Several years ago, Associate Dean Michael Yelnosky embarked on a study that would capture one important (and objective) measure of the quality of a law school: how often its faculty published in the most prestigious law journals. Building on a methodology used by Brian Leiter to compare law schools at the top of the US News rankings, Michael focused on the other 100+ schools, many of which we were confident had strong, productive faculties.
Michael counted the number of articles published in the “top 50 journals” and divided that by the number of full-time, tenure-track faculty at each school, to yield a “per capita productivity number,” and then ranked the results. Details on the methodology are posted on our web site.
The third version of that study has now been released, and once again it has been lauded for adding useful information about law school quality. Here is what leading blogger Brian Leiter had to say:
“This study nicely confirms what one would suspect--e.g., San Diego and Florida State are tops--and provides some very useful perspective on the scholarly seriousness and ambition of schools that are ‘demoted’ by U.S. News to tiers three and four…. So kudos to the folks at Roger Williams for compiling this data.”
Here are links to other blog coverage of the study.
Tax Prof Blog: Publication Study of Faculty at Non-Top 50 Law Schools
Prawfsblawg: Rotations and sundry
Nancy Rapoport’s Blogspot: Roger Williams University’s latest study of faculty productivity outside the USNWR top “40”
Over the same time period we also have used this methodology to compare the law schools in New England (regardless of US News ranking). The most recent analysis yields results essentially the same as last year (with Roger Williams in 4th place, well behind Yale, Harvard, and Boston University and a bit ahead of Boston College). Here are all of the results:
Per Capita Productivity of Articles in Top Journals, 1993-2009
New England Law Schools
1. Yale University (20.41)
2. Harvard University (17.68)
3. Boston University (10.17)
4. Roger Williams University (6.76)
5. Boston College (6.17)
6. University of Connecticut (4.29)
7. University of Maine (3.92)
8. Quinnipiac University (3.04)
Northeastern University (3.00)
10. New England School of Law (2.03)
11. Western New England College (1.83)
12. Vermont Law School (1.76)
13. Suffolk University (1.31)