The University of South Carolina School of Law is listed in the top 10 of Ravel Law’s ranking of law schools, based on schools that have turned out influential judges. In the study, published on March 30, 2016, UofSC Law ranked ninth in the country, right next to traditional powerhouse law schools like Yale, Harvard, Northwestern, Chicago and Michigan.
Ravel Law, a San Francisco-based a legal research and analytics company, says to come up with the rankings they developed a “measure that looks at both quantity and quality of work. Using data from Ravel’s platform [they] weighed the number of rulings a judge wrote and the number of times those decisions were cited in other opinions. In short, this is an approach that judges judges by way of other judges.”
According to Ravel Law’s article, “Our new Top 10 ranking offers a surprising reordering of the well known US News & World Report ranking. Schools like Harvard and Yale are known to be judicial feeders, but in our analysis, they’re joined by Alabama, Notre Dame, and South Carolina. For students interested in a federal judgeship, these rankings indicate that regional schools play an important role as feeders too, and have a significant impact on the national jurisprudence.”
UofSCLaw was one of only five schools on the list outside the US News top 10 rankings, and the only school outside the top 30.
The article cites three judges in particular for helping South Carolina earn this distinction: William Wilkins, ’67, the late Karen J. Williams, ’80–both of whom served as the chief justice of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit–and William Traxler, ’73, the court’s current chief justice.