrote this last week (a reader forwarded it to me).  No evidence was offered, and that's not surprising:  the statement is false in almost all cases.  Employers, to be sure, have views about different law schools, but they are based on experience, in some cases, experience that stretches over decades.  Actual lawyers and judges do not, in my experience, pay any attention to U.S. News at all.  A couple of years ago, for example, I was speaking to a distinguished group of Northwestern University Law School alumni about the U.S. News rankings.  There were about 125 to 150 lawyers (and a few judges) there.  Many of the lawyers in attendance had been or were the current hiring partners at their firms.  I asked a simple question:  how many had looked at the recent U.S. news rankings of law schools?  Maybe five hands went up in the entire room.  To a person, all these lawyers and judges said they based their evaluations of law schools--where they recruit, how deep into the class they will go for new hires--on their past experience with the schools and their graduates.  Full stop.  No one was waiting for the U.S. News law school rankings to decide where to interview or whom to hire.

So if lawyers and judges don't care about them, who does care about the U.S. News rankings?  Prospective students and journalists.  Prospective students are very clearly influenced by them, in part because journalists hype them and report on them irresponsibily.  And because of those two constituencies, law schools have to care as well:  if, in fact, the students a school wants will go elsewhere because of a precipitous drop in the US News ranking, this will over a period of time affect how the employers that hire frm that school perceive it, not because they follow U.S. News, but because they will notice the change in the caliber of the student body.

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 20, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink