Ridiculously Unscientific Ranking: SSRN February Edition

The February 2008 SSRN law school rankings based on downloads are out. I thought I’d be irresponsible and compare the data to the list compiled in May, 2007, when I last republished rankings based on new downloads.* The number in the parenthesis represents the change, the “big” number is the total new downloads. Snarky comments in brackets are mine.

1. George Washington University – Law School 80571 (+10) [They’ve got nothing to hide!]

2. Harvard University – Harvard Law School 53984 (-1)

3. Columbia University – Columbia Law School 37401 (-2)

4. University of Chicago – Law School 35080 (same)

5. University of Texas at Austin 30469 (-2) [A prediction market, anticipating Leiter’s departure?]

6. Yale University – Law School 30317 (+1)

7. University of California, Los Angeles – School of Law 29491 (-2)

8. Stanford Law School 28123 (-2)

9. Georgetown University – Law Center 26502 (same)

10. University of Illinois – College of Law 25501 (+2)

11. New York University – School of Law 23416 (+2)

12. University of Pennsylvania Law School 23165 (+5)

13. University of California, Berkeley – School of Law (Boalt Hall) 22649 (+2)

14. Vanderbilt University – School of Law 19329 (same)

15. University of Tennessee, Knoxville – College of Law 18094 (+15) [Instapundit deploys!]

16. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities – School of Law 17226 (same)

17. Duke University – School of Law 14477 (+2)

18. George Mason University – School of Law 14206 (+4)

19. University of San Diego – School of Law 14096 (+2)

20. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor – Law School 13048 (+3)

21. University of Southern California – Law School 12993 (-1)

22. Northwestern University – School of Law 12811 (-4)

23. Loyola Law School – Los Angeles 12222 (+3)

24. Fordham University – School of Law 12132 (+8)

25. Florida State University – College of Law 11518 (-1)

26. Yeshiva University – Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law 11159 (+1)

27. Boston University – School of Law 11050 (+2)

28. Temple University 10569 (+9) [Validates entire SSRN ranking project]

29. University of Virginia – School of Law 10212 (-1)

30. Ohio State University – Michael E. Moritz College of Law 10012 (-20) [@#$@]

31. American University – Washington College of Law 9902 (+17)

32. Suffolk University Law School 8711 (Offlist)

33. Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington 8521 (-1)

34. Cornell University – School of Law 8369 (-3)

35. Brooklyn Law School 8228 (Offlist)

36. Emory University – School of Law 8217 (-28)

37. University of Louisville – Louis D. Brandeis School of Law 7116 (Offlist)

38. Chapman University – School of Law 7092 (Offlist)

39. Boston College – Law School 6703 (-14)

40. Notre Dame Law School 6613 (-1)

41. Case Western Reserve University – School of Law 6579 (-6)

42. University of Colorado Law School 6182 (-4)

43. St. John’s University – School of Law 6030 (Offlist)

44. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – School of Law-Camden 5927 (-2)

45. Washington University, St. Louis – School of Law (-5)

46. University of Arizona – James E. Rogers College of Law 5630 (-1)

47. University of Florida – Fredric G. Levin College of Law 5595 (Offlist)

48. Seton Hall University – School of Law 5491 (+2)

49. University of Iowa – College of Law 5466 (Offlist)

50. New York Law School 5447 (Offlist)

*You can slice these data many ways, including per capita, total downloads, total papers. In my view, all methods are similarly (un)scientific.

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1 Response

  1. Why should we not be basing our totally unscientific responses to the USNWR “peer evluation” survey on these SSRN rankings, as opposed to (1) gut instinct, (2) student quality, (3) echo chamber reiteration of last year’s USNWR rank, or (4) some other guide? Especially for schools with which one is unfamiliar, it seems to me that these ranks should for many schools become the default “peer estimation” ranking. Why should this not be the case?