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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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49 Comments

Anonymous

Reality is that league tables are BS and constantly changing.

Just get into a reputable Russell Group and work hard lol.

(53)(1)

EU Banana Straightener

I’m all for credit where credit is due; many of these ‘unusually high’ placing universities genuinely deserve their increase in rank and are great places to study – objectively speaking, a university can’t be deemed ‘good’ by today’s standards just because it was historically. However, employer’s aren’t sitting down each year with revised lists scratching there heads on how to make sense of it all: ‘Well the University for the Creative Arts has placed above King’s this year in the Guardian rankings, better give them the priority’. The current reality, for getting jobs in law that is, is to go to a Russell Group/ Redbrick/ ‘Decent’ uni and get a decent 2:1.

(16)(0)

Anonymous

I doubt that.

(0)(3)

Strand Poly

Where’s your god now QMUL?

(12)(6)

Anonymous

My own *ultimate* league table has the University of Leeds stuck on rock bottom.

(6)(13)

Please...

Just… stop

(10)(0)

Entitled Millenial

Surely I’m guaranteed a TC at a top MC firm with my degree in Media and Photography from the University of Dundee!

(17)(4)

Anonymous

Are you an enthusiastic, honest and polite individual? Then yes!

(0)(5)

Anonymous

Dundee is well-reputed within the Scottish system. People who only know the English system have little idea of Scottish uni rankings for law for obvious reasons

(6)(7)

Entitled Millenial

Yeah right on! City firms are swimming with Dundee grads…………………

(8)(1)

Anonymous

Nope. Dundee is not well-regarded by us Scots! Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews are the only unis worth going to up here.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

great, now LC knows how to get us riled up and increase readership by posting contentious (but brainless-and-penis-comparing) content

now we are gonna see more and more of such type of “news”

(5)(1)

Anonymous

This is the best type of news. Feisty, combative, and open to lots of discussion and debate.

Good for you, LC.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Why do the Guardian hate Bristol?

(6)(0)

Anonymous

It’s not the Guardian, it’s the national student survey which is given a lot of weigh by the Guardian rankings.

Obviously attaching it a value of 50% is wrong, and the national survey itself is easily manipulated.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Slavery.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

UEA above Bristol and Warwick, Leeds above KCL

sure…

(13)(1)

Scouser of Counsel

What happened to Liverpool?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

A fine institution. Many distinguished alumni appear regularly in the monthly publication “Gimps, Giffos and Gobshites”, don’t they?

(2)(0)

BPP

Not even in our league, any of them

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Fortunately

(2)(1)

Anonymous

In a league of sham private equity owned education providers

(2)(2)

Anonymous

You do talk rubbish!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

There is no way universities such as Swansea and coventry should be above Southampton and Cardiff….it’s insulting to students like me who needed AAA-AAB to get into the latter two.

(12)(2)

Anonymous

Universities inflating entry requirements to give the impression that they are better than they actually are. Clearly worked on you.

(13)(11)

A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*

You only got AAA-AAB? Should redo your A-Levels

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Everyone is agreed on the top 3! The rest are much of a muchness

(2)(0)

Anonymous

LSE 3rd? Okay then.

(0)(3)

Anonymous

Yep. What’s the issue?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Their law collection in the library is tiny and the employ critical legal studies scholars (and, admittedly, the excellent Conor Gearty).

(2)(0)

Marcos

Genuine question. Why aren’t BPP and UOL in any rankings?

(4)(2)

More teaching less research

Because the list is a pile of sh*te. Quite simply more Oxford graduates go on to study their postgrad at BPP than to any other university in the world. All MC firms exclusively send their trainees to either Uol or BPP (4 to one and 1 to the other), most Legal Cheek readers will have studied at either UoL or BPP and 60% of all qualified solicitors have studied at these institutions either postgrad or undergrad.

Yet this table doesn’t mention them as they don’t do research? Research usually means employing people who don’t want to teach and instead spend all their time writing journals and applying for funding. What a joke.

(5)(11)

Anonymous

You don’t understand what you’re talking about.

(13)(2)

Anonymous

I agree with this. Teaching at BPP better than teaching I had during my post-grad. UK uni lecturers spend an awful amount of time slaving away to climb the research reputation ladder, competing against their counterparts at US unis who often have about 3-7 research assistants each (depending on their seniority). Research papers basically write themselves in the US, such is the research support provided to “professors” over there. UK unis would do well to be more like European higher education establishments and prioritise teaching /love of passing on knowledge/fostering intellectual talent first.

(2)(2)

Sick of idiots

@More teaching less research

You’re not comparing like to like. You’re comparing an undergraduate law course with a professional training course. I’ll accept your point when the MC recruits 60%+ of its intake exclusively from University of Law’s LLB programme.

Research and original thinking is necessary for the more principled side of things. The law isn’t just a great big book for you to learn – there are philosophical, social and political extensions to it. Guess who analyses these? The same researchers you’re so angry at for some reason.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

I don’t think our law is so perfect in every one of its subfields that it no longer requires improvement; nor do I think the task should be left exclusively to the law commission and civil service draughtspersons. I realise you’re particular happy with it, believing as you must that every reform until now was serendipitous and any new ones will just make it worse, but I think that’s a rare position. Still, good for you!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Leeds produces its own league table where it is ranked 6th. heh. Shows you can manipulate the figures to get whatever result you want. Suspect it stopped short of putting itself above Oxbridge lest too many people get suspicious….

Although Leeds is almost certainly doing this in good humour, let’s just be clear just in case it’s not. Leeds is a very average university with a very average law department. Absolutely true – go to ANY RG and you’ll do fine. EXCEPT there are a few dog ones – of their own top 20 rankings, all the English ones (which give you the necessary E&W degree) are fine, but UEA is ****, it’s not a RG. And Leeds and Newcastle are bottle of the barrel when it comes to the RG, but probably very good places to be a student.

(4)(15)

3rd year in need

What Russel Groups would you recommend? Currently looking at doing an LLM and I like the courses that Leeds were offering. I do want to go on to qualify afterwards so any help is welcome.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

*Wouldn’t recommend an LLM – generally waste of money (for law firms)
*If you are looking to qualify in the regions, particularly anywhere close to Leeds, Leeds is a good shout.
*If city firms, then I’ve already said, anywhere on the Leeds list except (ironically) Leeds, Newcastle, Kent (I forgot Kent) and UEA (as well as the Scots/NI unis). Newcastle is far and away the best of those though…and there’s nothing wrong with going there over any other RG really; but if you’re really trying to trade up from a e.g. ex poly, I ‘d avoid, good student experience too.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

But some of these Scots unis (UoA for example) do offer Scots/English law dual qualifying courses…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What a load of shite.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

lol

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(1)

Perplexd Grad

Why isn’t Nottingham Trent up here in the table? If it was surely the magic’s circle firms and chambers would give us a look in for TCs?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Good to see Leeds confirming its position as one of the best law schools in the country! Very well-deserved.

(5)(2)

bpp biggest scam in legal history

bpp is a scam the sooner legal cheek investigates it the better. plus there teaching is awful. if you can, go to a RG instead.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This is stupid though. The whole point is that all the league tables are wildly out of sync with one another and with reality. Compiling one that combines all the rankings isn’t going to be more reliable for students at all. It would still skew the figures for somewhere like Manchester which is a very good university, but landed at number 60 or something in the guardian. So, other than being a fun maths exercise for those compiling it, this league table is just as useless as the Guardian’s one.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.