why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

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learntolift
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why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby learntolift » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:36 pm

it is actually a very well respected school, and by looking at it's graduation employment statistics from the class of 2009, the average starting salary for graduates who go to large law firms (the majority of grads) is 156,000.

look at USC for example, their median is 160,000 for grads. i know average/median are different but theyre usually pretty close to one another.

but like i just don't know why Santa Clara, according to this site's ranks at least, is ranked like in the 90s. anyone know why? i just ask cause i would love to go to SCU law, love the area. great area, plus it's cali. but i feel like my grades/lsat is too good for there. yet im just under the USC 25th percentile lsat. idk, i guess i just feel like going to scu would be a waste cause its ranked so low (90s) when i could easily go to like iowa or something, which is in the 20s, but its in iowa..lol.


can anyone give me insight on this to help resolve my back and forth in my head? i am applying for fall 2012.

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ndirish2010
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:38 pm

In before someone rips this poster apart.

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730
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby 730 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:39 pm

Most people from Santa Clara won't make over 100k, the statistics are fake.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:40 pm

Do not trust the school's employment information. EVER.

Have a nice day.

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Patriot1208
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:42 pm

learntolift wrote:it is actually a very well respected school, and by looking at it's graduation employment statistics from the class of 2009, the average starting salary for graduates who go to large law firms (the majority of grads) is 156,000.

look at USC for example, their median is 160,000 for grads. i know average/median are different but theyre usually pretty close to one another.

but like i just don't know why Santa Clara, according to this site's ranks at least, is ranked like in the 90s. anyone know why? i just ask cause i would love to go to SCU law, love the area. great area, plus it's cali. but i feel like my grades/lsat is too good for there. yet im just under the USC 25th percentile lsat. idk, i guess i just feel like going to scu would be a waste cause its ranked so low (90s) when i could easily go to like iowa or something, which is in the 20s, but its in iowa..lol.


can anyone give me insight on this to help resolve my back and forth in my head? i am applying for fall 2012.


those statistics are wrong, search around the forum, the vast majority of law school students will not make 6 figures. Probably somewhere around 10% of santa clara students will make that type of salary and certainly half of USC doesn't make that salary. I'd suggest you do more research on these forums and look at lst.

Rule11
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby Rule11 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:42 pm

It's a pretty terrible school, and you'll have a really hard time getting a legal job if you go there. Sadly, the numbers you cite are close to fabricated--although I'm not sure where you got the statistic that a majority of SCU grads go to large firms, as I doubt even a law school would publish such a transparent falsehood.

Just to be clear: if you go to SCU expecting or even hoping against hope that you'll make $156,000 when you graduate, then you are making a catastrophic mistake. Please don't do that.

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General Tso
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby General Tso » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:46 pm

SCU has around 300 students in each class, and around 30 reported big firm jobs in 2009. That's 10%, far from the "vast majority" or whatever you said. Those statistics are presented in a misleading fashion.

Not even 10% of Hastings students are getting that kind of money right now.

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HugerThanSoup
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby HugerThanSoup » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:48 pm

Schools can report starting salaries of $160,000 because they either (1) have great placement (see T14), (2) fudge statistics (see most other schools), or (3) just lie (see http://abovethelaw.com/2011/02/villanova-law-school-knowingly-reported-inaccurate-information-to-the-aba/).

Santa Clara's info is provided here: http://law.scu.edu/careers/statistics-and-rankings.cfm.

Only 31 respondents fall into the "large law firm" category. Only ~25 make 160k (market). You have 247 full time and 82 part time students. That's only about 10% of the class getting "big law" (and yes, that is an accurate extrapolation because the graduates with jobs reply; the ones without jobs are the ones who aren't replying).

I'm not going to break down USC's statistics, but I wouldn't be surprised if their big law placement is higher than SCU's (closer to 20%). That is part of the reason why USC is ranked higher.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:18 pm

Wow, just wow. I don't even know where to start. Please be a flame.

Oh, in case you're not a flame, dont go to Santa Clara unless you have a fullride and are CA or bust in terms of region. Terrible school. I can guarantee you that in your graduating class there may be a total of 2 people that make that much money.

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learntolift
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby learntolift » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:20 pm

okok i understand, can anyone tell me about what to expect graduating from fordham? the only thing that i dont like about ny is the weather, but idk if i should turn down a school just because it's weather is bad for half the year

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bk1
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:24 pm

learntolift wrote:okok i understand, can anyone tell me about what to expect graduating from fordham? the only thing that i dont like about ny is the weather, but idk if i should turn down a school just because it's weather is bad for half the year


If you go to Fordham you'll have something like a 25% chance of getting a salary above 100k and you will have a 75% chance of working in NYC when you graduate.

You should spend some time reading up on law schools and their actual employment prospects before you decide to throw down six figures worth of money.

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learntolift
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby learntolift » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:26 pm

yeah i definitely plan to thats why im starting to post here and ask questions now so early. do you have any recommended places to go for some literature? seems actual schools' websites can falsify or mislead you so something else?

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BarbellDreams
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:33 pm

The best info you're going to get will come from the search function on TLS.

And yes, Fordham is significantly, SIGNIFICANTLY better than Santa Clara.

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arhmcpo
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby arhmcpo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:34 pm

Like someone said earlier, do a little reading yourself. These questions your asking are easily discoverable if you do even a tiny bit of research on this site or elsewhere. Fordham places predominately in the NYC area and fairly well in biglaw, at least before the economy shit hit the fan. With the stats your talking about any school you get (which will be non-T14) will realistically only have about a 10% biglaw placement rate of these 6 figure jobs your talking about

learntolift wrote:it is actually a very well respected school, and by looking at it's graduation employment statistics from the class of 2009, the average starting salary for graduates who go to large law firms (the majority of grads) is 156,000.

look at USC for example, their median is 160,000 for grads. i know average/median are different but theyre usually pretty close to one another.

.

Actually the difference btw median and mean for law salaries is a massive difference. Law salaries out of school fall along a bell curve; at non T14's most people ITE might come out making 50-60k with a handful making 160k+ giving a skewed "average salary" which very very few people are actually paid.

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bk1
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:37 pm

learntolift wrote:yeah i definitely plan to thats why im starting to post here and ask questions now so early. do you have any recommended places to go for some literature? seems actual schools' websites can falsify or mislead you so something else?


Check out the articles on this site (located at the top of the page).

Basically there are a few things:

1. http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_le ... on-of.html Legal salaries are bimodal, meaning that jobs tend to pay you either 160k or they pay 40k, the number of jobs in the middle are a very slim minority.

2. http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 1&t=108528 Employment prospects reported by firms. Using clerkships and the NLJ250 is roughly the best way we have, at the moment, to gauge the amount of students at a given school who are able to attain those 160k salaries. This is important because if you are taking out 6 figures worth of loans, it is really hard to pay off the debt in a reasonable amount of time unless you are making a salary on the top end or are using LRAP. When you are making 40k and you are 150k+ in debt, that debt is soulcrushing.

3. http://www.top-law-schools.com/tls-guide-to-lrap.html TLS's guide to LRAP.

4. http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/ A website about schools and their misleading employment statistics.

5. Law schools are regional, meaning that if you go to Santa Clara, it will be very difficult to get a job in NYC. Conversely, if you go to Fordham, it will be very hard to get a job in California. Don't go to a school outside of the region you want to practice because you have a high chance of not getting the area you want. There are some exceptions to this (generally the top 14 schools are considered at least somewhat national).

Spend some time on this site, and read up. Generally people believe that the only schools worth paying full tuition at are either the top 12 (Northwestern/UVa/Duke and those above them) or the top 18 (USC and above) or schools that are really cheap (this is usually state schools like UNC or Rutgers, assuming you want to work in that state). Outside of those, since most schools cost around 150k-200k once you factor in cost of living, paying full price for those schools is a very questionable decision since the most likely scenario is you ending up with a 40k job and having to pay off that 6 figures worth of debt.

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androstan
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby androstan » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:43 pm

Just FYI, this is the breakdown of employed, recently graduated attorney salaries according to NALP:

155-165: 11.18%
90-150: 16.76%
65-90: 13.41%
35-65: 58.67%

Yes, the distribution is bimodal, but people forget that the valley between 160 and ~65 is not flatlined at zero. The valley has a finite height "above sea level" and that small height adds up over the large distance from 160 to 65.

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bk1
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:51 pm

androstan wrote:Just FYI, this is the breakdown of employed, recently graduated attorney salaries according to NALP:

155-165: 11.18%
90-150: 16.76%
65-90: 13.41%
35-65: 58.67%

Yes, the distribution is bimodal, but people forget that the valley between 160 and ~65 is not flatlined at zero. The valley has a finite height "above sea level" and that small height adds up over the large distance from 160 to 65.


It has not, but I would hazard a guess that it is still ridic competitive considering the 90-150 range is probably biglaw in smaller markets where the market rate is not 160k.

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androstan
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby androstan » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:19 pm

bk1 wrote:
androstan wrote:Just FYI, this is the breakdown of employed, recently graduated attorney salaries according to NALP:

155-165: 11.18%
90-150: 16.76%
65-90: 13.41%
35-65: 58.67%

Yes, the distribution is bimodal, but people forget that the valley between 160 and ~65 is not flatlined at zero. The valley has a finite height "above sea level" and that small height adds up over the large distance from 160 to 65.


It has not, but I would hazard a guess that it is still ridic competitive considering the 90-150 range is probably biglaw in smaller markets where the market rate is not 160k.


I agree, they're probably extremely competitive, especially ITE. I'm just objecting to the TLS rhetoric that makes it sound like they're so rare they may as well not even exist.

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Patriot1208
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:35 pm

androstan wrote:
bk1 wrote:
androstan wrote:Just FYI, this is the breakdown of employed, recently graduated attorney salaries according to NALP:

155-165: 11.18%
90-150: 16.76%
65-90: 13.41%
35-65: 58.67%

Yes, the distribution is bimodal, but people forget that the valley between 160 and ~65 is not flatlined at zero. The valley has a finite height "above sea level" and that small height adds up over the large distance from 160 to 65.


It has not, but I would hazard a guess that it is still ridic competitive considering the 90-150 range is probably biglaw in smaller markets where the market rate is not 160k.


I agree, they're probably extremely competitive, especially ITE. I'm just objecting to the TLS rhetoric that makes it sound like they're so rare they may as well not even exist.


I'd also guess that the 65-90 is almost solely government positions, which are often as hard to get as biglaw.

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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby learntolift » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:26 pm

Can someone just explain this please...it is about Fordham.

Class of 2009, 98% of that graduating class reported back for this. they say about 70.5% of the graduates went to private practice law firms. of that 70%, the median salary for them is 160k (scrolling down further you see the larger firms pay more, obviously, but also the vast majority of those kids went to large firms anyway). So i just wonder why you are saying there is only like a 25% chance of earning over 100k

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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:31 pm

learntolift wrote:Can someone just explain this please...it is about Fordham.

Class of 2009, 98% of that graduating class reported back for this. they say about 70.5% of the graduates went to private practice law firms. of that 70%, the median salary for them is 160k (scrolling down further you see the larger firms pay more, obviously, but also the vast majority of those kids went to large firms anyway). So i just wonder why you are saying there is only like a 25% chance of earning over 100k


Most of the entry level jobs in NYC that pay over 100k pay 160k.

So what we can gather from the 98%>70%>Median thing is that we know 35% of Fordham's 2009 graduates had salaries of 160k. Without any other information, we don't know how much of the other half of the private practice graduates make. I wouldn't assume that a lot of them made 160k but it is possible.

If we stick with 35% of Fordham's 2009 class getting 160k, then 25% today makes sense. This is because of the recession, something that didn't impact the class of 2009 immediately because they did OCI back in 2007 (and yes some of them got deferred and then no-offered but they were initially unaffected).

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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby HugerThanSoup » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:32 pm

learntolift wrote:Can someone just explain this please...it is about Fordham.

Class of 2009, 98% of that graduating class reported back for this. they say about 70.5% of the graduates went to private practice law firms. of that 70%, the median salary for them is 160k (scrolling down further you see the larger firms pay more, obviously, but also the vast majority of those kids went to large firms anyway). So i just wonder why you are saying there is only like a 25% chance of earning over 100k


This is how numbers are misleading. Median only tells you "THE middle number." For example, consider the following salaries: $160k $160k $160k $50k $25k. The median would be $160k because, in the spread, it is the middle number. There are two numbers below, two numbers above. Median tells you very little about the rest of the spread (its composition or its range). So long as half of the numbers are at or above 160k, schools can report that as their median. That's why lower ranked schools can report "law firm median salaries" as above 100k.

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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby Knock » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:37 pm

bk1 wrote:
learntolift wrote:yeah i definitely plan to thats why im starting to post here and ask questions now so early. do you have any recommended places to go for some literature? seems actual schools' websites can falsify or mislead you so something else?


Check out the articles on this site (located at the top of the page).

Basically there are a few things:

1. http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_le ... on-of.html Legal salaries are bimodal, meaning that jobs tend to pay you either 160k or they pay 40k, the number of jobs in the middle are a very slim minority.

2. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108528 Employment prospects reported by firms. Using clerkships and the NLJ250 is roughly the best way we have, at the moment, to gauge the amount of students at a given school who are able to attain those 160k salaries. This is important because if you are taking out 6 figures worth of loans, it is really hard to pay off the debt in a reasonable amount of time unless you are making a salary on the top end or are using LRAP. When you are making 40k and you are 150k+ in debt, that debt is soulcrushing.

3. http://www.top-law-schools.com/tls-guide-to-lrap.html TLS's guide to LRAP.

4. http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/ A website about schools and their misleading employment statistics.

5. Law schools are regional, meaning that if you go to Santa Clara, it will be very difficult to get a job in NYC. Conversely, if you go to Fordham, it will be very hard to get a job in California. Don't go to a school outside of the region you want to practice because you have a high chance of not getting the area you want. There are some exceptions to this (generally the top 14 schools are considered at least somewhat national).

Spend some time on this site, and read up. Generally people believe that the only schools worth paying full tuition at are either the top 12 (Northwestern/UVa/Duke and those above them) or the top 18 (USC and above) or schools that are really cheap (this is usually state schools like UNC or Rutgers, assuming you want to work in that state). Outside of those, since most schools cost around 150k-200k once you factor in cost of living, paying full price for those schools is a very questionable decision since the most likely scenario is you ending up with a 40k job and having to pay off that 6 figures worth of debt.


I propose we use this as the standardized response whenever someone starts a thread along these lines.

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learntolift
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby learntolift » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:44 pm

HugerThanSoup wrote:
learntolift wrote:Can someone just explain this please...it is about Fordham.

Class of 2009, 98% of that graduating class reported back for this. they say about 70.5% of the graduates went to private practice law firms. of that 70%, the median salary for them is 160k (scrolling down further you see the larger firms pay more, obviously, but also the vast majority of those kids went to large firms anyway). So i just wonder why you are saying there is only like a 25% chance of earning over 100k


This is how numbers are misleading. Median only tells you "THE middle number." For example, consider the following salaries: $160k $160k $160k $50k $25k. The median would be $160k because, in the spread, it is the middle number. There are two numbers below, two numbers above. Median tells you very little about the rest of the spread (its composition or its range). So long as half of the numbers are at or above 160k, schools can report that as their median. That's why lower ranked schools can report "law firm median salaries" as above 100k.

exactly, so if a low ranked law school has a median of 100k let's say, that means half the people are 100k or more.

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Knock
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby Knock » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:45 pm

learntolift wrote:
HugerThanSoup wrote:
learntolift wrote:Can someone just explain this please...it is about Fordham.

Class of 2009, 98% of that graduating class reported back for this. they say about 70.5% of the graduates went to private practice law firms. of that 70%, the median salary for them is 160k (scrolling down further you see the larger firms pay more, obviously, but also the vast majority of those kids went to large firms anyway). So i just wonder why you are saying there is only like a 25% chance of earning over 100k


This is how numbers are misleading. Median only tells you "THE middle number." For example, consider the following salaries: $160k $160k $160k $50k $25k. The median would be $160k because, in the spread, it is the middle number. There are two numbers below, two numbers above. Median tells you very little about the rest of the spread (its composition or its range). So long as half of the numbers are at or above 160k, schools can report that as their median. That's why lower ranked schools can report "law firm median salaries" as above 100k.

exactly, so if a low ranked law school has a median of 100k let's say, that means half the people are 100k or more.


No. It means half the people who REPORTED their salary to the law school are making 100k or more. There's definitely voluntary bias in the surveys, the people who are making good salaries are much, much more likely to return the survey than those who are unable to find employment, or are making much smaller salaries.




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