2005 Archive

Boalt Ties for No. 1 in Empirical Legal Scholarship

In a study to be published in the Indiana Law Journal, Vanderbilt University Professor of Law Tracey E. George has ranked Boalt Hall as tied for first (with the law schools at Northwestern and George Mason universities) in the emerging field of empirical legal scholarship (ELS). George developed her list of top U.S. law schools in ELS, which tests theories of a law or legal institution using quantitative techniques developed for the social sciences, as a means of developing a forward-looking alternative ranking to the traditional retrospective rankings made popular by U.S. News & World Report and other sources.

George's rankings weigh the number of each school's tenured or tenure-track faculty holding Ph.Ds in the social sciences; the number of law faculty holding secondary appointments in social science departments; and the number of publications by law faculty in recognized social science journals. George notes that Boalt's Jurisprudence and Social Policy program has long established the school as a center for interdisciplinary research that encourages ELS. Other notable results for the 41 law schools she considered in her study: Stanford, tied for 7th place; Michigan and Yale, tied for 9th; Harvard and Columbia, tied for 14th.