Where law professors went to law school

Let’s play a game. You say your favorite professors name aloud and we tell you where they went to law school. 

Ready? 

Go! 

Easy.

They either went to Yale, Harvard or NYU.

No, we’re not magicians or mind readers. It’s just the newest data that was published by Sarah Lawsky on PrawfsBlawg.

It says almost a third of law professors in the country either attended Yale or Harvard. Adding New York University accounts for 42% of legal academics who graduated between 2011 and 2020.   

Spivey Consulting broke the numbers down even further.  On its blog post on this topic, it says NYU outperformed its ranking. The top six law schools plus NYU grads placed more than half of the nation’s law professors (58%). 

The majority of professors attended law school at a top 14 school (77%) and another five law schools placed five or more graduates: Hebrew University (13), Texas (9), Vanderbilt (9), UCLA (8), and Iowa (5). Collectively, these 19 law schools are on the resumes of 80% of law professors. 

When it comes to the degrees obtained, more than 500 professors, or 58%, had other graduate degrees to go along with their law degree. PhDs (226) LLM (70) JSD/SJDs (40) and a dozen BPhils or DPhils from Oxford. Just over a hundred (105) graduates from this list went to teach at a T14 law school. 

Of those 138 with non-T14 JDs, 73 had an LLM or JSD/SJD from a T14, leaving 66 (about 8%) who never passed through a T14 law school during their legal education. All but 2 of the 138 had some additional graduate degree.

Even if your ambitions after graduating aren’t to become a law professor or to get another graduate degree to add to your resume, at least you have a new game to play with your friends. Just remember to guess Yale, Harvard or NYU and you’ll be right more often than not. 

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