Comparing U.S. News Faculty Reputation Rank with “Scholarly Impact”

Below I’ve created a table listing the top fifty-five law schools according to their “peer” ranking on U.S. News, with the last column showing each school’s ranking according to the latest “scholarly impact” study conducted by folks at St. Thomas Law School. Two schools stand out as being wildly underranked by their peers compared to their scholarly impact: George Mason, ranked 55 by peers but 21 by scholarly impact, and Cardozo, ranked 51 by peers and 25 by scholarly impact.  In fact, no other schools ranked as well as Cardozo and George Mason in scholarly impact ranked lower than 23rd in the U.S. News peer rankings.

The most overranked school by these measures is Wisconsin, which is ranked 23 by peers but is not in the top 55 by scholarly impact.  (St. Thomas, by the way, is well out of the top 55 by peer ranking, but is number 31 in scholarly impact.)

Note that U.S. News asks academic rankers to rate law school quality, not scholarly prowess of the faculty.  Still, there is a strong enough relationship between the two overall for anomalies to be notable.

H/T to Paul Caron at Taxprof, who created a similar table comparing Peer Rank to overall U.S. News rank.

 

Peer

Rank

Peer
Score

School

Scholarly
Impact

1

4.8

Yale

1

1

4.8

Harvard

2

1

4.8

Stanford

4

4

4.6

Chicago

3

4

4.6

Columbia

6

6

4.4

NYU

5

6

4.4

Virginia

16

6

4.4

UC-Berkeley

10

6

4.4

Michigan

15

10

4.3

Penn

11

11

4.2

Duke

11

11

4.2

Cornell

9

13

4.1

Northwestern

13

13

4.1

Georgetown

18

13

4.1

Texas

19

16

3.9

UCLA

14

17

3.8

Vanderbilt

8

18

3.6

USC

24

18

3.6

Washington University

26

20

3.5

Minnesota

19

20

3.5

Emory

26

20

3.5

North
Carolina

33

23

3.4

George Washington

16

23

3.4

Notre Dame

38

23

3.4

Boston University

21

23

3.4

Wisconsin

Not
in top 55

23

3.4

UC-Davis

23

28

3.3

Indiana-Bloomington

33

28

3.3

Iowa

47

28

3.3

Washington & Lee

30

28

3.3

Boston College

52

32

3.2

William & Mary

41

32

3.2

Ohio State

30

32

3.2

Fordham

41

32

3.2

UC-Hastings

38

36

3.1

University of
Washington

28

36

3.1

Georgia

Not
in top 55

36

3.1

Wake Forest

Not
in top 55

36

3.1

Colorado

28

36

3.1

Florida

Not
in top 55

36

3.1

Illinois

28

42

3.0

Alabama

47

42

3.0

Arizona State

52

42

3.0

Arizona

33

42

3.0

Maryland

41

42

3.0

Tulane

Not
in top 55

42

3.0

American

47

48

2.9

Utah

47

48

2.9

BYU

Note
in top 55

48

2.9

Florida State

33

51

2.8

Cardozo

25

51

2.8

Connecticut

Not
in top 55

51

2.8

Miami

Not
in top 55

51

2.8

Oregon

Not
in top 55

55

2.7

George Mason

21

55

2.7

Temple

Not
in top 55

55

2.7

Denver

Not
in top 55

55

2.7

Case Western

38

55

2.7

Loyola-L.A.

Not
in top 55

55

2.7

San Diego

52

55

2.7

Pittsburgh

Not
in top 55

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