November 10, 2005
More Law School Rankings Debate
Posted by Gordon Smith

Over at TaxProf Blog, Bernie Black critiques a recent ranking of law schools by Harvard Law Students. The silly thing about the HLS ranking is that HLS beats Yale. Whatever.

The more interesting thing, which Bernie addresses, is that the HLS students seem to have thoroughly internalized the U.S. News rankings of law schools. Bernie writes:

The usual metaphor for the results of a survey of the non-knowledgeable is GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. A better metaphor for the Harvard students' views is UIUO - US News in their ears, US News out.


Of course, the other interesting development is that Texas now has two ratings evangelists, Brian Leiter and Bernie Black, who are using citation analysis and SSRN downloads, both of which show that Texas is a Top Ten law school. Christine's law degree is getting more valuable by the day! [I have edited this paragraph to more accurately reflect my intentions. See the comments for discussion.]

Finally, I just wanted to point out that the folks from Texas are starting to sound like college sports fans, who debate endlessly the East Coast Bias. This is also from Bernie:

Bernie Black (conflict disclosure: I am managing director of SSRN and teach at a school, Texas, that routinely does better on quantitative measures than on US News, which might reflect in no small amount its lack of proximity to an ocean.)

If you didn't know, Bernie taught at Columbia and Stanford before moving to Texas, so he knows about law schools with proximity to the ocean, too.

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