Specific or Overall Ratings

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chlopi
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Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby chlopi » Thu May 30, 2013 7:48 am

I'm interested in becoming an international lawyer and I'm curious to what extent rankings matter - specific program vs overall. For example, say Temple University is ranked in the top 15 or so in International Law, but 50-60 something overall. What does this mean in reality? Clearly overall ranking is important and I'm guessing even if uPenn/Harvard/highly ranked school has a lower rank in International Law than a school like Temple, one has a much better prospect for getting a job upon graduating from a top tier school overall - however, I'm curious to what extent the specific rank actually matters.

I don't know if I could afford or get into a very highly ranked school, the T14 or what have you. However, as far as say 20-40, 40-60, etc how much emphasis is placed on specific specialty over overall ranking? In other words as the overall ranking of the school gets lower, does a high specific ranking (like international law, legal writing, etc) matter? Would going to a school that is ranked 20-30 spots ahead of a school like Temple overall be worth it if the international law program rank is much lower? I'm only interested in international law and what can help me with that career path so keep that in mind.

I'm not terribly familiar with all of the terms or concepts of law school admissions, so please let me know if I'm not being clear.


Thanks.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu May 30, 2013 7:53 am

Specialty rankings mean less than nothing, same as international law in general. You'd be insane to pick a school based on specialty rankings. And you WILL NOT get a job in international law from temple. It's unlikely from a top fourteen.

chlopi
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby chlopi » Thu May 30, 2013 8:09 am

Mal Reynolds wrote:same as international law in general. It's unlikely from a top fourteen.


Thanks, can you expand upon this? How exactly does one go about getting a job in international law? I will be studying abroad and doing Peace Corps for a few years after I graduate undergrad, does Peace Corps experience or knowing foreign languages contribute at all to this goal?

Also, do you happen to know the basis for these specialty rankings? I kind of assumed they were not too regarded, but I wonder what exactly they are based on.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Thu May 30, 2013 8:18 am

If you were to run a regression that factored in overall job placement already, a school's specific IL ranking is going to have almost zero correlation to where a top IL firm like Covington or Cleary Gottlieb is going to hire from.

OP, don't worry about those, and don't go to a non-T14 school until you've put as much time and energy as possible improving your LSAT score. It may very well get you significant scholarships that help pay for school.

chlopi wrote:How exactly does one go about getting a job in international law?


Go to a great school, get great grades, and get hired by an international law firm.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 30, 2013 8:22 am

chlopi wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:same as international law in general. It's unlikely from a top fourteen.


Thanks, can you expand upon this? How exactly does one go about getting a job in international law? I will be studying abroad and doing Peace Corps for a few years after I graduate undergrad, does Peace Corps experience or knowing foreign languages contribute at all to this goal?

Also, do you happen to know the basis for these specialty rankings? I kind of assumed they were not too regarded, but I wonder what exactly they are based on.

The basis for specialty ranking is the opinions of law faculty in the specific field, giving their assessment based on faculty research in the field. Quality of faculty research has very little to do with a student's actual experience at a school or opportunity to get a job in that field.


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2014
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby 2014 » Thu May 30, 2013 8:50 am

What exactly do you think international law is? It could mean a number of things to you and the best school probably depends on what your definition is.

chlopi
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby chlopi » Thu May 30, 2013 9:17 am

Thanks for all the information everyone, this is really helpful.

2014 wrote:What exactly do you think international law is? It could mean a number of things to you and the best school probably depends on what your definition is.


My understanding is that international law deals with international organizations and governments. I recently attended a presentation of an international lawyer and he explained his work experience and I found it very compelling. I am specifically interested in dealing with Polish, Ukrainian, and/or Russian organizations/governments in some capacity.

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Bronte
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby Bronte » Thu May 30, 2013 9:26 am

chlopi wrote:Thanks for all the information everyone, this is really helpful.

2014 wrote:What exactly do you think international law is? It could mean a number of things to you and the best school probably depends on what your definition is.


My understanding is that international law deals with international organizations and governments. I recently attended a presentation of an international lawyer and he explained his work experience and I found it very compelling. I am specifically interested in dealing with Polish, Ukrainian, and/or Russian organizations/governments in some capacity.


I don't want to be a shatter of dreams, but that type of international law--true international law, i.e., the law governing nations--is practiced by such a small number of lawyers that it is virtually nonexistent. Think like a handful of lawyers at the State Department, the fifteen judges on the World Court, and one dude who handles all of Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine.

When people talk about "international law" with respect to firms like Cleary et al., I understand them to be talking about cross-boarder transactions and the like, i.e., international dealmaking. There're more jobs that touch on this area.

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jingosaur
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby jingosaur » Thu May 30, 2013 9:37 am

This is the methodology for Specialty Rankings:
Specialty rankings: These specialty rankings are based solely on votes by legal educators, who nominated up to 15 schools in each field. Legal educators chosen were a selection of those listed in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Law Teachers 2009-2010 as currently teaching in that field. In the case of clinical and legal writing, the nominations were made by directors or members of the clinical and legal writing programs at each law school.

Those programs that received the most top 15 nominations appear and are numerically ranked in descending order based on the number of nominations they received as long as the school/program received seven or more nominations in that specialty area. This means that schools ranked at the bottom of each law specialty ranking have received seven nominations.


So yes, these rankings are pretty much useless. Surprisingly enough, 6 (I thought it was going to be 1 or 0) Temple grads out of 277 from 2012 are working internationally, but it's hard to gauge how strong of a sign this is because we don't know what kind of jobs these are. I have no aspirations of going into "International Law" but I'm very confident that the better a school's overall rating, the better your chance of getting one of those jobs. YHS are the only 3 schools that give you any kind of a realistic chance.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Thu May 30, 2013 9:46 am

Bronte wrote:
chlopi wrote:Thanks for all the information everyone, this is really helpful.

2014 wrote:What exactly do you think international law is? It could mean a number of things to you and the best school probably depends on what your definition is.


My understanding is that international law deals with international organizations and governments. I recently attended a presentation of an international lawyer and he explained his work experience and I found it very compelling. I am specifically interested in dealing with Polish, Ukrainian, and/or Russian organizations/governments in some capacity.


I don't want to be a shatter of dreams, but that type of international law--true international law, i.e., the law governing nations--is practiced by such a small number of lawyers that it is virtually nonexistent. Think like a handful of lawyers at the State Department, the fifteen judges on the World Court, and one dude who handles all of Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine.

When people talk about "international law" with respect to firms like Cleary et al., I understand them to be talking about cross-boarder transactions and the like, i.e., international dealmaking. There're more jobs that touch on this area.


+1

OP, if your understanding of what an international lawyer does is limited to figuring out whether Canada or Spain has fishing jurisdiction, you're going to be disappointed. The amount of actual work that deals with legal disputes between states or IGOs is extraordinarily small, because a) w/r/t to states, the lack of enforcement mechanism makes legal disputes less salient than it otherwise would and b) There just aren't that many of them.

The overwhelming majority of IL work you will do pertains to the private sector. If you work for Cleary, it's much more likely you'll spend your time, for example, determining whether a financial transaction from London to New York is allowed under English foreign law (just an educated guess, I have no idea). I suspect you have limited exposure to the sort of work you might be facing, in which case I emphasize my advice more strongly: Go to the best-ranked school for the least amount of money and don't worry about the minutia. You won't really even have more than the vaguest idea what a firm actually does before you start working there.

chlopi
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby chlopi » Thu May 30, 2013 9:56 am

Bronte wrote:
chlopi wrote:Thanks for all the information everyone, this is really helpful.

2014 wrote:What exactly do you think international law is? It could mean a number of things to you and the best school probably depends on what your definition is.


My understanding is that international law deals with international organizations and governments. I recently attended a presentation of an international lawyer and he explained his work experience and I found it very compelling. I am specifically interested in dealing with Polish, Ukrainian, and/or Russian organizations/governments in some capacity.


I don't want to be a shatter of dreams, but that type of international law--true international law, i.e., the law governing nations--is practiced by such a small number of lawyers that it is virtually nonexistent. Think like a handful of lawyers at the State Department, the fifteen judges on the World Court, and one dude who handles all of Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine.

When people talk about "international law" with respect to firms like Cleary et al., I understand them to be talking about cross-boarder transactions and the like, i.e., international dealmaking. There're more jobs that touch on this area.


I appreciate your honesty and I understand the unlikelihood. Do you know what goes into the competitiveness of these jobs in Eastern Europe or the State Department? Does work experience in these countries/fluency in the languages play a part of any significance?

Is uPenn a good enough school to give me a chance at one of these jobs?

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Thu May 30, 2013 10:10 am

chlopi wrote:
Bronte wrote:
chlopi wrote:Thanks for all the information everyone, this is really helpful.

2014 wrote:What exactly do you think international law is? It could mean a number of things to you and the best school probably depends on what your definition is.


My understanding is that international law deals with international organizations and governments. I recently attended a presentation of an international lawyer and he explained his work experience and I found it very compelling. I am specifically interested in dealing with Polish, Ukrainian, and/or Russian organizations/governments in some capacity.


I don't want to be a shatter of dreams, but that type of international law--true international law, i.e., the law governing nations--is practiced by such a small number of lawyers that it is virtually nonexistent. Think like a handful of lawyers at the State Department, the fifteen judges on the World Court, and one dude who handles all of Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine.

When people talk about "international law" with respect to firms like Cleary et al., I understand them to be talking about cross-boarder transactions and the like, i.e., international dealmaking. There're more jobs that touch on this area.


I appreciate your honesty and I understand the unlikelihood. Do you know what goes into the competitiveness of these jobs in Eastern Europe or the State Department? Does work experience in these countries/fluency in the languages play a part of any significance?

Is uPenn a good enough school to give me a chance at one of these jobs?


I can't know the competitiveness of these jobs without knowing how many applicants there, but given that the supply is extremely limited, I would guess the jobs are extremeley competitive and that anyone with a good chance went to an excellent school, got excellent grades, has a strong geopolitical understanding or background, and speaks one or more foreign languages.

UPenn is a good school regardless of what you decide to do. You wouldn't be closing any doors by going there.

20141023
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 30, 2013 10:56 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bobnoxious
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby Bobnoxious » Thu May 30, 2013 11:03 am

OP - You might have better luck getting into the field (though probably not by much) if you went for your Ph.D. in political science with a concentration in a focused area within comparative politics or international relations (FROM A TOP RANKED PROGRAM), then try to work your way up through the ranks of the State Dept. or get lucky enough to get into an international NGO.

Just a thought.

bruin91
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Re: Specific or Overall Ratings

Postby bruin91 » Thu May 30, 2013 11:06 am

lawschooltransparency.com




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