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Stanford: A Great Law School, But Can It Dethrone Yale?

Publication Date: 
July 27, 2010
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
Ashby Jones

Dean Larry Kramer is quoted from an interview with the San Jose Mercury on his vision for law school reform in this post on the Wall Street Journal law blog:

When you’re the dean of Stanford Law School, often viewed as the third best law school in country behind Yale and Harvard, life is pretty good.

Still, it can be better.

Such is the takeaway from this story in the San Jose Mercury News on Tuesday about the vision established by Stanford Law School dean Larry Kramer (pictured), who took the post in 2004.

Writes reporter Eric Messinger:

Larry Kramer has introduced major changes to the Stanford Law School since becoming dean in 2004, from reforming the curriculum to integrating its activities with the wider university. His latest coup is luring a Yale Law School professor to the Farm, and he’s announced his mission to attract more top scholars over the next two years.

The moves are all part of his quest to make Stanford Law School the best in the nation, even if the U.S. News and World Report won’t cooperate.


Part of Kramer’s challenge: luring professors away from New York and Washington — the places where its graduates often move on to.

“I think there’s an East Coast-West Coast thing, which is more pronounced in law because of law’s close connection to public policy,” Kramer said. “So the cluster, the fact that all these top law schools are clustered close together on the East Coast, and are near Washington and New York, I think sometimes is a perceptual issue with people.”