Top Ten Ranking Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings

 ¶  Faculty Quality Based on AAAS Membership, 2008
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May 1 , 2008

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 Berkeley).

Faculty affiliations are assessed for 2008-09



Percentage of Academic Faculty
Elected to AAAS

Rank in 2006


Yale Law School




University of Chicago Law School


3 Harvard Law School 24% 4
4 Stanford Law School




Columbia Law School




University of Michigan Law School




University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law




New York University School of Law

16% 8


Duke University School of Law


not in top ten
10 University of Virginia School of Law 5% 10

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 (in the year 2008) are marked with an *. Those marked with an # were elected in a scholarly field other than Law.

1. Yale Law School (23): Bruce Ackerman, Akhil Amar, Ian Ayres, Jack M. Balkin, R. Lea Brilmayer, Stephen Carter, * Mirjan Damaska, Drew Days, Robert Ellickson, William Eskridge, * Owen Fiss, Michael Graetz, Henry Hansmann, Harold Koh, Anthony Kronman, John Langbein, Jerry Mashaw, Thomas W. Merrill, Robert Post, Judith Resnik, Roberta Romano, Alan Schwartz, Reva Siegel.

2. University of Chicago Law School (8): Douglas G. Baird, Richard Epstein, R.H. Helmholz, William M. Landes, Saul Levmore, # Martha C. Nussbaum, Geoffrey R. Stone, David A. Strauss.

3. Harvard Law School (21): 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, William Stuntz, Cass R. Sunstein, Laurence Tribe, Mark V. Tushnet, Roberto M. Unger, Elizabeth Warren.

4. Stanford Law School (10): * Gerhard Casper, # Joshua Cohen, * Lawrence Friedman, Ronald Gilson, Thomas Grey, Pamela Karlan, Mark Kelman, Larry Kramer, Lawrence Lessig, Kathleen Sullivan.

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

6. University of Michigan Law School (11): # Phoebe Ellsworth, Bruce Frier, Douglas Laycock, Richard Lempert, Catharine MacKinnon, Margaret Jane Radin, Donald H. Regan, # Rebecca Scott, * A.W.B. Simpson, * Joseph Vining, * James Boyd White.

7. University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law (11): * Richard Buxbaum, * Jesse Choper, Robert Cooter, Christopher F. Edley, Jr., * Melvin Eisenberg, Daniel Farber, Philip Frickey, * Herma Hill Kay, Daniel Rubinfeld, * Harry Scheiber, Franklin Zimring.

8. New York University School of Law (14): * Anthony Amsterdam, * Jerome Cohen, * Norman Dorsen, * Ronald Dworkin, Samuel Issacharoff, Sylvia Law, # * Thomas Nagel, Burt Neuborne, Richard H. Pildes, Richard Revesz, # Samuel Scheffler, Richard B. Stewart, Jeremy Waldron, Joseph Weiler.

9. Duke University School of Law (4): * Paul Carrington, Walter E. Dellinger III, # Donald Horowitz, David F. Levi.

10. University of Virginia School of Law (3): Vincent Blasi, Frederick Schauer, G. Edward White.

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