Over at Conglomerate, Gordon Smith posted an excerpt from a new ranking system of American law reviews by Ronen Perry of the University of Haifa (Israel). The excerpt includes a summary table of the Top 25 journals. Perry's system looks at overall citations of articles published and citations per page and thereafter normalizes to a 100 point scale for ranking purposes. According to Perry, "The linear correlation coefficient between the school's ranking and its flagship law review's ranking is 0.8334."
No surprise there. Many law professors use U.S. News rankings as a guide during the submission and expedite process. One reason why the correlation is not higher is that a handful of articles at non-elite journals probably garnered a large number of citations (i.e., they were especially good, novel, or bad in a truly noteworthy way). Presumably, this effect is random. But there is no sound theoretical reason to believe that any alternative ranking of law reviews (whose staffs turn over every year) is going to be valid prospectively.