USNWR Law School Ranking Methodology

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: USNWR Law School Ranking Methodology

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Mon May 10, 2010 10:40 am

legalease9 wrote:My opinion on Best ranking...

% of graduates who make six figures+

% of graduates who have Article III clerkships+
% of graduates who went into PI careers

This judges schools based on the three job types graduates actually want, while eliminating the low level shit-law jobs no one wants.

This is not perfect, (or even close) but it at least gets at what matters. I still don't know how you will ever get truly accurate employment info w/o compulsory disclosure of salary and career (which will never happen). That is the missing link that will forever make rankings at least partially BS.


The bolded is a horrible idea. Can you really imagine that working?

Consider:
1) Schools that exist in major markets would have higher salaries than schools currently ranked higher that aren't (i.e. Hofstra would have higher salaries than UF)
2) Many secondary legal markets have a "market rate" pay of around $100,000 - about half below and half at - and these jobs are just as difficult to get as $160,000 in NY/DC/LA/IL
3) Schools in major markets could just get a lower percentage reporting and have $160,000 as their median

Ultimately, ranking schools by salaries is almost as useless as ranking schools by their "big law" placement (which is almost as stupid as setting the line of big law at 250 firms when they could easily add another 150 firms that would also provide "big law" experiences/size).

There is so little hard data available for potential law students that they will cling to anything.

Renzo
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Re: USNWR Law School Ranking Methodology

Postby Renzo » Mon May 10, 2010 1:36 pm

I have in past introduced my Renzo rankings methodology, which I believe to be foolproof.

Rank law schools each year based on annual donations per capita, not counting bequests. The more and better jobs alums get, the more they'll feel like/be able to donate, and the better the schools must be. Don't like your school? Donate to it's rival! Unhappy with your alma mater's ranking? Donate more!

It will work exactly like the US political system!

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voice of reason
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Re: USNWR Law School Ranking Methodology

Postby voice of reason » Tue May 11, 2010 2:50 am

legalease9 wrote:
voice of reason wrote: [*snip*]
Apparently most law students want, or end up wanting, biglaw. Therefore one of the best ratings would be an estimate of the proportion of the class that can get biglaw upon graduation. (Note that this is not identical to the proportion going into biglaw.)


But how else do you get that metric.


The best available proxy is probably something along the lines of the percentage of going into NLJ250 firms + the percentage going into Article III clerkships. Some schools that put a lot of students into government work or public interest, like GW and Berkeley, may be slightly disadvantaged by this method, and others that have a stronger focus on firm work like NW may be advantaged by it, but I'm afraid it's the best we can do. Or, like you suggested, you could add PI to the tally.

legalease9 wrote:To be fair, while USNEWS is very flawed (I hate their library focus... in the age of the internet who cares?) They are trying to find metrics that they can measure. There is no way to measure the % of people who "could" get a big law job. That is impossible to determine. [*snip*]


Ah, but there is a way, with a relatively well proven method! There ought to be an independent survey of law graduates. Every single person who gets a PhD in the United States is sent a survey -- the Survey of Earned Doctorates -- sponsored by the federal government. It has an excellent response rate. A survey of all law graduates would be a slightly smaller project, since there are more PhDs granted by more institutions than there are JDs each year.

If the ABA or USNWR really cared about these issues, they'd survey the law school graduates and ask, among other things, what types of jobs they applied for, what types they got offers for, and what job they actually took. This would give us the information we really want.

It would cost no more than a few million dollars -- on a per applicant basis, it would cost less than the application fee for one school, and it might cost as little as buying the USNWR guide to graduate schools.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: USNWR Law School Ranking Methodology

Postby SaintClarence27 » Tue May 11, 2010 7:54 am

voice of reason wrote:
legalease9 wrote:
voice of reason wrote: [*snip*]
Apparently most law students want, or end up wanting, biglaw. Therefore one of the best ratings would be an estimate of the proportion of the class that can get biglaw upon graduation. (Note that this is not identical to the proportion going into biglaw.)


But how else do you get that metric.


The best available proxy is probably something along the lines of the percentage of going into NLJ250 firms + the percentage going into Article III clerkships. Some schools that put a lot of students into government work or public interest, like GW and Berkeley, may be slightly disadvantaged by this method, and others that have a stronger focus on firm work like NW may be advantaged by it, but I'm afraid it's the best we can do. Or, like you suggested, you could add PI to the tally.

legalease9 wrote:To be fair, while USNEWS is very flawed (I hate their library focus... in the age of the internet who cares?) They are trying to find metrics that they can measure. There is no way to measure the % of people who "could" get a big law job. That is impossible to determine. [*snip*]


Ah, but there is a way, with a relatively well proven method! There ought to be an independent survey of law graduates. Every single person who gets a PhD in the United States is sent a survey -- the Survey of Earned Doctorates -- sponsored by the federal government. It has an excellent response rate. A survey of all law graduates would be a slightly smaller project, since there are more PhDs granted by more institutions than there are JDs each year.

If the ABA or USNWR really cared about these issues, they'd survey the law school graduates and ask, among other things, what types of jobs they applied for, what types they got offers for, and what job they actually took. This would give us the information we really want.

It would cost no more than a few million dollars -- on a per applicant basis, it would cost less than the application fee for one school, and it might cost as little as buying the USNWR guide to graduate schools.



INDEPENDENT being the key word...




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