Sunday, September 20, 2009

Which law schools have the best faculties in constitutional law and theory?

We haven't had some polling amusement in awhile, so here's a new poll:  rank the top ten law faculties in constitutional law and theory (excluding constitutional criminal procedure).  We've provided 17 choices, and I'm pretty confident no faculty omitted would make it into the top ten, though I'm sure some omitted faculties would make the top 17 (but we'll only report the 'top ten' in the final results).  I've listed the constitutional law faculty, rather than the school names, so that evaluators have to respond to the actual faculty.  No doubt we've missed some faculty here-and-there, but hopefully not too many.  Since, of course, anyone can vote in this poll, I plan to run a similar one just with specialists later in the fall.  It will be interested to see how this utterly unscientific poll compares to the specialist poll down the line.  Have fun!  (And please note that any blog associated with one of these schools that links to the poll will be disqualified!  Even blog polls have some standards.)

UPDATE:  Alas, an error spotted already:  M. Tushnet should have been right after that guy L. Tribe.  Now that is a big omission.  (C. Sunstein is in government service, not teaching, so he was omitted on purpose.)

ANOTHER OMISSION;  S. Prakash, a recent addition, ought to appear between D. Ortiz and J. Ryan on the faculty list that begins with L. BeVier.

SO WITH ABOUT 160 VOTES CAST, here are the results so far:

1.  Harvard   (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)

2.  Yale  (loses to Harvard 65-64).

3.  NYU (loses to Harvard by 99-25 and to Yale by 96-30)
4.  Chicago (loses to Harvard by 102-22 and to NYU by 74-40)
5.  Stanford (loses to Harvard by 100-19 and to Chicago by 59-47)
6.  Columbia (loses to Harvard by 104-18 and to Stanford by 53-49) 
7.  Georgetown (loses to Harvard by 101-19 and to Columbia by 51-45)
8.  Berkeley (loses to Harvard by 104-14 and to Georgetown by 58-37)
9.  Michigan (loses to Harvard by 105-15 and to Berkeley by 48-45) 

10. Texas (loses to Harvard by 106-12 and to Michigan by 46-43)

While it's clear there is a lot of (attempted) strategic voting going on (look at the detailed ballot reporting), the results are not that far off what I'd expect from a group of specialists, except that Georgetown is too high and Texas too low.  But, of course, that may change as the voting continues.  And I wouldn't be surprised if specialists put Virginia in the top 10 (it is currently 11th).

UPDATE:  With over 220 votes cast, the ranking appears to have stabilized as follows:

1. Harvard Law School  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Yale Law School  loses to Harvard Law School by 94–88
3.  New York Unviersity School of Law loses to Harvard Law School by 146–33, and loses to Yale Law School by 142–38
4.  University of Chicago Law School loses to Harvard Law School by 148–30, and loses to NYU School of Law by 106–60
5.  Columbia Law School loses to Harvard Law School by 151–24, and loses to University of Chicago Law School by 81–74
6.  Stanford Law School loses to Harvard Law School by 152–20, and loses to Columbia Law School by 77-72. 
7.  Georgetown University Law School loses to Harvard Law School by 148-23, and loses to Stanford Law School by 77-67.
8.  University of California, Berkeley Law School loses to Harvard Law School by 153-18, and loses to Georgetown University Law School by 79-63. 

9.  University of Texas School of Law loses to Harvard Law School by 156-14, and loses to Berkeley by 72-66. 

10. University of Michigan Law School loses to Harvard Law School by a156-18, and loses to University of Texas School of Law by 69-63.*

Northwestern and Virginia were runners-up for the top ten; given the omission of Sai Prakash and G. Edward White from the UVA list, they might well have made the 'top ten' even in this blog poll.


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