Ranking law schools and law firms. All of a sudden, everyone’s doing it.
A universe that used to contain one member, it seems — U.S. News & World Report — has suddenly gotten a lot more crowded. Princeton Review now ranks the law schools. The American Lawyer, with its annual A-List ranking, provides a ranking of sorts for law firms. Vault uses prestige as the measuring stick for law firms; Chicago Law prof Brian Leiter provides his own law-school rankings, here. The list, particularly in regard to law schools, goes on and on.
Well, let us add one more name to the parade. Law & Politics, the publisher of Super Lawyers and the cheeky magazines Minnesota Law & Politics and Washington Law & Politics, will on Tuesday unveil its first ever ranking of U.S. law schools, based on one criteria only: how many Super Lawyers each produces. Roughly 5 percent of the lawyers in each state are selected to Super Lawyers lists each year. Click here for how those are chosen.
“We’ve been rating lawyers for nearly 20 years,” says Super Lawyers publisher and founder Bill White. “This puts us in a unique position to shed light on how well schools fulfill the ultimate mission of producing great lawyers.”
WSJ Law Blog asked White if the world really needs another ranking of law firms. In his opinion, it does. We chatted briefly on Monday with White, but a statement in a press release sums up White’s position:
Most law school rankings look at things like bar passage rates, professor-to-student ratios and the number of books in the library, but ignore the end product — the quality of lawyers produced. It’s like ranking football teams based on athletic facilities, player size and equipment without considering who wins the games.
In the real world — the world of clients and juries and judges — no one cares about your GPA or LSAT score. All that matters is how good and ethical a lawyer you are. That’s the focus of Super Lawyers.
Okay, fair enough. So how’d the schools line up?
The top 25 go like this: 1) Harvard; 2) Michigan; 3) Texas; 4) UVA; 5) Georgetown; 6) NYU; 7) Columbia; 8) Florida; 9) Berkeley; 10) Yale; 11) Hastings; 12) GW; 13) BU; 14) UCLA; 15) Penn; 16) Chicago; 17) BC; 18) Northwestern; 19) Stanford; 20) University of Miami; 21) Vanderbilt; 22) SMU; 23) Duke; 24) Minnesota; 25) Wisconsin.