With regard to the TTT flagship question, here are some graphs of major legal markets and then one of select flagship small market schools. The red line, which represents placement rate (51+/A3/PI/Aca/Gov), corresponds to the numbers on the left. 100% is 100% placement. The blue line is the USNWR ranking, which is just a rough way to order the schools by prestige. It corresponds to the numbers on the right -- 1 to 200.
New York City: NYU, Columbia, Cornell, Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, St. John's, Hofstra, Syracuse, Albany, NYLS, Pace, Touro, SUNY-Buffalo, CUNY
DC: Georgetown, GW, George Mason, American, Catholic, Howard, University of DC
Chicago: UChi, Northwestern, Illinois, Chicago-Kent, Loyola, DePaul, John Marshall
California: Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, UC-Davis, UC-Hastings, Pepperdine, Loyola, San Diego, Santa Clara, Pacific / Mcgeorge, USF, Chapman, Southwestern, Cal Western, Golden Gate, Thomas Jefferson, LaVerne, Western State, Whittier, A Cartoon Slide Whistle, A Loud Explosion, A Big Cloud of Dust and Debris
Texas: UT, SMU, Baylor, U of H, Texas Tech, South Texas, St. Mary's, Texas Southern, Texas Wesleyan
To Reign in Hell: Selected Top Schools in Small Markets. Sorry if this is hard to read -- google docs didn't want to list each school at the bottom, so I had to add them in in MSPaint. Note, though, that I'm not actually sorry.
-Outside of the T14, I think east-coast schools are somewhat undervalued, and west-coast schools are somewhat overvalued. Despite its reputation as being “oversaturated” and “impossible to break into,” Washington DC is the second largest legal market in the country by a long way, and its placement rate reflects that. Remember, though, that we’re talking relative
strength – 40-50% placement still isn’t very good in an absolute sense. I think its reputation is also probably hamstrung somewhat by its not having a “flagship” school in the upper half of the T14.
-People seem to like to single out Texas as a state with a robust legal market that trickles all the way down to the second tier of schools (SMU, UH). I think the mise en scene here is something along the lines of a room full of Slim Pickins lookalikes celebrating a successful business deal by unlatching alligator skin briefcases full of grade-A white mosquito. These metrics don’t seem to support either of those things. I’ve even seen some people suggesting that Texas natives take UT over UVa at equal debt loads. That’s insane
-Unsurprisingly, California is an absolute shitshow south of USC. UCs Davis and Hastings are roughly on par with St. John’s. Pepperdine has placement almost identical to Touro. Seriously. Touro.
-The TTT flagship question is sort of up in the air, I think. There seems to be kind of a gulf stream effect where the lack of a major legal market keeps the cumulative index below 40% while at the same time the availability of state government and local business type stuff keeps things from falling too far below 25% until the very bottom of the barrel (Maine, Delaware). Draw your own conclusions here.