Law Journal Meta-Ranking, 2020 Edition

Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews

Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews (2020 Edition), by Bryce Newell
JournalMetaRankprRankusnRankwluRankgRankwlu(IF)Rank
Yale Law Journal121112
Harvard Law Review2132220
Stanford Law Review332331
Columbia Law Review4454419
University of Pennsylvania Law Review697574
New York University Law Review866101214
Virginia Law Review1098161217
California Law Review7797106
Georgetown Law Journal914146510
Michigan Law Review118915168
University of Chicago Law Review5549615
Texas Law Review12151514820
UCLA Law Review1316161293
Duke Law Journal13111117145
Cornell Law Review171213232212
Minnesota Law Review182020131815
Vanderbilt Law Review151717191513
Iowa Law Review192825111023
Northwestern University Law Review201312242627
Boston University Law Review222524222022
Notre Dame Law Review1624218166
George Washington Law Review242322292242
Southern California Law Review231919273011
Emory Law Journal242123302229
Washington University Law Review211818262818
Boston College Law Review262930211927
Fordham Law Review293438202746
Indiana Law Journal303229353433
William & Mary Law Review27333518218
UC Davis Law Review282636282226
North Carolina Law Review352239364537
Wisconsin Law Review322634393738
University of Illinois Law Review343641322939
Washington Law Review303531343032
Washington & Lee Law Review373933434043
Florida Law Review363844313034
Ohio State Law Journal333137333625
Wake Forest Law Review444540474749
Hastings Law Journal404153373740
Arizona Law Review394343423436
Alabama Law Review384027405235
UC Irvine Law Review423026665158
Cardozo Law Review435359253724
Connecticut Law Review525257416629
Maryland Law Review454748444243
Colorado Law Review474245505552
American University Law Review464971383040
Arizona State Law Journal414428554261
BYU Law Review495042604966
Georgia Law Review483732586652
George Mason Law Review535646496651
Utah Law Review505147535254
Houston Law Review516456464843
Case Western Reserve Law Review546364524266
Tulane Law Review564651698583
Florida State University Law Review634850897574
University of Miami Law Review575467686362
Pepperdine Law Review616758716366
Lewis & Clark Law Review618187514056
Seton Hall Law Review648562625558
San Diego Law Review685877806172
University of Richmond Law Review557355545249
Brooklyn Law Review597082485866
Temple Law Review575854617947
SMU Law Review596649647977
Denver University Law Review745772888588
University of Cincinnati Law Review808375829681
Michigan State Law Review699590594563
Nevada Law Journal668468457548
Missouri Law Review646873655865
Chicago-Kent Law Review677280635874
University of Kansas Law Review706274857088
Oregon Law Review10155881361000142
Loyola University Chicago Law Journal727576727266
Tennessee Law Review7661619694110
Nebraska Law Review718070836180
Seattle University Law Review7791108566371
Penn State Law Review759366579031
DePaul Law Review8398112676656
Oklahoma Law Review737869767587
Indiana Law Review787698777983
Rutgers University Law Review90748312385142
Kentucky Law Journal847163108107125
Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review1006465150133150
Santa Clara Law Review9477106999677
Buffalo Law Review8710096847974
Villanova Law Review808685867988
Marquette Law Review8992100789479
Georgia State University Law Review78696010992147
University of Pittsburgh Law Review1066081141112136
South Carolina Law Review828995877083
Louisiana Law Review96102899896125
Mitchell Hamline Law Review147145144150115150
Albany Law Review92127119734983
Catholic University Law Review99101100107102114
Saint Louis University Law Journal88979210272114
West Virginia Law Review8610999707958
Arkansas Law Review93968410585129
Hofstra Law Review8599109747281
Syracuse Law Review103949610112699
Mississippi Law Journal110103107110119114
Howard Law Journal989011610099103
UMKC Law Review951061188175108
Baylor Law Review9087521131000103
Idaho Law Review10511712911955106
Akron Law Review1191441359210291
St. John’s Law Review971048611299136
Vermont Law Review11211213395102103
Gonzaga Law Review1381111141471000148
Texas Tech Law Review109135113919299
New York Law School Law Review139129132142119130
Maine Law Review117105124130102110
Duquesne Law Review132148134115100099
University of Louisville Law Review11310893122100097
University of Hawai'i Law Review11979941501000150
Cleveland State Law Review111140117949091
Drake Law Review103132110908591
New Mexico Law Review10788791311000119
Pace Law Review130132136128109136
University of San Francisco Law Review11411914293100073
Wyoming Law Review1311181261321000122
Texas A&M Law Review1011231157510263
Quinnipiac Law Review126131130114100099
Mercer Law Review118121121111115136
University of Baltimore Law Review1341221231341000112
Tulsa Law Review12212591150112150
Wayne Law Review127116100150131150
Creighton Law Review124134122106119119
Washburn Law Journal11513612897100096
Chapman Law Review10814113179100054
University of the Pacific Law Review143128139150112150
City University of New York (CUNY) Law Review1211141201211000112
Drexel Law Review1321151111431000130
Stetson Law Review1251101041341000149
Southwestern Law Review140138150129109114
University of Memphis Law Review128143147103107133
Northeastern University Law Journal11682771501000150
Loyola Law Review135113140137126128
Suffolk University Law Review135130151120115136
University of St. Thomas Law Journal12913912513999125
South Dakota Law Review147146147133128133
University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Review142107137150134150
Capital University Law Review149170161117109107
Montana Law Review122120126116100095
Willamette Law Review1501241381501000150
New England Law Review1651681611451000133
University of Toledo Law Review141142141125119142
Touro Law Review151167161127115130
FIU Law Review137147105146119136
John Marshall Law Review154149152149131145
Ohio Northern University Law Review1451691531041000122
Campbell Law Review153170146140119122
Northern Illinois University Law Review1631561551501000150
Charleston Law Review1831821611501000150
St. Mary's Law Journal146157158117119119
Regent University Law Review1671841611381000108
University of New Hampshire Law Review1431261031501000150
Northern Kentucky Law Review152162161124100091
Widener Law Review1611501611441000114
Southern Illinois University Law Journal159154156150135150
Roger Williams University Law Review158155161150128150
North Dakota Law Review1551371491501000150
University of Dayton Law Review1621511541501000150
South Texas Law Review157157156148128145
St. Thomas Law Review1791771611501000150
Mississippi College Law Review1731641611501000150
Cumberland Law Review1601531451501000150
California Western Law Review1701631611501000150
Florida Coastal Law Review1851841611501000150
Widener Commonwealth Law Review1631521591501000150
Nova Law Review1661591611501000150
Golden Gate University Law Review1691611611501000150
Western New England Law Review1781761611501000150
University of Detroit Mercy Law Review155173161126100097
Belmont Law Review1701811431501000150
Barry Law Review1881881611501000150
Oklahoma City University Law Review1701651591501000150
John Marshall Law Journal1811791611501000150
Elon Law Review1671601611501000150
Southern University Law Review1821801611501000150
Thurgood Marshall Law Review1791771611501000150
Western State University Law Review1891891611501000150
University of the District of Columbia Law Review1761741611501000150
Appalachian Journal of Law1861861611501000150
University of Massachusetts Law Review1741661611501000150
North Carolina Central Law Review1751721611501000150
Ave Maria Law Review1911911611501000150
Liberty University Law Review1871871611501000150
Florida A&M University Law Review1771751611501000150
Faulkner Law Review1841831611501000150
Thomas M. Cooley Law Review1891891611501000150

Why make the Meta Ranking? (see more information, and the first edition of the ranking here)

In short, as an interdisciplinary scholar who publishes work in both peer-reviewed social science journals and law reviews, it strikes me as odd that legal scholars would discount measures of journal impact completely when choosing where to submit and which offers to prioritize. To be sure, all of the plausible contenders for ranking law reviews have their flaws (in methodology and/or coverage). Regardless, though, it appears important that some measures of citation or impact are taken into account, as direct correlations between US News rankings of law schools and law journal importance seem a bit weak as the primary (or only) measure to evaluate.

So, to get to the point, I decided to create a meta-ranking of the possible contenders for gauging the relative importance of journals and offers: US News Overall Ranking (rolling average over the most recent ten years), US News Peer Reputation Ranking (also averaged over the previous 10 years), W&L Combined Ranking (at default weighting; June 2020), and Google Scholar Metrics law journal rankings (July 2020 update, data captured July 15, 2020; averaging the h-index and h-median of each journal, as proposed here by Robert Anderson). I’ve ranked each journal within each ranking system, averaged these four ranks using a 25% weighting for each, and computed and ranked the final scores. I think this approach benefits from incorporating a couple different forms of impact evaluation (W&L + Google) while not disregarding the general sentiment that law school “prestige” (something involving one or both of US News’ combined rank or Peer Reputation rank, each averaged over the most recent 10-year period, is an important factor in law review placement decisions. (Note that I have also included a ranking by the Impact Factor reported in the W&L data, but I have not included it in the meta rank.)

Additional notes about method:

Google Scholar Metrics are currently based on the most recent Google index (updated in July 2020, with data collected July 15, 2020; if a school has not been listed in Google Scholar Metrics within the past 2 years (2019-2020), I have used its most recent W&L score twice rather than rely on old Google Metrics). Otherwise, I have used the most recent Google Scholar metrics.

W&L: The W&L rankings changed this year. Their rankings now only include calculated scores and ranks for “the top 400 U.S.-published law journals” (link). W&L’s ranking methodology is described here. If a journal is not ranked, I have given a score of “150.”

Because the US News Ranking has changed how it reports 3rd and 4th Tier schools over the relevant period, I have done the following: for 2012-2017 editions, I assigned all unranked schools (those not ranked 1-149) to 150.

* As some schools were not included in the US News Rankings for all 10 years (e.g., UC Irvine was only in the 2016-2021 rankings), I have averaged the ranks over just the years they appear, rather than by 10.

** Rutgers and Mitchell-Hamline both recently consolidated two law journals into one and Penn State now also has two ranked law schools but only one flagship law review. For each of these schools, I have used the rank in each category (W&L/US News, etc.) that is the highest. Similarly, Widener split and was ranked separately in 2017 by US News (each school taking a separate flagship journal). As such, I have used the separate 2017-2021 ranks from US News but shared the single Widener school ranking reported in US News in its 2012-2016 editions of the rankings.

*** In the 2019 US News rankings, Pepperdine received a peer score of 2.6, but was listed as unranked after originally submitting incorrect data about incoming JD students (see Paul Caron’s note about this for more about this). As such, I used the 2019 peer score and the 2018 overall rank for Pepperdine for that year.

Last note: I cannot locate the 2015 US News Peer-Reputation score (or rank) for Loyola-New Orleans (it is missing from Paul Caron’s annual posting at TaxProf, and I don’t have access otherwise). If someone has that information and could pass it along, I would appreciate it.