US News rankings as only basis for decision?

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madisonsmith5599
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US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:03 pm

... That's pretty much how my family members think, and it's causing me a lot of grief.

I picked Boston College with a partial scholarship instead of Washington University in St. Louis at full price. I picked BC because of cost, employment prospects on the East Coast and personal preference.

My family members consider only the US News rankings and think that I should have chosen WUSTL because it is ranked higher (not just for law, but for undergrad, too -- right or wrong, they consider that as well). They were willing to pay the higher cost of tuition. In contrast, I took a more balanced approach by considering multiple rankings and various issues. I feel like either choice would have been good, and I am satisfied with my choice of BC.

But, I feel disturbed by the fact that my family members think that I could have made a better decision. What do you think? How do you feel about people who think primarily in terms of the US News rankings? That's how my family members are, and it's making me feel guilty about my decision.

I appreciate everyone's comments and advice. Thanks in advance.

kaiser
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby kaiser » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:06 pm

You made the right choice. Don't listen to them. BC will give you far better job prospects.

imbored25
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby imbored25 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:10 pm

Tell them you want to live in Boston and BC has much better job prospects in Boston that WUSTL

lawgod
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby lawgod » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:16 pm

Your choice sounds good, because of the difference in cost and the closeness of the ranking.
But in general, yeah, I just blindly follow US news

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madisonsmith5599
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:22 pm

lawgod wrote:But in general, yeah, I just blindly follow US news


This is what I am trying to understand, and/or start a discussion about. What is your rationale for this? (Assuming you weren't being sarcastic.)

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tgir
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby tgir » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:25 pm

My family is the same way.

In my view, it doesn't mean anything, except that they have a very poor understanding of the relevant variables--and you know, why should we expect anything different? They're not the ones applying to law school, and so their perspective, if not uninformed, is at least skewed. In this context, I like to think of my parents as tourists who enter a new town and are totally convinced that their tourbooks have helped them select the "best" places to hang out; would anyone seriously argue that they are in a better position to suggest a restaurant than a local?

Family members have an instinctive drive to try to decide what's best for you, and if you love them, you have an instinctive drive to take them seriously. But in the case of huge financial decisions pertaining to a career path that they probably don't understand very well, you shouldn't take them seriously.

Besides, you clearly made the right decision.

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tgir
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby tgir » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:31 pm

Also, Americans just love rankings, no matter how arbitrary or irrelevant. You need only look at TMZ's countdown of the All-Time Best Blonde Meltdowns to see that. Rankings give people a clear method of ordering the world when a more thorough understanding would be complex and unsatisfying, so the appeal is pretty obvious.

I guess what I'm saying is try to view your family's opinion as a reflection of their own human tendencies, rather than as a reflection of meaningful insight on their part.

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madisonsmith5599
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:34 pm

tgir wrote:My family is the same way.

In my view, it doesn't mean anything, except that they have a very poor understanding of the relevant variables--and you know, why should we expect anything different? They're not the ones applying to law school, and so their perspective, if not uninformed, is at least skewed. In this context, I like to think of my parents as tourists who enter a new town and are totally convinced that their tourbooks have helped them select the "best" places to hang out; would anyone seriously argue that they are in a better position to suggest a restaurant than a local?

Family members have an instinctive drive to try to decide what's best for you, and if you love them, you have an instinctive drive to take them seriously. But in the case of huge financial decisions pertaining to a career path that they probably don't understand very well, you shouldn't take them seriously.

Besides, you clearly made the right decision.


Thanks. I appreciate the comment.

What you say is true. And I just can't wrap my head around the fact that some people don't realize that all school rankings are subjective and imperfect, so why wouldn't you examine more than one source of data before forming an opinion?

I apologize if US News is a well-worn subject in these forums. I've just been really bothered lately and need to hear some other opinions.

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AreJay711
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:39 pm

My family asks me if I would rather have been at Georgetown every time I talk to them so it can cut both ways. I'm from the D.C. area so I guess it is because it is closer to home.

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madisonsmith5599
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:44 pm

AreJay711 wrote:My family asks me if I would rather have been at Georgetown every time I talk to them so it can cut both ways. I'm from the D.C. area so I guess it is because it is closer to home.


Yeah. In similar fashion, I have close St. Louis ties, hence the massive push by my family toward WUSTL. In their opinion, I've basically committed treason and thrown away gold. :cry:

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northwood
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby northwood » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:00 pm

sounds like you made a decision after considerating a variety of sources and examining your goals for the near future. To me that is a sound decision- and you should be happy with it. As for your family- it sucks, but you need to remember that this is your life and your decision. Since you are from STL you have ties to the area so you could return there if you absolutley hated boston. However, Boston College is a bettter choice for Boston and NYC, If that is your goal.

lawgod
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby lawgod » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:09 pm

madisonsmith5599 wrote:
lawgod wrote:But in general, yeah, I just blindly follow US news


This is what I am trying to understand, and/or start a discussion about. What is your rationale for this? (Assuming you weren't being sarcastic.)


I wasn't being sarcastic (although maybe a bit self deprecating.)

I went to the highest ranked school I was admitted to. My job prospects will be better, they have better employment numbers than the next one I got into.
But generally, I didn't even research schools at all. How am I supposed to know which one will be better? I figured that US News did a pretty good job.
Besides, it seems that employers more or less respect it, and other students do also. So even if it's self fulfilling, it is still true.

But I still think you made the right choice. Unless you want to practice in the midwest, I'd say your prospects are pretty similar, and you're saving money. And after all, isn't money the point of this whole thing?

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KMaine
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby KMaine » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:30 pm

Employers do, more or less, respect it. But if you want to work in the Northeast, especially Boston, B.C. is the better choice.

IronHBM
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby IronHBM » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:37 am

I can understand the feeling of guilt your family can impose on you because you chose a lesser ranked school for factors other than the U.S news ranking. Ultimately you'll have to live with that choice. Doing so is much easier if you truly gave it some thought and remain committed to that decision. It sounds like you thought it through and BC was the better choice for you. You made the best decision for yourself, good job.

Emma1
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby Emma1 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:52 pm

Blindly following US news is just crazy. Using it as a guideline is fine but you have to look at your own personal goals and financial situation. Think OP made a good decision. FWIW most of the attorneys I know dont even know how the schools are ranked. They are more aware of general reputation.

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downing
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby downing » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:45 pm

Emma1 wrote:Blindly following US news is just crazy.


Not if you're a lemming!
--ImageRemoved--

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uzpakalis
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby uzpakalis » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:19 pm

It seems like the rankings dont even matter once you get outside the t16 or fewer schools. With that being said, why isnt Vandy in the top 14 yet?

lawgod
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby lawgod » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:22 pm

uzpakalis wrote:It seems like the rankings dont even matter once you get outside the t16 or fewer schools. With that being said, why isnt Vandy in the top 14 yet?


Because there can only be 14. (Unlike T10 which seems to have 12 or 13)

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coldshoulder
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby coldshoulder » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:37 pm

Show them the NLJ 250 numbers for Biglaw placement.

hangtransferloose
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby hangtransferloose » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:02 am

:shock:
Last edited by hangtransferloose on Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Verity
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby Verity » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:05 am

coldshoulder wrote:Show them the NLJ 250 numbers for Biglaw placement.



Fuck this. When your family can get you a law job, then you can give a shit.

hangtransferloose
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby hangtransferloose » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:15 am

Verity wrote:
coldshoulder wrote:Show them the NLJ 250 numbers for Biglaw placement.



Fuck this. When your family can get you a law job, then you can give a shit.


:shock:
Last edited by hangtransferloose on Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

kublaikahn
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby kublaikahn » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:39 am

Verity wrote:
coldshoulder wrote:Show them the NLJ 250 numbers for Biglaw placement.



Fuck this. When your family can get you a law job, then you can give a shit.
TCR. At some point you have to come to terms with the fact that you will outgrow your parents. When you can make some good decisions without them they will come to terms with it too.

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PDaddy
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:49 am

kaiser wrote:You made the right choice. Don't listen to them. BC will give you far better job prospects.


+1000! Not only will BC give you better job prospects, BC could have arguably been the better choice for you even if the money and job prospects were the same, or even if WUSTL offered slightly more in those respects. You said that YOUR PREFERENCE was to be on the east coast. You have to live for you.

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omninode
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Re: US News rankings as only basis for decision?

Postby omninode » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:23 am

lawgod wrote:
uzpakalis wrote:(Unlike T10 which seems to have 12 or 13)



I find it annoying when they have ties. It makes no sense. Is there really no difference between Michigan and Penn, Berkeley and UVA?


I wouldn't be surprised if, ten years from now, they have 17 schools tied for first place.




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