Category Archives: Law Review Rankings

My 2016 Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews @PrawfsBlawg

Over at PrawfsBlawg, Howard Wasserman has just posted my 2016 Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews (thanks Howard!). Read the post I wrote and see the rankings HERE.

I decided to create a meta-ranking of the possible contenders for gauging the relative importance of journals: US News Overall Ranking (averaged from 2010-2017), US News Peer Reputation Ranking (also averaged from 2010-2017), W&L Combined Ranking (at default weighting; 2007-2014), and Google Scholar Metrics law journal rankings (averaging the h-index and h-median of each journal, as proposed here by Robert Anderson). I’ve ranked each journal within each ranking system, averaged these four ranks using a 25% weighting for each, and computed and ranked the final scores. I think this approach benefits from incorporating a couple different forms of impact evaluation (W&L + Google) while not disregarding the general sentiment that law school “prestige” (USN combined rank + peer reputation rank, each averaged over an 8-year period) is an important factor in law review placement decisions.

Below is a graphical representation of the correlation between my “meta-ranking” (top 149 journals) and these four other ranking systems:

MetaRank correlations

I have also calculated the Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient for the MetaRank versus each of the four underlying rankings (for schools ranked in the top 100 in the table above):

USN USNpr Google WLU
MetaRank 0.913 0.930 0.867 0.902

I would love to get feedback about whether you think there is any usefulness to doing this in this way, whether you would suggest alternative weightings, different combinations of rankings, or if I have overlooked something (entirely possible, as I was paying more attention to your comments on the Angsting Thread than anything else when I put this together), etc. If it seems that folks are interested and that this might be useful, I can also post full ranking (I’ve ranked 194 journals). I am also working on an attempt to evaluate equivalencies between specialty journals and general ones, and I’m happy to take suggestions or share my initial thoughts on doing that if you’d like to get in touch.