The Emerging Importance of Law Review Rankings for Law School Rankings, 2003-07
62 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2006
The release of the 2007 US News rankings of law schools has set off another round of speculation on the meanings of the rankings and what, if anything, schools can do to improve the quality of the education they provide, as well as their rankings. Drawing upon earlier evidence that there is a close connection between the citation rankings of law reviews and the ranking of their law schools, this paper looks to changes in both the US News rankings and law journal rankings over the past few years. Moreover, there is a connection, though relatively weak, between law reviews that are improving and law schools that are improving. This paper tests and finds some support for a hypothesis that as law schools improve (or decline), there is a corresponding improvement in the quality of their main law journals (as measured by citations in other journals). Thus, if you want to know where a law school is heading, in addition to the glossy material that the school sends out - to announce new hires, student successes, faculty publications, and talks sponsored by the school - one should spend some time studying the scholarship their law review publishes. A final table ranks the main law journals of 178 ABA accredited law schools, according to journal citations.
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