Not a single student has sat in a single chair at the University of California Irvine School of Law, but the fledgling law school – the first public California law school in 40 years – is already sitting pretty in the top 10 rankings of schools for their faculty’s scholarly impact.

Ranked No. 10 by Brian Leiter’s Law School Rankings for 2005 through 2008, Irvine beat out the law schools at Northwestern University and the University of California, Los Angeles for a spot in the rankings, which are based on a study that was conducted in February.

The study weighed the school’s “scholarly impact”, which was measured by citations of the faculty members during the past four years. For the purposes of the study, Leiter assumes that UC Irvine will hire professors who are as prolific as the founding faculty. He also excludes Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean at the law school.

“Given Dean Chemerinsky’s very high citation count … to simply add his cite count to the currently small number of faculty would produce highly misleading results.”

Read the study here.

Thumbnail photo: Okinawa Soba / Flickr. It’s an Asian woman reading a newspaper. It makes sense to me: an Asian girl who likes her some news.

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