Alternative Law School Rankings

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niederbomb
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Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby niederbomb » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:33 pm

I was wondering if anyone has any information on two alternative rankings of law schools I've encountered.

The first is the Vault rankings based on how employers (the only ones, ultimately, whose opinions matter) view different law schools.

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

The other one is the "Superlawyers" ranking based on the number of outstanding (have to study the methodology more) lawyers produced by U.S. law schools:

1. Harvard Law School
2. The University of Michigan Law School
3. The University of Texas School of Law
4. University of Virginia School of Law
5. Georgetown University Law Center
6. New York University School of Law
7. Columbia Law School
8. UniversiTTTy of Florida Levin College of Law
9. University of California Berkeley School of Law - Boalt Hall
10. Yale Law School

Any info on if these ratings, particularly the Vault one, are useful at all?

Maybe it's a good idea to apply to Michigan after all, even though it's in Michigan?

tourdeforcex
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby tourdeforcex » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:20 pm

from what i understand the majority of the legal world and the world at large defer to the US News and World Report for serious rankings.

the Vault listing is insightful. employer's opinions are important (whether they are the most important is a matter of opinion though i might agree). as for usefulness, i believe it's useful in that if you can get into, do well, and graduate from those schools, you can feel comfortable that employers respect your school.

also note that i'm sure whatever factors these alternative rankings use, USNWR also uses.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:30 pm

off the top of my head, i can already see some problems w/ these rankings, esp. the vault rankings and Yale being at #10

almost everyone at Yale who WANTS to go to biglaw can get biglaw...but many do not go to biglaw because they are at yale...a school that is heavily geared toward academia (relatively speaking)

people who may get into/choose yale are also those that tend to be more interested in academia than say biglaw...that could lead to fewer YLS students looking like they want to do biglaw (and of course, fewer do)

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bk1
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby bk1 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:36 pm

wtf can you not think for yourself and see the obvious problems here?

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nealric
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby nealric » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:12 pm

Vault didn't get a representative sample. If they had, the rankings would reflect actual employment trends.


Super lawyers are done on a state by state basis. Since few top school gradates end up in Florida, most of the top lawyers in Florida are going to be from a Florida school.

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niederbomb
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby niederbomb » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:34 pm

bk1 wrote:

wtf can you not think for yourself and see the obvious problems here?


WTF, can you not think for yourself and see that no ranking is perfect? But to me, an employer reputation ranking is potentially more enlightening than an academic reputation rating. I want to be able to get a job in this crappy economy.

If it affects me at all, it probably means that I would apply to Michigan and maybe not Duke and consider UVA over Berkeley, if I got accepted to both. I don't think anyone is actually claiming that Yale is the 10th best law school in the nation.

nealric wrote:

Vault didn't get a representative sample. If they had, the rankings would reflect actual employment trends.


Please explain. I thought Vault was an "employer reputation" survey, not an actual employment survey?

Maybe this (LinkRemoved)could provide some insight?

Oddly (or perhaps not at all), the most employed and most employable law school rankings don't match up. Stanford Law School tops the employable ranking, while Harvard Law School tops the most employed. For me, the only way I can reconcile these two lists is to accept the many different reasons for which someone is hired--networking and location not least among them.
Last edited by niederbomb on Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:38 pm

niederbomb wrote:
bk1 wrote:

wtf can you not think for yourself and see the obvious problems here?


WTF, can you not think for yourself and see that no ranking is perfect? But to me, an employer reputation ranking is potentially more enlightening than an academic reputation rating. I want to be able to get a job in this crappy economy.

nealric wrote:

Vault didn't get a representative sample. If they had, the rankings would reflect actual employment trends.


Please explain. I thought Vault was an "employer reputation" survey, not an actual employment survey?

Maybe this (LinkRemoved)could provide some insight?

Oddly (or perhaps not at all), the most employed and most employable law school rankings don't match up. Stanford Law School tops the employable ranking, while Harvard Law School tops the most employed. For me, the only way I can reconcile these two lists is to accept the many different reasons for which someone is hired--networking and location not least among them.



Not sure how you don't understand. It doesn't matter if it's repuatation or not. If it was a representative sample of employers then the schools that get the most kids hired would be the ones at the top. Michigan isn't number two, not even close, in getting kids jobs.

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niederbomb
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby niederbomb » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:41 pm

Not sure how you don't understand. It doesn't matter if it's repuatation or not. If it was a representative sample of employers then the schools that get the most kids hired would be the ones at the top. Michigan isn't number two, not even close, in getting kids jobs.


IS this because the survey is unrepresentative or because Michigan is not optimally located?

The other blog I linked to suggested that things like networking and geographic location could help explain the discrepancy between employer reputation and actual employer hiring.

But I think it's good advice to use Vault rankings only in the narrow sense in which they are intended to be used.

Ascend
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby Ascend » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:42 pm

Chicago Prof Beian Leiter's rankings can be found here (basically just ranked by LSAT scores):

http://www.leiterrankings.com/students/ ... ools.shtml

and PreLaw magazines best value rankings can be found here:

http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/b ... -schools-0

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nealric
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby nealric » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:42 pm

Please explain. I thought Vault was an "employer reputation" survey, not an actual employment survey?

Maybe thiscould provide some insight?


Well right, it's not an employment survey, but if employers really held Michigan in much higher regard to Yale, it would make no sense for them to prefer Yale students.

Here is the problem with "Alternative" rankings. In order to get noticed, they must be significantly different from US News. Hard to market "new and better!" rankings if they just parrot the old ones. But the problem is that, at least for the top schools, US News basically gets it right.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Alternative Law School Rankings

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:54 pm

niederbomb wrote:
Not sure how you don't understand. It doesn't matter if it's repuatation or not. If it was a representative sample of employers then the schools that get the most kids hired would be the ones at the top. Michigan isn't number two, not even close, in getting kids jobs.


IS this because the survey is unrepresentative or because Michigan is not optimally located?

The other blog I linked to suggested that things like networking and geographic location could help explain the discrepancy between employer reputation and actual employer hiring.

But I think it's good advice to use Vault rankings only in the narrow sense in which they are intended to be used.


If it was considered the second best school in the country, location wouldn't matter.




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