Published on:

Fortune 500 general counsel and the ranking of their law school

Continuing the analysis of Fortune 500 chief legal officers, let’s test a hypothesis: the better the law school, the more of its graduates lead one of these illustrious legal departments. To have data regarding which schools are better, I incorporated the rankings of about 150 law schools in 2013 by US News & World Report.

The plot below has a point for each law school that had more than one general counsel of a Fortune 500 company, as reported by American Lawyer Media. Note that it does not have complete data because ALM did not report the law school of about 50 of the GCs. Finally, if US News did not rank a law school, that school is not on this plot. The plot sorts the schools from the best ranking on the left to the highest ranking on the right.

F500 GCs and LS Ranking       The high-flying point on the left is Harvard Law School, which was ranked in a tie for second and has 42 graduates serving as a Fortune 500 GC. Yale Law School, ranked number one, has 8 such graduates.

My hypothesis is somewhat supported, in that the top 50 ranked schools account for many more graduates-as-GCs than the next 50 schools. Even so, the representation in the third 50 of the ranked schools is quite robust.