Top Ten Ranking Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings

 ¶  Faculty Quality Based on AAAS Membership, 2006
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December 2006

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences each year elects members based on their distinguished contributions to scholarship, the arts, education, business, or public affairs. In reality, the Academy tends to be a bit “chummy”—schools already “rich” with members get “richer,” not always on the merits—though the sins tend to be of omission rather than inclusion. With that caveat in mind, here are the ten law schools with the most non-retired full-time, tenure stream academic faculty elected to one of the scholarly sections of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; as you will see from the lists, below, total membership drops off rather quickly. For purposes of this study, “full-time academic faculty” means faculty who are wholly devoted to teaching and scholarship, even if they do so at more than one school (e.g., Vincent Blasi at Virginia and Columbia, or Ronald Gilson at Columbia and Stanford), but only if they do some significant portion of their teaching in law on a regular basis. These criteria have the effect of excluding distinguished judges who still do some teaching (e.g., Richard Posner at Chicago, or Guido Calabresi at Yale), as well as law faculty elected in non-scholarly sections of the American Academy, like educational administration (e.g., John Sexton at NYU or Mark Yudof at Texas). The size of the regular academic faculty was rounded to the nearest five; given the difficulties attendant upon figuring out faculty size, small differences in percentages should not be viewed as at all significant.



Percentage of Academic Faculty
Elected to AAAS


Yale Law School



University of Chicago Law School



University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law



Harvard Law School



Columbia Law School



Stanford Law School



University of Michigan Law School



New York University School of Law



Northwestern University School of Law



University of Texas School of Law



University of Virginia School of Law


Below is a list of the non-emeritus faculty from each school ranked above who are elected to the Law Section of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Faculty over 70 are marked with an *. Those marked with an # were elected in a scholarly field other than Law.

1. Yale Law School (20): Bruce Ackerman, Ian Ayres, Jack Balkin, Lea Brilmayer, Stephen Carter, * Mirjan Damaska, Drew Days, Robert Ellickson, William Eskridge, Owen Fiss, Michael Graetz, Harold Koh, Anthony Kronman, John Langbein, Jerry Mashaw, Robert Post, Judith Resnik, Roberta Romano, Carol Rose, Alan Schwartz.

2. University of Chicago Law School (8): Douglas Baird, Richard Epstein, R.H. Helmholz, Saul Levmore, # Martha Nussbaum, Geoffrey Stone, David Strauss, Cass Sunstein.

3. University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law (12): * Richard Buxbaum, * Jesse Choper, Robert Cooter, * Melvin Eisenberg, Daniel Farber, Philip Frickey, James Gordley, * Herma Hill Kay, Daniel Rubinfeld, # Samuel Scheffler, * Harry Scheiber, Franklin Zimring.

4. Harvard Law School (18): Lucian Bebchuk, Robert Clark, Richard Fallon, * Charles Fried, Mary Ann Glendon, Morton Horwitz, Elena Kagan, Duncan Kennedy, Randall Kennedy, Louis Kaplow, Daniel Meltzer, Frank Michelman, Martha Minow, Robert Mnookin, Steven Shavell, Laurence Tribe, Mark Tushnet, Roberto Unger.

5. Columbia Law School (15): * Barbara Black, Vincent Blasi, Lee Bollinger, John Coffee, # Robert Ferguson, George Fletcher, * Richard Gardner, Ronald Gilson, * Jack Greenberg, * Kent Greenawalt, Thomas Merrill, * Henry Monaghan, Joseph Raz, Robert Scott, * Michael Sovern.

6. Stanford Law School (8): Gerhard Casper, # Joshua Cohen, * Lawrence Friedman, Ronald Gilson, Thomas Grey, Larry Kramer, Lawrence Lessig, Kathleen Sullivan.

7. University of Michigan Law School (10): # Phoebe Ellsworth, Bruce Frier, Douglas Laycock, Richard Lempert, Catharine MacKinnon, Donald Regan, # Rebecca Scott, * A.W.B. Simpson, Joseph Vining, James Boyd White.

8. New York University School of Law (11): * Anthony Amsterdam, * Jerome Cohen, * Norman Dorsen, * Ronald Dworkin, Samuel Issacharoff, Sylvia Law, # * Thomas Nagel, Burt Neuborne, Richard Stewart, Jeremy Waldron, Joseph Weiler.

9. Northwestern University School of Law (2): # Lee Epstein, * # Charles Taylor.

10. University of Texas School of Law (2): Philip Bobbitt, Sanford Levinson.

10. University of Virginia School of Law (2): Vincent Blasi, G. Edward White.

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