Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Environmental Law Preference Rankings: a Prospective Student's Statistical Perspective

Here's an interesting new law ranking system authored by Josh Gellers, a 3rd year PhD student in Political Science at UC Irvine, who is applying to law school and interested in practicing environmental law. He devised a statistical ranking of all major environmental law programs.  Link to the ELPR: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tXWyWMzdoyb7k-UKYdEBzQQ&output=html  Those who have been readers know my position on all of this nonsense: I continue to refuse to respond to USNWR's survey.  Cooperating with evil is evil.

In case you want to abuse Mr.Gellers or offer him admission, he is Assistant Director, Focused Research Group in International Environmental Cooperation and an Affiliate, Center for Research on International and Global Studies, at University of California, Irvine, 3151 Social Science Plaza A, Irvine, CA 92697, 


OK, OK, you want to know the bottom line.  Based on rankings allocating 30% to environmental resources, 60% to job prospects, and 10% to specialty, his list is rather unsurprising:

Top 5  Harvard, Berkeley, Yale, Stanford, NYU, 

6-10    Duke, Georgetown, UVa, Tulane, Michigan,

11-15    GW, Vermont, Columbia, UCLA,  Boston College,

16-20    Penn, Northwestern, L&C, Chicago, Minnesota,

21-25    Boston U, Texas, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Washington U

26-30    Cornell, Emory, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois-UC

31-35    USC, Pace, Florida, Arizona, Maryland,

35-39    Denver, Utah, FSU, Oregon

I like the list ending at 39 -- the rest of us can sleep at night, in the firm belief that we are associated with number 40.  Kudos to the tier 3 school - Vermont and the tier 4 school - PACE - that managed to raise themselves with their bootstraps to 12th and 32nd in this student's estimation.  Tulane also deserves some applause, making the top 10 when their USNW ranking is 45.

Interestingly enough, as a student, I made my choice from the first four law schools on the list - based on general reputation.  I suspect it really is at the margins that our Environmental Law Programs, however glorious, make a difference in student choices. 


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