Fantasy Law School League

Folks have joked about the idea of running a “Fantasy Law School” league (a la a fantasy football league) for some time now. But the recently-posted Leiter rankings, combined with USNews and a wealth of statistics (pseudo and otherwise), indicate that we are entering a brave new era in the evaluation of law school quality and talent. No more fuzzy and impressionistic scouting of talent; bring on the new and more scientific “Moneyball” approach. Herewith, some proposed rules (comments and suggestions welcome):

1. Season: 1 year, starting Sep. 1

2. Maximum 10 law schools per league, 15 law professors per school.

3. Required positions: Dean, Contracts, Property, Torts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Corporations, Evidence, Tax, Junior Faculty Member (less than 5 years), Student Body (pick school). Remaining positions are optional, but must be in different subject matters. Subject matter positions are for teaching, and may be completely disconnected from research.

4. Statistics:

(a) donations: $200k = 1 point.

(b) citations: 1 cite in Westlaw’s JLR or SCT = 1 point.

(c) ssrn downloads: 10 downloads = 1 point. (gaming of downloads will result in forfeit).

(d) law review articles: top-10 journal = 10 points. 10-30 journal = 5 points. remaining = 1 point.

(e) books: top-5 academic press = 20 points. casebook, new = 10 points, new edition = 5 points. all others = 1 point.

(f) entering class median LSAT: 170-180 = 10 points, 165-170 = 5 points, 160-165 = 1 point.

(g) entering class median GPA: 3.8-4.0 = 10 points, 3.6-3.8 = 5 points, 3.4-3.6 – 1 point.

(h) blogging: 20 posts = 0 points. 40 posts or more = -1 point.

5. Multiplier: points will be doubled for junior faculty (under 5 years)

6. Draft: date: August 1. random initial order, S-draft (e.g. first round: 1,2,3 … second round: 10,9,8 …).

7. Trades: no limits on number of trades. trades may be vetoed w/in 2 days by vote of 50% of other players.

8. Waivers: players may pick up unclaimed professors at any time, subject to maximum professor limit.

Now if only we could get someone to write a program to track this …

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9 Responses

  1. Eric Goldman says:

    The demerit for high blogging volume is too funny! Eric.

  2. Brilliant! More suggestions:

    NYT or WSJ quote: 2 points

    LAT or WaPo quote: 1 point

    USA Today: -1 point

  3. Dave Hoffman says:

    This is fantastic. Except that I think you are over-weighting books (at least, new editions of an old casebook shouldn’t be worth 5 “ordinary” law review articles).

    I am on board with the multiplier idea.

    How about extra points if the prof. moves laterally to a “higher ranked” school?

  4. Joe Liu says:

    Excellent suggestions for the newspaper quotes and the over-weighting of new editions of casebooks.

    As for lateral moves, if we were trying to be more realistic, we could give the leading schools the ability to unilaterally poach from lagging schools. This would upset the competitive balance of the league, though. To compensate, we could require some kind of large transfer payment in points, thereby increasing the risk of such a move.

  5. Mike Madison says:

    You’ll need to put some thought into how you group schools, i.e., conferences and divisions.

    Also, why does gaming downloads result in a forfeit? Shouldn’t the penalty lie with the individual rather than the school?

  6. Perhaps we will need a penalty schedule for download gaming, a la the NFL’s drug program. Perhaps a faculty member found in violation of the league’s SSRN policy will have to sit out two submission seasons for a first time violation, 4 for the second violation, and a lifetime ban for the third?

  7. OK, when I made my comment, I didn’t realize that Bill Sjostrom was quoted in the USA Today — today. FWIW, Bill — no one quoted me today. Well, I quoted myself to a few people, but it didn’t catch on.

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