Schools that are better than their rank

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Fark-o-vision
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Schools that are better than their rank

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:54 am

I've been hearing that this most recent ranking was messed up for a lot of reasons, and that some schools just don't fit the criteria of USNWR very well, but still offer excellent opportunities. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with a school like this, or a good reason to believe that a school is significantly better than it's rank. Or, maybe, worse than it's rank.

For instance:

I've heard from numerous sources that University of San Diego is much, much better than it's rank (as an accepted student who will likely have to turn it down, this pains me to say). In fact, I've heard career prospects out of San Diego are better than at lower tier one DC area schools.

I've also heard that, because of the cluster effect, if you don't get into a top school in DC, don't bother going.

Anyway, none of my information can be validated very well by myself, thus my interest in what others think.

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:57 am

uva, chicago

lawschooliseasy
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby lawschooliseasy » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:58 am

Cooley.

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TTTennis
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby TTTennis » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:59 am

Georgetown :D

Knew there was going to be a Cooley response.

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Cupidity
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby Cupidity » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:00 am

GWU/Fordham because of PT #s

ppa840
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby ppa840 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:03 am

Cornell

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:04 am

ppa840 wrote:Cornell

lawls.

but no. quite the contrary, in fact.

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romothesavior
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby romothesavior » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:05 am

A lot depends on what you want to do. While people are stupid when they base their decisions on individual "specializations" (like #1 dispute resolution school in the country or #3 for IP law), there are certain schools that are good for certain things. If you want PI, certain schools outpace their US News ranking. If you want big law, other schools are better for that (Vanderbilt, Michigan, and Fordham come to mind. Great alumni networks help, especially in firm stuff).

dakatz
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby dakatz » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:06 am

Cupidity wrote:GWU/Fordham because of PT #s


Yeah, these were def the first ones that came to mind for me. They are ranked lower than they deserve due to the new PT part of the methodology.

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Herb Watchfell
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby Herb Watchfell » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:14 am

Yale.

Seriously.

Norwood
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby Norwood » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:04 am

UCLA????!

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saltoftheearth
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby saltoftheearth » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:20 am

Northwestern
Duke

:D

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:24 am

harvard

yale is a ttt

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:31 am

WUSTL
Minnesota
Washington and Lee
Illinois

Xiaolong
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby Xiaolong » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:54 am

BC seems to be ranked about 5 spots too low, considering how well they place.

Also Vandy >Gtown/Texas/UCLA/Cornell.

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Rand M.
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby Rand M. » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:06 am

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:uva, chicago

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holydonkey
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby holydonkey » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:21 am

uva, chicago - Yes
Georgetown :D - No
GWU/Fordham - Yes
Cornell - Rofl
Yale - Yes
UCLA????! - No
Northwestern, Duke :D - Northwestern, Yes. Duke, No
WUSTL, Minnesota, Washington and Lee, Illinois - No
BC, Vandy - BC, maybe. Vandy, Yes.

I'll add Wisconsin and SMU.

Neelio
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby Neelio » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:23 am

Univ of Washington, Colorado-Boulder, Davis, Hastings

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rolark
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby rolark » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:33 am

romothesavior wrote:A lot depends on what you want to do. While people are retarded when they base their decisions on individual "specializations" (like #1 dispute resolution school in the country or #3 for IP law), there are certain schools that are good for certain things. If you want PI, certain schools outpace their US News ranking. If you want big law, other schools are better for that (Vanderbilt, Michigan, and Fordham come to mind. Great alumni networks help, especially in firm stuff).

Michigan is pretty balanced. It sends a decent percentage of people into PI work, has several great clinics, and offers a pretty good LRAP with very few restrictions (no minimum length of time because all jobs qualify, you pay a straightforward 35% of earnings over $38k but nothing under that).

That being said, I admit my bias; it's likely I'll be headed to Michigan for PI work. Still, I'll be choosing Michigan over other schools because I feel it's much stronger than Duke, UVA, Penn, Northwestern, Chicago, and Columbia for PI.

Now I'll stop before I derail the thread any further . . .

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby Holly Golightly » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:33 am

D. H2Oman wrote:WUSTL
Minnesota
Washington and Lee
Illinois


--ImageRemoved--

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:59 am

Holly Golightly wrote:
D. H2Oman wrote:WUSTL
Minnesota
Washington and Lee
Illinois


--ImageRemoved--



Disgustingly overrated: Northwestern Polytechnic Institute for career changes

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Borhas
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby Borhas » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:01 am

southern schools in general

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sarlis
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby sarlis » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:02 am

tOSU

get it to x
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby get it to x » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:02 am

I think Richmond is vastly underrated along with Maryland.

nycparalegal
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Re: Schools that are better than their rank

Postby nycparalegal » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:06 am

Hunch wrote:
Knockglock wrote:
zapper wrote:Hello,

Thank you so much for all of your helpful feedback.

In the interview with Brian Leiter on this website, Leiter mentions that certain schools outside of the top 14 are better regarded in academic circles than their US News rankings might suggest, e.g. Florida State, Chicago-Kent, Fordham, San Diego, George Mason, BU, Cardozo, Brooklyn.

Do you have any further insight into this subject? In light of the "brass ring" reality, do you think it would make any difference in terms of academic hiring if a candidate came from one of these schools?


This brings me to another question, what schools do you think are overrated and underrated?



After this one I'm done. Again, good luck to all. It's a great profession and I loved every day I spent in practice as I do in academia.

As to schools and their rankings, I've already identified San Diego as having one heck of a faculty and therefore underrated. But in one sense I'm wrong in the same way Brian is wrong: both he and I like San Diego (and for sure Fla State has a faculty far better than its ranking) but we're assessing the schools along the dimension that matters to us: faculty scholarship. We have no idea how well these professors perform in the classroom. Students (and the local faculty) know better on that score than we do. So for me to say a school is over- or underrated reveals my bias: it's underrated if faculty scholarship were the only thing that mattered. Of course it isn't, and indeed scholarship matters relatively little from a student's perspective. So perhaps San Diego is properly rated along all the dimensions that should matter to students, including instruction, placement, financial aid, etc. I really don't know.

But back to the academic world and the other question raised: as I tried to suggest previously, faculty hiring preferences are pretty rigid. We expect people who want to be a professor to attend the schools that we customarily look to for new hires: Yale, Virginia, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Chicago, Columbia, maybe NYU, maybe one or two others. If you're not going to one of these, you could plan on an LLM (just a year) and that should help a little. (Also an LLM is basically a year to get a good article done so it's a winner all around.) Or you could just plan on not becoming a professor.

I suggest some caution in organizing your entire legal education to pursue the single dream of an academic job. That dream might lead you to turn away great opportunities and substantial financial aid packages in what could easily turn out to be a vain attempt. I've tried (in a previous post) to describe a little of what faculty hiring committees look for in terms of credentials and personal qualities. On both counts the bar is set very high. Accumulating the credentials requires literally years of steadfast dedication just to make yourself eligible, to make that second pile. And then you might not even get an interview, anywhere! There are never more than a small number of jobs open nationwide. Failure happens regularly; people are shocked that their years of careful compilation of a "professor-eligible" resume doesn't produce a single call-back interview. So my basic goal here is to throw a little water on everyone's law prof fire, to suggest you make a frank self-assessment to decide if you have what it takes and are willing to pursue it relentlessly. One word of warning: don't pursue the job for the lifestyle; you have to love the work itself. A desire to improve one's lifestyle will not sustain you over the years of effort it takes.

One final observation: I just looked at the website of a bottom-tier law school where a classmate of mine is on the faculty. I examined the credentials of their untenured or recently tenured faculty, in other words, the newest hires. These young professors graduated from the following law schools: Virginia, NYU, Yale, Yale (with PhD too), Harvard, Harvard, Northwestern, and Michigan. All were law review; all but one had COA clerkships; one was SCOTUS to boot; all but one (the PhD person) worked for major law firms. And that's at the "bottom of the pile" school. See how incredible even the bottom tier faculties are (and why you will get an outstanding legal education even there)? And see how narrow is the path to a prof job?

Best wishes to all.



It's in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=111060




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