Law School Rankings and Political Ideology: Measuring the Conservative Penalty and Liberal Bonus With Updated 2023 Rankings Data

22 Pages Posted: 17 May 2022

See all articles by Michael Conklin

Michael Conklin

Angelo State University - Business Law

Date Written: April 1, 2022

Abstract

In 2020, novel research was conducted to measure whether, and to what extent, conservative law schools are punished and liberal law schools are rewarded in the U.S. News & World Report peer rankings. The study found a drastic conservative penalty and liberal bonus that amounted to a difference in the peer rankings of twenty-eight spots. This Article updates the research using the latest political affiliation data and the most recent 2023 rankings data. The updated results produce an astounding thirty-two-place difference in the peer rankings attributable to political ideology. This increase from the 2020 research elicits discussion regarding the effects of recent societal changes in polarization and civility. A discussion on how this disparity in the rankings may perpetuate a lack of ideological diversity in legal academia is also discussed. The harm to professors, students, and society at large from such a lack of ideological diversity in law schools is discussed. Finally, this Article concludes by proposing a simple solution to circumvent this manifestation of ideological bias in legal academia.

Suggested Citation

Conklin, Michael, Law School Rankings and Political Ideology: Measuring the Conservative Penalty and Liberal Bonus With Updated 2023 Rankings Data (April 1, 2022). Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4085712

Michael Conklin (Contact Author)

Angelo State University - Business Law ( email )

United States

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