Osgoode ranks No. 1 in faculty quality

York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School received some stellar ranking results on Friday with the release of the second annual ranking of Canadian law schools by Maclean’s magazine.

Osgoode was ranked first in Canada in "faculty quality" by Maclean’s based on the intellectual impact of research by Osgoode professors. The law school also placed third overall out of 16 Canadian common-law schools.

"Maclean’s assessment of faculty quality is derived from the frequency with which our faculty’s publications are cited in legal periodicals," said Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Patrick Monahan (left).

"In an improvement from last year, Maclean’s included citations in international as well as Canadian journals. The result is that we moved up to the top spot, in a virtual dead heat with the University of Toronto, and in fact when you calculate the actual number of citations for each school’s faculty, we are fractionally ahead of our neighbours to the south," said Monahan. "Given the importance of the faculty to a school’s reputation, it is gratifying indeed to see the outstanding, world-class quality of the Osgoode faculty recognized in this way."

Osgoode’s third place standing, the same position it held in the 2007 rankings, is based on a number of other measures that Maclean’s uses to assess "graduate quality." The most significant of these measures, explained Monahan, is "elite firm hiring," in which the magazine looks at the number of law school graduates who are associates at the largest law firms in Canada and at five leading New York firms.

"I must say I find this portion of the ranking to be narrowly focused and not reflective of the wide range of career opportunities open to our students," said Monahan. "We take pride in the fact that our students are not only among the most successful in the country at securing the most highly-sought-after jobs at ‘elite’ private firms, but also that they have their pick of public sector careers all over the world."

In addition to the Maclean’s list, Monahan noted, Osgoode achieved a "Number One" ranking once again in this year’s Canadian Lawyer magazine survey.

"This is a fresh recognition by Maclean’s of the outstanding quality of our faculty and the leadership position of Osgoode generally among Canadian law schools," said Monahan.

Detailed data from the Maclean’s rankings of Canadian law schools are available online at the Maclean’s Web site.

In the same package of features about professional schools, Maclean’s also looked at MBA programs in Canada, and re-listed a series of rankings by media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times that include York’s Schulich School of Business. The magazine offered comparative data about Canada’s MBA programs but did not do its own ranking.