Is There a Correlation between Law Professor Publication Counts, Law Review Citation Counts, and Teaching Evaluations? An Empirical Study
Benjamin H. Barton
University of Tennessee College of Law
November 1, 2009
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 5, September 2008
1st Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper
University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 81
This empirical study attempts to answer an age-old debate in legal academia: whether scholarly productivity helps or hurts teaching. The study is of an unprecedented size and scope. It covers every tenured or tenure-track faculty member at 19 American law schools, a total of 623 professors. The study gathers four years of teaching evaluation data (calendar years 2000-03) and correlates these data against five different measures of research productivity/scholarly influence.
The results are counter-intuitive: there is either no correlation or a slight positive correlation between teaching effectiveness and any of the five measures of research productivity. Given the breadth of the study, this finding is quite robust. These findings are sure to spark heated debates among law faculties and likely require some soul-searching about the interaction between the two most important functions of American law schools.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Legal education, scholarship, teaching
JEL Classification: Z10
Date posted: July 1, 2006 ; Last revised: December 8, 2012
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