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Thursday, January 03, 2013

5 Most Influential People in Legal Education: National Jurist Magazine

Sneaking in one last post, with a tip of the hat to John Steele at Legal Ethics Forum.

Bill Henderson, with whom I blog over at The Legal Whiteboard, is #2. 

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw on January 3, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Permalink


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Did the voting criteria include perfect hair?

Posted by: Mitt Romney | Jan 3, 2013 5:49:38 PM

Oops -- I just realized that you mean median number from the entire list, not median number per scholar on the list. Yup, your estimate is about right -- with the two caveats noted. As for the U.S. News assessments, I share Brian Leiter's view that they just reflecting the existing U.S. news rankings.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Jan 3, 2013 3:55:01 PM

Derek, I'm pretty sure the median would be zero. But that partly reflects the fact that the people on the list weren't selected for their scholarship, and partly reflects the difficulty of recalling names.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Jan 3, 2013 3:52:59 PM


There are 14 deans on the list, and you say you don't recognize several of them. I think that's probably pretty reasonable.

I wonder though, if professors were asked to name, from memory, an article or book published by each of the 25 people on the list, how many they could get. I'd suspect the median would be around 4-5, with only a rare few professors being able to score 10 or higher.

The reason I'd be curious to see those numbers is because I'd really like to know just what the heck goes on when US News asks professors to do their peer assessments.

Posted by: Derek Tokaz | Jan 3, 2013 3:12:32 PM

I agree with Orin and Anon. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I find the title embarrassing, and of course it must be seen in a very limited sense. That said, I hope the poll means deans are reading the book.

Posted by: Brian Tamanaha | Jan 3, 2013 1:48:00 PM

AnonProf, if you look at the methodology, the editors of the magazine "asked 350 people in legal education, including, every law school dean, to rate each nominee based on how much they influenced them in the past 12 months." The results of such a poll naturally would be heavily influenced by the views of Deans (about half of the survey group), and it would specifically be focused on the impact of people who are working in the areas relevant to what Deans do. Indeed, if you look at the list of 25 finalists, about half of them are Deans themselves, several of whom I have never actually heard of. http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/25-finalists-named-most-influential-legal-education

The result is a list of people who Deans are feeling influenced by right now, not a list of "the most influential people in legal education."

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Jan 3, 2013 12:36:00 PM

Another empty poll!

I'm not sayin' ... I'm just sayin'.

Not Cass Sunstein or Harold Koh, who were still on faculties even though they've been working in gov't, give us a break! How about Sarah Cleveland? Where's Tribe, Jeffrey Rosen, Kathleen Sullivan, Robert Post, Jack Goldsmith, Barnett, Easterbrook, Posner, Minow, one can name off many others who have sweeping reputations both in and outside the academy who far outdistance those chosen. National Jurist has chosen a list of law school critics, not the truly most influential on law and culture.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 3, 2013 11:51:17 AM

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