Henderson & Morriss (HM) Rankings Datasets

(Last updated, July 29, 2007)

This website is meant to facilitate rigorous, comprehensive, and transparent empirical analysis of law schools and legal education. To further this objective, we are posting, in ready-to-use format, the entire 2008 ABA Official Guide dataset (base HM dataset).

Here are the advantages of using this dataset:

$       It is in a ready-to-use format. Although the same underlying data are available in Excel on the ABA website, the total number of variables (378) exceeds the maximum 256 columns in Excel. The base HM dataset has been fully joined into a single SPSS and STATA flat file. We also labeled all 378 variables.

$       The data includes a helpful variable key to find your way around the data, plus a rudimentary codebook in Excel.

$       Researchers who use the base HM dataset will have heightened credibility because other researchers with be able replicate and check results. All stakeholders, including students and law school administrators, will benefit from more reliable data analysis.

$       We will provide additional datafiles that can be easily added to the base HM dataset. For example, we will provide geographic metropolitan coding for all ABA-approved law schools [added July 29, 2007]. These codes, which use the U.S. Census Bureau standards, will identify which law schools are located in Greater New York City, Greater Chicago, Greater Los Angeles, etc.

$       We will correct and update the files on this website.

Here are the base files:

2008 ABA Official Guide [SPSS format, zip file] (right click and save to a disk)

2008 ABA Official Guide [STATA format, zip file] (right click and save to a disk)

Here are useful supplemental data files:

Metropolitan Statistical Areas for U.S. law schools [SPSS format, zip file] (right click and save to a disk)

Metropolitan Statistical Areas for U.S. law schools [STATA format, zip file] (right click and save to a disk)

Here is documentation on the data files:

Variable Key for base set [PDF] (note that A1" on key = "v_1" in dataset, "2" = "v_2", "3" = "v_3", etc.)

Code Book (rudimentary) [Excel]

Documentation Log [PDF] (documents corrections and transformations of data)

Explanatory text on variables [PDF] (section on ABA-Approved Law Schools from the 2008 Official Guide)

Caveat: Although we used computerized processes wherever possible, this dataset required human effort to construct. Therefore, there may be problems and shortcomings that will show up as people get deeply into the data. Please communicate those problems to us so they can be corrected and publicized. This website is meant to encourage collaborative and respectful research norms.

If you have any questions or corrections, please contact William D. Henderson via email. Thank you and enjoy!