LSATSCORES2012 wrote:But while I would agree, in very general terms that people shouldn't go to law school unless they want a legal job, there is still the mistake of clumping them all together. A job in a local firm with two lawyers might count as a full-time, long-term, legal job, but should it really count into an employment score? Probably not, because for most people it's not desirable employment (though for some, it is). Which is one reason that, as I've said, LST is so useful: you can break down each type of employment and rank schools accordingly.
So the point remains: different people want different things out of law school, and that is an important thing to recognize. Some would be satisfied with that small time job, while others want to work for a V5 firm.
I can certainly agree with that last point. IIRC for med schools USNWR doesn't actually have a true "overall" ranking; the problem is for law the distinction between fields is much more nuanced and we all know that specialty rankings are a flame. In that sense, it would perhaps be even more beneficial to have a ranking system based on so-called "favorable" outcomes - biglaw, AIII clerkships, prestigious government and PI positions, etc. While not everybody wants one of these positions, suffice to say that the difficulty of getting a less "favorable" legal position if that is what one desires is lower. The point is while some schools are certainly better than others for placing into biglaw, there's nothing to suggest that the schools that are less successful at placing into biglaw are intrinsically more successful at placing into shitlaw. I would argue it's not necessary to have a ranking metric based on such outcomes because they are essentially included within the more "favorable" ones.
As for the small subset of people who are in fact going to law school to be Bryce Harper's agent or the POTUS or whatever, that's where specialty rankings might actually have a purpose - perceived reputation, quality of life, etc.
For someone who is not chasing after those prestige-focused positions you named - Biglaw/Prestigious PI/Clerkships, at that point cost matters more. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that school ranking or prestige matters outside of those jobs, and people shouldn't be concerned about rankings at that point. This is oversimplifying but it could be broken down into two groups
A: Biglaw, Prestigious PI (International Law, ACLU, Big City PD/DA jobs, BigFed, etc), A3 Clerkships, Prestigious non-law jobs (ie MBB consulting)
B: Shitlaw/Small firm law, state/local clerkships, PD/DA jobs in remote areas, Non-law jobs
For group A you need the rankings and generally to aim for at least a T25-T30 school, preferably T14. For group B you should just be minimizing cost as much as possible. A rankings system which recognizes this would be more helpful and the "T14 or free" meme going around right now sums it up nicely