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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Boyd Ranks 45th Among Nation's Top 71 Most-Cited Law Faculties

Authored by the University of St. Thomas' Gregory Sisk, Valerie Aggerbeck, Debby Hackerson, and Mary Wells, a recent study ("Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties in 2012: Applying Leiter Scores to Rank the Top Third") explores the scholarly impact of law faculties, ranking the top third of ABA-accredited law schools.  Refined by Professor Brian Leiter, the "Scholarly Impact Score" for a law faculty is calculated from the mean and the median of total law journal citations over the past five years to the work of tenured members of that law faculty. In addition to a school-by-school ranking, the impact study reports the mean, median, and weighted score for each law faculty, along with a listing of the tenured law faculty members at each ranked law school with the highest individual citation counts. The recent study ranked Boyd School of Law quite favorably - 45th in the nation.

Rankings have limitations - and a ranking system based on citation counts can be criticized for its inability to take into account the (lack of) popularity of certain doctrinal areas or negative references to scholarship. Much more than a ranking, we are proud to be recognized by our peers for good, meaningful scholarship. According to the study, "Three newer law schools accredited within the past two decades ... [including Boyd School of Law] ... have already made a scholarly impact that dramatically outpaces their present academic reputations." The study concludes that Boyd School of Law "continues to rank in the second quartile for U.S. News at #76, but rises more than 30 ordinal ranking levels to #45 for Scholarly Impact" and "enjoy[s] less than half the academic reputation that Scholarly Impact Scores would suggest [it] deserves."

Along with Dean Nancy Rapoport, Professors Linda Berger, Linda Edwards, Ruben Garcia, Sylvia Lazos, Thomas Main, Ann McGinley, Jeff Stempel, Jean Sternlight, and David Tanenhaus are listed in the study as Boyd's most highly-cited scholars