19.03.2015

Law school rankings by state

Come on, everyone knows that the only place ‘Bama should be ranked ahead of Harvard is on a football field!
At least 47.5% of these rankings are still utter trash (ratemyprofessor, princeton review, super lawyers).
While I think student evaluations can be valuable (when administered properly, unlike RMP), student evals aren't peer evals because a student isn't a law school's peer. A common attack on elite law schools is that they are filled with with a bunch of loony liberals who hope to indoctrinate their law students with their left-wing beliefs.
As the poster above pointed out, the result could simply mean that people who are already liberal tend to go to better law schools. Both graphs seem to have a ton from elite schools, the conservatives just seem to have a few more low-ranked data points. Those observations do not offer an explanation of why Republican appointees also exhibit the same pattern. That’s an empirical question and if you have data to support it, I would be interested in seeing it. So why do you think is that Republican nominees that go to better law schools tend to be more liberal than those who don’t? I can think of a variety of explanations that are consistent with the data which I think are not inherently counterintuitive.
Assuming the law school environment itself had some effect, I think there might be something about the focus on theory at higher ranked schools which might be noteworthy.
There might also be some connection between what landed someone in an elite school and later led to their nomination. It is also important to note that there is probably a difference between judicial liberalism and general political liberalism. 3) I think it comes down to the fact that the law profession in general is overwhelmingly liberal.
NB that a number of district-court appointments are de facto apolitical because of deference to home-state senators, so you’ll occasionally see Republicans appointing center-left Democrats to the bench. Subscribe and get breaking news, commentary, and opinions on law firms, lawyers, law schools, lawsuits, judges, and more. Columnist Shannon Achimalbe warns against relying on the debt numbers of the law school marketing arm colloquially known as the U.S. Please welcome our newest columnist, Dean Vikram Amar of the University of Illinois College of Law, who will be writing about legal education. Online legal research technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the past decade alone – and continues to do so today, making legal research easier than ever. We see converging trends: in digitization, virtualization, and the challenges of a data-driven world. We see inspiring opportunities: transforming the delivery of law, increasing access to justice, removing disadvantage in the face of increasing inequality. Most of all, we see increasing demands on people: judges, lawyers and their colleagues will need a new approach to strategy, more empowered decision-making, and most of all the adaptability and agility to lead a justice system that keeps pace with the rapidly changing demands of society.
In response to critical coverage of its comp system earlier this year, Norton Rose raised associate base salaries and bonuses earlier this month. Law school deans are cowering in fear right now, because some of them may be ousted from their positions if their schools slip by even a few slots. The rankings, controversial as they are, are still a pretty huge deal to everyone in the legal profession.
Note that the newest top 10 is the same as the old top 10 from last year’s ranking, and the ranking from the year before that, and the ranking from the year before that, too.
The biggest problem is that it's entirely voluntary, so generally the only people who use it are those who really really hated their profs and those who really really loved their profs (and probably more of the former than the latter). To my surprise, for federal appellate judges, there seems to be a kernel of truth to that belief.  The Ideology Scores of the 138 judges with sufficient sample size that I studied had a statistically significant relationship with the ranking of the law school attended according to the US News and World Report Rankings from 2010.
Even if it were true that liberals dominate the ranks of higher ranked law schools, the population of federal appellate judges is a very small non-random sample of the graduates of those schools. It is difficult to make too much of an assessment about religious schools (especially if we limit it only to Notre Dame and BYU) because there were only 138 judges involved in the findings. I mean, it seems a little (to say the least) counterintuitive to presuppose that these nominees were indoctrinated to be liberals at, say, Harvard, yet managed to escape that influence enough to be considered solid enough conservatives to be nominated to the bench by Republicans for the time immediately AFTER their graduation until their nomination.


For example, it might be that Republican Presidents were so seduced by Ivy League credentials (possibly as part of ensuring Senate confirmation) that they did not realize the judges were more moderate than they would have hoped. After all, as a federal judge once told me (and I am sure has been said before), the only qualification to be a federal judge is to know a Senator. Whereas being pro-choice, pro-welfare, and anti-war might make a person a Democrat, those issues might never come before a judge. As I noted at the outset, I’m interested in hearing a range of possible readings of the data and findings. But it can be tough to find a high-quality meal during peak lunch and dinner times without facing long lines, waiting hours for the delivery guy, or simply succumbing to the vending machine at the end of the hall. Just like in years past, the rankings will inevitably be published online in the wee hours of the morning on March 11, but because rankings guru Bob Morse knows that the anticipation is killing us, he likely instructed the staff at U.S. A list of the top 10, or even a list of the top 14 (except for when law schools like Texas manage to tie their way into the T14), doesn’t get very exciting until some actual rankings are associated with the schools in question.
News law school rankings might look completely different thanks to the change made in the methodology used to compute employment placement rates.
It's not because it's not useful.It's because ratemyprofessors is a reflection of different expectations, which is in turn a reflection of different academic goals. It saved me from taking a science credit that sounded interesting but was apparently really boring and work intensive.
While the flaws in the USNWR rankings are well-documented, they are simply the only ranking available for all of the law schools in my sample. The question is why appointees of Republican Presidents from those schools tend to be more liberal than expected (assuming ideology was an important factor in nomination).
Still, I did go back through the data and found that there were no Notre Dame law grads in the 138 judges and only one from BYU (who had a score of 30.3). Then, when they get nominated to the bench, after a period of several years, the indoctrination suddenly takes hold? Or it might be that those Presidents were willing to expend more capital on judges with lesser resumes precisely because they were stronger ideologues. However, the theoretical focus of higher-ranked schools might expose the graduates to a greater range of legal concepts and arguments. Being in that select circle might also relate to factors that led to attendance at a top school. Registration or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Until then, all you can do is pray to the rankings god that is Bob Morse and hope that your alma mater fared well. If you want to collect school-administered student evals and use those, that would be one thing (but even those probably have a really terrible return rate). Now, you may not want to weight those perspectives very heavily because you might argue those perspectives don't represent student interests, but that's different from saying they won't know anything about other schools. I suspect a good many more conservatives went to religious schools, and even though Notre Dame and BYU, among others, are ranked fairly well, they’d both (I think) be below most of the data points on your chart (at least for the more liberal side).
In either scenario, the Democratic Presidents might have simply made errors in judgment with non-Ivy League nominees.
That breadth of knowledge might not kick in until those persons are on the bench when they are out of their practice speciality.
In such situations, the less salient ideological views are the ones that actually decide cases (when ideology is relevant).
If you want to collect school-administered student evals and use those, that would be one thing (but even those probably have a really terrible return rate).Rate My Professors = super useful for finding out which professors give out easy A's in undergrad.
And that says nothing about the other, much lower-ranked schools that might contribute more on the conservative side. In such situations, those judges might be more prone to adopt a liberal argument that they heard from their law school professors. News rankings, click here.When it comes to dynasties, sports fans imagine John Wooden’s ten championships at UCLA or the Boston Celtics hoisting nine banners during the 1960s. The expectations of students at Stanford (in terms of quality, teaching methods, etc.) are going to be different, so comparing the ratings of Stanford's professors to those at Alabama is faulty. For example, recent Supreme Court short-lister Judge Sidney Thomas is a University of Montana School of Law graduate.


I would be shocked if more than one or two people at my law school have rated their professors on it in the past five years.
Particularly for graduates of lower ranked schools, there is a strong tendency that they sit in the state where they attended law school. Because some circuits have a higher concentration of lower ranked schools than others, it might be expected that certain circuits would also have more lower ranked law school graduates. Harvard and Stanford again tied for second place, with Columbia, the University of Chicago, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania holding down spots 4-7.
If those same circuits were also largely conservative, then the correlation might be only the product of geography.
However, there was movement at the bottom of the top 10, with the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan sliding from 7-to-8 and 9-to-10, respectively. Notably, however, the circuit with the highest average ranking for law school attended is the Sixth Circuit even though it has just a couple highly ranked law schools within its borders. Duke University joined the top 10, after being a #11 ranked bridesmaid for the past four years. Regardless, running the regression analysis while controlling for circuit still yielded a statistically significant relationship in the same direction as the original correlation.
Despite maintaining its ranking, the University of Pennsylvania dropped an index point, suggesting it might be vulnerable to losing its #7 spot, which it has held for the past four years.EMORY JUMPS INTO THE TOP 20The top 20 overall was relatively consistent, though a three-way tie at #20 expanded the list. There was also no statistically significant relationship between the circuit where a judge sat and the ranking of the law school attended. Emory University, which ranked #30 just three years ago, jumped into the #19 spot over perennial powers USC and the University of Minnesota. Further, there was no statistically significant relationship between whether the law school attended was private or public and judicial ideology. Importantly, this does not mean their is a causative effect between going to Yale and being a liberal judge.
However, ruling out the geographic and political appointment explanations does make it worthy of note.
Georgetown, UCLA, Washington University each moved up a spot, while Vanderbilt and the University of Minnesota dropped one. I would be very interested if any commenters have an alternative explanation for the results. The 2015 rankings, which is technically its 2014 ranking based on 2013 data, measure school quality, selectivity, placement, and faculty resources. 25% of a ranking is derived from assessments from law school administrators and faculty, with another 15% resulting from similar surveys with judges and lawyers. Placement success, particularly employment within nine months of graduation, is factored in at a 20% clip.
The formula is rounded out by a 15% weight to faculty resources (Expenditures per student, Student-to-faculty ratio, and library resources).While the formula is theoretically transparent, it has plenty of critics. For some, such as Dean David Yellen of Loyola Law, the emphasizing student expenditures can motivate schools to raise tuition to cover added services needed to help them rise in the rankings.
For others, assessment surveys, given to educators and professionals who aren’t on campus, are subjective and often lagging indicator of school gains.LITTLE VOLATILITY IN THE TOP 50The legal profession is conservative by nature…and the top 50 reflects that. The College of William & Mary represented the largest gain in the top 50, leapfrogging 9 spots to #24. Conversely, Washington & Lee University dropped 17 spots, going from #26 to #43,Overall, six new schools – the University of Seattle, Stetson University, Florida International, Wayne State, St.
Louis University, and the University of New Hampshire, joined the top 100 (which is technically 103 schools due to ties). Stanford also replaced Boalt Hall atop the intellectual property rankings, while Lewis & Clark claimed the top spot in environmental law from the Vermont Law School.
His track record in handling individual, small business and corporate disputes have set legal standards in most of the counties of California, where he serves – Santa Clara, Orange, San Diego and the rest.ReplyLeave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.



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