Monday, November 13, 2017

The Top 40 U.S. law faculties in terms of scholarly excellence, 2017 edition

The poll covering the rest of the top 40 got more than 300 votes (compared to a bit more than 160 for "the top 20"), no doubt because more schools were involved.   The obvious drawback of a poll like this--namely, that people can vote for their own school and try to vote strategically--is counteracted by the Condorcet method (which defeats most strategic voting) and by sufficient participation; in the end, the folks who rank their own school #1 have little effect on their own school, what matters is their relative ordering of everyone else.

I've combined the results of the two polls to produce a "top 40" law faculties in terms of scholarly distinction.  Especially outside the top 20, presenting lists of faculty names seems to have muted the U.S. News effect present from earlier polls even more, as reflected in, e.g., the disappearance of Wisconsin and Arizona State from the top 40 (they are all top 40 in U.S. News), and the significant improvements for San Diego, Brooklyn, and Cardozo.  (I actually think ASU should be in the top 40 for faculty quality, but the poll had it a bit outside.)

In any case, this seems to be a far more plausible "top 40" in terms of scholarly quality of the faculty than we've gotten from prior surveys, let alone from U.S. News.  (Personally, I think Illinois and Hastings are underranked here, but that's another story.)

1. Yale University  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Harvard University  loses to Yale University by 77–67
3. University of Chicago  loses to Yale University by 118–32, loses to Harvard University by 127–21
4. New York University  loses to Yale University by 122–28, loses to University of Chicago by 79–60
5. Stanford University  loses to Yale University by 121–29, loses to New York University by 73–65
6. Columbia University  loses to Yale University by 126–21, loses to Stanford University by 85–56
7. University of California, Berkeley loses to Yale University by 137–15, loses to Columbia University by 113–29
8. University of Pennsylvania loses to Yale University by 140–9, loses to University of California, Berkeley by 74–62
9. University of Virginia loses to Yale University by 138–9, loses to University of Pennsylvania by 75–55
10. University of Michigan loses to Yale University by 140–9, loses to University of Virginia by 69–52
11. Duke University loses to Yale University by 144–6, loses to University of Michigan by 78–49
12. Northwestern University loses to Yale University by 142–8, loses to Duke University by 67–62
13. Georgetown University loses to Yale University by 140–10, loses to Northwestern University by 70–63
14. Cornell University loses to Yale University by 144–5, loses to Georgetown University by 71–63
15. University of California, Los Angeles loses to Yale University by 141–9, loses to Cornell University by 66–61
16. University of Texas, Austin  loses to Yale University by 144–4, loses to University of California, Los Angeles by 74–49
17. Vanderbilt University loses to Yale University by 139–6, loses to University of Texas by 77–41
18. University of Southern California loses to Yale University by 141–6, loses to Vanderbilt University by 67–54
19. George Washington University  loses to Yale University by 138–11, loses to University of Southern California by 81–43
20. University of California, Irvine loses to Yale University by 143–6, loses to George Washington University by 70–57
21. University of Minnesota loses to Yale University by 141–7, loses to University of California, Irvine by 62–56
22. Boston University
23. Emory University  loses to Boston University by 142–119
24. Washington University, St. Louis loses to Boston University by 141–125, loses to Emory University by 141–124
25. Fordham University loses to Boston University by 158–91, loses to Washington University, St. Louis by 149–108
26. University of Notre Dame Boston University by 159–97, loses to Fordham University by 137–116
27. University of California, Davis loses to Boston University by 170–83, loses to University of Notre Dame by 127–117
28. Boston College loses to Boston University by 174–66, loses to University of California, Davis by 131–118
29. College of Wiliam & Mary loses to Boston University by 180–69, loses to Boston College by 129–115
30. Brooklyn Law School  loses to Boston University by 172–74, loses to College of Wiliam & Mary by 129–114
30. University of San Diego  loses to Boston University by 175–78, loses to Brooklyn Law School by 123–121
32. Cardozo Law School loses to Boston University by 189–55, loses to University of San Diego by 128–118
33. University of Illinois loses to Boston University by 184–60, loses to Brooklyn Law School by 128–107
34. Ohio State University  loses to Boston University by 184–58, loses to University of Illinois by 121–112
35. University of North Carolina loses to Boston University by 183–68, loses to Ohio State University by 121–115
36. Indiana University, Bloomington loses to Boston University by 203–44, loses to University of North Carolina by 123–111
37. University of California, Hastings loses to Boston University by 185–67, loses to Indiana University, Bloomington by 121–110
37. University of Iowa loses to Boston University) by 192–56, loses to University of California, Hastings by 117–115
39. Florida State University loses to Boston University by 197–47, loses to University of Iowa by 118–112
40. George Mason University loses to Boston University by 188–53, loses to Florida State University by 124–97
Runner-up:  University of Alabama loses to George Mason University by 115–103

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