USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

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cahwc12
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USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby cahwc12 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:59 pm

US News & World Report Rankings versus Full-Time, Long-Term, Bar-Passage-Required Employment Rankings for 2011

A couple notes:
- All data is compiled from http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
- This list considers only full-time, long-term, bar-passage-required jobs held at 9 months from graduating class of 2011.
- USNWR unranked schools that placed in the top 100 for % FTLTBP-req jobs were given a ranking of 100.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... NRWc#gid=0
UPDATE: To see employment rates adjusted for school-funded and solo practice jobs, see this post below:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=195444#p5939008

Again, this is a USNWR rankings for all 201 ABA-approved Law Schools next to their 2011 full-time, long-term, bar-passage-required job placement at 9 months from graduation for the class of 2011.


If FTLTBP-req job placement were the sole criterion for rankings:

USNWR T1 schools that would place T2:
13 Georgetown (51)
15 UCLA (56)
19 Minnesota (71)
22 Notre Dame (54)
23 WUSTL (72)
24 Washington & Lee (92)
29 Fordham (79)
29 UC-Davis (84)
34 Georgia (57)
35 William & Mary (95)
39 George Mason (64)
39 Ohio State (74)
44 Wake Forest (85)
44 Colorado (86)
48 Florida (70)

USNWR T1 schools that would be unranked:
19 U Washington (102)
26 Boston (112)
35 Illinois (115)
39 BYU (109)
39 Maryland (138)
44 UC-Hastings (141)
49 Pepperdine (156)
49 American (180)
(Thomas M. Cooley Law school ranks 170th)



Interesting(?) Numbers:
46% of T1 schools (64% of non-T14) would rank T2 or worse.
16% of T1 schools would be unranked.
13 unranked schools would rank T1, including one in T14 (St. Mary's University, 13)
28 unranked schools would rank T2.
"Placement success" constitutes 20% of USNWR ranking.
Employment at 9 months in any capacity constitutes 14% of USNWR ranking.



Lastly, I compiled a list of the top 100 USNWR schools versus the quality of employment as measured by:
- Rank by percent of students employed in full-time, long-term, bar-passage-required jobs within 9 months of graduation
- Rank by percent of students employed at firms with >100 attorneys + federal clerkships within 9 months of graduation
- Rank by percent of students employed at firms with >500 attorneys + federal clerkships within 9 months of graduation

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... tcGc#gid=0
Last edited by cahwc12 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby VasaVasori » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:37 am

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Sheffield
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby Sheffield » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:55 am

In your employment stats, how did UVA’s 17% school funded jobs effect the outcome? As you likely know, 17% is uncharacteristically high.

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cahwc12
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:42 am

Sheffield wrote:In your employment stats, how did UVA’s 17% school funded jobs effect the outcome? As you likely know, 17% is uncharacteristically high.


I counted everything that qualified under reporting as full-time, long-term, JD-required, bar-passage-required jobs--so it's certain that almost every school was somewhat skewed by self-reporting what they deem qualifies.

The 2nd spreadsheet I posted shows more telling data, since it's unquestionably more difficult to fudge a McJob into "federal clerkship."

I've been using the latter to whittle down my own list of schools I'll apply to. It's nice to see both overall employment and what I would consider "good job" employment.

It doesn't include good, small firm jobs nor does it include PI jobs, which can also be good. This is entirely because those positions tend to be heavily fudged.

Here is a list of redacted NALP reports from LST if anyone is curious, although much more than a portly half is missing, including nearly all the schools anyone would seriously consider:
http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/do ... orts/2011/

In case anyone is wondering, St. Mary's is included here (LinkRemoved). Fully 130 of the 196 employed were at <10 attorney firms, and only 14 reported salaries ($60k). Still, my friend who lives in San Antonio said he wasn't that surprised to see that because St. Mary's has an outstanding reputation in the city (according to him).

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sunynp
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby sunynp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:58 am

Did you account for class size at all? Or just raw numbers? Sorry if I misread because it wasn't clear to me from skimming
your post.


Also are one-year clerkships and internships or unpaid jobs included? My sense is that the ABA includes any job a 9 months out as long as it would last a year. I didn't see their criteria on a quick search. It may be up to the schools. Note that schools can complete forms from students who don't respond under NALP rules.

Here is the link to the ABA page with numbers and their disclaimer that they are only publishing what the schools tell them.
http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/

EDIT: found the link on LST that discusses what the ABA requires: --LinkRemoved--

Here is a link to taxprofs blog on the schools that place the most people into NLJ 250 jobs in 2011:
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... chool.html

and his list of the schools that had the best and worst placement:
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... -only.html

Did you look at Rayiner's thread on unemployment to see how he calculated the numbers? I'm wondering how useful this data is if it doesn't look at the "quality" of jobs in terms of repaying loans.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=18172

I thought LST was pretty complete. I haven't looked at it for a while so I'm surprised to see that they are missing schools.
Last edited by sunynp on Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby altoid99 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:04 pm

I commend the effort, but wish that you had subtracted solo practitioners and just used the employment score for each school on LST. Also, subtracting the school-funded LTFTBP would have been useful since these positions are usually very low paying and last just one year. Not to mention, it would hurt GW's number significantly as I believe 80 of their graduates were reported under this sort of job.

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Sheffield
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby Sheffield » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:11 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
Sheffield wrote:In your employment stats, how did UVA’s 17% school funded jobs effect the outcome? As you likely know, 17% is uncharacteristically high.


I counted everything that qualified under reporting as full-time, long-term, JD-required, bar-passage-required jobs--so it's certain that almost every school was somewhat skewed by self-reporting what they deem qualifies.

Somewhat skewed is one thing but when a school self-hires 5X the norm, their employment stats become blatantly distorted, in their favor. IMO: if not for UVA’s [17%] self-hires, chances are UVA would not be ranked in the top 10, much less #1. Just saying. . .

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cahwc12
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:24 pm

altoid99 wrote:I commend the effort, but wish that you had subtracted solo practitioners and just used the employment score for each school on LST. Also, subtracting the school-funded LTFTBP would have been useful since these positions are usually very low paying and last just one year. Not to mention, it would hurt GW's number significantly as I believe 80 of their graduates were reported under this sort of job.


It isn't hard to crop it out, but the only untainted numbers as far as I'm concerned are >100 employed and federal clerkships. The others are all vary widely in terms of how many real jobs are interspersed with fake ones.

Is there general agreement on which fields are more likely to contain fake jobs, and if it's high enough to warrant exclusion?

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sunynp
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby sunynp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:06 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
altoid99 wrote:I commend the effort, but wish that you had subtracted solo practitioners and just used the employment score for each school on LST. Also, subtracting the school-funded LTFTBP would have been useful since these positions are usually very low paying and last just one year. Not to mention, it would hurt GW's number significantly as I believe 80 of their graduates were reported under this sort of job.


It isn't hard to crop it out, but the only untainted numbers as far as I'm concerned are >100 employed and federal clerkships. The others are all vary widely in terms of how many real jobs are interspersed with fake ones.

Is there general agreement on which fields are more likely to contain fake jobs, and if it's high enough to warrant exclusion?

Here is a post from Campos' blog about the validity of these numbers:

How many people are getting real legal jobs?
Real legal job = Full-time non-temp position requiring bar admission.

As a baseline, we can start with DJM's calculation that, according to the stats schools reported to the ABA and NALP, 59.8% of the class of 2011 whose employment status was known got full-time jobs requiring bar admission. But it's clear the real number is far lower than that.

Factors that lower it:

(1) Six percent of the class had an unknown employment status. It would be optimistic to assume that a third of those people got real legal jobs.

(2) The default assumptions used by career service offices when they have incomplete data regarding employment status (which is often) is that the missing data is positive. In other words, when there's ambiguity about whether a graduate is working full-time, or is in a long-term or bar required position, that graduate's job will be coded as full-time long-term bar-required. This significantly overstates the number of graduates who have real legal jobs. These assumptions are especially dangerous when applied to jobs with firms of 2-10 attorneys, which accounted for more than two out of every five law firm jobs class of 2011 graduates reported getting. Some unknown percentage of these jobs are law clerk positions, eat what you kill arrangements, or two or three new graduates sharing office space. These distinctions are especially likely not to be made on NALP forms.

(3) Evidence of employment is treated cumulatively. Evidence of unemployment is not. What this means is that a graduate who reports a positive employment status at any point between the spring of the graduate's 3L year and nine months after graduation is treated as employed, period. Graduates who report not being employed will have their status re-checked to see if it has changed.

(4) What counts as non-temporary (long-term) employment by ABA and NALP definitions doesn't actually track with a real-world definition of a non-temp job. A job is considered long-term under these definitions if it has a duration of at least one year. This means judicial clerkships are treated as real legal jobs, even though most of these positions are state district court clerkships, which in palmier days were often reasonable launching pads for legal careers, especially in regard to government jobs, but which under present conditions have morphed for most graduates into one-year way stations on the road to legal unemployment.

Note too that a certain number of "big law" positions in the NALP stats aren't really big law jobs at all. A law professor writes:



At [mid first tier school], we have quite a number of 2009-2011 grads working with Baker & Hostetler. Those are one-year contract positions, with the possibility of renewal, paying $75,000 per year for document work--but with benefits and a real office. No one knows yet where--if anywhere--those jobs will lead. Yet those are better than average in terms of salary! (And they go into both our BigLaw counts and our salary averages.)

And then there are the folks going to the back offices of WilmerHale (Dayton Ohio) and Orrick (Wheeling W Va). They're permanent, indefinite term jobs with starting salaries of $55-60,000 and benefits. But where do those jobs possibly lead? One can't be a discovery lawyer forever--and even discovery is getting more automated.
How many of the 4,767 jobs (10.7% of all law graduates) that law schools reported graduates of the class of 2011 got with firms of more than 100 attorneys were in this category? Nobody knows. (It says a lot that most current law graduates would consider these "premium" document review positions -- which at least feature one-year contracts, benefits, and offices -- to be "good" jobs).

Also, several hundred "full-time long-term jobs requiring bar admission" were one-year law school funded "jobs" designed to pump up NALP stats at places like Columbia and Virginia.

(5) 2.5% of the class of 2011 reported starting solo practices. This counts as a real legal job if you're shilling for Cooley et. al. Otherwise not so much.

(6) Intentional misreporting on the part of law schools. Confirming whether a school has been lying about the entering credentials of its students is easy, assuming someone bothers to check at some point. Yet a couple of schools have been caught doing just that. Confirming that a school has been intentionally misreporting the employment status of its graduates would be difficult to do, even if the data reported by schools to the ABA and NALP were subjected to some kind of auditing, which they aren't.

All this adds up to the conclusion that, while we don't know what percentage of graduates are getting real legal jobs, it's far less than three out of five. My back of the envelope estimate would be 35% to 40%.


http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... legal.html

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cahwc12
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:41 pm

The biglaw as defined by >100 misrepresentation does bother me (since I thought that category was generally impervious to anything other than outright fraud), but I think he makes compelling arguments to generally disregard any employment considered "academia" or "solo". I suppose this could/would negatively impact a school like yale, but I'm personally much more interested in the rest of the T1 beyond HYSCCN.

I re-post a new one of "real" employed less solo and law-funded positions.

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby rayiner » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:06 pm

cahwc12 wrote:The biglaw as defined by >100 misrepresentation does bother me (since I thought that category was generally impervious to anything other than outright fraud), but I think he makes compelling arguments to generally disregard any employment considered "academia" or "solo". I suppose this could/would negatively impact a school like yale, but I'm personally much more interested in the rest of the T1 beyond HYSCCN.

I re-post a new one of "real" employed less solo and law-funded positions.


Most people who do legitimate legal academia these days go through a federal clerkship first. Even at Yale only 3.5% are reported as being employed in "academia" and at H/S it's 1-2%. And I'd be willing to bet that some of those aren't legal academia.

I think just discounting "academia" as a category entirely is the most accurate way to go.

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby PDaddy » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:28 pm

Interesting stuff...

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby tyler.durden » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:41 pm

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby WanderingPondering » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:43 pm

Thanks for doing this.

For what it's worth, this shows Mercer as having better numbers than UGA. Clearly context and actual breakdown of jobs is worth taking into consideration.

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cahwc12
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:46 pm

I ran into trouble trying to line-item specific employment types since law-school-funded positions don't correspond 1:1 to academic, government, public interest/etc jobs.

I was able to remove all solo and school-funded positions though:

USNWR Rankings versus Employment Rankings (Solo, School-Funded Adjusted)
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... SMlE#gid=0

The first column %JDreq* indicates the rank by % employed full-time, long-term, bar-passage-required jobs LESS any solo practice or school-funded jobs.

The original employment column % JD FTLT is still included with initial color-coding to more clearly reveal the largest offenders.

The adjacent column %JD-req* indicates the percentage of 2011 graduates employed at 9 months in full-time, long-term, bar-passare-required jobs LESS solo practice and school-funded jobs.


A couple quick observations:
- The only school to switch from green to red was George Washington (-16.02% change).
- Virginia, despite being one of the most egregious offenders, still ranks 7th overall in placement.

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cahwc12
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:04 pm

rayiner wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:The biglaw as defined by >100 misrepresentation does bother me (since I thought that category was generally impervious to anything other than outright fraud), but I think he makes compelling arguments to generally disregard any employment considered "academia" or "solo". I suppose this could/would negatively impact a school like yale, but I'm personally much more interested in the rest of the T1 beyond HYSCCN.

I re-post a new one of "real" employed less solo and law-funded positions.


Most people who do legitimate legal academia these days go through a federal clerkship first. Even at Yale only 3.5% are reported as being employed in "academia" and at H/S it's 1-2%. And I'd be willing to bet that some of those aren't legal academia.

I think just discounting "academia" as a category entirely is the most accurate way to go.



You've spent more time on this stuff than anyone it seems. Can you think of another way I can clean up the data in bulk?

I couldn't remove academia but I was able to just remove every position considered "school-funded" and then no solo practitioner overlaps with that so I was able to drop that out as well. I'm not sure there's another way to sift through the data except for going through it on a school-by-school basis.

Still, seems like this gives a much clearer picture of what's going on. This real job data is the one of the most important factors to me (and it should be to everyone).

After reading this study on the efficacy of USNWR rankings (LinkRemoved) yesterday after the test I'm convinced there has to be a better way to look at schools relative to each other. (Granted, that study is 14 years old, but most of the points relayed still hold.)

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby dingbat » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:25 pm

I think FTLTBP isn't always the best metric.
How many of those jobs are what are referred to as "shitlaw" and have poor prospects? On the same note, there are plenty of non-FTLTBP jobs that shouldn't be discounted (going into consulting, working on a political campaign, etc.)
I think these Detailed Employment Statistics are worth relisting (thanks).
Keep the quality of the job in mind, sure Georgetown has more unemployed grads than, say, Southern Methodist, but the ones who do have jobs are better off, and are more likely to be able to repay their loans.

We are capable of getting enough data to drown in it. Make sure you consider the right metrics (if you care more about having a guaranteed job, regardless of salary/prestige/prospects, the FTLTBP is great, but if you're gunning for biglaw the NLJ250 is a better measure)
Last edited by dingbat on Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Sheffield
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby Sheffield » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:25 pm

Thanks. Your adjustment makes sense.

UVA is a good school, but not #1. . . 7th place is more like it. True for Penn too. . . they are one of the better schools in securing employment, so revising their rank from 8th to 4th seems more precise. Plus, they will likely be in the T6 next go around. Great work!

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cahwc12
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:36 pm

dingbat wrote:I think FTLTBP isn't always the best metric.
How many of those jobs are what are referred to as "shitlaw" and have poor prospects? On the same note, there are plenty of non-FTLTBP jobs that shouldn't be discounted (going into consulting, working on a political campaign, etc.)
I think these Detailed Employment Statistics are worth relisting (thanks).
Keep the quality of the job in mind, sure Georgetown has more unemployed grads than, say, Southern Methodist, but the ones who do have jobs are better off, and are more likely to be able to repay their loans.

We are capable of getting enough data to drown in it. Make sure you consider the right metrics (if you care more about having a guaranteed job, regardless of salary/prestige/prospects, the FTLTBP is great, but if you're gunning for biglaw the NLJ250 is a better measure)


The problem I see with that is the Campos rule: You don't go to law school to work on a political campaign or go into consulting. You likely do that because you JD/MBA'd or (much more likely) couldn't get a job or something like that. You go to law school to be a lawyer and work in a job that requires a law degree.

I do think job quality is very important, but even for the 50+ schools who have released NALP data to LST, salaries are redacted (or in Florida State's case, attempted to be redacted by using a black highlighter that doesn't fully blacken out the data).


For me, my factors for law school are something like:

1) How many graduates are employed in real jobs?
2) How many graduates are employed in good, real jobs?
3) How many graduates are employed in good, real jobs that I would want?
4) How much is the cost of attendance?
5) How likely am I to get a "merit-scholarship" that makes it worth attending?

#2-3 I can't see a way to sort through the noise except on a school-by-school basis with NALP data. #1 I think is at least less uncertain by factoring out the school-funded and solo-practice jobs.

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby rayiner » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:04 pm

There is really no point to these rankings, in that they can't give you any information that's useful. Your thought process is something like this:

1) Given my non-law alternatives, do I want to gun for big law or would I be happy in small law?
2) If "yes" to (1), then can I get into a T14*?
3) If "yes" to (2), go to whatever T14 you get the most money at or to HYSC if you get in. Your job search performance is going to be much more dependent on how you do in law school than whether you go to Berkeley versus Duke.
4) If "yes" to (1) but "no" to (2) then don't go to law school.

5) If "no" to (1), then pick where you want to live/have ties. Go to one of the top 2-3 schools in your market where you get the most money/get the cheapest in-state tuition. If you don't get any money at one of those schools, don't go to law school.

It's really that simple. Between all the churn in the data and the uncertainty about how schools are reporting various statistics, it's totally pointless to try to figure out if UIUC places better than UGA. The NLJ 250 stats tell you all you need to know about big law hiring, and if you don't want big law or can't get into a school that gives you a reasonable shot at big law, you should be looking at where you want to live and where you have connections. And when you're looking for a small firm job in Georgia or Illinois, you don't really need a bunch of data to tell you what the local pecking order is.

*) I'm using "T14" as a rough phrase. It's up to you to decide if Vandy/USC are in or Georgetown/Michigan are out.
Last edited by rayiner on Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby Kurst » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:07 pm

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby sunynp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:58 pm

rayiner wrote:There is really no point to these rankings, in that they can't give you any information that's useful. Your thought process is something like this:

1) Given my non-law alternatives, do I want to gun for big law or would I be happy in small law?
2) If "yes" to (1), then can I get into a T14*?
3) If "yes" to (2), go to whatever T14 you get the most money at or to HYSC if you get in. Your job search performance is going to be much more dependent on how you do in law school than whether you go to Berkeley versus Duke.
4) If "yes" to (1) but "no" to (2) then don't go to law school.

5) If "no" to (1), then pick where you want to live/have ties. Go to one of the top 2-3 schools in your market where you get the most money/get the cheapest in-state tuition. If you don't get any money at one of those schools, don't go to law school.

It's really that simple. Between all the churn in the data and the uncertainty about how schools are reporting various statistics, it's totally pointless to try to figure out if UIUC places better than UGA. The NLJ 250 stats tell you all you need to know about big law hiring, and if you don't want big law or can't get into a school that gives you a reasonable shot at big law, you should be looking at where you want to live and where you have connections. And when you're looking for a small firm job in Georgia or Illinois, you don't really need a bunch of data to tell you what the local pecking order is.

*) I'm using "T14" as a rough phrase. It's up to you to decide if Vandy/USC are in or Georgetown/Michigan are out.


This is a great analysis that everyone should listen to. Emphasize that the difference between the placement power of schools like UIUC and UGA doesn't have much relevance unless you have ties to the markets that both schools service.

Go to law school is all about getting a job as a lawyer. The placement statistics of a school located in an area you have zero contacts to should not even be a consideration. Maybe there is some relative value in seeing the placement of the schools you are considering attending, but choose schools where you have a chance of getting hired

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:08 pm

Thanks, that is good advice. I guess my question to that is, does that preclude the possibility to make connections at a regional school through?

The only connections I have are to areas I have no desire to practice in. Other than that though, I am pretty open about living and practicing almost anywhere.

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rayiner
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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:03 am

cahwc12 wrote:Thanks, that is good advice. I guess my question to that is, does that preclude the possibility to make connections at a regional school through?

The only connections I have are to areas I have no desire to practice in. Other than that though, I am pretty open about living and practicing almost anywhere.


Unless you bring school + grades to the table, you need to have something else. If you don't like where you're from, then take a couple of years off after undergrad to work in a particular market then apply to schools in the area. Work experience makes you much more desirable for jobs, and working in a city is a great way to build connections in a market and show your dedication to staying in that market.

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Re: USNWR Rankings versus Employment* Rankings

Postby geary86 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:19 am

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