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Scholarly impact of law schools, Citation performance, Lateral hires, Entry-level hires, Empirical legal studies


Applied Statistics | Legal Education | Legal Profession


This article measures 32 law schools' academic reputations by citations to their faculties' works. Yale, Chicago, Harvard, and Stanford rank alone at the top. Seven or eight schools compose the next group. We also explore the relation between scholarly impact and entry-level or lateral hire status, gender, minority status, subjects taught, and years in teaching. Lateral hires systematically outperform entry-level hires. We find no substantial evidence of male-female differences. We find some evidence of lower citations for minority females, but this difference is largely attributable to those in teaching fewer than 8 years. For faculty members in teaching more than 7 years, we find no significant minority effects but find marginal evidence that minority professors are more likely to be in the bottom quartile of citations. Controlling for different numbers of years in teaching is necessary to meaningfully compare groups.

Publication Citation

Published in: Journal of Legal Studies, vol. 27, no. 2, part 1 (June 1998).