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University of Leeds produces ultimate law school ‘league table of league tables’

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The power list combines rankings from ‘The Complete University Guide’, ‘The Times University League Table’ and ‘The Guardian University Rankings’

The University of Leeds has produced a new law school power list that combines the findings of three other rankings, in what it describes as the “league table of league tables”.

The list, prepared by the Russell Grouper’s law faculty, took data from three different university rankings — ‘The Complete University Guide’, ‘The Times University League Table’ and ‘The Guardian University Rankings’ — and gave each law school a “mean score”. Using this average figure, the Leeds-based boffins then ranked each institution accordingly.

Speaking about Leeds’ motivation for compiling the table, Professor Alastair Mullis — head of the school of law — said:

All of the league tables have value but they emphasise different elements. The Guardian places very significant weight on the National Student survey, as well as other aspects of the student experience. This is of course incredibly important. The Guardian does not however include research and in our view this excludes a central element of what many law schools are about. The other two league tables do include research but again weight the constituent elements differently. The reason we produced the table, originally for our own internal purposes, was to try to get a more complete picture of relative performance.

Unsurprisingly, the new data puts the University of Cambridge — which bagged first place on all three previous leaderboards — as the number one law school in the country. The University of Oxford had to settle for second place, while the London School of Economics (LSE) scooped third.

Further down the table, the University College London — ranked tenth by The Guardian yesterday — landed fifth place today, while the University of Leeds, up two places on yesterday’s result, bagged sixth. However it was bad news for Queen Mary University of London. Finishing an impressive third yesterday, the law school — in the space of 24 hours — has dropped to 11th.

But what we all want to know is: what happened to London South Bank University?

According to yesterday’s findings, the former polytechnic — which ranked a humble 58th on last year’s The Guardian list — jumped 45 places to secure 13th position (tied with Queen’s University, Belfast). Sparking uproar in our lively comments section, this put London South Bank ahead of City law firm favourites such as the University of Nottingham (15th) and the University of Warwick (24th).

But could South Bank University match its solid Guardian-backed result? Well, not exactly. Crunching the results from earlier rankings, the law school placed 43rd on Leeds’ league table.

Interestingly, the three-way comparison adopted by Leeds does highlight some major ranking discrepancies. Take the University of Bristol and the University of East Anglia (UEA) as examples. Bristol, ranked 17th on today’s list, secured seventh in The Complete University Guide, eighth in The Times’ list and just 37th on The Guardian’s. Meanwhile, UEA — 15th today — secured results of 25th, 12th and seventh respectively.

University of Leeds’ Law School Rankings:

You can find the full top 100 list here.

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