Ranking Law Schools with LSATs, Employment Outcomes, and Law Review Citations
30 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2014 Last revised: 23 Apr 2016
Date Written: June 17, 2014
This paper returns to the much-discussed topic of ranking law schools. Where U.S. News & World Report includes a wide variety of factors – some of which are criticized as irrelevant to what prospective students care about or should care about – this paper looks to three variables. They are median LSAT score of entering students, which seeks to capture the quality of the student body; the percentage of the graduating students who are employed at 9 months following graduation at full-time, permanent JD required jobs (a separate analysis excludes school-funded positions and solo practitioners from this variable); and the number of citations to each school’s main law review, which seeks to capture a school’s recent reputation. It rank orders each of those variables, averages those ranks to obtain a new ranking, and then compares those new rankings to the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the 147 schools for which U.S. News provided ranks in March 2014. It identifies the schools that improve and decline the most with the new ranking. This paper provides ranks for all 194 ABA accredited law schools that U.S. News included in its rankings released in 2014, including the 47 schools that U.S. News put in its “unranked” category.
Keywords: law school rankings, LSAT, employment outcome, law reviews, citations
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