miamiman wrote:This has all been wonderfully amusing but I'm still waiting for someone to bail out CCN.
I'll take a shot at bailing out CC. I've never really thought that N belonged in the CC tier anyway, so I'll leave it to someone else to defend NYU.
First, the NLJ250 represents a pretty broad swath of law jobs. Depending on one's interests in the law, there can be a significant difference between being able to land a job in a top-15 firm versus a top-50 firm; and, again depending on what one wants to do, there can be a difference between a top-100 firm and a top-250. In the past, Columbia and Chicago have done quite well--better than Michigan and UVA--at placing graduates into the elite law firms. If Columbia and Chicago have continued to maintain this relative advantage, that's a possible reason to group them in a separate tier.
Also, as I noted on the second page of this thread, it's misleading to combine the 2009 firm hiring percentage with the 2008 clerkship percentage. Historically, the clerkship placement rates for Columbia and Chicago have tended to be inversely related to the state of the economy. This is true of all the top schools to some extent, but it's been particularly true of CC, where the successful graduates tend to self-select into big law (instead of into clerkships) when the economy is good. Indeed, Columbia says that its clerkship placement is up over 30% with the class of 2009. I haven't heard about Chicago, but it wouldn't surprise me if they've seen a similar bump.
Look, I think obsessing over tiers is silly. Whether you think one school is better than the other is going to depend on what is important to you. If your goal is to land a PI job in California, then don't pick UVA over Berkeley. If your goal is to land a job with a lit firm in DC, don't pick NYU over UVA. But if we must group the top schools into tiers, I can see an argument for placing CC between HYS and the tier below it.