Bar pass rate v. US News rank

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ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:05 pm

Bar passage is not an important metric. The school you go to has no impact on your ability to pass the bar - that's all on you and BarBri.

Job placement %s are hopelessly gamed for USWNR, and basically tell you nothing.

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bk1
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:25 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Bar passage is not an important metric. The school you go to has no impact on your ability to pass the bar - that's all on you and BarBri.

Job placement %s are hopelessly gamed for USWNR, and basically tell you nothing.


I would assume he means actual job placement and not self-reported mumbo jumbo.

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bizjunkie4
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bizjunkie4 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:22 am

bk1 wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Bar passage is not an important metric. The school you go to has no impact on your ability to pass the bar - that's all on you and BarBri.

Job placement %s are hopelessly gamed for USWNR, and basically tell you nothing.


I would assume he means actual job placement and not self-reported mumbo jumbo.


How do you know that job placement numbers are "hopelessly gamed"? While there are certainly caveats to the data collection process, my impression of it, at least here in Louisville, is that the survey is pretty straightforward. The problem that I have with the process is that it doesn't factor in quality of life and cost of living. For example, a student at a school in NY or Boston who gets a starting salary of $115,000 will be far behind a graduate in Louisville who starts at $80,000 due to the cost difference in housing, taxes, transportation, etc. But again, I am drifting off topic. Perhaps I should have named this thread "kitchen sink."

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:26 am

LOL at Louisville grads starting at 80K, I could probably count the class of 2010 Louisville grads starting at that on one hand.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:05 am

Bar pass rates, generally speaking, are not a good indicator because frankly, most ABA approved schools have similar bar pass rates over say a ten year period. Moreover, and I believe Nearlic touched on this; what I learned in law school had little to do with my passing the bar exam. I went to a TTTT and scored in the upper 95th percentile or so on the MBE. Passing the bar exam is all about the individual and his ability to study. Higer ranked schools are filled (in theory), with people with better grades in college who studied harder for standardized tests. So it would make sense that their graduates will do the same for the bar exam and thus they usually (not in all cases), will have higher bar pass rates. However, anyone that goes to law school can and should pass a bar exams, so long as they put the time and work into it. Its much more an individual thing because frankly, no law school prepares you to pass the bar.

Now where bar pass rate is an indicator of a bigger problem is a school like Hofstra that will, year after year, under-perform and often times come up with the worst bar pass rate in the state. It makes you wonder what the fuck is going on there.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:14 am

bizjunkie4 wrote:
bk1 wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Bar passage is not an important metric. The school you go to has no impact on your ability to pass the bar - that's all on you and BarBri.

Job placement %s are hopelessly gamed for USWNR, and basically tell you nothing.


I would assume he means actual job placement and not self-reported mumbo jumbo.


How do you know that job placement numbers are "hopelessly gamed"? While there are certainly caveats to the data collection process, my impression of it, at least here in Louisville, is that the survey is pretty straightforward. The problem that I have with the process is that it doesn't factor in quality of life and cost of living. For example, a student at a school in NY or Boston who gets a starting salary of $115,000 will be far behind a graduate in Louisville who starts at $80,000 due to the cost difference in housing, taxes, transportation, etc. But again, I am drifting off topic. Perhaps I should have named this thread "kitchen sink."


Seriously? Seriously?

Look around this message board more, look at the impact that self-reported numbers induce, look at what the schools are actually required to report, etc. I'm not going to go in to all of it - it's all quite widely available - but suffice it to say that the current reporting mechanism is screwy. Even remarks in an ABA committee recently noted that the job reporting is screwy (see: ATL, which links to the ABA discussion).

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reasonable_man
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:25 am

bizjunkie4 wrote:
bk1 wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Bar passage is not an important metric. The school you go to has no impact on your ability to pass the bar - that's all on you and BarBri.

Job placement %s are hopelessly gamed for USWNR, and basically tell you nothing.


I would assume he means actual job placement and not self-reported mumbo jumbo.


How do you know that job placement numbers are "hopelessly gamed"? While there are certainly caveats to the data collection process, my impression of it, at least here in Louisville, is that the survey is pretty straightforward. The problem that I have with the process is that it doesn't factor in quality of life and cost of living. For example, a student at a school in NY or Boston who gets a starting salary of $115,000 will be far behind a graduate in Louisville who starts at $80,000 due to the cost difference in housing, taxes, transportation, etc. But again, I am drifting off topic. Perhaps I should have named this thread "kitchen sink."


Oh dear. Please tell me that you don't believe that law school employment data is "straightforward?" If you have an offer of employment for after law school; then thats great. If not, Good Lord; I truly hope you aren't counting on the data provided by your school to allow you to rest easy at night.

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bizjunkie4
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bizjunkie4 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:10 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:LOL at Louisville grads starting at 80K, I could probably count the class of 2010 Louisville grads starting at that on one hand.


How well do you know Louisville if you are a guy from Vermont (one of my favorite states) who is attending Georgetown (nice school)? Either way, the numbers were largely hypothetical. And the local figure came from TLS, which, as everyone knows, is surely a trusted source because it's largely written by prospective law students and anonymous posters. But since you asked, I double checked the school's most recent numbers (--LinkRemoved--) and they are indeed lower for private sector jobs. Even so, I would still take a job starting at $70,000 here (median home sales price, $136,400) compared to a job starting at $110,000 in Washington, D.C. (median home sales price, $331,600). But I'd also sooner slit my wrists than commute 55 minutes to work each way to some giant law firm where the partners scream at me all day. Can you tell how biased I am now?

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bizjunkie4
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bizjunkie4 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:15 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
bizjunkie4 wrote:
bk1 wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Bar passage is not an important metric. The school you go to has no impact on your ability to pass the bar - that's all on you and BarBri.

Job placement %s are hopelessly gamed for USWNR, and basically tell you nothing.


I would assume he means actual job placement and not self-reported mumbo jumbo.


How do you know that job placement numbers are "hopelessly gamed"? While there are certainly caveats to the data collection process, my impression of it, at least here in Louisville, is that the survey is pretty straightforward. The problem that I have with the process is that it doesn't factor in quality of life and cost of living. For example, a student at a school in NY or Boston who gets a starting salary of $115,000 will be far behind a graduate in Louisville who starts at $80,000 due to the cost difference in housing, taxes, transportation, etc. But again, I am drifting off topic. Perhaps I should have named this thread "kitchen sink."


Oh dear. Please tell me that you don't believe that law school employment data is "straightforward?" If you have an offer of employment for after law school; then thats great. If not, Good Lord; I truly hope you aren't counting on the data provided by your school to allow you to rest easy at night.


You are right to an extent. Figures lie and liars figure. Throw in a bunch of bitter law students and it's even worse. What I don't understand is the sentiment that a student at a TT or TTT school is up the creek in terms of finding a job and making a comfortable living. I found a clerkship after my 1L year, and I accepted an offer yesterday (woohoo) for next summer. Jobs are certainly not super easy to find, but with decent grades and hard work it's not that difficult, at least not here. Maybe I will be eating these words in seventeen months.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:31 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:
D. H2Oman wrote:LOL at Louisville grads starting at 80K, I could probably count the class of 2010 Louisville grads starting at that on one hand.


How well do you know Louisville if you are a guy from Vermont (one of my favorite states) who is attending Georgetown (nice school)? Either way, the numbers were largely hypothetical. And the local figure came from TLS, which, as everyone knows, is surely a trusted source because it's largely written by prospective law students and anonymous posters. But since you asked, I double checked the school's most recent numbers (--LinkRemoved--) and they are indeed lower for private sector jobs. Even so, I would still take a job starting at $70,000 here (median home sales price, $136,400) compared to a job starting at $110,000 in Washington, D.C. (median home sales price, $331,600). But I'd also sooner slit my wrists than commute 55 minutes to work each way to some giant law firm where the partners scream at me all day. Can you tell how biased I am now?



OH man. I like ya pall.. You have that knowing law school student air about ya. But I gotta tell ya, "taking a job for 70k in Louisville" is a fucking silly statement. Just plain silly. Call me back in three years and let me know if you're earning more than 50k. I'd be very surprised. How do I know? Because I'm not an anon user or a law student or a 0L.

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Grizz
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby Grizz » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:32 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:How do you know that job placement numbers are "hopelessly gamed"? While there are certainly caveats to the data collection process, my impression of it, at least here in Louisville, is that the survey is pretty straightforward. The problem that I have with the process is that it doesn't factor in quality of life and cost of living. For example, a student at a school in NY or Boston who gets a starting salary of $115,000 will be far behind a graduate in Louisville who starts at $80,000 due to the cost difference in housing, taxes, transportation, etc. But again, I am drifting off topic. Perhaps I should have named this thread "kitchen sink."


46.4% of grads have a know salary range. So we don't really know much at all.

--LinkRemoved--

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bizjunkie4
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bizjunkie4 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:51 pm

rad law wrote:
bizjunkie4 wrote:How do you know that job placement numbers are "hopelessly gamed"? While there are certainly caveats to the data collection process, my impression of it, at least here in Louisville, is that the survey is pretty straightforward. The problem that I have with the process is that it doesn't factor in quality of life and cost of living. For example, a student at a school in NY or Boston who gets a starting salary of $115,000 will be far behind a graduate in Louisville who starts at $80,000 due to the cost difference in housing, taxes, transportation, etc. But again, I am drifting off topic. Perhaps I should have named this thread "kitchen sink."


46.4% of grads have a know salary range. So we don't really know much at all.

--LinkRemoved--


That's an interesting site. Hadn't seen it before. But why would you rely on a for-profit, third-party source when you could use the school's numbers? I give the school the benefit of the doubt to produce accurate information. If that makes me naive, so be it.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:58 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:
D. H2Oman wrote:LOL at Louisville grads starting at 80K, I could probably count the class of 2010 Louisville grads starting at that on one hand.


How well do you know Louisville if you are a guy from Vermont (one of my favorite states) who is attending Georgetown (nice school)? Either way, the numbers were largely hypothetical. And the local figure came from TLS, which, as everyone knows, is surely a trusted source because it's largely written by prospective law students and anonymous posters. But since you asked, I double checked the school's most recent numbers (--LinkRemoved--) and they are indeed lower for private sector jobs. Even so, I would still take a job starting at $70,000 here (median home sales price, $136,400) compared to a job starting at $110,000 in Washington, D.C. (median home sales price, $331,600). But I'd also sooner slit my wrists than commute 55 minutes to work each way to some giant law firm where the partners scream at me all day. Can you tell how biased I am now?




--LinkRemoved--

This was before the economy crashed btw.

And we can only confirm that %18 of Louisville grads made above $55k. Don't believe for a second that those grads who didn't report have great jobs but just forgot to fill out some random survey. If I recall correctly, Reasonable man has a good anecdote about what TTT schools do to basically make sure their successful grads fill this shit out.

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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby Veyron » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:59 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:
rad law wrote:
bizjunkie4 wrote:How do you know that job placement numbers are "hopelessly gamed"? While there are certainly caveats to the data collection process, my impression of it, at least here in Louisville, is that the survey is pretty straightforward. The problem that I have with the process is that it doesn't factor in quality of life and cost of living. For example, a student at a school in NY or Boston who gets a starting salary of $115,000 will be far behind a graduate in Louisville who starts at $80,000 due to the cost difference in housing, taxes, transportation, etc. But again, I am drifting off topic. Perhaps I should have named this thread "kitchen sink."


46.4% of grads have a know salary range. So we don't really know much at all.

--LinkRemoved--


That's an interesting site. Hadn't seen it before. But why would you rely on a for-profit, third-party source when you could use the school's numbers? I give the school the benefit of the doubt to produce accurate information. If that makes me naive, so be it.


LST is for profit, a lower ranked law school is not for profit?

I think you are letting law get in the way of facts.

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bk1
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bk1 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:00 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:That's an interesting site. Hadn't seen it before. But why would you rely on a for-profit, third-party source when you could use the school's numbers? I give the school the benefit of the doubt to produce accurate information. If that makes me naive, so be it.


Schools do things like only factoring in those who respond or only those who report salary info to make their stats seem better. Schools are trying to get people to go to their school, no matter how shitty it is and manipulating employment data is part of that. If they report that only only 46% of their grads find employment (i.e. by reporting the percentage of graduates who they know found employment), that looks bad. But if they report 90% of their grads find employment (i.e. by reporting the percentage of only the graduates who actually responded to the employment survey), that looks good. The people who don't respond whether they are employed or not are very likely to be unemployed. The people who don't respond with their salary data are very likely to be making very little money.

People don't want to go to a school where only 50% of grads find jobs or where the median salary is 25k when tuition costs 6 figures. They do want to go to schools where they think 90% of grads get jobs and the median salary is 90k. Schools have an incentive to game numbers, especially TTTs.

TLDR: You are ridiculously naive.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:03 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:
rad law wrote:
bizjunkie4 wrote:How do you know that job placement numbers are "hopelessly gamed"? While there are certainly caveats to the data collection process, my impression of it, at least here in Louisville, is that the survey is pretty straightforward. The problem that I have with the process is that it doesn't factor in quality of life and cost of living. For example, a student at a school in NY or Boston who gets a starting salary of $115,000 will be far behind a graduate in Louisville who starts at $80,000 due to the cost difference in housing, taxes, transportation, etc. But again, I am drifting off topic. Perhaps I should have named this thread "kitchen sink."


46.4% of grads have a know salary range. So we don't really know much at all.

--LinkRemoved--


That's an interesting site. Hadn't seen it before. But why would you rely on a for-profit, third-party source when you could use the school's numbers? I give the school the benefit of the doubt to produce accurate information. If that makes me naive, so be it.



LST is a non-profit and a very reputable TLS poster has done a lot of the work on it. Also, those are the numbers that Louisville released. Just without the fine print caveat that 50% didn't report salary and the median is only for private practice.

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bizjunkie4
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bizjunkie4 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:28 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:
bizjunkie4 wrote:
rad law wrote:
bizjunkie4 wrote:How do you know that job placement numbers are "hopelessly gamed"? While there are certainly caveats to the data collection process, my impression of it, at least here in Louisville, is that the survey is pretty straightforward. The problem that I have with the process is that it doesn't factor in quality of life and cost of living. For example, a student at a school in NY or Boston who gets a starting salary of $115,000 will be far behind a graduate in Louisville who starts at $80,000 due to the cost difference in housing, taxes, transportation, etc. But again, I am drifting off topic. Perhaps I should have named this thread "kitchen sink."


46.4% of grads have a know salary range. So we don't really know much at all.

--LinkRemoved--


That's an interesting site. Hadn't seen it before. But why would you rely on a for-profit, third-party source when you could use the school's numbers? I give the school the benefit of the doubt to produce accurate information. If that makes me naive, so be it.



LST is a non-profit and a very reputable TLS poster has done a lot of the work on it. Also, those are the numbers that Louisville released. Just without the fine print caveat that 50% didn't report salary and the median is only for private practice.


I stand corrected on the non-profit status of LST. I relied on the .com, which makes an ass out of me. And I agree that law schools, and perhaps lower-ranked schools especially, have an incentive to spin the stats. At the same time, don't all schools essentially report numbers the same way, effectively neutralizing any spin (at least in comparisons between schools)? Perhaps our friends from LST could weigh in for us.

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bk1
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bk1 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:30 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:I stand corrected on the non-profit status of LST. I relied on the .com, which makes an ass out of me. And I agree that law schools, and perhaps lower-ranked schools especially, have an incentive to spin the stats. At the same time, don't all schools essentially report numbers the same way, effectively neutralizing any spin (at least in comparisons between schools)? Perhaps our friends from LST could weigh in for us.


Even if they did spin it the same way, the spin comes from the percentage of graduates responding to the survey and then the percentage reporting salary data. This varies widely enough that there isn't any "neutralizing."

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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:35 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:At the same time, don't all schools essentially report numbers the same way, effectively neutralizing any spin (at least in comparisons between schools)?


We're not just talking about comparisons between schools, though, because we're not just talking about whether this inaccurate information encourages people making the choice between good and bad law schools to choose the bad schools. Rather, we're talking about how this distortion of information affects people choosing between law school and not law school, people faced with the prospect of $100k+ in debt and trying to see whether the career opportunities after graduation can justify that kind of debt. If schools shamelessly play this game and make themselves look better then comparisons between them may stay the same, but comparisons between going to law school and not going to law school are distorted in favor of attending law school.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:36 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:
I stand corrected on the non-profit status of LST. I relied on the .com, which makes an ass out of me. And I agree that law schools, and perhaps lower-ranked schools especially, have an incentive to spin the stats. At the same time, don't all schools essentially report numbers the same way, effectively neutralizing any spin (at least in comparisons between schools)? Perhaps our friends from LST could weigh in for us.



Definitely not. For the salary stats that Louisville puts out, it's made up of all 46% of the graduating class Vermont law school it's 35%. Boston College is 66%. Georgetown it's 78%. Columbia it's 92%.

You get the picture of who's fudging their stats more.

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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:51 pm

bizjunkie4 wrote:
D. H2Oman wrote:
bizjunkie4 wrote:
rad law wrote:46.4% of grads have a know salary range. So we don't really know much at all.

--LinkRemoved--


That's an interesting site. Hadn't seen it before. But why would you rely on a for-profit, third-party source when you could use the school's numbers? I give the school the benefit of the doubt to produce accurate information. If that makes me naive, so be it.



LST is a non-profit and a very reputable TLS poster has done a lot of the work on it. Also, those are the numbers that Louisville released. Just without the fine print caveat that 50% didn't report salary and the median is only for private practice.


I stand corrected on the non-profit status of LST. I relied on the .com, which makes an ass out of me. And I agree that law schools, and perhaps lower-ranked schools especially, have an incentive to spin the stats. At the same time, don't all schools essentially report numbers the same way, effectively neutralizing any spin (at least in comparisons between schools)? Perhaps our friends from LST could weigh in for us.



Sure thing. But I'll first quickly note that .org domains are available to anybody and so its signaling strength isn't quite what it should be. Additionally, .com is easier to remember than .org (first instinct is .com for all of us). I also personally think .org is ugly. Maybe some day we'll just buy lawschooltransparency.org, and have the .com redirect; but for now it's worked out pretty well.

You are right that schools report numbers according to the same reporting standard. Our position from the start has been that the standards are the problem. The standards are rather capacious, allowing in much more than expected in terms of the jobs included: A job is a job is a job. This is how all schools report so the figures schools report mean the same thing; it's just not meaningful information. It's not entirely fair to say that schools are spinning when they are just reporting according to the current standards, though we argue schools have a responsibility to prospective law students as educators and the primary barrier to the legal profession.

But because most available figures don't convey much meaningful information, it is difficult to make comparisons. The U.S. News repackaging in our data clearinghouse intends to show this. As somebody pointed out, "For the salary stats that Louisville puts out, it's made up of all 46% of the graduating class Vermont law school it's 35%. Boston College is 66%. Georgetown it's 78%. Columbia it's 92%."

I plan to soon make these numbers more accessible for comparison among schools, I've just been slammed lately.

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bizjunkie4
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bizjunkie4 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:16 pm

I know the feeling (of being slammed) and thanks for the quick response. You have some really helpful numbers. Follow-up question: why are the 25% and 75% median points for starting salary both $160k for schools such as B.C. and Georgetown?

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nealric
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby nealric » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:23 pm

Follow-up question: why are the 25% and 75% median points for starting salary both $160k for schools such as B.C. and Georgetown?


Because basically every large firm (by large I mean 500+) pays 160k. Before the crash (and those numbers are reflective of PRE crash hiring), the majority private sector people from Georgetown went to large law firms.

As a recent Georgetown alum, I would guess the actual private sector 25/75 for the class of 2010 is probably something like 50k/160k for those who are actually employed. I know there are people who are still looking.


Sorry to pile on OP, but your numbers are pretty farcical. Don't expect to make more than 40k your first year out unless you are at the very top of your class. Let's just say that I've never seen a law school graduate, whether successful or unsuccessful, with the same attitude about salaries you expressed above.

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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby bizjunkie4 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:35 pm

nealric wrote:
Follow-up question: why are the 25% and 75% median points for starting salary both $160k for schools such as B.C. and Georgetown?


Because basically every large firm (by large I mean 500+) pays 160k. Before the crash (and those numbers are reflective of PRE crash hiring), the majority private sector people from Georgetown went to large law firms.

As a recent Georgetown alum, I would guess the actual private sector 25/75 for the class of 2010 is probably something like 50k/160k for those who are actually employed. I know there are people who are still looking.


Sorry to pile on OP, but your numbers are pretty farcical. Don't expect to make more than 40k your first year out unless you are at the very top of your class. Let's just say that I've never seen a law school graduate, whether successful or unsuccessful, with the same attitude about salaries you expressed above.


Pile away, it's a good conversation. I honestly haven't spent a ton of time researching the issue, so this has been insightful. I have two little kids at home, and left a $55k/yr job to attend law school. It's been a terrific experience, and I wouldn't look back. I also think it will be a solid investment, although I agree that not being at the top of the class does have its disadvantages. I'm in the top 15 percent, made law review, and have a lot of writing experience from 11 years as a journalist. Employers seem to like that, because I haven't had trouble finding clerkships so far. Being at a smaller TTT school seems like a very different world from the place you inhabit, which is fine with me. Big (really medium) law in Louisville pays 85k-$95k to start, but I also have friends working for solo practitioners who are earning $65k-70k. Of course, you obviously know the market much better than I do, so apparently I will be lucky to crack the $40k threshold. I'd be happy either way.

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nealric
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Re: Bar pass rate v. US News rank

Postby nealric » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:39 pm

Big (really medium) law in Louisville pays 85k-$95k to start, but I also have friends working for solo practitioners who are earning $65k-70k. Of course, you obviously know the market much better than I do, so apparently I will be lucky to crack the $40k threshold. I'd be happy either way.


Hey, for all I know Kentucky is legal shangri-la. Given that you are near the top of your class and on law review, I'm sure you will do fine.




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