2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

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09042014
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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby 09042014 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:25 pm

cldplayts wrote:
DNC routinely place as many or more students into big law than MBVP. Schools like BC, GWU and Fordham make Minnesota look like a TTT. IUB is a T30 school but places like a T2.

It's silly think that hiring partners are reading a two bit magazine to make hiring decisions. USNews exists to help mothers be proud of their son going to the T19th best regional undergrad that doesn't have a doctoral program.


Hah ok. Well I'm pretty convinced hiring partners don't do that. The BC GW Fordham vs. Minn is more of the exception than the rule though. I've followed firm hiring statistics over the years and they largely reflect US News rankings. Not saying there's causation, just saying that firm hiring stats and us news aren't telling much different stories.

I guess, most of all, I tend to automatically question people who totally deny us news ranking relevance, simply because US news rankings are so highly anticipated and widely referenced. The large amount of denial seems like a counter-attack more than an accurate assessment. The fact itself that there's such much denial seems to indicate US news aren't that meaningless. Maybe I'm wrong.


Both hiring and USNews are correlated to general reputation of a school. But that doesn't mean USnews is the the cause and reputation is the effect. It's the opposite.

The USNew is mostly: a poorly sampled reputation survey, the selectivity of a school, and a bunch of irrelevant factors. Including money spent per student is just stupid.

Usnews is an attempt to measure reputation. It doesn't create it.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby Boggs » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:26 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:McDonalds counts as employment for USNews. LOL

Yea, in that little part of the pie chart in the viewbooks that say "Business/Corporate."


Could be borders, could be in house counsel at an investment bank. Both count the same.

Just like private firm can be appellate litigation boutique or doc review in jersey.


What bothers me about this is that this is fixable. While it would still depend of self-reported data, USNews could at least change their criteria to exclude non-law related employment. It can't be that difficult.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby dabbadon8 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:34 pm

http://finance.yahoo.com/college-educat ... _education

On the yahoo home page.

"A university in the Lone Star State joins the "T14" list of the best legal programs"
"Other non-Ivies too."
Last edited by dabbadon8 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby 2things2 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:35 pm

I think these rankings are very important, even if they are self-fulfilling and full of shit. Of course they matter -- what's the easiest way to tell if the kid you're about to hire at your firm had a good law education or not? Rankings. Sure that's an incredibly inaccurate way of going about it, but its whats happening. The rankings might not mean anything to you personally, but they damn well mean a lot to lawyers who haven't been in law school for some time and are unaware of what the hierarchy looks like. It's dumb to complain about Emory's "drop" because its so minuscule, and it's still Emory (great reputation no matter what), but you better believe people at Nova are starting to sweat after dropping to 84, even if they won't admit it on these boards.

I'm not saying the rankings mean something... but they mean something.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby maglialoro » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:38 pm

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Last edited by maglialoro on Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby ArthurDigbySellers » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:39 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
cldplayts wrote:
DNC routinely place as many or more students into big law than MBVP. Schools like BC, GWU and Fordham make Minnesota look like a TTT. IUB is a T30 school but places like a T2.

It's silly think that hiring partners are reading a two bit magazine to make hiring decisions. USNews exists to help mothers be proud of their son going to the T19th best regional undergrad that doesn't have a doctoral program.


Hah ok. Well I'm pretty convinced hiring partners don't do that. The BC GW Fordham vs. Minn is more of the exception than the rule though. I've followed firm hiring statistics over the years and they largely reflect US News rankings. Not saying there's causation, just saying that firm hiring stats and us news aren't telling much different stories.

I guess, most of all, I tend to automatically question people who totally deny us news ranking relevance, simply because US news rankings are so highly anticipated and widely referenced. The large amount of denial seems like a counter-attack more than an accurate assessment. The fact itself that there's such much denial seems to indicate US news aren't that meaningless. Maybe I'm wrong.


Both hiring and USNews are correlated to general reputation of a school. But that doesn't mean USnews is the the cause and reputation is the effect. It's the opposite.

The USNew is mostly: a poorly sampled reputation survey, the selectivity of a school, and a bunch of irrelevant factors. Including money spent per student is just stupid.

Usnews is an attempt to measure reputation. It doesn't create it.


I don't think money spent per student should be a heavily weighted metric, but it might be something some students want to consider. That can be solved by wikipedia though--the cocktail napkin calculation would entail dividing the endowment of the university by the number of students. Someone with Excel and too much time on their hands could give you something better.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby 98234872348 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:42 pm

2things2 wrote:I think these rankings are very important, even if they are self-fulfilling and full of shit. Of course they matter -- what's the easiest way to tell if the kid you're about to hire at your firm had a good law education or not? Rankings. Sure that's an incredibly inaccurate way of going about it, but its whats happening. The rankings might not mean anything to you personally, but they damn well mean a lot to lawyers who haven't been in law school for some time and are unaware of what the hierarchy looks like. It's dumb to complain about Emory's "drop" because its so minuscule, and it's still Emory (great reputation no matter what), but you better believe people at Nova are starting to sweat after dropping to 84, even if they won't admit it on these boards.

I'm not saying the rankings mean something... but they mean something.

coolstorybro.jpg

I'm sure the Nova alum hiring partner at [insert major Philly firm here] is going to choose me over some comparable Nova grad because I UF is ranked significantly higher.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby IHaveLawyers » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:45 pm

2things2 wrote:I think these rankings are very important, even if they are self-fulfilling and full of shit. Of course they matter -- what's the easiest way to tell if the kid you're about to hire at your firm had a good law education or not? Rankings. Sure that's an incredibly inaccurate way of going about it, but its whats happening. The rankings might not mean anything to you personally, but they damn well mean a lot to lawyers who haven't been in law school for some time and are unaware of what the hierarchy looks like. It's dumb to complain about Emory's "drop" because its so minuscule, and it's still Emory (great reputation no matter what), but you better believe people at Nova are starting to sweat after dropping to 84, even if they won't admit it on these boards.

I'm not saying the rankings mean something... but they mean something.


Yeah, I agree with your for the most part.

I think rankings matter, but only to those who graduated from a well ranked school, if you didn't go to a well ranked school then you wanna down play the rankings.

Some people go into a career in big law where ranking are god, but other choose small firms where it might not matter. Rankings are in the eye of the beholder.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby nematoad » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:48 pm

goddam, why is hastings so bad. its shit ranking is scaring me.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby 09042014 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:49 pm

2things2 wrote:I think these rankings are very important, even if they are self-fulfilling and full of shit. Of course they matter -- what's the easiest way to tell if the kid you're about to hire at your firm had a good law education or not? Rankings. Sure that's an incredibly inaccurate way of going about it, but its whats happening. The rankings might not mean anything to you personally, but they damn well mean a lot to lawyers who haven't been in law school for some time and are unaware of what the hierarchy looks like. It's dumb to complain about Emory's "drop" because its so minuscule, and it's still Emory (great reputation no matter what), but you better believe people at Nova are starting to sweat after dropping to 84, even if they won't admit it on these boards.

I'm not saying the rankings mean something... but they mean something.


You don't need a magazine to tell you Michigan is better than Emory. And even if you did it shouldn't be updated every year.

People going apeshit over minor fluctuation in a ranking with arbitrary methodology is retarded. And law firm requiters don't look up a school in USNews. They have a set list of schools they already recruit at and they have their own idea how good that school is.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby 2things2 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:49 pm

mistergoft wrote:
2things2 wrote:I think these rankings are very important, even if they are self-fulfilling and full of shit. Of course they matter -- what's the easiest way to tell if the kid you're about to hire at your firm had a good law education or not? Rankings. Sure that's an incredibly inaccurate way of going about it, but its whats happening. The rankings might not mean anything to you personally, but they damn well mean a lot to lawyers who haven't been in law school for some time and are unaware of what the hierarchy looks like. It's dumb to complain about Emory's "drop" because its so minuscule, and it's still Emory (great reputation no matter what), but you better believe people at Nova are starting to sweat after dropping to 84, even if they won't admit it on these boards.

I'm not saying the rankings mean something... but they mean something.

coolstorybro.jpg

I'm sure the Nova alum hiring partner at [insert major Philly firm here] is going to choose me over some comparable Nova grad because I UF is ranked significantly higher.


This is not what I'm saying Hansel.

All I'm saying is that there is weight to these rankings and they shouldn't be entirely dismissed. Duh (winning) that the Nova alum will choose a Nova grad, no shit, but the numbers are deffffinitely relevant to a certain extent in other regards. People are dismissing these numbers like they're nothing but the fact that they're going on an internet forum to dismiss them means someone cares about them.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby 98234872348 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:53 pm

2things2 wrote:
mistergoft wrote:
2things2 wrote:I think these rankings are very important, even if they are self-fulfilling and full of shit. Of course they matter -- what's the easiest way to tell if the kid you're about to hire at your firm had a good law education or not? Rankings. Sure that's an incredibly inaccurate way of going about it, but its whats happening. The rankings might not mean anything to you personally, but they damn well mean a lot to lawyers who haven't been in law school for some time and are unaware of what the hierarchy looks like. It's dumb to complain about Emory's "drop" because its so minuscule, and it's still Emory (great reputation no matter what), but you better believe people at Nova are starting to sweat after dropping to 84, even if they won't admit it on these boards.

I'm not saying the rankings mean something... but they mean something.

coolstorybro.jpg

I'm sure the Nova alum hiring partner at [insert major Philly firm here] is going to choose me over some comparable Nova grad because I UF is ranked significantly higher.


This is not what I'm saying Hansel.

All I'm saying is that there is weight to these rankings and they shouldn't be entirely dismissed. Duh (winning) that the Nova alum will choose a Nova grad, no shit, but the numbers are deffffinitely relevant to a certain extent in other regards. People are dismissing these numbers like they're nothing but the fact that they're going on an internet forum to dismiss them means someone cares about them.

T20ish rankings matter. Outside of that it's regionalism. If you're deciding between schools in the same region call hiring partners and get a sense of which school has the better reputation in the region.

Edit: also, it's not the rankings that matter, but the placement ability they reflect that matters.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby rayiner » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:58 pm

cldplayts wrote:
DNC routinely place as many or more students into big law than MBVP. Schools like BC, GWU and Fordham make Minnesota look like a TTT. IUB is a T30 school but places like a T2.

It's silly think that hiring partners are reading a two bit magazine to make hiring decisions. USNews exists to help mothers be proud of their son going to the T19th best regional undergrad that doesn't have a doctoral program.


Hah ok. Well I'm pretty convinced hiring partners don't do that. The BC GW Fordham vs. Minn is more of the exception than the rule though. I've followed firm hiring statistics over the years and they largely reflect US News rankings. Not saying there's causation, just saying that firm hiring stats and us news aren't telling much different stories.


The firm hiring statistics largely reflect the USNWR rankings for exactly the reason DF said: the latter is a somewhat flawed measure of the former. That is not to say that USNWR doesn't have a big impact --- it certainly matters a lot to law students and applicants, and that can have impacts down the road.

I don't think the USNWR rankings are bad, I just thing they suffer from a lack of excessive precision. #1 matters, but even at the #2/#3 spot things get uncertain: Stanford and Harvard have been trading the #2/#3 spots all through the 2000's: http://www.prelawhandbook.com/law_schoo ... 00_present

After that, Columbia clearly seems to be #4 (or is it? Chicago beat Columbia in NLJ250 placement this year). NYU certainly belongs somewhere in the top 6. After that it seems uncertain. Penn and Michigan are tied for #7 this year, but historically Penn places a lot more into NLJ250 firms: http://www.top-law-schools.com/archives ... =2&t=61206. And are either really better than Virginia at #9? Where does Berkeley fit in? It has swung from #13 in 2004 to #6 in 2008 to #9 today. Moving on, Duke, Northwestern, and Cornell have hovered outside the top 10 most of the decade (though Duke was a solid top-10 in the 1990s) but each regularly places in the top-5 in NLJ250 placement (Duke in 2005, 2006; NU in 2007, 2008, 2009; Cornell in 2010) and are almost always in the top 10. Going still further, Georgetown is definitely #14, but should it be grouped with UCLA/Vandy/Texas, which continually trade places in the rankings with each other, or with Duke/Northwestern/Cornell?

This isn't even considering how silly the rankings system is for the schools outside the top-20.

The problem with USNWR isn't that the ranking methodology is flawed, but rather that the way the data is presented makes it seem like there are real horse races when in fact the fluctuations are just the product of the numerical scores of the schools being packed closely together so that small changes result in reordering in the rankings.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby dresden doll » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:10 pm

This thread is only valuable for DF's epic spelling of 'recruiters.'

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby nylawyer488 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:12 pm

maglialoro wrote:
2things2 wrote: Of course they matter -- what's the easiest way to tell if the kid you're about to hire at your firm had a good law education or not? Rankings. Sure that's an incredibly inaccurate way of going about it, but its whats happening.


No, not really. If you get all Cs wherever you are it means you were lower amongst your class and/or didn't fully master or understand material. Whereas if you get a kid from a tier 3 or even tier 4 school who got all As, it's a totally different story.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby kk19131 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:14 pm

So... T-13 is a thing now? :lol:

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby rundoxierun » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:17 pm

rayiner wrote:

The firm hiring statistics largely reflect the USNWR rankings for exactly the reason DF said: the latter is a somewhat flawed measure of the former. That is not to say that USNWR doesn't have a big impact --- it certainly matters a lot to law students and applicants, and that can have impacts down the road.

I don't think the USNWR rankings are bad, I just thing they suffer from a lack of excessive precision. #1 matters, but even at the #2/#3 spot things get uncertain: Stanford and Harvard have been trading the #2/#3 spots all through the 2000's: http://www.prelawhandbook.com/law_schoo ... 00_present

After that, Columbia clearly seems to be #4 (or is it? Chicago beat Columbia in NLJ250 placement this year). NYU certainly belongs somewhere in the top 6. After that it seems uncertain. Penn and Michigan are tied for #7 this year, but historically Penn places a lot more into NLJ250 firms: http://www.top-law-schools.com/archives ... =2&t=61206. And are either really better than Virginia at #9? Where does Berkeley fit in? It has swung from #13 in 2004 to #6 in 2008 to #9 today. Moving on, Duke, Northwestern, and Cornell have hovered outside the top 10 most of the decade (though Duke was a solid top-10 in the 1990s) but each regularly places in the top-5 in NLJ250 placement (Duke in 2005, 2006; NU in 2007, 2008, 2009; Cornell in 2010) and are almost always in the top 10. Going still further, Georgetown is definitely #14, but should it be grouped with UCLA/Vandy/Texas, which continually trade places in the rankings with each other, or with Duke/Northwestern/Cornell?

This isn't even considering how silly the rankings system is for the schools outside the top-20.

The problem with USNWR isn't that the ranking methodology is flawed, but rather that the way the data is presented makes it seem like there are real horse races when in fact the fluctuations are just the product of the numerical scores of the schools being packed closely together so that small changes result in reordering in the rankings.


To tell the truth, even at HYS level we are talking about more of a mathematical curiosity than a true measure of any kind of quality. Yale will always be #1 because of a combination of small class size and institutional spending. Neither of these matter. If you want to argue that the spending matters I would say that beyond a certain threshold it really doesnt at all and that all of the T-14 schools are past that threshold.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby rayiner » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:24 pm

tkgrrett wrote:To tell the truth, even at HYS level we are talking about more of a mathematical curiosity than a true measure of any kind of quality. Yale will always be #1 because of a combination of small class size and institutional spending. Neither of these matter. If you want to argue that the spending matters I would say that beyond a certain threshold it really doesnt at all and that all of the T-14 schools are past that threshold.


Small class size definitely matters. A lot. A lot a lot. More than 1/3 of Yale's class gets an Article III clerkship, more than double the percentage at Harvard. Yale also outplaces Harvard at the most selective firms: http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2007/ ... ement.html

I don't think Yale is in a league of its own as an institution, but I do think it has measurably better outcomes for students and its small class size and selectivity are the reason for that.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:27 pm

rayiner wrote:
cldplayts wrote:
DNC routinely place as many or more students into big law than MBVP. Schools like BC, GWU and Fordham make Minnesota look like a TTT. IUB is a T30 school but places like a T2.

It's silly think that hiring partners are reading a two bit magazine to make hiring decisions. USNews exists to help mothers be proud of their son going to the T19th best regional undergrad that doesn't have a doctoral program.


Hah ok. Well I'm pretty convinced hiring partners don't do that. The BC GW Fordham vs. Minn is more of the exception than the rule though. I've followed firm hiring statistics over the years and they largely reflect US News rankings. Not saying there's causation, just saying that firm hiring stats and us news aren't telling much different stories.


The firm hiring statistics largely reflect the USNWR rankings for exactly the reason DF said: the latter is a somewhat flawed measure of the former. That is not to say that USNWR doesn't have a big impact --- it certainly matters a lot to law students and applicants, and that can have impacts down the road.

I don't think the USNWR rankings are bad, I just thing they suffer from a lack of excessive precision. #1 matters, but even at the #2/#3 spot things get uncertain: Stanford and Harvard have been trading the #2/#3 spots all through the 2000's: http://www.prelawhandbook.com/law_schoo ... 00_present

After that, Columbia clearly seems to be #4 (or is it? Chicago beat Columbia in NLJ250 placement this year). NYU certainly belongs somewhere in the top 6. After that it seems uncertain. Penn and Michigan are tied for #7 this year, but historically Penn places a lot more into NLJ250 firms: http://www.top-law-schools.com/archives ... =2&t=61206. And are either really better than Virginia at #9? Where does Berkeley fit in? It has swung from #13 in 2004 to #6 in 2008 to #9 today. Moving on, Duke, Northwestern, and Cornell have hovered outside the top 10 most of the decade (though Duke was a solid top-10 in the 1990s) but each regularly places in the top-5 in NLJ250 placement (Duke in 2005, 2006; NU in 2007, 2008, 2009; Cornell in 2010) and are almost always in the top 10. Going still further, Georgetown is definitely #14, but should it be grouped with UCLA/Vandy/Texas, which continually trade places in the rankings with each other, or with Duke/Northwestern/Cornell?

This isn't even considering how silly the rankings system is for the schools outside the top-20.

The problem with USNWR isn't that the ranking methodology is flawed, but rather that the way the data is presented makes it seem like there are real horse races when in fact the fluctuations are just the product of the numerical scores of the schools being packed closely together so that small changes result in reordering in the rankings.


Ray, you are our voice of reason always. Thank you for existing.

Friends at BU generally say that we (Fordham students) are their peers. They do this not only because they're afraid I'll kill them if they say anything else, but because, over the years, Fordham has placed more like a school "ranked" in the 20s. People have spoken about the ranking bias in favor of smaller schools over larger ones, and in favor of schools with prestigious UGs and other grad programs attached (if you ask me, this might be where Hastings suffered, and Fordham had the same issue, in that our law school is our most famous program).

People honestly care about three sets of numbers. Accurate employment data, assuming it exists and can be gotten hold of, historical tuition data, and data about scholarships and need based aid. That is the bottom line. A bunch of flawed peer survey numbers or info about library square footage is basically worthy of the Cooley rankings. It should not have any bearing on decisions made by rational people about which schools to attend. Instead, 0Ls would be much better served talking to current 2Ls and 3Ls about conditions on the ground at their target schools, and tracking down recent grads if they can find them. That will give you a better picture than any rankings can.

I've said before that I think these rankings are harmful because they lead the drive away from holistic admissions, and they keep people out of law school who otherwise could make unique contributions to the class. At the same time, USNews doesn't even compel any sort of uniform record keeping or standard, and allows a reporting system under which, as people have pointed out, McDonald's counts as employed.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:38 pm

kk19131 wrote:So... T-13 is a thing now? :lol:


tbf, its been a thing for a while now

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby Lawlcat » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:56 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:Friends at BU generally say that we (Fordham students) are their peers. They do this not only because they're afraid I'll kill them if they say anything else, but because, over the years, Fordham has placed more like a school "ranked" in the 20s. People have spoken about the ranking bias in favor of smaller schools over larger ones, and in favor of schools with prestigious UGs and other grad programs attached (if you ask me, this might be where Hastings suffered, and Fordham had the same issue, in that our law school is our most famous program).

People honestly care about three sets of numbers. Accurate employment data, assuming it exists and can be gotten hold of, historical tuition data, and data about scholarships and need based aid. That is the bottom line. A bunch of flawed peer survey numbers or info about library square footage is basically worthy of the Cooley rankings. It should not have any bearing on decisions made by rational people about which schools to attend. Instead, 0Ls would be much better served talking to current 2Ls and 3Ls about conditions on the ground at their target schools, and tracking down recent grads if they can find them. That will give you a better picture than any rankings can.

I've said before that I think these rankings are harmful because they lead the drive away from holistic admissions, and they keep people out of law school who otherwise could make unique contributions to the class. At the same time, USNews doesn't even compel any sort of uniform record keeping or standard, and allows a reporting system under which, as people have pointed out, McDonald's counts as employed.



The Princess speaks truth. USNWR is just yanking everyone's chain enough to stir up attention without overdoing it and ruining their "believability". It's kind of hilarious what they did with the "T14" this year: dropping a school out of the T14 would be a shocker, but perhaps too much so. They ingeniously went half-and-half and just elevated a school to the T14. It's like jostling the pinball table without tripping the TILT sensor. And these subtle changes have very little to do with employment outcomes.

Confirmed placement in "big firms" that probably pay on the right side of the bimodal distribution plus confirmed Article III clerkship, each as a percentage of the number of JDs awarded.
http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/7edd4baeb0.png

I put these in USNWR order (2011...lazy) in part because I think it's useful to show that the USNWR rankings do not clearly correlate with employment outcomes. I arbitrarily stopped it at 34 or whatever, but it goes on like that (with I imagine variations that USNWR doesn't predict) for a while.

I think it's really dishonest for USNWR to report "employment" figures. As her highness says, McDonald's counts. It exploits the socially-reinforced expectations that "if you're employed out of law school, you're employed as a lawyer" and further "being a lawyer means you wear a suit and make six figures but you're kind of evil".
Last edited by Lawlcat on Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby NikaneOkie » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:57 pm

Question about stats in general:
if a law school takes you off waitlist, do they have to use your statistics in their reported GPA/LSAT information?

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby FireNextTime » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:01 pm

nematoad wrote:goddam, why is hastings so bad. its shit ranking is scaring me.


First, remember this:
nematoad wrote:Every lawyer I've spoken to has said Hastings for California, without hesitation.


Second, the 42 ranking is same as last year. For whatever that's worth.

Third, and finally to answer your question about the poor ranking: Hastings has a high student-faculty ratio. It has honestly reported employment numbers. It is less highly regarded by head-in-cloud academia than it is by practicing lawyers and judges,* who for some reason count less in USNWR's eyes. I imagine that its per-student spending isn't too hot. Etc. Etc. Et-effing-c. So what? USNWR will not hire you for your first legal job. The academic world will not hire you for your first legal job — unless you're graduating from some school that might be looking for a way post bigger numbers than is realistically feasible. All that matters is what the working lawyers and judges think. And, to that, see point No. 1.

Hastings has a bad ranking. It is not a "bad" school. If you want to work in California, it remains a very fine option.



*At least this was the case last year. I haven't seen the new data. I just know from earlier in thread that Hastings' assessment score was still better than that of many other schools more highly ranked.

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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby General Tso » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:04 pm

FireNextTime wrote:*At least this was the case last year. I haven't seen the new data. I just know from earlier in thread that Hastings' assessment score was still better than that of many other schools more highly ranked.


3.8 lawyer/judge assessment for Hastings. USC and Davis are 3.6.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: 2012 U.S. News Rankings (March 15th... It's official)

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:26 pm

Lawlcat wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:Friends at BU generally say that we (Fordham students) are their peers. They do this not only because they're afraid I'll kill them if they say anything else, but because, over the years, Fordham has placed more like a school "ranked" in the 20s. People have spoken about the ranking bias in favor of smaller schools over larger ones, and in favor of schools with prestigious UGs and other grad programs attached (if you ask me, this might be where Hastings suffered, and Fordham had the same issue, in that our law school is our most famous program).

People honestly care about three sets of numbers. Accurate employment data, assuming it exists and can be gotten hold of, historical tuition data, and data about scholarships and need based aid. That is the bottom line. A bunch of flawed peer survey numbers or info about library square footage is basically worthy of the Cooley rankings. It should not have any bearing on decisions made by rational people about which schools to attend. Instead, 0Ls would be much better served talking to current 2Ls and 3Ls about conditions on the ground at their target schools, and tracking down recent grads if they can find them. That will give you a better picture than any rankings can.

I've said before that I think these rankings are harmful because they lead the drive away from holistic admissions, and they keep people out of law school who otherwise could make unique contributions to the class. At the same time, USNews doesn't even compel any sort of uniform record keeping or standard, and allows a reporting system under which, as people have pointed out, McDonald's counts as employed.



The Princess speaks truth. USNWR is just yanking everyone's chain enough to stir up attention without overdoing it and ruining their "believability". It's kind of hilarious what they did with the "T14" this year: dropping a school out of the T14 would be a shocker, but perhaps too much so. They ingeniously went half-and-half and just elevated a school to the T14. It's like jostling the pinball table without tripping the TILT sensor. And these subtle changes have very little to do with employment outcomes.

Confirmed placement in "big firms" that probably pay on the right side of the bimodal distribution plus confirmed Article III clerkship, each as a percentage of the number of JDs awarded.
http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/7edd4baeb0.png

I put these in USNWR order (2011...lazy) in part because I think it's useful to show that the USNWR rankings do not clearly correlate with employment outcomes. I arbitrarily stopped it at 34 or whatever, but it goes on like that (with I imagine variations that USNWR doesn't predict) for a while.

I think it's really dishonest for USNWR to report "employment" figures. As her highness says, McDonald's counts. It exploits the socially-reinforced expectations that "if you're employed out of law school, you're employed as a lawyer" and further "being a lawyer means you wear a suit and make six figures but you're kind of evil".


Ok, I heart you completely for doing this, and I happen to agree in full with your conclusions, but please do not call me that. OS will do nicely.

Oh, and I especially wanted to flag your last conclusion, because it's 100% the opposite of public interest work. For the most part, nobody wears a suit outside of court, it's rare to make six figures, and the people are incredibly kind, but I know that isn't how most people even conceptualize lawyers. The sad thing is that a lot of schools probably just wish everyone would try for biglaw so they'd have more salary stats to juke. I do think my school is comparatively honest-- I looked at the numbers we published for '09, and they seem to accord with reality. http://law.fordham.edu/career-planning/17281.htm

Your greater point remains: the rankings =/= a linear picture of employment + clerkship numbers. I think most people realize they need to be taken with a grain of salt.




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