Bronte wrote:Goal: adjust 2009 NLJ250 figures to reflect the percentage of the class that went into clerkships. Problem: 2009 clerkship data doesn't exist. Current solution: use 2008 clerkship data as a proxy.
The current solution is flawed, but it's not "worthless" and it's not "wrong," assuming the methodology is disclosed. We need a proxy for 2009 clerkship data (at least to according to the goal of the thread). Maybe a better proxy would be the average of the past few years, although it would still be flawed. Has anyone considered, though, that clerkships might be considerably more stable considering that they are government rather than private sector jobs and thus were likely less affected by the crisis in the private sector?
You're right, of course, that the number of clerkship positions did not change. That's not the issue. The issue is that when the economy tanks and firm hiring goes way down (as it did between 2008 and 2009), graduates of T6 schools tend to gravitate towards clerkships in greater numbers than they did before. In other words, there is reason to think that the variability in one factor is related to the variability of the other factor.
If clerkship figures were entirely independent of firm hiring and were unlikely to change, then I would have less of a problem with carrying them forward and adding them to the current NLJ250 list. But when you consider that we have volatile conditions, and when you consider that the two measures at issue may be inversely correlated for some schools, it borders on sophistry to add the 2008 and 2009 figures together into one "percentage."