showNprove wrote:The problem with this ranking is illuminated by its treatment of Yale: despite sending 50% more students to Article III clerkships than Stanford, Stanford gets more points. Yale sends 200% more than Columbia does, yet Columbia gets more points in the ranking formula.
This comment begs the question outright by assuming
that the ranking mistreats Yale. The point of the ranking is precisely
to compensate for the phenomenon that at different schools, the gross body-count heading into clerkships and firms varies. What this ranking does is to point out that, for instance, both a lower percentage of Yalies going to clerkships get Article III positions and a lower percentage of Yalies going to firms land in the top 250 of those. Now, as for Columbia, it ranks below Yale because the use of the (geometric) mean penalizes that school's lopsided performance.
You missed my point entirely. I didn't say it mistreats Yale. Rather, I'm saying that this formulation doesn't actually tell us what you're claiming it tells us.
Sure, a lower percentage of Yale's clerks were Article III than Stanford's--but this doesn't say anything about the students who wanted any
clerkship but didn't get one. You're assuming that the 4% "other clerkships" at Yale are people who settled for a "mediocre" clerkship--and you penalize Yale for it--while simultaneously assuming that only 1% of Stanford students had to settle and ignoring the fact that another 12% may have gotten shut out entirely--and you're rewarding Stanford for it.
Just think about this intuitively: would you rather be at a school that is able to place 32% of its students into Article III clerkships or a school that is able to place 22%? If I'm at the 67% in Yale's class, I know I'm sitting pretty with a great chance at an Article III gig; if I'm at the 67% in Stanford's class, I'm worried whether I'll get a clerkship at all. The former is obviously stronger, yet your methodology suggests the opposite.