The continued importance of school rank

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rayiner
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The continued importance of school rank

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:03 am


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buckilaw
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby buckilaw » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:12 am

Quoting from the article:

"Snobbism and elitism are the last socially acceptable prejudices. If law school rankings accurately foretold lawyer success, there’d be good reason for thousands of law graduates to be demoralized. But statistics have shown decidedly that they don’t. Instead, the preference toward the so-called elite is largely rooted in vanity and identity.

John’s [TTT Grad] experience is no different from Philip Corboy’s being shut out of Chicago’s LaSalle Street firms for being Catholic, Sandra Day O’Connor’s having been rejected by the Arizona corporate bar because she is a woman, or Joseph Flom’s being snubbed by top firms because he was Jewish."

A bit melodramatic no? Are TTT grads now a protected class?

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SuperCerealBrah
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby SuperCerealBrah » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:24 am

buckilaw wrote:Quoting from the article:

"Snobbism and elitism are the last socially acceptable prejudices. If law school rankings accurately foretold lawyer success, there’d be good reason for thousands of law graduates to be demoralized. But statistics have shown decidedly that they don’t. Instead, the preference toward the so-called elite is largely rooted in vanity and identity.

John’s [TTT Grad] experience is no different from Philip Corboy’s being shut out of Chicago’s LaSalle Street firms for being Catholic, Sandra Day O’Connor’s having been rejected by the Arizona corporate bar because she is a woman, or Joseph Flom’s being snubbed by top firms because he was Jewish."

A bit melodramatic no? Are TTT grads now a protected class?




I agree with the author that this whole rankings thing is way, way outdated and really doesn't predict true ability to be a lawyer or succeed. However, that is an incredibly stupid analogy. Come on...

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rickgrimes69
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:21 am

buckilaw wrote:Quoting from the article:

"Snobbism and elitism are the last socially acceptable prejudices. If law school rankings accurately foretold lawyer success, there’d be good reason for thousands of law graduates to be demoralized. But statistics have shown decidedly that they don’t. Instead, the preference toward the so-called elite is largely rooted in vanity and identity.

John’s [TTT Grad] experience is no different from Philip Corboy’s being shut out of Chicago’s LaSalle Street firms for being Catholic, Sandra Day O’Connor’s having been rejected by the Arizona corporate bar because she is a woman, or Joseph Flom’s being snubbed by top firms because he was Jewish."

A bit melodramatic no? Are TTT grads now a protected class?


It's an awful analogy. Sandra Day O'Connor can retake all she wants but she is still going to be female. There is obviously a clear difference between discrimination based on a fair, objective evaluation of a candidate's skill and whatever the hell AZ was trying to pull.

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KevinP
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby KevinP » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:30 am

Yeah, its an interesting article. I think we can all agree that the analogy between race/sex and elitism was just bad.

I do take issue with some of the premises and conclusions of the article.

For example:
"If law school rankings accurately foretold lawyer success, there’d be good reason for thousands of law graduates to be demoralized. But statistics have shown decidedly that they don’t."

If we define lawyer success by employment outcomes, the statistics highly favor that the law school rankings accurately foretell lawyer success, especially at the very top (T14). Although the best lawyer qualities may not necessarily be concentrated at the top schools, these qualities are ultimately meaningless if one isn't able to find a decent legal job.

It isn't exactly a secret that legal hiring is highly biased in favor top law grads. If top law schools were not accepting students because of factors such as race or sex, I would take issue with the elitism within the legal profession, but the top schools aren't discriminating based on these factors. All you really need to get into a top school is a good GPA and LSAT combination.

The pedigree problem isn't what is choking the law profession. It's actually a much more fundamental issue; there simply aren't enough legal jobs to go around. We need to cut down on law school class sizes, and close down some of the third tier schools. Removing elitism from hiring won't magically fix the problem of getting all of the talented people from lower tier school jobs. There would just a net transfer of jobs from elite schools to lower-ranked schools.

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rayiner
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:47 am

I like Bill Henderson's articles a lot, but I think this paragraph is based on a flawed premise: "This system and the current market fail to discern between a legal education done well versus one done poorly. As firms face economic stagnation and fight over market share, hiring Ivy Leaguers without a passion for corporate law or BigLaw becomes an economic tax."

It's not that the current market fails to discern between good legal education and bad legal education. It's that quality of education, in an academic context, doesn't matter and the market knows it. Once the basic legal skills are taught adequately, and I'd argue they're taught adequately almost everywhere, there is little return on better education. After that, the only thing left is signaling and sorting, which is precisely the purpose of law school.

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby ahnhub » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:11 am

Yikes. Isn't school pedigree basically the only thing a law student has going for them, before taking the leap? How attractive would law school be if pedigree wasn't a factor and every school had exactly the same kind of employment opportunities (so I guess every school in the country would be, like, the Maryland or UC-Hastings)?

Almost everyone seems to agree a law school education ends up being almost completely unrelated to the practice of law. Like rayiner said, the primary purpose of the 3 yrs is to signal that you're "talented" (school+grades), right?

I would think the rational overhaul would be either

a) do away with law schools altogether and let entry legal level hiring of associates/clerks/etc. be conducted like in finance or consulting.
2) actually constrict large law firm hiring MORE to the top-ranked schools, while simultaneously making the admissions process more thorough--interviews, mandatory pre-law prerequisites, require a summer internship in a legal job, etc.

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dingbat
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby dingbat » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:03 am

Further, within the alumni sample, higher LSAT scores and first-year grades were negatively correlated with networking, serving the community and business development.
None of which have anything to do with being a good lawyer

This is a fluff article that adds nothing, in my opinion

University of Tulsa ..... advanced 48 places in the U.S. News rankings in the past three years. As a result, the law school saw an instant boost in applications—from six received the day before the 2013 U.S. News rankings release to 23, and 19 applications in the next two days
Does this mean that as of march, the school has received less than 50 applicants?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:19 am

dingbat wrote:
University of Tulsa ..... advanced 48 places in the U.S. News rankings in the past three years. As a result, the law school saw an instant boost in applications—from six received the day before the 2013 U.S. News rankings release to 23, and 19 applications in the next two days
Does this mean that as of march, the school has received less than 50 applicants?


I'm pretty sure they were using each day as its own individual snapshot of applications (i.e. day 1 had 6, day 2 had 23, and either day 3/4 had 19 total or day 3/4 had 19 each).

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AreJay711
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:21 am

I think the article adds something: I didn't know that this still mattered as much as the article suggests 6 years out of law school. It also at least offers some suggestion of alternatives which is better than most articles and books nowadays.

AllTheLawz
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:29 am

one major problem is depending on alumni studies.. the legal word has shifted a bit in the last decade with the new glut.

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dingbat
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby dingbat » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:34 am

As a client, I'd want to hire the best law firms that have the best lawyers, who come from the best schools. If someone claims to be a very good lawyer out of a TTTT, my question is, if s/he is so good, how come s/he didn't get in to a better school?

It's an uphill climb to convince me otherwise. #1 at TTTT? Then s/he could have done well at a better school - does s/he have no ambition? etc.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:45 am

dingbat wrote:As a client, I'd want to hire the best law firms that have the best lawyers, who come from the best schools. If someone claims to be a very good lawyer out of a TTTT, my question is, if s/he is so good, how come s/he didn't get in to a better school?


TCFR. Its no different than Dr. Shopping because you don't want to hire your neighbor who attended the Ho Chi Minh School of Medicine.

I always wonder if people at TTTTs would feel comfortable hiring a lawyer from their own school.

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rayiner
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:08 am

What's always fascinated me is firms founded by people from outside the top echelon of schools who don't hire from their alma mater. E.g. Barlit Beck.

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby doomed123 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:09 am

dingbat wrote:As a client, I'd want to hire the best law firms that have the best lawyers, who come from the best schools. If someone claims to be a very good lawyer out of a TTTT, my question is, if s/he is so good, how come s/he didn't get in to a better school?

It's an uphill climb to convince me otherwise. #1 at TTTT? Then s/he could have done well at a better school - does s/he have no ambition? etc.


Didn't Scalia say something along these lines when asked by a TTT student why he didn't hire clerks from that school? Must have been awkward.

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rayiner
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:13 am

doomed123 wrote:
dingbat wrote:As a client, I'd want to hire the best law firms that have the best lawyers, who come from the best schools. If someone claims to be a very good lawyer out of a TTTT, my question is, if s/he is so good, how come s/he didn't get in to a better school?

It's an uphill climb to convince me otherwise. #1 at TTTT? Then s/he could have done well at a better school - does s/he have no ambition? etc.


Didn't Scalia say something along these lines when asked by a TTT student why he didn't hire clerks from that school? Must have been awkward.


“By and large, I’m going to be picking from the law schools that basically are the hardest to get into,” Scalia said. “They admit the best and the brightest, and they may not teach very well, but you can’t make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse. If they come in the best and the brightest, they’re probably going to leave the best and the brightest, O.K.?”

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby bjsesq » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:13 am

rayiner wrote:What's always fascinated me is firms founded by people from outside the top echelon of schools who don't hire from their alma mater. E.g. Barlit Beck.


Not really that surprised. When you recognize the way the game is played, you play the game. Fred Bartlit happens to be masterful at the game.

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby basilseal » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:27 am

Furthermore, there are a number of top firms that probably aren't too upset if many of their lawyers are coming from a similar, privileged background. If one is doing work for top corporate clients (or fishing for such work), one doesn't want to put out some prole in front of the clients. This is the truth that so many schools (law and otherwise) have built their existences on denying.

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby bjsesq » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:33 am

basilseal wrote:Furthermore, there are a number of top firms that probably aren't too upset if many of their lawyers are coming from a similar, privileged background. If one is doing work for top corporate clients (or fishing for such work), one doesn't want to put out some prole in front of the clients. This is the truth that so many schools (law and otherwise) have built their existences on denying.


I'll admit it: I come from a lower class background and I don't understand the culture. Those who grew up in it seem to just "get" the law firm culture better than I do. From a practical perspective, it makes sense, even if done unintentionally. I am not sure a lot of partners think "Chet's parents love sailing, and Biff's parents love government cheese so the choice is clear."

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby basilseal » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:38 am

bjsesq wrote:
basilseal wrote:Furthermore, there are a number of top firms that probably aren't too upset if many of their lawyers are coming from a similar, privileged background. If one is doing work for top corporate clients (or fishing for such work), one doesn't want to put out some prole in front of the clients. This is the truth that so many schools (law and otherwise) have built their existences on denying.


I'll admit it: I come from a lower class background and I don't understand the culture. Those who grew up in it seem to just "get" the law firm culture better than I do. From a practical perspective, it makes sense, even if done unintentionally. I am not sure a lot of partners think "Chet's parents love sailing, and Biff's parents love government cheese so the choice is clear."

Right. I have to think that being a "fit" for a firm culture has a lot to do with existing lawyers' comfort with potential hires, and comfort has a lot do with class. "I can relate to this person" etc. Of course I have no experience here, but am just extrapolating from what I've seen with hiring out of undergrad, so I'd be happy to be corrected.

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rayiner
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:40 am

I'm not sure law is quite so classist these days. How would interviewers even know how much money your parents had? It's not like interviewers ask you where you summered growing up. You talk football and have all of your teeth and you're golden.

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby bjsesq » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:42 am

rayiner wrote:I'm not sure law is quite so classist these days. How would interviewers even know how much money your parents had? It's not like interviewers ask you where you summered growing up. You talk football and have all of your teeth and you're golden.


That's why I don't think it's a conscious decision. I do think, however, that there is something to be said for a person who just understands that culture. Admit it: you were afraid I'd tell an interviewer a bukkakke joke during oci.

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dingbat
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby dingbat » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:46 am

I wonder how many of you have ever heard the term NOCD - Not Our Class, Dear
(spoken by a partner at my firm about a new hire, who didn't last 6 months)

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby bjsesq » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:46 am

dingbat wrote:I wonder how many of you have ever heard the term NOCD - Not Our Class, Dear
(spoken by a partner at my firm about a new hire, who didn't last 6 months)


Never

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby cinephile » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:49 am

dingbat wrote:I wonder how many of you have ever heard the term NOCD - Not Our Class, Dear
(spoken by a partner at my firm about a new hire, who didn't last 6 months)


Only time I saw that was in the Official Preppy Handbook. But I always assumed that was satire.




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