Super lawyers, super schools?

November 17, 2009
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Move over U.S. News and World Report law school rankings, there’s a new list in town, and it’s from the same people who pick Super Lawyers.

According to Super Lawyers magazine, the University of Notre Dame Law School ranks 43; right behind is Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis at 44; Indiana University Maurer School of Law at 59; and Valparaiso University School of Law at 151.

How did Super Lawyers come up with the top 180 law schools in the country? By taking a look at professional excellence, i.e. the number of “Super Lawyers” graduates by school as opposed to measures of facilities or faculty. The rankings are based on the number of “top attorneys” they pick and what schools those “top attorneys” come from.

If you click on a school’s link, it shows you the “Super Lawyers” who when to that school. Notre Dame has 617; lU – Indy has 567; Maurer School of Law has 552; and Valpo has 139.

That’s it. There are no other reasons listed as to why Notre Dame is a better school than IU – Indy or why Harvard is the best beyond the fact it has 3,568 “Super Lawyers.”

Excuse me if I come across suspicious of this new form of ranking, but when it seems more than just the “top 5 percent” of attorneys are touting that they are “Super Lawyers,” I don’t know how credible the list can be. Add that there’s no other criteria listed to explain the rankings, and it’s just one big advertisement for Super Lawyers. At least the U.S. News and World Report rankings looked at faculty, research, student ratios, and other factors.

“We reward schools that produce the greatest number of outstanding attorneys, period,” says the publication’s Web site about the methodology of these rankings.

Apparently outstanding attorneys are only measured by the “Super Lawyer” recognition.

How much clout can this list carry with future and current law students? Is this going to be something law schools tout to prospective students, or try to sweep under the rug (especially if they didn’t have too many “Super Lawyers” from their school)?
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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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