U. Miami Makes Top 20 in New Law School Ranking

I've yet to see a ranking system for law school that I trust. Leiter's was the least bad, and it had problems. US News is so badly constructed that it's a joke, and the fact that it now is morphing into a self-referential feedback loop just makes it worse (studies show that USN rankings increasingly define reputations, and a lot of the USN ranking is based on … reputation).

But if we're going to have biased ranking systems, I prefer those that are biased in our direction. So may I introduce you to the Lawdragon 25 Leading Law Schools, based on where members of the Lawdragon 500s graduated from law school. They put the University of Miami School of Law at #18 in their rankings.

Which sounds great, but shouldn't be taken too seriously. Even if we trusted Lawdragon to tell us who the best lawyers in the US are, the survey is strongly biased to large schools, since it compares total number of law school alumni among the 'elite' without discounting for school size.

But that bias works for us, so I guess now we can claim to be a “top 20 law school”.

Realistically, however, I would not put UM among the top 20 US law schools if only because we don't have the resources that come with the sort of massive endowment the top 20 schools tend to have, and because first year classes here are very big.

For what it's worth, I do think that we ought to be somewhere low in the second 20. US News, which is as biased against size (and location in provincial legal markets) as Law Dragon is biased for bigness, ranked UM at 65 — a massive problem for the school. Average the two scores [ (18+65)/2 = 41.5] and you get something more plausible although not methodologically defensible.

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