The Relationship between Law Review Citations and Law School Rankings

33 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2005

Date Written: December 2005


Much recent scholarship has focused on the US News rankings and other ranking systems; other scholarship has focused on citations of law journals. This paper combines those two areas. It explores the connections between US News rankings (particularly the peer assessment scores) and citations of schools' main law reviews by journals and by courts. There are high correlations between the US News peer assessment scores and citations of main law reviews by journals for the US News top 50 schools. For comparison purposes, the paper also looks to Brian Leiter's rankings and finds a similar correlation. However, the strength of the correlations decrease for US News third and fourth tier schools. There is a weaker correlation between US News peer assessment scores and court citations across all US News tiers. The paper considers some of the implications of the correlations for law school rankings and suggests that, perhaps, future rankings should include citations as a factor in assessing the quality of law schools. One table illustrates how differently the third and fourth tiers of US News would look if law review citations were the basis for ranking law schools. A final table provides a ranking of law reviews based on journal citations.

Keywords: law review, rankings, U.S. News, Leiter, Law Schools, Legal Education

Suggested Citation

Brophy, Alfred L., The Relationship between Law Review Citations and Law School Rankings (December 2005). U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 08-04, Available at SSRN: or

Alfred L. Brophy (Contact Author)

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