Fussell wrote:I am familiar with the legal markets in SF and the greater Bay Area, and I can tell you Davis gets very little respect here. Even UC Hastings is considered much better, despite it's lower rank and sub-50% employment in legitimate legal jobs.
- How is this possible if UC Davis's ranking is considerably higher than UC Hastings? I am very confused then about how to interpret the rankings. How do you know that UC Davis gets little respect? Could you please expand?
Sure. I recently lived in the area, and most professionals (incl. attorneys) don't think that Davis is a good school. However, when I tell people that I go to a T6 school, they ask if I considered Hastings and are perplexed as to why I would not choose Hastings. Which is, and sounds ridiculous, but a local friend of mine has gotten the same response from anyone older than 30. I would never advise anyone to attend Hastings at any price, and I think the school is massively overrated in the Bay Area for many reasons.
The rankings will only tell you so much, and in my opinion, not much at all outside of the Top 20 or so. For instance, even though University of Indiana is ranked above University of Washington, if you are trying to work in Seattle, people are going to be much more impressed if your JD is from Washington than if it is from Indiana. This is probably true for people on the coasts as well (definitely in SF), but that is my speculation.
When employment prospects are horrible, the rankings are essentially worthless. I personally would not attend GW for free, but 40% of Davis class graduated with no long-term, full time legal job. About 40% of people who did get LT, FT legal jobs work in firms with fewer than 25 attorneys. This is not a good outcome if you are servicing debt.