The continued importance of school rank

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Samara
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby Samara » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:52 am

Legal educators, engulfed in turmoil over skyrocketing tuition rates and dwindling job prospects for graduates, have little incentive to change when opportunities for their students are determined largely through letters of admission rather than the substance and quality of the education provided.

If this were true, TTTT schools wouldn't have costs on par with T14s. The lack of incentive to change is the fact that people keep enrolling in law school despite the so-called prestige problem, not because of it.

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basilseal
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby basilseal » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:53 am

I've heard NOKD as well.

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JD Janitor
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby JD Janitor » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:06 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."


In general, people like to surround themselves with others they can identify with. I absolutely believe that attorneys on the whole are more comfortable around others who come from successful families and understand how to interact with other successful people in a way that makes them seem like "one of us". Call it elitism but all people of all backgrounds do this to some extent.

I come from a priviledged background. If I were to be thrown into a situation where I had to identify with those whom came from a different background, I would fail miserably.

Attorneys do not need to know who your parents are to see how you have been raised. It comes through even if you think you can hide it.
Last edited by JD Janitor on Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:07 am

The whole class argument really bothers me.

As a solidly middle-class bro (Chili's was the shit growing up), I've noticed a few trappings of elitism in my 3 years. But I think those are far outweighed by the harm done when lower-ranked law schools that charge 40K per year try to play themselves off as being schools for blue-collar kids or for real people. It's a pretty worn out tactic by now.

There is still some hope- schools with good local reps that charge around 10-15K. But these are vastly outnumbered by the schools with poor job prospects charge 40K all in the name of access and opportunity.

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SuperCerealBrah
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby SuperCerealBrah » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:31 pm

rickgrimes69 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?


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.



Did either of you even read the article? The problem is when an attorney who already has a history of success isn't hired because of their school. The guy referenced in the article handled numerous litigation matters and was in the top 5% of his firm in hours billed. How is that not being a good asset for the firm especially when law school doesn't have hardly anything to do with being a lawyer. These comments are really dumb and really shortsighted. Oh, and people don't choose a doctor usually based on whether they went to harvard med or not lol

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basilseal
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby basilseal » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:35 pm

SuperCerealBrah wrote:
rickgrimes69 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?


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.



Did either of you even read the article? The problem is when an attorney who already has a history of success isn't hired because of their school. The guy referenced in the article handled numerous litigation matters and was in the top 5% of his firm in hours billed. How is that not being a good asset for the firm especially when law school doesn't have hardly anything to do with being a lawyer. These comments are really dumb and really shortsighted. Oh, and people don't choose a doctor usually based on whether they went to harvard med or not lol

Plenty of people are biased towards MDs over DOs. Not saying it's right, just that it happens.

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dingbat
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby dingbat » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:48 pm

basilseal wrote:
SuperCerealBrah wrote:
rickgrimes69 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?


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.



Did either of you even read the article? The problem is when an attorney who already has a history of success isn't hired because of their school. The guy referenced in the article handled numerous litigation matters and was in the top 5% of his firm in hours billed. How is that not being a good asset for the firm especially when law school doesn't have hardly anything to do with being a lawyer. These comments are really dumb and really shortsighted. Oh, and people don't choose a doctor usually based on whether they went to harvard med or not lol

Plenty of people are biased towards MDs over DOs. Not saying it's right, just that it happens.

IMO that has less to do with prestige and more to do with the difference of the program. I personally would much rather prefer an MD if I had a disease, but would be willing to accept a DO if I had a broken bone or a sprained ankle

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rayiner
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:50 pm

SuperCerealBrah wrote:The guy referenced in the article handled numerous litigation matters and was in the top 5% of his firm in hours billed.


The guy was a senior associate at a "regional law firm." The other applicants were likely senior associates at large, national law firms. Is running a bunch of smaller litigation matters with less partner supervision a better qualification than handling a bunch of bigger litigation matters with more partner supervision? How does top 5% of hours at a regional law firm compare to typical hours at a big firm? Who knows?

At the bottom, that's why school pedigree continues to play a role years after graduation. Because people have no idea how to really judge "I did X and Y at my previous job." Unless you've built up a real reputation in your state, or have highly specialized skills, you're pretty hard to distinguish from every other resume. Faced with trying to make those judgments, people fall back to using pedigree as a criterion.

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dingbat
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby dingbat » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:53 pm

rayiner wrote:At the bottom, that's why school pedigree continues to play a role years after graduation. Because people have no idea how to really judge "I did X and Y at my previous job." Unless you've built up a real reputation in your state, or have highly specialized skills, you're pretty hard to distinguish from every other resume. Faced with trying to make those judgments, people fall back to using pedigree as a criterion.

This is so credited it should come with a big fat TCR notice

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Samara
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby Samara » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:56 pm

rayiner wrote:
SuperCerealBrah wrote:The guy referenced in the article handled numerous litigation matters and was in the top 5% of his firm in hours billed.


The guy was a senior associate at a "regional law firm." The other applicants were likely senior associates at large, national law firms. Is running a bunch of smaller litigation matters with less partner supervision a better qualification than handling a bunch of bigger litigation matters with more partner supervision? How does top 5% of hours at a regional law firm compare to typical hours at a big firm? Who knows?

At the bottom, that's why school pedigree continues to play a role years after graduation. Because people have no idea how to really judge "I did X and Y at my previous job." Unless you've built up a real reputation in your state, or have highly specialized skills, you're pretty hard to distinguish from every other resume. Faced with trying to make those judgments, people fall back to using pedigree as a criterion.

Excellent points. Also, how often are you told the truth when you don't get hired? If the guy ingratiated himself to the interviewer, but a different person was better qualified or a better fit, I can see the interviewer wanting to blame it on a "policy" of not hiring from certain schools.

ahnhub
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby ahnhub » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:04 pm

dingbat wrote:
basilseal wrote:
SuperCerealBrah wrote: Did either of you even read the article? The problem is when an attorney who already has a history of success isn't hired because of their school. The guy referenced in the article handled numerous litigation matters and was in the top 5% of his firm in hours billed. How is that not being a good asset for the firm especially when law school doesn't have hardly anything to do with being a lawyer. These comments are really dumb and really shortsighted. Oh, and people don't choose a doctor usually based on whether they went to harvard med or not lol

Plenty of people are biased towards MDs over DOs. Not saying it's right, just that it happens.

IMO that has less to do with prestige and more to do with the difference of the program. I personally would much rather prefer an MD if I had a disease, but would be willing to accept a DO if I had a broken bone or a sprained ankle


DO schools and MD schools teach the exact same shit, except DO schools add a couple of hours of crap about holistic medicine. The reason some people prefer MDs is because people generally know DO school is easier to get into--again, it's kind of the prestige thing.

jarofsoup
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby jarofsoup » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:13 pm

A lot has to do with who the firm can sell to their clients. Clients like to see that the person that they are paying 1k+ an hour is from an elite school.

Sandro
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby Sandro » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:53 pm

I didn't give much effort to reading all of this, but is this a fair summary of this thread?:

Article: Elitism in law school is kinda dumb

TLS: But thats just the way it is.

?

If not I might read everything.

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rayiner
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rayiner » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:55 pm

Sandro wrote:I didn't give much effort to reading all of this, but is this a fair summary of this thread?:

Article: Elitism in law school is kinda dumb

TLS: But thats just the way it is.

?

If not I might read everything.


More like,

Article: elitism in law school is dumb.
TLS: legal education is dumb.

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BuckinghamB
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby BuckinghamB » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:25 pm

rayiner wrote:
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.?”


Did he switch around the phrasing of that idiom? Or am I just stupid? I'm guessing it's the latter...

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Samara
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby Samara » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:29 pm

BuckinghamB wrote:Did he switch around the phrasing of that idiom? Or am I just stupid? I'm guessing it's the latter...

It is flipped around. I guess it's intentional? If so, he appears to be saying that YSH students are always going to be excellent clerks, no matter what. Not sure how I feel about that.

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rayiner
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:35 pm

BuckinghamB wrote:
“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.?”


Did he switch around the phrasing of that idiom? Or am I just stupid? I'm guessing it's the latter...


He switched it around on purpose. The usual phrasing implies that that no matter how much value you add, you can't get a high quality product from a low quality input. He's saying that even though HYS doesn't add any value, you can't get a low quality product from a high quality input.

It's interesting to contrast this with a quote from Henderson's article:

This system and the current market fail to discern between a legal education done well versus one done poorly.


Henderson is lamenting that employers fail to discern the difference between good legal education and bad legal education. Scalia is saying that he's not failing to discern between good legal education and bad legal education, but that he doesn't care because he doesn't think it's a value-add either way. He's just interested in the sorting function.

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Tanicius
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby Tanicius » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:40 pm

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.



I think it's market pressure. I don't know what kind of work Barlit Beck does, but if it's corporate, that means they have to appeal to the tastes of corporate clients, and corporate clients often want pedigree.

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rayiner
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:46 pm

Tanicius wrote:
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.



I think it's market pressure. I don't know what kind of work Barlit Beck does, but if it's corporate, that means they have to appeal to the tastes of corporate clients, and corporate clients often want pedigree.


They do high stakes trial litigation. It's an area that should be one of the least conscious of pedigree. For corporate work, you rarely have feedback when it comes to whether your lawyers did a good job or not. So you rely on pedigree as a proxy for quality. In trial litigation, you either win or you lose. When you hire Barlit Beck, it's based on their record of winning trials, not on what kind of people they hire.

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Tanicius
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby Tanicius » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:51 pm

rayiner wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
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.



I think it's market pressure. I don't know what kind of work Barlit Beck does, but if it's corporate, that means they have to appeal to the tastes of corporate clients, and corporate clients often want pedigree.


They do high stakes trial litigation. It's an area that should be one of the least conscious of pedigree. For corporate work, you rarely have feedback when it comes to whether your lawyers did a good job or not. So you rely on pedigree as a proxy for quality. In trial litigation, you either win or you lose. When you hire Barlit Beck, it's based on their record of winning trials, not on what kind of people they hire.



Oh, that's something in general that pisses me off about trial litigation firms. Keker and Quinn are the same way, but Keker is like top pedigree on steroids. Almost all of their associates I took a look at on their website went to HYPS undergrad and HYS for law school, and probably 95+% have prestigious federal clerkships, if not also federal circuit clerkships. The clerkship thing I can kind of understand because it means you will walk into the firm having experience in court, but the overall feel was that their standards are super academic, and quite frankly that does not make a lot of sense to me.

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby nickb285 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:37 pm

rickgrimes69 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?


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.


Given the number of "lololol my neighbor asked me if I'm going to [insert TTTT here] because he heard it was really good" posts I've seen while lurking on this forum, I suspect the average client (personal anyway, obviously this doesn't hold true for corporate/biglaw) knows as much about law school rankings as I know about med school rankings, and probably cares less. To people who don't have a certain kind of specialized knowledge, and who have no real need to display the pedigree of the person they're hiring, lawyers and doctors are all pretty much the same unless and until they royally fuck up.

There's a certain reasonableness to giving preference to t14 students for things like clerkships and entry-level jobs--law students haven't had the time to really distinguish themselves on work and merit in practice, so the main indicators of potential success are GPA/LSAT/L1 grades. But once someone's been practicing for more than a couple of years, caring about what institution they went to before considering their competence in the real world is just kind of silly.

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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby moonman157 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:26 pm

nickb285 wrote:
rickgrimes69 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?


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.


Given the number of "lololol my neighbor asked me if I'm going to [insert TTTT here] because he heard it was really good" posts I've seen while lurking on this forum, I suspect the average client (personal anyway, obviously this doesn't hold true for corporate/biglaw) knows as much about law school rankings as I know about med school rankings, and probably cares less. To people who don't have a certain kind of specialized knowledge, and who have no real need to display the pedigree of the person they're hiring, lawyers and doctors are all pretty much the same unless and until they royally fuck up.

There's a certain reasonableness to giving preference to t14 students for things like clerkships and entry-level jobs--law students haven't had the time to really distinguish themselves on work and merit in practice, so the main indicators of potential success are GPA/LSAT/L1 grades. But once someone's been practicing for more than a couple of years, caring about what institution they went to before considering their competence in the real world is just kind of silly.


http://thecareerist.typepad.com/thecare ... g-law.html

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fatduck
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby fatduck » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:29 pm


what a terrible metric. the average loyola student getting biglaw is probably in the top 5-10% of his class. could easily be below median at chicago.

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jkpolk
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby jkpolk » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:32 pm

moonman157 wrote:http://thecareerist.typepad.com/thecareerist/2012/03/best-second-tier-law-schools-for-big-law.html

The columbia poster is the only non-facepalm thing about that article
--ImageRemoved--

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moonman157
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Re: The continued importance of school rank

Postby moonman157 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:35 pm

fatduck wrote:

what a terrible metric. the average loyola student getting biglaw is probably in the top 5-10% of his class. could easily be below median at chicago.


I don't dispute this at all. If you want to make partner at a big law firm, go to U of C. My point is that the practice of favoring t14 students for employment seems to lessen as people get older/get into their careers.




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