General Tso wrote:I think in the long term UCI will be a upper T2/lower T1 school, but these guys saying with certainty that it WILL be a T1 school as soon as it is ranked are wrong, in my opinion. How will UCI earn high reputation scores when most people still won't even have heard of it? Just look at Loyola's fiasco last year...they were on the survey as "Loyola Marymount" and not "Loyola Law School" and they tumbled in the rankings. I don't think UCI is going to be a name that jumps out at survey responders, at least not for a long time. Those are pretty static from year to year... Hastings still has a higher lawyer/judge reputation than USC!
What you're saying makes sense at first glance, but consider this:
25% of US News' rankings is based on peer assessment (assessment by law school deans and administrations)
- Irvine has this is the bag. Law schools, professors, and deans have been nothing but hugely impressed and supportive (as told to me by a T20 corporate law professor, among others).
25% is based on selectivity (GPA, LSAT, acceptance rate)
- Let's assume Irvine will maintain T20 numbers (Chemerinsky already guaranteed the 2nd year class will be equal-to or stronger than the 1st year class)
20% is based on bar passage rate
- Hardly the reason people think UCI will suffer in the rankings... I don't think anyone fears that Chem and the great faculty won't prepare UCI students well enough for the bar)
15% is based on faculty resources (expenditures per student, student/faculty ratio, library resources)
- This won't be bringing down UCI's ranking
That equates to 85% that works in favor of UCI being T20, by my calculations. You can argue the extent to which I think UCI will do well with the above, but I don't see how anything listed above will really hurt
UCI's potential in the rankings...
The final 15% is for assessment scores by lawyers/judges. Those that are familiar with UCI are likely to give them decent scores, at worst. Those that don't know UCI simply will decline to answer. They won't give them negative marks if they've never heard of them. Loyola suffered because even those that know and love Loyola didn't know how to answer because they didn't recognize the name "Loyola Marymount" as the Loyola they know.
Even if that final 15% hurts UCI more than I expect, it will detract from T20 status (again, according to my breakdown above). Fine. So the school will be T25, T30, T40, depending on your pessimism. But can you really imagine the school, with everything listed above, not being in the first tier? Can you imagine a school with median numbers like 167/3.6 and a Top-9 faculty landing beyond 50 in the superficial rankings?
EDIT: Also wanted to mention that if lawyer/judge assessment were so powerful, then Hastings would dominate by US News standards... I think that's the best thing Hastings offers, in fact (given its history). Doesn't look like it's helping them much, though, considering their entering numbers are better than the school's ranking suggests and yet they still slip...