It should come as no surprise that Gregory Sisk and company's latest study, "Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties: Extending the Leiter Rankings to the Top 70" has received something on the order of 570 downloads since yesterday morning when I downloaded a copy. No surprise at all. This has all the makin's of something every law faculty member will read. The virtue of writing on rankings is that it appeals across the spectrum; you reach tax professors and critical race scholars and everyone in between.
Among their important findings are that faculty at some schools -- including their own University of St. Thomas -- are performing substantially above their schools' US News peer assessment ranking.
I've done some very preliminary comparison of their important data with the US News peer assessment numbers and a few key student characteristics -- like the 75th and 25th percentile of LSAT scores for entering students, as well as student faculty ratio and bar pass rate. This should come as no surprise that a lot of those variables are highly correlated. While Sisk et al. find some significant outliers -- schools like St. Thomas, whose faculty citation rank is well above the school's US News peer assessment rank -- there is a high correlation (.8) between the US News peer assessment scores and the Sisk citation data. The correlation matrix is here.
Shortly I hope to have some comparison of Sisk's data to my favorite data set: citations to schools' main law reviews.
Final thought here: Sisk is the Orestes Brownson professor. I study Orestes Brownson (though I'm more interested in the Transcendalist Brownson than the Catholic Brownson). I've taken G.P.A. Healy's portrait of Orestes Brownson from our friends at wikipedia.Update at of September 21: In light of a few changes to Sisk's data, I have a new matrix here.