Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

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RebelRebel
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Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby RebelRebel » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:56 pm

I am trying to understand why Northeastern is relegated to the bottom ranks...

The median LSATs and GPAs of the entering student body seem comparable to those of schools ranked at least 20-30 positions higher, the faculty is top notch boasting Harvard and Yale educated professors, the co-op program lets you network early on and to find externships during a time when demand doesn't surpass supply (versus trying to land a job during summer break).

I understand that the major issue that people have is the lack of clearly defined ranking of students because of the lack of grades, but there must be another assessment method for that.

Any insights appreciated as I see this school as way more compelling that its similarly ranked schools and am highly interested in attending.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:13 pm

RebelRebel wrote:I am trying to understand why Northeastern is relegated to the bottom ranks...

The median LSATs and GPAs of the entering student body seem comparable to those of schools ranked at least 20-30 positions higher, the faculty is top notch boasting Harvard and Yale educated professors, the co-op program lets you network early on and to find externships during a time when demand doesn't surpass supply (versus trying to land a job during summer break).

I understand that the major issue that people have is the lack of clearly defined ranking of students because of the lack of grades, but there must be another assessment method for that.

Any insights appreciated as I see this school as way more compelling that its similarly ranked schools and am highly interested in attending.


It's reputation.

Here are the most important factors:
1. Peer ratings





2. Everything else but medians
3. Medians

That's the order of importance for ranking.

I assume Northeastern has a bad peer rating.

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im_blue
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby im_blue » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:24 pm

RebelRebel wrote:The median LSATs and GPAs of the entering student body seem comparable to those of schools ranked at least 20-30 positions higher, the faculty is top notch boasting Harvard and Yale educated professors

This is true of any law school located in or near a large city (Cardozo, Brooklyn, etc), and every T1 school is swimming with HYS educated profs.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:38 pm

Ranking : Northeastern University

Top Law Schools of 2010
Score 44
Peer assessment score (5.0 highest) 2.4
Assessment score by lawyers/judges (5.0 highest) 2.6
25th-75th percentile GPA scores for all students 3.2-3.63
25th-75th percentile LSAT scores for all students 155-163
Overall acceptance rate 33.7%
Student/faculty ratio 15.4
Graduates employed at graduation N/A
Graduates known to be employed nine months after graduation 94.1%
School's bar passage rate for first-time test takers 93.7%
State where the greatest number of first-time test takers took the bar MA
Statewide bar passage rate for first-time test takers 89.0%

Yeah it's peer/lawyer assessment scores are far too low. I'm also thinking its expenditures per student may be low as well. It's frightening that it did not report the employed at graduation statistic - even when the economy was better.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Blindmelon » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:35 pm

Unfortunately, it gets pwned by BC/BU which are down the street and arguably Suffolk does better for firms (i.e. top 5% MAY get a local bigfirm). The good PI jobs get soaked up by Harvard, BC/BU - which is what NE claims to be good at.

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RebelRebel
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby RebelRebel » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:27 pm

Given that they aren't extremely generous with scholarships, it is making me question my law school aspirations.

For most of the schools outside of the top 20-30, charging 40k/year for tuition is obscene... but there's definitely a market out there and thousands of professors making a living off of the backs of people that hold on to the mistaken notion that a J.D. is their ticket to the fast lane...

We need an overhaul of the whole legal education system, way too many schools! I'm Canadian and we only have about 20 law schools for a population of 35 million. I'm shooting myself in the foot but I am considering the US because the GPA requirements for Canadian schools are around 3.6-3.7+ for most schools while the LSAT counts for very little - a splitter needs to be in the 99% to stand a chance with a sub 3.4 GPA.

I don't have big-law aspirations which makes it even harder to justify accumulating $200,000 of debt. I've looked at schools such as CUNY that are geared towards PI, but the student body and faculty profiles make me think I'd be lucky to land a temp job through an agency reviewing contracts for $15/h in this market...

Where are you guys applying to? I know that everyone here on TLS has an LSAT of at least 170+ hehe

whymeohgodno
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby whymeohgodno » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:55 pm

In an ideal world there would only be (at max) 50 law schools. And I'm probably being liberal with 50.

reverendt
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby reverendt » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:05 pm

I agree that it's ridiculously stingy. When I was applying a few years back, NE offered me 8500/year as opposed to 32,000/year from Syracuse and 20,000/year from Seton Hall.
If you're not going to a top school, go to a cheap school (or one that's giving you $$$).

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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby linquest » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:47 am

NUSL grad here. I'd say that the school's unique characteristics don't lend themselves well to playing the USNWR numbers game. Here are some factors that I think bring down our ranking:

-NUSL tends to be more willing to accept students with lower LSAT scores if the Admissions Committee (which has students as well as staff/faculty) thinks the applicant will contribute in more holistic ways to the student body/academic experience. Conversely, the school is also more willing to pass over someone with good numbers if the applicant doesn't show why they would be a good fit for the school.
-NUSL's emphasis on public interest and higher ratio of students going into that field means that the salary stats are going to be lower as private sector salaries generally far exceed public sector salaries.
-NUSL's "peer rating" (a heavily weighted factor) is lower because our professors don't publish as often as traditional schools. They have less time to work on law review articles (which is a huge factor in a school's reputation to other faculties) because our profs tend to teach more frequently than other schools under the quarter system and narrative evaluations take a lot more time than standard grading.
Our students also don't publish as often because we didn't have our own law journal until recently. I also think that, whether deservedly or not, the law journal won't be viewed the same way as other schools publications' since it's not a traditional law review (i.e. membership based on class rank/GPA).

RE: scholarships, it's not that the school is "stingy". The problem is that the school has a small endowment. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of having so many PI grads is that our alumni can't donate as much to the scholarship funds as more corporate-oriented schools. The school also prefers to spread out scholarships in smaller amounts to a larger percent of the applicant pool than other schools--part of the commie spirit of NUSL ;) This feeds back into the rankings problem of losing applicants with good numbers to other schools that give larger scholarships.

concurrent fork
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby concurrent fork » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:53 am

linquest wrote:-NUSL's "peer rating" (a heavily weighted factor) is lower because our professors don't publish as often as traditional schools. They have less time to work on law review articles (which is a huge factor in a school's reputation to other faculties) because our profs tend to teach more frequently than other schools under the quarter system and narrative evaluations take a lot more time than standard grading.
Our students also don't publish as often because we didn't have our own law journal until recently. I also think that, whether deservedly or not, the law journal won't be viewed the same way as other schools publications' since it's not a traditional law review (i.e. membership based on class rank/GPA).


That makes sense. FWIW I worked with several Northeastern students at a competitive gov/PI job last summer. The school seems to have a great network for placing in these types of jobs (or at least much better than the ranking would suggest). However, if you are dead set on biglaw, none of the schools in this range are a smart choice.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:02 am

Its not a great PI school mostly because it costs $38,400 a year, with 3 year debt at approximately $180,000, and it doles out little scholarship aid.

I know people will start shouting IBR IBR! But any school that leaves people 180k in debt with only a decent shot an employment (at all, let alone PI) is by no means a good PI school. If it wanted to be a good PI school, it would charge less.... a lot less. Its also a regional school thats really low on the pecking order in a mid-sized legal market. NE may rock internships, but legal services, DAs, PDs offices etc in Boston mostly want bigfirm people who do pro bono work for them. Recently, lots of local PI is only accepting apps from deferred associates that'll work for free.

While I personally know NE grads that are rocking it in the fed gov, state appellate clerkships, etc, overall, the picture is not too bright.

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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:13 am

Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?


Because the rankings don't really matter that much :?:

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RebelRebel
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby RebelRebel » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:32 am

Aqualibrium wrote:
Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?


Because the rankings don't really matter that much :?:


Hehe - I think that most people here forget that your law school's rank will initially open some doors to you closed to others for a few years after graduation. If you have what it takes to transcend your school's reputation, what you do with the degree is up to you. Having the academic intelligence to get accepted into the elite institutions does not necessarily mean that you will be a better lawyer.

However, we're all whores to the numbers game - but in this economy, nothing is certain. As much as I love NUSL, I would choose BC over it in a heartbeat and then you see the letter from the 3L asking for a refund...

Screw this, I'll just go to People's College of Law!

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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:41 am

RebelRebel wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?


Because the rankings don't really matter that much :?:


Hehe - I think that most people here forget that your law school's rank will initially open some doors to you closed to others for a few years after graduation. If you have what it takes to transcend your school's reputation, what you do with the degree is up to you. Having the academic intelligence to get accepted into the elite institutions does not necessarily mean that you will be a better lawyer.


OP is complaining that NEUSL should be a school in the 60's instead of a school in the 80's. Do you really think that would make a difference in job prospects? Hofstra moved from 100 to 86 since last year, do you really think that makes Hofstra better for NY than Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, Michigan, I could go on and on and on here.

The rankings (and jostling for position in them) outside the top 25 (i'd honestly even say top 14) really don't mean a damn thing. It's all about location and real world reputation at that point. Real world reputation amongst the people that matter (employers) isn't going to change drastically every year, or follow US News rankings trends either.

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RebelRebel
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby RebelRebel » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:39 pm

Totally agreed Aqaulibrium. I think that the very fact that there are so many law schools and that the US is so big and varied with regards to its markets, makes the ranking beyond the top 25, 30, very absurd.

Law is a field where the education is supposed to be practical, not academic. As such the rankings should matter less than for the sciences.

To clarify, how grim are job prospects for NUSL, supposing one gets the $8,500/year scholarship and is it worth the $150-180K investment for someone not interested in big-law and who wants to work either in Boston or the West Coast?

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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:45 pm

RebelRebel wrote:To clarify, how grim are job prospects for NUSL, supposing one gets the $8,500/year scholarship and is it worth the $150-180K investment for someone not interested in big-law and who wants to work either in Boston or the West Coast?


Blindmellon, linequist, and the rest have probably already answered that question pretty well. They know more than I do about Northeastern and Boston in general.

I'll say this, any school that puts its grads in 150K plus of debt with no reasonable chance of repaying it without government assistance is gonna be a tough tough sell.

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Veyron
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Veyron » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:46 pm

Outside of the T-14, why does anyone care?

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Blindmelon
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:52 pm

Veyron wrote:Outside of the T-6, why does anyone care?


FTFY. If not T6, why bother ITE unless serious $.

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Veyron
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Veyron » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:59 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
Veyron wrote:Outside of the T-6, why does anyone care?


FTFY. If not T3, why bother ITE unless serious $.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:00 pm

Veyron wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Veyron wrote:Outside of the T-6, why does anyone care?


FTFY. If not T3, why bother ITE unless serious $.



You're both just being ridiculous now...

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Veyron
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Veyron » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:04 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Veyron wrote:Outside of the T-6, why does anyone care?


FTFY. If not T3, why bother ITE unless serious $.



You're both just being ridiculous now...


Are we?

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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby linquest » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:54 pm

Blindmelon wrote:If it wanted to be a good PI school, it would charge less.... a lot less.

Do you really think that's reasonable or feasible? Take a look at the tuition rates of other Boston schools and similarly-ranked, private schools in areas with a similar cost of living and you'll find that NUSL isn't really out of line. The school's PI emphasis doesn't change the operating costs, it's need to pay qualified professors at market rates in a competitive market, or the fact that it has a limited endowment and no public funding. As a grad bearing the full brunt of the cost of attendance in student loans, I have as much reason to gripe about how expensive it was than anyone, but I also understand that it's not able to cut it's tuition to $20,000 a year or something like that either.

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Veyron
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby Veyron » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:21 pm

linquest wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:If it wanted to be a good PI school, it would charge less.... a lot less.

Do you really think that's reasonable or feasible? Take a look at the tuition rates of other Boston schools and similarly-ranked, private schools in areas with a similar cost of living and you'll find that NUSL isn't really out of line. The school's PI emphasis doesn't change the operating costs, it's need to pay qualified professors at market rates in a competitive market, or the fact that it has a limited endowment and no public funding. As a grad bearing the full brunt of the cost of attendance in student loans, I have as much reason to gripe about how expensive it was than anyone, but I also understand that it's not able to cut it's tuition to $20,000 a year or something like that either.


You do understand that outside of super tippy top profs (which NE doesn't have, and never will due to reputation), the market for legal academics is even more over saturated than the market for lawyers. NE could offer 65k a year for a tenure track position and be flooded with applications from qualified candidates.

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androstan
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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby androstan » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:00 pm

RebelRebel wrote:We need an overhaul of the whole legal education system, way too many schools! I'm Canadian and we only have about 20 law schools for a population of 35 million.


The US has about 200 ABA accreditted law schools.

The US has 307 million people.

307/200 = 1.53 million people per law school

35/20 = 1.75 million people per law school

If the US has too many law schools, Canada probably does too. The ratio is not very different.

Of course, this assumes that the number of attorneys a country needs to run increases linearly with population instead of logarithmically. If the latter were the case your point would make sense.

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Re: Why isn't Northeastern ranked higher?

Postby BCLS » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:18 pm

Blindmelon wrote:Unfortunately, it gets pwned by BC/BU which are down the street and arguably Suffolk does better for firms (i.e. top 5% MAY get a local bigfirm). The good PI jobs get soaked up by Harvard, BC/BU - which is what NE claims to be good at.

Agreed.




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