Nov. 18, 1999
Vol. 19 No. 5

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    Survey ranks Chicago’s Law School at No. 1

    By William Harms
    News Office

    The University Law School has been rated first in overall quality, first in faculty quality, third in student-body quality and second in Supreme Court clerk placements (adjusted for the size of the school) in the Educational Quality Ranking prepared by Brian Leiter, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

    According to Leiter, the law-school ranking focuses on traditional academic criteria.

    “Chicago and Yale tied for first based on student quality and faculty quality, but Chicago was nudged ahead to occupy the No. 1 spot based on its reputation for teaching excellence,” Leiter said.

    Faculty quality was based on three criteria: scholarly productivity, scholarly impact of faculty work and reputation.

    More specifically, the rank was based on the per capita rate of faculty articles published from 1995 through July 1998 in the 10 leading student-edited law reviews and the 10 leading peer-edited law journals. The ranking also incorporated the number of faculty books published by the eight leading academic presses.

    The scholarly impact of faculty work was based on citations of faculty work in the Westlaw database, an online source for business and legal information provided by West Group, as of July 1998. The subjective academic reputation of faculty was based on a fall 1998 survey of academics conducted by U.S. News and World Report.

    Information taken from several years of the Princeton Review Surveys of Student Satisfaction with Teaching provided the basis for rating teaching quality.

    Student-body quality was based on data collected by the American Bar Association on student credentials for 1998 for the 75th and 25th percentiles of the entering class.

    Leiter’s Educational Quality Ranking of Supreme Court clerkship placements showed Chicago with 18 appointments in the last five years.

    Daniel Fischel, Dean of the Law School, said of the rankings, “We are proud to be recognized for what we are, the best law school in the country.”

    Law School graduates clerk for Supreme Court justices