Which Law Schools Do Partners at Large Firms Tend to Come From?
Center for Forensic Economic Studies Senior Economist Bernard R. Lentz, Ph.D. has ranked U.S. law schools by the number of graduates who become partners in top law firms. The law firms considered are the National Law Journal’s list of the nation’s top 100 firms.
Dr. Lentz compiled the rankings in response to a study by Professor Theodore P. Seto of Loyola Law School. Professor Seto’s study Where Do Partners Come From?, published in the Journal of Legal Education, Legal Studies Paper No. 2011-24, August 2011 [link to study], shows which schools have produced the most partners in NLJ 100 firms, but does not account for the number of graduates from each school.
The number of graduates, according to Lentz, is a significant variable. Larger graduating classes would naturally be expected to produce more partners, independent of other variables. Not considering the total number of graduates of each school renders the resulting rankings significantly less useful in indicating the overall quality of each school’s graduates and the likelihood that an individual graduate will become partner. When the number of graduates is considered, Dr. Lentz finds, the results diverge significantly from the Seto study.
Dr. Lentz, who concentrates on the analysis of liability and damages in employment litigation, is often called on to statistically analyze the likelihood of various career outcomes, including the likelihood of becoming a partner in a law firm.