Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews (2018)

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.

Harvard Law Review1121251
The Yale Law Journal211232
Stanford Law Review333415
Columbia Law Review344592
University of Pennsylvania Law Review5107345
Michigan Law Review68107712
New York University Law Review766131314
California Law Review778141510
The Georgetown Law Journal913148107
Virginia Law Review109916209
Cornell Law Review1112131168
UCLA Law Review1216166211
Duke Law Journal13111110518
University of Chicago Law Review1455243117
Texas Law Review14151517234
Northwestern University Law Review161412181621
Minnesota Law Review172020121415
Vanderbilt Law Review181717211115
Iowa Law Review1928259819
Boston University Law Review202524234421
Notre Dame Law Review212722191829
Fordham Law Review223438143612
Washington University Law Review231819291734
Southern California Law Review241918372929
Emory Law Journal242121332628
Boston College Law Review262930222123
George Washington Law Review272323344026
Indiana Law Journal273026242426
William and Mary Law Review273231191124
North Carolina Law Review302137323320
Wisconsin Law Review312434302236
U.C. Davis Law Review322633363031
Washington and Lee Law Review333536383924
University of Illinois Law Review343340272634
Washington Law Review353828514931
Florida Law Review364048261936
Ohio State Law Journal373138403247
Hastings Law Journal383650353438
Alabama Law Review384127454646
Wake Forest Law Review404441414439
Cardozo Law Review415359284331
Arizona Law Review424244434249
Maryland Law Review434747474839
Georgia Law Review443932463566
Connecticut Law Review445256302845
George Mason Law Review445545443839
American University Law Review474863424139
UC Irvine Law Review483729796649
Utah Law Review495146506753
Colorado Law Review504343585866
Tulane Law Review514551607758
Arizona State Law Journal524635768861
BYU Law Review525042527774
Houston Law Review546653495455
Pepperdine Law Review556955485155
Case Western Reserve Law Review566161728549
Florida State University Law Review574952655580
Temple Law Review585957695266
Seton Hall Law Review598466596153
University of Miami Law Review605468676374
Lewis & Clark Law Review618081393764
Brooklyn Law Review626780546364
Penn State Law Review639271607148
University of Richmond Law Review648164625766
Oregon Law Review655688645866
University of Kansas Law Review666074818361
Denver University Law Review676373637180
Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review676865758971
Santa Clara Law Review6775103575044
Loyola University Chicago Law Journal677779685855
Seattle University Law Review718895536749
Tennessee Law Review726262806288
University of Cincinnati Law Review727567708480
South Carolina Law Review7494100737039
San Diego Law Review755769888595
SMU Law Review77644995117104
Georgia State University Law Review76735810312577
Buffalo Law Review789793544671
Nevada Law Journal799075907561
Chicago-Kent Law Review8070788410388
Missouri Law Review8265777898104
Marquette Law Review8189102747758
Indiana Law Review8273908111080
DePaul Law Review8499104545371
Nebraska Law Review857876957695
Rutgers University Law Review8672846556126
Kentucky Law Journal8771609782121
Louisiana Law Review8810285848180
University of Pittsburgh Law Review895881108741000
Michigan State Law Review90101969110380
Catholic University Law Review9191948771104
Villanova Law Review938687105114104
Hofstra Law Review9296106929487
West Virginia Law Review94110971019577
Saint Louis University Law Journal9599999411495
Oklahoma Law Review967970135145112
Albany Law Review971241217710377
Vermont Law Review98108127837788
Howard Law Journal999811710510388
Arkansas Law Review1009583131166104
Mississippi Law Journal1011041089385112
Baylor Law Review1028754132120146
Mitchell Hamline Law Review1031391388812058
Drake Law Review1041291109910395
Akron Law Review105145130706395
UMKC Law Review10610511497117126
New York Law School Law Review1061201348498104
Gonzaga Law Review108111111112951000
Syracuse Law Review1109397139162118
Texas Tech Law Review10813311210911392
University of San Francisco Law Review111117133100901000
Pace Law Review1131321411039080
St. John’s Law Review11410389136148130
University of Louisville Law Review11510791133129135
New Mexico Law Review11783721571481000
Idaho Law Review11911812413912092
Washburn Law Journal11913613510710395
Southwestern Law Review1221331441109295
Cleveland State Law Review12113811810169119
Willamette Law Review123121137113921000
Southwestern Law Review1221331441109295
Tulsa Law Review125126101125139141
Suffolk University Law Review12712915211813995
Duquesne Law Review12815414312714774
University of Hawaii Law Review1288292178181146
Quinnipiac Law Review131131125124981000
New England Law Review14016616111312592
Capital University Law Review1411671611119595
Northeastern University Law Journal14685861901881000

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 from 2010-2018), US News Peer Reputation Ranking (also averaged from 2010-2018), W&L Combined Ranking (at default weighting; 2009-2016), 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 9-year period from 2010-2018) 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 June 2017). Some journals that began after 2009 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 8 years (e.g. UC Irvine was only in the 2016-2018 rankings), I have averaged the ranks over just the years they appear, rather than by 9.

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

  • North Carolina Law Review (I used Google Metrics scores from the June 2015 index)
  • University of Pittsburgh Law Review (not in either index, 2015 or 2017; I have used W&L’s rank twice to keep the impact portion of the ranking at 50%)
  • Baylor Law Review (I used Google Metrics scores from the June 2015 index)
  • Mitchell Hamline Law Review (I have used the current metrics for the William Mitchell Law Review)
  • Gonzaga Law Review (used W&L twice)
  • University of San Francisco Law Review (used W&L twice)
  • University of Louisville Law Review (used 2015 index)
  • New Mexico Law Review  (used W&L twice)
  • Willamette Law Review (used W&L twice)
  • Quinnipiac Law Review (used W&L twice)
  • Northeastern University Law Journal (used W&L twice)

*** 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.

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.