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Law Review Rises to #20

The Washington and Lee measure puts BC Law's flagship journal in the nation's top tier.

Interview with Caitlin Toto ’18 (left) and KG Gasseling ’18 (right), co-editors of the consolidated Boston College Law Review, for a follow-up story on the merger of all law reviews into one, which took place in the Fall of 2017. 

Boston College Law Review this year continued its climb in the Washington and Lee law review rankings, crossing an important threshold to land at #20 and putting it in the nation’s top tier of such publications.

Washington and Lee’s announcement reflects Boston College Law Review’s gain in quality since BC Law consolidated its three specialty law reviews into the main publication two years ago. The merger expanded the flagship journal’s output from five issues per year to eight and allowed for greater selectivity.

The expectation that the change would make the law review more competitive by drawing more attention to it and attracting higher caliber academics, is born out in the latest ranking. This annual measure of law schools’ generic journals bases excellence primarily on the number of citations a publication’s articles receive.

John Gordon ’88, BC Law’s director of publications, says the excellence of students’ work carries equal weight in the move to #20.

“You really only go up in the rankings for one reason: publishing articles that academics think highly enough to quote in their own scholarship and judges find sufficiently worthy to cite in their opinions. I’m not sure casual observers recognize how much work goes into each issue,” Gordon said.

“It’s like ducks gliding on a lake; they look serene, but below water they’re frantically paddling. Our review students, who deserve all the credit for our rise in the rankings, may make it look easy,” he added, “but that belies the fact that they’re incredibly dedicated and hard working and we should all be very proud of them.”

BC Law was also ranked # 5 best value for private schools and #18 for big law hiring from PreLaw/National Jurist, and received an A in Human Rights Law and A- in Family Law, Criminal Law, Business Law, and Tax. Read more on the rankings.

Photo:  Caitlin Toto ’18 and KG Gasseling ’18 co-edited the first consolidated Boston College Law Review.