Law Schools

New Rankings: Yale #1; Harvard #4?

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Move over, Harvard Law School. It comes in fourth, after Yale, Chicago and Stanford in the latest law school rankings by professor Brian Leiter based on the number of scholarly citations to legal academics’ work. The controversial—and influential—annual U.S. News & World Report law school rankings also give Yale Law School the nod as No. 1.

While any attempt to evaluate law schools has limitations, the University of Texas law prof says on his Brian Leiter’s Law School Rankings site, “an imperfect measure may still be an adequate measure, and that is almost certainly true of citation rates as a proxy for impact as a proxy for reputation or quality.” Hence, he continues, “I am confident that one will learn more about faculty quality at leading American law schools from the scholarly impact study … than from U.S. News.” In addition to providing the citation-based rankings, Leiter’s site also discusses how they were compiled.

In the U.S. News & World Report rankings, the business magazine agrees that Yale Law School is No. 1. It puts Harvard and Stanford Law School (which tied) second on the list, followed by New York University. Columbia University comes in fifth, then the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania tie for 6th.

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