Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews (2018, Summer version)

If a journal doesn’t appear in a particular index, I have scored it as “1000” to allow the table to sort correctly. For a short summary and more detailed notes about method, see below the table.

prRank = US News Peer Reputation score ranking; usnRank = Overall US News school ranking; wluRank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Ranking; gRank = Google Scholar Metrics ranking; wlu(IF)Rank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Impact Factor Ranking.

JournalMetaRankprRankusnRankwluRankgRankwlu(IF)Rank
Harvard Law Review 1121126
Yale Law Journal 211222
Columbia Law Review 344336
Stanford Law Review 433651
University of Pennsylvania Law Review597543
New York University Law Review66681111
California Law Review 77814617
Georgetown Law Journal 81314467
Michigan Law Review 98107195
Virginia Law Review 1099181115
Cornell Law Review1112131588
University of Chicago Law Review1255251428
Texas Law Review 12151510919
Duke Law Journal 14111115188
UCLA Law Review 15161613134
Minnesota Law Review 16202091413
Vanderbilt Law Review 171717191710
Iowa Law Review 182825121614
Northwestern University Law Review191412233322
Boston University Law Review 202524202036
Fordham Law Review 213438111039
Notre Dame Law Review 222722172920
Emory Law Journal232121332226
George Washington Law Review232323302134
Southern California Law Review251918392428
Washington University Law Review261819343023
Boston College Law Review 272930212424
Indiana Law Journal 283127252421
William & Mary Law Review 293231272218
Wisconsin Law Review302432363328
University of Illinois Law Review313340312833
North Carolina Law Review 322139294725
UC Davis Law Review 332636354132
Ohio State Law Journal343037373531
Washington & Lee Law Review343635383040
Washington Law Review 363729532749
Florida Law Review 364048223615
Hastings Law Journal 383751323943
UC Irvine Law Review393526623961
Alabama Law Review404128455044
Arizona Law Review 414243424244
Wake Forest Law Review 424441434346
Maryland Law Review 424746463247
Connecticut Law Review 425255283612
Cardozo Law Review 455358234538
Utah Law Review 465146484650
George Mason Law Review 475545445035
American University Law Review 484864404341
BYU Law Review485042475657
Arizona State Law Journal504534635482
Colorado Law Review 514344644870
Georgia Law Review523933499137
Case Western Reserve Law Review536162563870
Houston Law Review546654505056
Tulane Law Review 554650667683
Florida State University Law Review564952647655
Lewis & Clark Law Review 578182414842
University of Miami Law Review585468775662
Pepperdine Law Review586956547659
Brooklyn Law Review606781556072
University of Cincinnati Law Review617967665575
Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review626766786090
San Diego Law Review635771806569
Loyola University Chicago Law Journal647578606262
Temple Law Review655957887659
Seton Hall Law Review668365597654
SMU Law Review 67644910368114
Penn State Law Review689270517347
Chicago-Kent Law Review697079836596
Oregon Law Review705688609767
Denver University Law Review7163716810188
Michigan State Law Review7210194575680
Missouri Law Review736576828693
Nevada Law Journal739073707658
University of Kansas Law Review756075898696
Tennessee Law Review766263979177
University of Richmond Law Review7780607510165
Seattle University Law Review7888101527662
DePaul Law Review7999107575653
Indiana Law Review8074908076103
Kentucky Law Journal8171619210177
Marquette Law Review8289102727177
Louisiana Law Review8210287727366
Nebraska Law Review847777958675
Buffalo Law Review859893698651
Oklahoma Law Review86786911891124
Santa Clara Law Review87761037011352
Catholic University Law Review889497878680
Georgia State University Law Review89735993141114
Hofstra Law Review89971069568117
Villanova Law Review9185841059796
University of Pittsburgh Law Review925880118100096
South Carolina Law Review939198899784
Rutgers University Law Review9472839412884
West Virginia Law Review951109910762104
Albany Law Review961241197565114
Saint Louis University Law Journal97999698101104
Arkansas Law Review98958512891163
Texas Tech Law Review99134112917384
Mississippi Law Journal1001041098511384
Baylor Law Review1018753134141126
Maine Law Review10110511811676129
Akron Law Review103145131727167
Howard Law Journal104961229810692
Mitchell Hamline Law Review1041481388650124
Syracuse Law Review1069395131106141
Vermont Law Review1071081298410673
UMKC Law Review108106114103106121
Gonzaga Law Review109111111108100093
Idaho Law Review10911712313068132
St. John’s Law Review11110389139113141
New York Law School Law Review1121221307812193
Drake Law Review11312911010111396
University of Louisville Law Review11410792134128112
Duquesne Law Review11515114111162121
New Mexico Law Review11684741541000153
Cleveland State Law Review11713811710211274
University of the Pacific Law Review11812713412091156
University of Hawai'i Law Review1198291176128169
Wayne Law Review120115104146113134
Wyoming Law Review121116119145101137
Pace Law Review12213214098113109
University of San Francisco Law Review1231181361151000104
Mercer Law Review124114113113145149
Texas A&M Law Review12513913910001061000
Quinnipiac Law Review12613112714197132
University of St. Thomas Law Journal12714012414391117
Chapman Law Review128143126113121102
Washburn Law Journal129136132106134104
Loyola Law Review130113143125128129
Creighton Law Review130128121109151126
University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Review132109133157113163
New England Law Review13216516011176129
University of Baltimore Law Review134124128131100090
City University of New York (CUNY) Law Review1351201351331000104
Suffolk University Law Review135129151120121146
Tulsa Law Review137124100154145173
University of Memphis Law Review13814114611612189
Stetson Law Review139112105157153184
Drexel Law Review1391191161461000138
University of Toledo Law Review141142144126121146
South Dakota Law Review142143146123128109
Capital University Law Review14316616010910696
Northeastern University Law Journal14486861851000182
Southwestern Law Review144135145128134117
Montana Law Review146121124161141153
Willamette Law Review1471231371511000149
Valparaiso University Law Review148152160120134134
John Marshall Law Review149152152123145146
FIU Law Review150156115157151173
Campbell Law Review151173150140121109
Ohio Northern University Law Review152170149138128162
Northern Kentucky Law Review153164160143121141
Mississippi College Law Review154166160156113153
Charleston Law Review1551841601261000112
Touro Law Review156169160134134156
Northern Illinois University Law Review1571601541481000126
Southern Illinois University Law Journal158149156151156163
North Dakota Law Review159137148174154186
Widener Commonwealth Law Review160155153174134178
Regent University Law Review1601881601341000117
Roger Williams University Law Review162154160166139178
St. Mary's Law Journal1621591581511000141
Nova Law Review164158160166139178
University of New Hampshire Law Review1651331081941000192
University of Dayton Law Review1661471551641000149
South Texas Law Review167157156173145178
Barry Law Review1681911601421000121
St. Thomas Law Review1691781601491000138
Golden Gate University Law Review1701611601621000167
Florida Coastal Law Review1701871601491000134
California Western Law Review1721631601621000138
Cumberland Law Review1731501421781000182
University of Detroit Mercy Law Review174176160166149169
Oklahoma City University Law Review175168159172154177
Widener Law Review1761461951601000149
Western New England Law Review1771741601641000159
Arizona Summit [Phoenix] Law Review178194160169141186
Southern University Law Review1791781601701000159
John Marshall Law Journal1801821601701000141
Elon Law Review1811621601841000185
Whittier Law Review1821831601761000163
Thomas Jefferson Law Review1831781601821000159
Thurgood Marshall Law Review1841751601861000169
Appalachian Journal of Law1851861601811000156
University of Massachusetts Law Review1861711601901000192
University of the District of Columbia Law Review1861771601871000175
Western State University Law Review1861931601791000167
North Carolina Central Law Review1891721601901000190
Ave Maria Law Review1901951601791000169
Liberty University Law Review1911901601821000175
Faulkner Law Review1921851601871000186
Florida A & M University Law Review1931811601901000191
Thomas M. Cooley Law Review1941891601891000189
Charlotte Law Review1951921601901000192

Why make the Meta Ranking? (see more information, and the first edition of the ranking here)

In short, as an interdisciplinary scholar who publishes work in both peer-reviewed social science journals and law reviews, it strikes me as odd that legal scholars would discount measures of journal impact completely when choosing where to submit and which offers to prioritize. To be sure, all of the plausible contenders for ranking law reviews have their flaws (in methodology and/or coverage). Regardless, though, it appears important that some measures of citation or impact are taken into account, as direct correlations between US News rankings of law schools and law journal importance seem a bit weak as the primary (or only) measure to evaluate.

So, to get to the point, I decided to create a meta-ranking of the possible contenders for gauging the relative importance of journals and offers: US News Overall Ranking (averaged over ten years from 2010-2019), US News Peer Reputation Ranking (also averaged over 2010-2019), W&L Combined Ranking (at default weighting; 2010-2017), 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” (something involving one or both of US News’ combined rank or Peer Reputation rank, each averaged over the 10-year period from 2010-2019) is an important factor in law review placement decisions. (Note that I have also included a ranking by the Impact Factor reported in the W&L ranking, but I have not included it in the meta rank.)

Additional notes about method:

Google Scholar Metrics are currently based on the most recent Google index (updated to August 2, 2018). Some journals that began after 2010 are effected by W&L’s ranking formula described here. Because the US News Ranking has changed how it reports 3rd and 4th Tier schools over the relevant period, I have done the following: for the 2010 and 2011 editions of the ranking, I gave all “Tier 3” schools a value of 115, and all “Tier 4” schools a 150; for 2012-2017, I assigned all unranked schools (those not ranked 1-149) to 150.

* As some schools were not included in the US News Rankings for all 10 years (e.g. UC Irvine was only in the 2016-2019 rankings), I have averaged the ranks over just the years they appear, rather than by 10.

** The following journals (that appear in the top 100 across any of the rankings) do not appear in the current Google Scholar index:

  • Baylor Law Review (I used Google Metrics scores from the June 2015 index)
  • Drexel Law Review (used W&L twice)
    Gonzaga Law Review
    (used W&L twice)
  • Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review (I have used the prior year’s data for ranking)
  • Mitchell Hamline Law Review (I have used the current Google Scholar metrics for the William Mitchell Law Review)
  • New England Law Review (used 2017 index)
  • New Mexico Law Review  (used W&L twice)
  • Northeastern University Law Journal (used W&L twice)
  • Quinnipiac Law Review (used W&L twice)
  • Stetson Law Review (used 2017 index)
  • University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Review (used 2017 index)
  • University of Baltimore Law Review (used W&L twice)
  • University of Louisville Law Review (used 2015 index)
  • University of Pittsburgh Law Review (I have used W&L’s rank twice to keep the impact portion of the ranking at 50%)
  • University of San Francisco Law Review (used W&L twice)
  • University of St. Thomas Law Journal (used 2015 Google data)
  • Willamette Law Review (used W&L twice)

The following do not have full ranking data available in the Washington & Lee rankings:

  • Texas A&M Law Review (used Google Metrics data twice)
  • UC Irvine Law Review (does not have a full rank reported in the new 2018 W&L rankings. Thus, I have used the prior year’s ranking)

*** Rutgers and Mitchell-Hamline both recently consolidated two law journals into one and Penn State now also has two ranked law schools but only one flagship law review. For each of these schools, I have used the rank in each category (W&L/US News, etc.) that is the highest. Similarly (although not appearing in the top 100 reported here), Widener split and was ranked separately in 2017 by US News (each school taking a separate flagship journal). As such, I have used the separate 2017 and 2018 ranks from US News but shared the single Widener school ranking reported in US News in its 2010-2016 editions of the rankings.

**** In the 2019 US News rankings, Pepperdine received a peer score of 2.6, but was listed as unranked after originally submitting incorrect data about incoming JD students (see Paul Caron’s note about this for more about this). As such, I used the 2019 peer score and the 2018 overall rank to for Pepperdine.

Last note: I cannot locate the 2015 US News Peer-Reputation score (or rank) for Loyola-New Orleans (it is missing from Paul Caron’s annual posting at TaxProf, and I don’t have access otherwise). If someone has that information and could pass it along, I would appreciate it.