ERIC Number: ED468950
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Clustering U.S. Law Schools Using Variables That Describe Size, Cost, Selectivity, and Student Body Characteristics. LSAC Research Report Series.
Wightman, Linda F.
This cluster analysis was undertaken to determine whether a discrete and stable grouping of law schools exists when a variety of characteristics of the schools and their students are considered simultaneously. The first step was to identify an appropriate and meaningful set of variables on which to group or cluster the schools. The next was to select an analytical tool for quantifying similarities and differences among the schools, cluster analysis technique. Sequential agglomerative hierarchical clustering methods were used to analyze data from the entire universe of U.S. law schools. Three law schools in Puerto Rico, one school largely for part-time students, and one that did not respond to the questionnaire were omitted, for a sample of 171 law schools. The seven variables were Law School Admission Test (LSAT) mean score, grade point average, tuition, total enrollment, selectivity, percent minority students, and the faculty/student ratio. The analyses support the presence of six clusters of law schools when variables describing size, cost, selectivity, and student body characteristics are used to group the schools most similar to one another. The majority of schools (105 of 171) fell into one of two clusters, both of which tended to represent average scores on most of the clustering variables. Even so, these two clusters differ significantly form each other on every clustering variable except percentage of minority students. Results of this study show that research studies that wish to generalize their findings to all of legal education enhance their ability to do so by sampling from each of the six clusters. (Contains 9 tables, 5 figures, and 32 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Law School Admission Council, Newtown, PA.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Law School Admission Test