Law school is a bit like a stable, and the professors are its horses. Brian Leiter, a professor at UChicago, devised a method of ranking the law school stables with his proprietary “Scholarly Impact Score.” The score is calculated from the mean and the median of total law journal citations over the past five years to the work of tenured members of a school’s law faculty. This score gives us an idea how influential the faculty are among the various schools.

Should these scores matter much to law students choosing a school? No. Are they fun for assigning bragging rights? Maybe. I am pleased that my own school, Chicago, pipped Stanford in the rankings again, but I was already pleased when it happened last year. These rankings measure a five year period and thus don’t change much.

Here are the the top ten law schools as ranked by scholarly impact:

1.   Yale
2.   Harvard
3.   Chicago
4.   Stanford
5.   NYU
6.   Columbia
7.   UC-Irvine
8.   Vanderbilt
9.   Cornell
10.  UC-Berkeley


UC-Irvine’s impressive position is worth noting. The school is as yet unranked because it is so new, however, most commentators agree that it will be a top 20 school when the US News and World Report begins ranking it.

If you are interested in seeing the schools lower down the list, the full rankings are here.


University of Chicago, J.D., 2012 -- CLICK HERE to find out how I got a 177 on the LSAT. Ready to Kickstart your LSAT Prep? Join the LSAT Mastermind Study Group

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