Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Star Stomps In

Next to the WJS and NYT there is probably no more widely read publication by law professors than The Star. Little wonder that The Star has finally initiated its own Law School rankings. The Star rankings appear, to me at least, to be far more insightful that any others on the market. The Star concentrates on 10 ranking factors:

1. Average faculty divorce or separation rate: Long hours at work can place stress on marriages. More divorces = more productivity.

2. Number of actual or threatened law suits by disgruntled faculty: Tenure denials to the marginally productive often lead to legal problems. The up and coming law school is one that is likely to be named as defendant.

3. Average pounds overweight: Hard workers have little time for exercise. The chubbier, the better.

4. Average pounds underweight: Disciplined people exercise regularly. The thinner, the better.

5. Beards per male faculty member: Smart serious people have beards. More beards = better law school.

6. Laughter: No laughing allowed on productive faculties.

7. Dancing (with or without stars): Serious scholars do not dance (or if they do, it is like Elaine on that episode of Seinfeld in which her dancing is so bad it is hard to watch).

8. Minutes per day examining USN & WR law school rankings: Lower the better for too many reasons to go into.

9. Average times per day per faculty member checking personal SSRN downloads. Lower the better.

10. Average number of professional hockey teams that the average faculty member can name, normalized by geographic region. The lower the better.

11. (The Star is not good with numbers.) Number of arrests for naked bongo playing. Lower is better unless you are in Austin, Texas.
12. DWIs/Rehabs. This ratio picks up factors not accounted for in numbers 1-10.
I took some time it check out the reliability of the Star's system. As it turns out, it is a perfect predictor of law school quality


Blogger Nancy Rapoport said...

Jeff--great start. But at least one semi-serious scholar can dance. See

4/05/2007 8:57 AM  
Blogger Jeff Harrison said...

I should have know better than to trust The Star.

4/05/2007 9:27 AM  

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