31 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2015 Last revised: 27 Jan 2016
Date Written: 2015
This study explores the scholarly impact of law faculties, ranking the top third of ABA-accredited law schools. Refined by Professor Brian Leiter, the “Scholarly Impact Score” for a law faculty is calculated from the mean and the median of total law journal citations over the past five years to the work of tenured members of that law faculty. In addition to a school-by-school ranking, we report the mean, median, and weighted score, along with a listing of the tenured law faculty members at each ranked law school with the ten highest individual citation counts.
The law faculties at Yale, Harvard, Chicago, New York University, and Stanford rank in the top five for scholarly Impact, with New York University moving into fourth position in the 2015 ranking. The other schools in the top ten are the University of California-Irvine, Columbia, Duke, Vanderbilt, and the University of California-Berkeley.
Several law faculties achieve Scholarly Impact Scores well above the rankings reported by U.S. News: Within the top 10 for Scholarly Impact (at #6), the University of California-Irvine shows the greatest incongruity with the 2016 U.S. News ranking (at #30). Vanderbilt (at #9) is again within the top 10 for Scholarly Impact but falls outside the top ten for U.S. News (at #17).
In the Scholarly Impact top 25, George Mason ranks again at #21, but remains under-valued in U.S. News at #42. Case Western rises to #25 in the Scholarly Impact Ranking, while falling just outside the first quartile (at #59) in U.S. News.
The most dramatically under-valued law school is the University of St. Thomas, which ranks inside the top 40 (at #39) for Scholarly Impact, while being relegated by U.S. News outside the top 100 (at #135) — a difference of 96 ordinal levels. Other schools that have made a scholarly impact at least 20 ordinal positions higher than in U.S. News are Cardozo, Brooklyn, San Diego, Hofstra, Pittsburgh, Chicago-Kent, Toledo, DePaul, Rutgers-Camden, and San Francisco.
Keywords: scholarly impact, Leiter Scores, Leiter Scholarly Impact, Scholarly Impact Ranking, law schools, law faculties, legal education, legal scholarship
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Sisk, Gregory C. and Aggerbeck, Valerie and Farris, Nick and McNevin, Megan and Pitner, Maria, Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties in 2015: Updating the Leiter Score Ranking for the Top Third (2015). 12 University of St. Thomas Law Journal 100 (2015); U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2642056 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2642056
By Eric Goldman