Aberzombie1892 wrote:OP, it was kind of silly to leave off Columbia on the theory that it is more portable than Chicago or any other T14. Further, "portability" is just a word people throw around to justify going to one school over another when their real reason for doing so is simply the US News rankings.
Doesn't portability loosely correlate with the prestige of the school? It sure seems that way. The poll only allows ten items, so I had to leave the four most elite schools (YHSC) off of it. It would have been dumb to leave other T-14 schools off the poll as opposed to YHSC.
I agree as far as leaving off HYS is concerned, but Columbia is a different story. Regardless, the ability to get a desirable job in any given market (particularly not NYC) revolves around (1) ties to the market of the applicant, (2) schools attended by the applicant, (3) grades attained at schools attended by the applicant, (4) schools attended by individuals that already work at the firm/government entity/etc. and (5) the ties/schools/grades that other applicants to the same job hold. Thus, it is pretty much a crapshoot at desirable smaller markets (i.e. not NYC), as any random variable can prevent you from getting a job.
For example, a Columbia graduate with ties to a secondary market (undergrad) with above median grades and a Virginia graduate with ties to the market (K12) and similar grades apply for the same job, and the Virginia graduate gets the job. Does this mean Virginia is more portable? Certainly not. Many factors could have caused this outcome including: (1) a disproportionate amount of partners at the firm graduated from Virginia, (2) the hiring committee may have reasoned that the graduate from Virginia had stronger ties, (3) the committee may have already filled their summer class with too many graduates from Columbia, etc. My point is that "portability" is a hollow term that does not really mean anything.
While portability is hollow, proximity of the T14s to major markets is quite important. But we are not really talking about that here.