As Caron points out in his 2006 article, Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance, there is more than one way to skin a cat (in this case to measure faculty impact). His article is available on SSRN (of course) here. Note that Caron's article has been downloaded 1262 times.
Many would agree with Bill Henderson's blog post (cited by Caron) available here. Although there are grounds for dispute and discussion (see the comments after Henderson's post), SSRN rankings do seem to be a valid method of looking at scholarly output and may be more relevant than the US News & World Report rankings.
Blogs and SSRN downloads are part of a bigger picture about the way in which law schools and legal scholarship are changing. Two quick points -
- The USN&WR rankings are based primarily on the reputation of the school and, by extension, the faculty. Having a faculty member in the SSRN top 25 tax article downloads certainly enhances the scholarly reputation of any school.
- There is no citation to the actual law review or journal that published Caron's article. Why bother? The new model is not print, it is electronic. Even after the publication in print occurs there is no need to refer to its somewhat archaic print citation. If you are interested in the article, go to where you can get it in seconds - the repository.