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Study Names Top 10 Law Schools by Impact of Faculty
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According to a study of all the American Bar Association accredited law schools, researchers ranked the schools based on their scholarly impacts of law faculty. On the list, the School of Law at the University of California, Irvine, made the list at number seven. The school is only three years old. The school is one of three from California to be named to the list of 10 by researchers at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. Stanford University made the list at number four and the University of California, Berkeley made the list at number ten. The top ten list is as follows:

Scholarly Impact Ranking of Law Faculties


1 Yale University

2 Harvard University

3 University of Chicago

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4 Stanford University

5 New York University

6 Columbia University

7 University of California, Irvine

8 Vanderbilt University

9 Cornell University

10 University of California, Berkeley

Source: Gregory Sisk, Valerie Aggerbeck, Debby Hackerson and Mary Wells at University of St. Thomas School of Law

Brian Leiter created the scholarly impact score, which was used by researchers of the the study to rank the law schools. Leiter is a professor of jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School. According to Sisk, the score created by Leiter measures the influence tenured law faculty from a law school have. The researchers looked at citations for the faculty that were given in legal literature over the past five years.

The UCI School of Law faculty members who were cited the most in the study were the following: Dan Burk, Erwin Chemerinsky, Catherine Fisk, Bryant Garth, Richard Hasen, Christopher Leslie, Elizabeth Loftus, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, R. Anthony Reese, Christopher Tomlins, according to ‘The Orange County Register.’ Chemerinsky is the dean of the law school and was the most cited faculty member. Leiter also mentioned that Chemerinsky was the most cited law professor working full-time in the country. In the study, there was a statement about the inclusion of UCI:

“Because it has not yet finished hiring its tenured faculty, because the number of tenured faculty remains well below that of other law schools that rank in the top 10 by scholarly impact score, and because Dean Erwin Chemerinsky’s high number of citations makes him an outlier, an adjustment was made to the raw mean score for the University of California at Irvine.”

Researchers working on the study said that should Chemerinsky be removed from the study, UCI would still rank high on the list, coming in at number 11.



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