Law Schools, Rankings, U.S. News

Closing the Loop on the Crowdsourced Law School Rankings

Last week we told you that The Conglomerate was crowdsourcing a set of law school rankings. It called upon participants to make head-to-head comparisons between different law schools, then crunched the numbers to produce overall rankings.

We covered the early returns, in which Stanford was leading, with Yale in second place. Then came the University of Michigan, followed by Harvard.

But those were just preliminary tallies. Now the final results are in, and you can check them out here. Professor Gordon Smith of The Conglomerate reports that 6,100 people cast over 300,000 votes.

At the top, there are not many differences from the U.S. News law school rankings….

Yale is still #1. Michigan Law is a big winner, jumping up to #5 (compared to #9 in the the latest U.S. News rankings). Duke and Northwestern fall out of the traditional U.S. News top 14, to be replaced by UCLA and Texas (both schools are tied for #15 by U.S. News).

But the real excitement from The Conglomerate’s crowdsourced rankings doesn’t stem from the incremental differences at the top. It comes from the schools showing a sharp divergence, positively or negatively, from their U.S. News rank.

Professor Paul Caron, over at TaxProf Blog, has put together a helpful chart. To be honest, I don’t see any common thread among the schools that significantly outperformed or underperformed their U.S. News rank. TaxProf is comparing the schools’ crowdsourced rank to their U.S. News academic peer reputation rank.

Here are the top five overperforming schools (crowdsourced ranking higher than U.S. News peer reputation ranking):

Michigan State
South Carolina

And here are the most underperforming schools:

Nova Southeastern

You can read the full list here.

There are lots of fun little quirks in all of this information, and The Conglomerate promises further in-depth analysis.

I’m wondering if prospective law students will pay as much attention to this as they do to the U.S. News rankings? For better or for worse, this is how you and your peers view these law schools. That’s got to be at least as important to prospective law students as the number of books in a law school’s library.

Crowdsourced Rankings Final [The Conglomerate]
Crowdsourced Law School Rankings [All Our Ideas]
Crowdsourced Law School Rankings v. U.S. News Peer Rankings [TaxProf Blog]

Earlier: Law School Rankings: Crowdsourcing Makes Them More Awesome

(hidden for your protection)

comments sponsored by

Show all comments