Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties in 2018: Updating the Leiter Score Ranking for the Top Third

36 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2018 Last revised: 10 Sep 2018

Gregory C. Sisk

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Nicole Catlin

University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), School of Law

Katherine Veenis

Independent

Nicole Zeman

Independent

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

This updated 2018 study explores the scholarly impact of law faculties, ranking the top third of ABA-accredited law schools. Refined by 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 faculty members. 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 school with the ten highest individual citation counts. The law faculties at Yale, Harvard, Chicago, New York University, and Columbia rank in the top five for Scholarly Impact. The other schools rounding out the top ten are Stanford, the University of California-Berkeley, Duke, Pennsylvania, and Vanderbilt. The most dramatic rises in the 2018 Scholarly Impact Ranking were by four schools that climbed 16 ordinal positions: Kansas (to #48), USC (to #23), the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) (to #23), and William & Mary (to #28). In addition, two schools rose by 10 spots: Florida State (to #29) and San Francisco (to #54). Several law faculties achieve a Scholarly Impact Ranking in 2018 well above the law school rankings reported by U.S. News for 2019: Vanderbilt (at #10) repeats its appearance within the top ten for Scholarly Impact, but is ranked lower by U.S. News (at #17). Among the top ranked schools, the University of California-Irvine experiences the greatest incongruity, ranking just outside the top ten (#12) for Scholarly Impact, but holding a U.S. News ranking nine ordinal places lower (at #21). In the Scholarly Impact top 25, George Mason rises slightly (to #19), but remains under-valued in U.S. News (at #41). George Washington stands at #16 in the Scholarly Impact Ranking, while falling just inside the top 25 (at #24) in U.S. News. The most dramatically under-valued law faculty remains the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), which now ranks inside the top 25 (at #23) for Scholarly Impact, while being relegated by U.S. News below the top 100 (at #113)—a difference of 90 ordinal levels.

Keywords: legal scholarship, law professors, faculty scholarship, scholarly impact, legal education

Suggested Citation

Sisk, Gregory C. and Catlin, Nicole and Veenis, Katherine and Zeman, Nicole, Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties in 2018: Updating the Leiter Score Ranking for the Top Third (2018). U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3230371

Gregory C. Sisk (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States
651-962-4892 (Phone)

Nicole Catlin

University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), School of Law ( email )

Minneapolis, MN
United States

Katherine Veenis

Independent

No Address Available

Nicole Zeman

Independent

No Address Available

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