Thursday, April 23, 2009
There's obviously a lot of interest in the specialty rankings among legal writing folks since the 'ol site-meter nearly blew a gasket this past week recording all the "edu" hits after we leaked the top 10 list on Monday and then published the full list last night.
That list, posted here, includes the programs one would generally expect to find although, to this casual observer/blogger, Northwestern's top 10 ranking seems odd given their adminstrators' well publicized Jihad against job security for clinicians, librarians and legal writing profs. That ranking undoubtedly reflects the voters' opinions about NW faculty, not the actions of their bosses, although one can understand the potential mixed message this sends about the relationship between job security and having a top program.
Surprisingly, some topflight programs didn't make the list this year. Ones that immediately come to mind include: U. Denver, U. of Louisville, Marquette, Thomas Cooley (TC's Dean won the 2002 Golden Pen Award . . . duh!), Texas Tech, and Touro, among many others.
Here is the criteria, copied from the password protected USNWR website, for ranking legal writing programs.
These specialty rankings are based solely on votes by legal educators, who nominated up to 15 schools in each field. Legal educators chosen were a selection of those listed in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Law Teachers 2007-2008 as currently teaching in that field. In the case of clinical and legal writing, the nominations were made by directors or members of the clinical and legal writing programs at each law school. Those programs that received the most top 15 nominations appear in descending order.
Please comment below about whether you think the legal writing program rankings are a good thing or not and we may later post the best responses on this blog.
I am the scholarship dude.