Note: the updated 2018 (Summer) rankings are now available here.

 

The older rankings are below:

Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews (2018, v2)

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 1121125
The Yale Law Journal 211223
Stanford Law Review 333451
Columbia Law Review 344529
University of Pennsylvania Law Review597354
Michigan Law Review 68107127
New York University Law Review766131413
California Law Review 778141015
The Georgetown Law Journal 913148710
Virginia Law Review 109916920
Cornell Law Review1112131186
UCLA Law Review 1216166112
Duke Law Journal 13111110185
University of Chicago Law Review1455241731
Texas Law Review 14151517423
Northwestern University Law Review161412182116
Minnesota Law Review 172020121514
Vanderbilt Law Review 181717211511
Iowa Law Review 1928259198
Boston University Law Review 202524232144
Notre Dame Law Review 212722192918
Fordham Law Review 223438141236
Washington University Law Review231819293417
Southern California Law Review241918372929
Emory Law Journal242121332826
Boston College Law Review 262930222321
George Washington Law Review272323342640
William and Mary Law Review 273231192411
Indiana Law Journal 293127242624
North Carolina Law Review 302139322033
Wisconsin Law Review312432303622
U.C. Davis Law Review 322636363130
Washington and Lee Law Review333635382439
University of Illinois Law Review343340273426
Washington Law Review 353729513149
Florida Law Review 364048263619
Ohio State Law Journal373037404732
Alabama Law Review384128454646
Hastings Law Journal 393751353834
Wake Forest Law Review 404441413944
Cardozo Law Review 415358283143
Arizona Law Review 424243434942
Maryland Law Review 434746473948
Connecticut Law Review 445255304528
George Mason Law Review 455545443938
Georgia Law Review463933466635
UC Irvine Law Review473526794966
American University Law Review 484864423941
Utah Law Review 495146505367
Colorado Law Review 504344586658
Tulane Law Review 514650605877
Arizona State Law Journal524534766188
BYU Law Review535042527477
Houston Law Review546654495554
Pepperdine Law Review556956485551
Case Western Reserve Law Review566162724985
Florida State University Law Review574952658055
Temple Law Review585957696652
Seton Hall Law Review598365595361
University of Miami Law Review605468677463
Brooklyn Law Review616781546463
Lewis & Clark Law Review 618182396437
University of Richmond Law Review638060626657
Penn State Law Review649270604871
Oregon Law Review655688646658
Loyola University Chicago Law Journal667578685558
University of Kansas Law Review676075816183
Denver University Law Review676371638071
Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review696766757189
Santa Clara Law Review7076103574450
Seattle University Law Review7188101534967
Tennessee Law Review726263808862
University of Cincinnati Law Review737967708084
South Carolina Law Review749198733970
San Diego Law Review755771889585
SMU Law Review 76644995104117
Georgia State University Law Review76735910377125
Nevada Law Journal789073906175
Buffalo Law Review799893547146
Chicago-Kent Law Review8070798488103
Missouri Law Review8165767810498
Marquette Law Review8189102745877
Indiana Law Review8374908180110
DePaul Law Review8499107547153
Nebraska Law Review857777959576
Rutgers University Law Review8672836512656
Kentucky Law Journal8771619712182
Louisiana Law Review8810287848081
University of Pittsburgh Law Review895880108100074
Michigan State Law Review90101949180103
Villanova Law Review918584105104114
Catholic University Law Review9294978710471
Hofstra Law Review9297106928794
Saint Louis University Law Journal9499969495114
West Virginia Law Review95110991017795
Oklahoma Law Review967869135112145
Albany Law Review971241197777103
Vermont Law Review98108129838877
Howard Law Journal999612210588103
Arkansas Law Review1009585131104166
Baylor Law Review1018753132146120
Mississippi Law Journal1011041099311285
Mitchell Hamline Law Review1031481388858120
Drake Law Review1041291109995103
New York Law School Law Review1051221308410498
Akron Law Review106145131709563
UMKC Law Review10710611497126117
Syracuse Law Review1089395139118162
Gonzaga Law Review109111111112100095
Texas Tech Law Review11013411210992113
Maine Law Review111105118125104135
University of San Francisco Law Review112118136100100090
Pace Law Review1131321401038090
St. John’s Law Review11410389136130148
University of Louisville Law Review11510792133135129
Mercer Law Review116114113121121148
Washburn Law Journal11713613210795103
Idaho Law Review11811712313992120
New Mexico Law Review11984741571000148
Cleveland State Law Review12013811710111969
Creighton Law Review121128121117112132
Southwestern Law Review1221351451109592
Willamette Law Review123123137113100092
Tulsa Law Review124124100125141139
Duquesne Law Review12515114112774147
Suffolk University Law Review12612915211895139
Wyoming Law Review127116119139121136
University of the Pacific Law Review127127134122112157
University of Hawaii Law Review1298291178146181
University of St. Thomas Law Journal130140124130104114
Drexel Law Review1311191161331000125
The Wayne Law Review132115104144141157
University of Baltimore Law Review1331241281271000101
Quinnipiac Law Review133131127124100098
Loyola Law Review135113143138119144
University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Review136109133155126153
The University of Toledo Law Review137142144119121139
University of Memphis Law Review138141146113130102
New England Law Review13916516111392125
Chapman Law Review139143126127135119
Capital University Law Review1411661611119595
Valparaiso University Law Review142152161113112136
Stetson Law Review143112105168155187
South Dakota Law Review144143146120138109
John Marshall Law Review145152153122121139
Northeastern University Law Journal14686861901000188
Texas A&M Law Review14713913910001381000
Montana Law Review148121124176146175
Touro Law Review149169160143112170
Southern Illinois University Law Journal150149156152130157

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; 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 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 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 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:

  • 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.

**** 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.