Since they first began appearing annually in 1990, U.S. News & World Report’s law-school rankings have been the go-to list for JD wannabes. But amid heavy criticism of the list from deans and legal scholars, at least a dozen upstart Web sites, academic papers and blogs have sprouted up with surveys of their own. Here’s the story from Law Blog colleague Amir Efrati.
For instance, a blogger and Notre Dame Law grad who goes by the nom de plume “law firm addict” began trolling message boards frequented by law students and invited students to share figures on summer-associate and federal-clerkship placements. He posted his finding on lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com and lawclerkaddict.blogspot.com. “Law firm addict” created his blogs after reading a 2005 research paper by Anthony Ciolli (of AutoAdmit fame). Ciolli, then a Penn Law student, traced more than 15,000 graduates from 2001-2003 using databases on firm associates and bar admission.
Then there’s UT law professor Brian Leiter, whose leiterrankings.com posts lists ranging from Supreme Court clerkship placement to scholarly reputation. Even Judge Richard Posner has gotten into the mix, writing a 2005 paper suggesting alternative rankings to U.S. News.