Attorney wrote: anti-phronimos wrote: Attorney wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:As I said before, 18-30ish are peers and its all based on region.
Actually almost right. Probably more like 19-25. There is a differentiation between Illinois and Minnesota, for example, but not between WUSTL and Illinois. For my money, 25-30 schools like Iowa and Indiana are not quite
the equivalent of T25s like Notre Dame. And this is from someone who is very seriously considering taking the $$$$ at Indiana.
What criterion are you using to distinguish between these schools? To me, it seems the best explanatory piece of information we have concerning the differences in placement for that range is region. Maybe explain your reasoning?
WUSTL is a fine school, but I can understand some hesitation about the school considering:
1. It's likely that the market WUSTL can easily dominate [st. louis] is undesirable for most students who attend. On the other hand, if you are gunning for st. louis or the midwest in general [but not chicago], then you're doing well for yourself by going there.
2. Concerning chicago, I think most TLSers can agree that its market got slammed worse than NYC and DC, and if you're at WUSTL getting pumped for competition in chicago from UC, HYS, NW, Mich, remaining T14>everyone else, then I wish you luck.
3. Gaming the rankings, in my view, is totally fine. WUSTL obviously has the money, so it should spend it on student scholarships and better facilities, faculty, whatever. However, and I could be wrong, but it looks like WUSTL has the highest jump in rankings in the T1 [1994-48th to now-19]. I would be a little cautious about whether such a jump really entails substantive change for students in terms of job prospects outside of st. louis.
I'm considering WUSTL and from st. louis, so these concerns have been bouncing around for awhile.
I'm mainly using placement to differentiate them, since they're all midwestern schools placing into many of the same markets. I wouldn't put any weight at all into circa 1994 rankings. That was back when a certain Ivy League school regularly had 40-50% acceptance rates to its undergrad programs (Penn being the one, with an undergrad acceptance rate of something like 48% in 1992 or so... today it is probably 1/3 of that figure).
The Ivy League has become far more selective than it used to be, making other schools such as U of Chicago and even WUSTL also far more selective as sort of a domino effect. In the 1950s, WUSTL was a mostly regional school even for undergrad with 60%+ acceptance rates. Today it has 28,000+ applications for 1,500 spots in undergrad. An additional factor to the wind at its back caused by far more people being shut out of the Ivies, WUSTL has used its mega-endowment well and bought its way into the "big leagues". Things will never go back to 1994 numbers for any schools, but especially the ones that have really changed quite a bit like Penn undergrad and WUSTL law.
Also, if you're really worried about it, leave out the USN rankings entirely and just look at Big Law (or whatever) placement rankings. It should be obvious to you that WUSTL was not #48 in placement, ever. (Likely, as you suggest, because it's kind of a big deal in St. Lou.)
I do agree that people who could never see themselves working in St. Louis ITE, should never consider WUSTL. As many have said, outside of the T14 (and even including say Georgetown), all lawl schools place regionally.
I guess I should clarify my reference to WUSTL's big jump in the rankings--in response to the general question, "why do people rip on WUSTL?" I think a lot can be blamed, whether valid or not, on the uncertainty concerning WUSTL's ability to place students outside of St. Louis ITE, i.e., does that #19 mean wustl, the school and not the connections of any particular student, can get you out of st. louis?
When I was working at a local coffee shop, we had SLU and WUSTL law students come in frequently and I got to know a few of them over the years. The SLU students knew they were st. louis bound for life, but all those WUSTLers were going to chicago, california, seattle, new york city, dc, and all the other places these kids had left behind when they decided to attend WUSTL. I think the people ripping on WUSTL are more aligned with the notion that WUSTL is primarily a regional school with little power in chicago ITE, and it has, for some reason, gained traction as a school that is immune to that distinction, perhaps for its diverse student body, but not based on the school's strength outside the region.
What are those students who didn't land biglaw doing now? I'm not sure, but they probably went back home to their respective markets, hence the appearance of wide placement power. Who knows. None of what I've just said is conclusive against WUSTL in any way, but it potentially outlines some uneasiness about its supposed strength.
@ Attorney: If you're biglaw or bust, then NLJ250 placement as the criterion for judging peer schools makes sense. But if you're going to include anything else: clerkships, PI, Gov, locality preference, etc., then you're going to have trouble making a case for such fine-line distinctions being anything more than arbitrary.
tkgrrett wrote:This thread makes me shake my head in disgust. Really, arguing which 19-50 schools are peers??
Me too, mostly...maybe not shaking in digust, but perhaps in confusion.