CCN is not a relevant term when it comes to Article III clerkship placement. In fact, the only school in the T14 NYU actually beats is Georgetown, and Duke, Virginia, Penn, and Michigan all average better Article III placement than any of CCN.
But there are two problems with your data:
First, they don't distinguish COA clerks from DCt clerks. For whatever reason, the mentality of Chicago students is "COA or bust." Many qualified students simply don't apply for DCt clerkships. Unlike at most t14—as far as I know—the majority of A3 clerks from Chicago are COA clerks. (See http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/ca ... clerkships
) So the percentages don't accurately represent the ease of getting an A3 clerkship.
That's fair, but in this economy it's not as though district court clerkships are a walk in the park to obtain either. I strongly doubt that at a school like Chicago the other ~89% of the class (or whatever percentage is interested in clerking) would be unwilling to accept a district court clerkship. In any event, that is an issue with the data but I don't think it's as dispositive as you'd suggest. I would also argue that the number of students trying to clerk from a school like Chicago probably far exceeds any other non-HYS school in the country, but we don't have any empirical way to measure how much that influences the percentage of the class that submit applications.
A-Cow-Demia wrote:Second, the US News numbers don't count alumni clerks—or do they? This likely hurts some schools more than others and thus throws off the numbers.
I agree that it might, but we have no reason to think that it hurts Chicago any more than anywhere else.
A-Cow-Demia wrote:I'm not saying people should ignore the US News numbers. I'm just saying they are far from perfect: you can't look at them and say, "yep, Duke and Virginia are better at placing students in A3 clerkships."
If you read my analysis, I don't say that at all. In fact, it's quite the opposite: I'm arguing that TLS's stupid "Go to CCN for clerkships because they're T6!" mentality is unsupported by the evidence, but not that these schools are all better than Chicago. See:
As a general statement, this data is a large chink in the armor of TLS's commonly accepted belief that CCN is a sub-tier in anything other than NYC biglaw placement. Chicago is the only T6 school that places similarly with Duke, Virginia, Penn and Michigan, with Duke slightly ahead of this sub-tier.
The only time I did say schools were in some sense "better" than Chicago was in this thread, where I said that the schools "average better AIII placement", which I was stating as a matter of pure percentages.
In any event, you raise good points about the limits of the data. It's certainly not perfect, and there are all sorts of explanations that we can't account for. But I still see no basis for saying that Chicago is the obvious choice over a school like Duke for someone interested in clerking, which is all I'm trying to push back against. Apart from that, you raise some very good points.
Agreed - Chicago definitely has the edge for academia over Duke. That said, Leiter's rankings of academia (as they are with almost anything else he selectively analyzes) are an absolute joke. See
And, before the point is raised, I understand that this doesn't take into account students' self-selection into academia. Given Chicago's reputation, however, I highly doubt that more students go to any other non-HYS than Chicago for an interest academia.