St. Thomas School of Law building.

St. Thomas Law Ranked in Top 25 for Scholarly Impact

The University of St. Thomas School of Law has once again been ranked among the top 25 law schools in the nation for scholarly impact. Professor Gregory Sisk this week released the latest installment of a study he conducts every three years that measures the influence of a law school’s faculty based on how often its work is cited. 

Gregory Sisk teaching class.
Law professor Gregory Sisk teaches during his Professional Responsibility course in the School of Law building on the Minneapolis campus on April 26, 2021. (Liam James Doyle/University of St. Thomas)

St. Thomas Law is No. 23 on the list, which ranks the top third of ABA-accredited law schools. St. Thomas Law tied with George Mason University, Fordham University and Boston University. It was also ranked No. 23 in 2018. In 2015, St. Thomas ranked No. 39. 

"We don’t think a law school has to choose to be either student-centered or committed to world-class research – we can and will be both,” law school Dean Robert Vischer said. “Our scholarly culture shapes the student experience by bringing our students into the conversations at the center of legal reform. Our mission compels us to challenge the status quo, and the leading scholars who comprise our faculty equip our students to be part of that process. Our commitment to faculty scholarship is not an add-on to our mission; it’s at the core of our mission.” 

The report looked at the mean and median of total law journal citations to tenured faculty scholarship from 2016-20. Most highly cited among the St. Thomas faculty are Thomas Berg, Neil Hamilton, Lyman Johnson, Wulf Kaal, Joel Nichols, Jerry Organ, Mark Osler, Michael Stokes Paulsen, Gregory Sisk and Robert Vischer. 

Nicole Catlin headshot.
School of Law law librarian Nicole Catlin. (Mike Ekern/University of St. Thomas)

The study was led by Sisk with research assistance from law librarian Nicole Catlin as well as law students Alexandra Anderson and Lauren Gunderson. Additional research support was provided by law students Anna Barton, Sarah Carpenter, Ashley Finck, Emily Gootzeit, Nicklaus Johnson, Michelle Lester, Colin Schaeffer, Anna Steinwand and Hugh Van Scoy.

The top 30 schools are:

1. Yale University 

2. University of Chicago  

3. Harvard University 

4. New York University 

5. Columbia University 

6. Stanford University 

6. University of California, Berkeley 

8. University of Pennsylvania 

9. University of Virginia 

9. Vanderbilt University 

11. University of California, Los Angeles 

12. Duke University 

13. University of Michigan 

14. University of California, Irvine 

15. Northwestern University 

15. Cornell University 

17. Georgetown University 

18. George Washington University 

18. University of Texas, Austin 

18. University of Minnesota 

21. Washington University, St. Louis 

22. University of California, Davis 

23. George Mason University 

23. Fordham University 

23. Boston University 

23. University of St. Thomas (MN) 

27. University of Arizona 

27. College of William & Mary 

29. University of Southern California 

30. University of San Diego 

Read the report and view the full list of law schools on SSRN.