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showNprove
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Re: USNWR Reputation Scores

Postby showNprove » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:15 pm

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Last edited by showNprove on Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: USNWR Reputation Scores

Postby Holly Golightly » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:21 pm

Rock Chalk wrote:
twistedwrister wrote:Or, there is a chance that the person interviewing you will regard a degree from NYU more highly than one from Chicago.

2008 Vault Law School Rankings (http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/education/law-ranking)

1 Stanford Law School
2 University of Michigan Law School
3 New York University School of Law
4 University of Virginia School of Law
5 University of Chicago Law School
6 Harvard Law School
7 Columbia Law School
8 UC Berkeley School of Law
9 Northwestern University School of Law
10 Yale Law School

Honestly, I don't think the Vault rankings mean much, but I don't see why they would mean any less than the USNWR assessment scores. Both are based on surveys of lawyers.

TBF, any rankings that put Harvard 6th and Yale 10th are absolute trash.


NU > Yale. I like it.

tamlyric
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Re: USNWR Reputation Scores

Postby tamlyric » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:23 pm

Rock Chalk wrote:
tamlyric wrote:The Vault rankings are supposed to be measuring how well particular schools prepare their students to work in a "firm environment." Do you know how well these schools prepare their students to work in a firm environment? I certainly don't.

Credited. But my point was that choosing a school with a better legal reputation would reflect employment opportunities. If you're admitting that Vault rankings don't even attempt to show this then that's fine. It completely undermines the point made by the person who posted the Vault rankings. Apparently firms can think one performs worse in a firm environment coming from Harvard and still pick the Harvard grad over you. I don't care about the expectation of quality after getting the job, I'm a lot more concerned about being employed in the first place.


I completely agree with this. It definitely calls into question the utility of the question being asked by Vault. That said, assuming the data are solid, I am guessing we can learn something from the rankings, which may be of use. I think the more general point should be that we shouldn't put a lot of stock in any one set of rankings, which is why the USNWR rankings are so insidious. They color the way many of us see the relative merits of the schools, often times unwittingly and without good reason.

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Rock Chalk
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Re: USNWR Reputation Scores

Postby Rock Chalk » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:39 pm

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Wed May 16, 2012 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MoS
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Re: USNWR Reputation Scores

Postby MoS » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:56 pm

Rock Chalk wrote:
twistedwrister wrote:Or, there is a chance that the person interviewing you will regard a degree from NYU more highly than one from Chicago.

2008 Vault Law School Rankings (http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/education/law-ranking)

1 Stanford Law School
2 University of Michigan Law School
3 New York University School of Law
4 University of Virginia School of Law
5 University of Chicago Law School
6 Harvard Law School
7 Columbia Law School
8 UC Berkeley School of Law
9 Northwestern University School of Law
10 Yale Law School

Honestly, I don't think the Vault rankings mean much, but I don't see why they would mean any less than the USNWR assessment scores. Both are based on surveys of lawyers.

TBF, any rankings that put Harvard 6th and Yale 10th are absolute trash.

Really I would assume the Vault rankings would be valued more by hardcore TLS people. It was based on a survey of 400 hiring partners. It is basically a private/big law rankings system, not an educational quality system nor of quality of students. seams useful to me.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: USNWR Reputation Scores

Postby AngryAvocado » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:05 pm

Nightrunner wrote:
Rock Chalk wrote:
tamlyric wrote:I completely agree with this. It definitely calls into question the utility of the question being asked by Vault. That said, assuming the data are solid, I am guessing we can learn something from the rankings, which may be of use. I think the more general point should be that we shouldn't put a lot of stock in any one set of rankings, which is why the USNWR rankings are so insidious. They color the way many of us see the relative merits of the schools, often times unwittingly and without good reason.

The stupidity of the Vault rankings says nothing about the validity of the US News reputation scores. I don't know many people who take issue with them, save NU fans and students whose law schools have recently declined. For the most part, YHS.CCN.MVPB.DN.CG is spot on in terms of reputation. Vault's SMNVCHCBNY (???) is preposterous.

How in the world can you know that? How many judges, attorneys, and law school deans do you know, where do they live, and how did you ascertain their opinions of the ABA approved law schools?


Uh, placement maybe? You honestly think someone below median at (say) UVA is going to have as good of a shot as, well, just about anyone at Yale?

Aside from the obvious issues with the Vault ranking, it's also worth pointing out that associates from schools like IUB (which is in the Vault T14 btw) are far more likely to have graduated at the top of their class than the associates from Yale. It's not comparing apples to apples, and that pretty much undermines the entire survey.

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MoS
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Re: USNWR Reputation Scores

Postby MoS » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:25 pm

AngryAvocado wrote:
Nightrunner wrote:
Rock Chalk wrote:
tamlyric wrote:I completely agree with this. It definitely calls into question the utility of the question being asked by Vault. That said, assuming the data are solid, I am guessing we can learn something from the rankings, which may be of use. I think the more general point should be that we shouldn't put a lot of stock in any one set of rankings, which is why the USNWR rankings are so insidious. They color the way many of us see the relative merits of the schools, often times unwittingly and without good reason.

The stupidity of the Vault rankings says nothing about the validity of the US News reputation scores. I don't know many people who take issue with them, save NU fans and students whose law schools have recently declined. For the most part, YHS.CCN.MVPB.DN.CG is spot on in terms of reputation. Vault's SMNVCHCBNY (???) is preposterous.

How in the world can you know that? How many judges, attorneys, and law school deans do you know, where do they live, and how did you ascertain their opinions of the ABA approved law schools?


Uh, placement maybe? You honestly think someone below median at (say) UVA is going to have as good of a shot as, well, just about anyone at Yale?

Aside from the obvious issues with the Vault ranking, it's also worth pointing out that associates from schools like IUB (which is in the Vault T14 btw) are far more likely to have graduated at the top of their class than the associates from Yale. It's not comparing apples to apples, and that pretty much undermines the entire survey.


I think that is a fair assessment. People should know that everyone at IUB doesn't go into big law, so the survey is not based on everyone from IUB, nor is it about everyone at Yale. But it does let you know what the potential of your law school degree is in Big Law. But you still have to make the cut for big law. Which is smaller for IUB than it is for Harvard,and the best Yale grads are too busy with clerkships and academia to bother with big law.

tamlyric
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Re: USNWR Reputation Scores

Postby tamlyric » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:36 pm

It should be noted that the Vault rankings are not about placement in BigLaw or AnyLaw; they're about whether people from certain schools are prepared to hit the ground running. It could very well be that firms hire from schools where they know the students will not be as prepared for practice. What might seem irrational in the short-run could be rational in the long-run... Or it could just be that people make decisions about whom to hire for irrational reasons.
Last edited by tamlyric on Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: USNWR Reputation Scores

Postby AngryAvocado » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:09 pm

Nightrunner wrote:
AngryAvocado wrote:
Uh, placement maybe? You honestly think someone below median at (say) UVA is going to have as good of a shot as, well, just about anyone at Yale?


And there you have it. But rather than assessing actual job placements, USNWR uses this black-box "reputation assessment," as a stand-in. The shortcomings in reputation scores are many and enumerated, so I won't repeat them, but the biggest flaw in the reputation rankings has nothing to do with methodologies: the biggest flaw in reputation rankings is that it is only useful as a crappy stand-in for other, more useful, yet excluded data.


This is definitely a valid criticism of USNWR. However, I also think including placement data is trickier than people might realize. As people have pointed out, including NLJ250 would unfairly penalize schools like YLS and HLS that could place a much higher proportion into biglaw than they currently do. You also don't want to discourage schools from sending people into public interest/government/clerkships/academia, so you'd have to somehow include those metrics. This, of course, brings up the issue of how to differentiate between "prestigious" (highly selective) PI and crap PI (which I hereby dub "pubic interest"). And how do you differentiate between COA clerkships and clerking for Judge Judy (prior to her show)? Or between tenure track and adjunct professorships? And what about assigning weights for each of them without showing preference for a particular field one while also preventing schools from manipulating the data to their advantage? It's tough.

The reputation scores, like them or not, actually do a pretty fair job distinguishing placement capability. Northwestern is the glaring exception, of course, but I tend to think that'll change over time if they continue to kick ass. That actually brings up another advantage to reputation over placement: it's less liable to drastic shifts from one year to the next. A single bad year could crush a school's placement, but it's not likely to significantly affect it's reputation unless it continues to happen for a period of years. We wouldn't want a single '09 redefining the T14, only to have it shift drastically again the very next year.

All that being said, I do think there's room for improvement in USNWR's reputation methodology and I also think there's a reasonable justification for using them in place of raw placement figures. Either way USNWR goes, there is going to be valid criticism against their method. They're sort of damned if they do and damned if they don't, and I damn sure wouldn't want to be the guy who's ultimately accountable for figuring all this shit out every year.




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