Law Schools, Rankings

Law School Rankings: Crowdsourcing Makes Them More Awesome

Everybody loves law school rankings, but these are special. These rankings are not based on a formula developed in secret by statisticians or prestige gurus. These rankings are put together by you. By us. By the mass of humanity that makes up the general mob. These rankings are crowdsourced.

The Conglomerate is putting together rankings based on what we think. But they’re not going with a straight popular vote. Instead, they’ve got a brilliant set up where they ask you to make a series of comparisons. Which law school do you think is better: SMU or Maryland? The rankings are based on answers to almost 200 questions like that.

I only answered 20 questions, but I’ll do the rest as soon as I get a free moment. It’s fun. Widener or Arkansas? Connecticut or Hastings? Screw what U.S. News thinks, what do you think?

And the results so far are pretty cool too…

Here’s what Professor Gordon Smith says about The Conglomerate’s results thus far:

The current results have Stanford in the lead over second-place Yale, undoubtedly because more people in Silicon Valley know how to use the Internet. The surprise (to me) third-place school is Michigan, followed by Harvard. The state schools generally are making a fine showing in the crowdsourced rankings, with Michigan, Virginia, Texas, and Berkeley all making the Top 10, with four others (UCLA, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Iowa) cracking the Top 20. It will be interesting to see if this holds as the votes accumulate.

Hail, to the victors valiant. Hail, to the conquering heroes.
Hail! Hail! To Michigan, the leaders and best.

This conforms to Elie’s first rule of law school rankings. It’s fine to diverge from U.S. News, but don’t piss in my ear and tell me that Yale isn’t a top law school.

In any kind of crowd-driven rankings, you’d expect bigger schools to do better. And certainly once law students get involved, the advantage of bigger schools grows, because law students have difficulty being objective about the institution they are currently attending.

But one of the awesome things about this ranking system is that two relatively small schools (Stanford and Yale) are hanging in there in at #1 and #2. We’ll see if this holds up as more people vote. It’s certainly possible that larger schools could be hurt in this ranking format, as unemployed alumni ding their own alma maters.

Either way, I’ll be fascinated by the results. And the more people who vote, the more interesting the results will be. So, vote now. Go to The Conglomerate and enter your own personal law school ranking.

Update on Crowdsourced Rankings [The Conglomerate]

(hidden for your protection)

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