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Study ranks most-cited law professors

University of St. Thomas School of Law’s study co-author says rank demonstrates “intellectual excitement”

The University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis has released the results of a recent study it conducted on the scholarly impact of law faculties.

The study took a look at all law schools accredited by the American Bar Association, and then ranked the top 70 law faculties. “The ‘Scholarly Impact Score’ for a law faculty 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 that law faculty,” the report’s abstract explained. 

The 10 schools with the highest Scholarly Impact Score were:

  1. Yale
  2. Harvard
  3. University of Chicago
  4. Stanford
  5. New York University
  6. Columbia
  7. University of California, Irvine
  8. Vanderbilt
  9. Cornell
  10. University of California, Berkley

Schools that landed in the top 25 included, among others, Cordoza and Ohio State. Several law schools that have only been accredited within the past 12 years had Scholarly Impact Scores that “dramatically” outpaced their academic reputations, the report said.

The report ranked some schools substantially higher than the ranking they received from U.S. News & World Report, which released its 2013 Best Law Schools report in March. Among those law schools were George Mason, Case Western, University of Pittsburgh and Chicago Kent College of Law, to name a few.

The study’s co-author, Gregory Sisk, a law professor at St. Thomas, told the Wall Street Journal Law Blog that a faculty’s ranking is important because it demonstrates “whether there’s an intellectual excitement” within the law school. As a recent Kaplan Test Prep study has shown, law school applicants highly value school rankings.

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Contributing Author

Cathleen Flahardy

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