How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Where will UMN's USNWR ranking end up?

<20
7
27%
21-30
7
27%
31-40
8
31%
41-50
0
No votes
T2
4
15%
 
Total votes: 26

LTFGamut
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How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby LTFGamut » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:20 am

I applied to UMN as a safety school with 169/3.8, planning to work in the midwest. Lot of people claimed it was a solid pick outside T14, and UMN seemed to basically be super safe given my numbers. But recently came across some new info, and I can't find any discussion about it online, so am starting a thread here to see what people think.

Here's the situation: UMN's median LSAT used to be 167-ish. That was pretty stable for about as far back as I could find info.

But apparently their most recent class had a 164 median! See https://www.law.umn.edu/prospective/profile.html. And going from bad to worse, I read an interview with the dean, suggesting that he's going to increase the class size (why?!), admitting that this would probably weaken their stats even further. See http://blogs.mprnews.org/oncampus/2013/08/how-the-umn-law-school-is-faring-in-the-admissions-slump/.

Any speculation how far UMN's ranking will drop? 10 spots? 20 spots? Are they on a slippery slope, where they get into a feedback loop of declining rankings and declining applicant pool like UI (minus the scandal)? Does anyone know why UMN looks to be on the precipice of a sudden free fall in the USNWR rankings? Is there something going on up there that I should know about?

I guess my main question is this: Is UMN still worth considering as a safety school? Does it make any sense at all to consider an offer, regardless of FA? Or did I screw myself by not applying to more safeties?

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nothingtosee
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby nothingtosee » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:53 am

Job placement won't be effected by USNews. It's still the flagship for Minnesota. 2/3 of grads get lawyer jobs (and basically all in Iowa/Wisconsin/Dakotas/Minnesota). 2/3 will keep getting lawyer jobs. They dropped because they guessed poorly in the admissions game, got too aggressive in their LSAT projection, then had to scramble when they didn't hit it.

If you want a low-debt lower salary (you won't be getting 160k in MN) option, go for it.

And btw, "Safety School" doesn't make sense for law school. If you don't get in where you want, reapply.

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vuthy
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby vuthy » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:56 am

LTFGamut wrote:I guess my main question is this: Is UMN still worth considering as a safety school? Does it make any sense at all to consider an offer, regardless of FA? Or did I screw myself by not applying to more safeties?


Nobody can answer this without knowing your other options. "Safety" is relative.

As for the ranking question, there's a good discussion of dropping medians here:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=215104

My own guess is that UMN will drop a bit, but not the kind of 10-20 spots you're talking about. LSAT is only one part of the ranking calculation. A lot is based on reputation, and it takes much more than a one-year median LSAT drop to change the settled perceptions of legal academics.

LTFGamut
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby LTFGamut » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:40 am

vuthy wrote:
Nobody can answer this without knowing your other options. "Safety" is relative.

As for the ranking question, there's a good discussion of dropping medians here:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=215104

Thanks! That's an amazing thread. Very informative.

FYI, my other "safety" was ND. Looks like I got double screwed. I guess at this point it's T14 or bust. :?

nothingtosee wrote:Job placement won't be effected by USNews. It's still the flagship for Minnesota.

Unless they get into a feedback loop, where every year they get worse students because of their worse ranking, and worse ranking because of their worse students, and worse students because of their worse ranking in an ever descending spiral of doom. Happened to UI Champaign. Pity the guys who went there when it was ranked in the T20.

But I take your point. My fear may be unfounded, and if UMN offers enough FA and I don't get in at any T14, then maybe it's better just to take UMN rather than reapply the next cycle. I can always transfer if I don't like it.

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Winston1984
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby Winston1984 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:16 am

This thread is dumb. Who cares how many spots any school falls? UMN, ND, and U of I still place their students in the same kind of jobs. Pity the people who went to U of I when it was a T30? Why? Last year's class placed 20% in firms of over 250. That's more than they did the year before. As for quality of students, do you really think 2 more correctly answered questions on the LSAT makes for a significantly stronger class?

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AT9
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby AT9 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:24 am

You seem to be more concerned about the ranking than the job prospects. Minnesota may drop, but it will remain the best law school in the state. In fact, with the exception of possibly Iowa and Wisconsin, it'll remain the "best" law school in the immediate 5-state region (MN, WI, ND, SD, IA). Illinois is fighting with WUSTL, Notre Dame, and two T14s. So Minnesota vs. Illinois doesn't work that well as a comparison when it comes to jobs.

If you want to work in that immediate region, don't mind not having biglaw, and don't have to take on much debt, Minnesota can be a good choice whether it's ranked 19 or 45.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:39 am

OP, with your stats and wanting to work in the midwest, you will have a lot of options. You will be choosing between some T14s with a little bit of $ and full rides at comparable places to UMN. I wouldn't worry about UMN even if I was dead set on the twin cities. Although if you know you want to be in UMN it may be a difficult choice (between UMN with $$$$ vs. t14 with $ or $$).

Jchance
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby Jchance » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:43 am

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:OP, with your stats and wanting to work in the midwest, you will have a lot of options. You will be choosing between some T14s with a little bit of $ and full rides at comparable places to UMN. I wouldn't worry about UMN even if I was dead set on the twin cities. Although if you know you want to be in UMN it may be a difficult choice (between UMN with $$$$ vs. t14 with $ or $$).


The T14 who gets jobs in the Twin Cities have been HLS (majority), Berk, UChi, Northwestern. Otherwise, UMN grads dominated the Twin Cities . However, if you have good grades from UIowa or UWisconsin, u can also get jobs in the Twin Cities.

LTFGamut
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby LTFGamut » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:51 am

AT9 wrote:You seem to be more concerned about the ranking than the job prospects.

I wish the two weren't related. I'm not worried about a momentary dip in the rank. I'm worried if this is a trend or kickstarts a trend. And I think a couple questions on the LSAT probably doesn't matter for an individual, but does matter over a large sample. The probability that A is smarter than B, given a slightly higher LSAT score is small. The probability that the average intelligence of a group is higher than the average intelligence of another group, given a slightly higher LSAT score, is big. I don't care about being in a "smart people club," but I do care about being in a class that employers consider competitive. I don't want to be the diamond in the rough.
AT9 wrote:If you want to work in that immediate region, don't mind not having biglaw, and don't have to take on much debt, Minnesota can be a good choice whether it's ranked 19 or 45.

I do mind, but if I can't get into the T14, then I'd rather be closer to home than in LA or Nashville.

timbs4339
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:02 am

OP: What do you think a "trend" of YOY USNWR drops will do to your future job prospects? Do you think lawyers read USNWR? Do you think clients read USWNR?

On median drops- most every above average school is going to have them since apps are plummeting among 160 range takers. I doubt the relative ranking of the school is going to fall that much. Now, if the median drops were because the school is increasing the size of its 1L class, then yes, that's a problem, but not because of USNWR.

LTFGamut
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby LTFGamut » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:27 am

timbs4339 wrote:OP: What do you think a "trend" of YOY USNWR drops will do to your future job prospects? Do you think lawyers read USNWR? Do you think clients read USWNR?

1. Don't know; 2. Definitely some; and 3. Probably very few.

I doubt the effects would be immediate, but I don't think that ranking isn't relevant, or why would we all be here obsessing about about T14 and LSAT scores? Higher rankings attract better teachers and are an easy way for accepted students to differentiate between schools, all else being equal, and these things will be signals to prospective employers on the quality of hires from X school vs. Y school. But maybe I'm just being paranoid. :shock:

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AT9
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby AT9 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:44 am

LTFGamut wrote:
AT9 wrote:You seem to be more concerned about the ranking than the job prospects.

I wish the two weren't related. I'm not worried about a momentary dip in the rank. I'm worried if this is a trend or kickstarts a trend. And I think a couple questions on the LSAT probably doesn't matter for an individual, but does matter over a large sample. The probability that A is smarter than B, given a slightly higher LSAT score is small. The probability that the average intelligence of a group is higher than the average intelligence of another group, given a slightly higher LSAT score, is big. I don't care about being in a "smart people club," but I do care about being in a class that employers consider competitive. I don't want to be the diamond in the rough.
AT9 wrote:If you want to work in that immediate region, don't mind not having biglaw, and don't have to take on much debt, Minnesota can be a good choice whether it's ranked 19 or 45.

I do mind, but if I can't get into the T14, then I'd rather be closer to home than in LA or Nashville.


I see what you mean, but my other points remain. Who does Minnesota have for competition in its market? Iowa, Wisconsin, and specifically in MN to a lesser extent, William & Mitchell. Even if they drop to a sub 160 median and are ranked 50+, none of those schools will replace Minnesota as the best source of new lawyers in the state. What I'm getting at is that Minnesota's ranking is less tied to job prospects than a school in a more highly saturated market.

Also, if geographic preference follows behind biglaw goals, then MN is not a bad option if you don't get T14 (which you probably will). So, there's the answer to your question. Minnesota is a fine safety school for you, don't worry so much :D

BigZuck
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby BigZuck » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:01 pm

This is a lot of wasted E-space considering there is zippy chance a 169/3.8 would attend Minnesota.

It's the state flagship, the definition of a strong regional. Don't go expecting BIG MIDWEST LAWZ or anything like that, that would be silly. Don't attend if you don't want to live and work in MN long term (and ideally, are from there) and would be happy with a small firm job. Rankings don't matter, job prospects do. Job prospects will remain the same, despite the fact that their medians dropped in a climate of dropping medians.

Thread's over, that's all there is to be said.

timbs4339
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:04 pm

LTFGamut wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:OP: What do you think a "trend" of YOY USNWR drops will do to your future job prospects? Do you think lawyers read USNWR? Do you think clients read USWNR?

1. Don't know; 2. Definitely some; and 3. Probably very few.

I doubt the effects would be immediate, but I don't think that ranking isn't relevant, or why would we all be here obsessing about about T14 and LSAT scores? Higher rankings attract better teachers and are an easy way for accepted students to differentiate between schools, all else being equal, and these things will be signals to prospective employers on the quality of hires from X school vs. Y school. But maybe I'm just being paranoid. :shock:


Yes, you are. There are two kinds of employers: Those who know Minnesota is the best school in the region, and those who can't tell it apart from any other Big Ten flagship public school.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:26 pm

OP you're concerned that the increased class size will lead to a lower LSAT median and a lower USNews ranking, leading to a decline in job prospects. But you can skip those middle steps. The bigger class size is a problem whether or not it impacts the LSAT median.

Also, it is hard to imagine the U making sense for someone with a 169/3.8 unless leaving Minnesota isn't an option.

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d cooper
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby d cooper » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:22 pm

As others have already said, the rankings are not necessarily tied to job stats and it's this latter metric that should be the deciding factor on where to attend.

But on the topic of USNWR rankings: so far this cycle UMN is offering top dollar for high LSAT scores. WUSTL seems to have dropped this strategy and is instead offering large scholarships to applicants nearer their current medians. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

LTFGamut
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby LTFGamut » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:16 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
LTFGamut wrote:. But maybe I'm just being paranoid. :shock:

Yes, you are. There are two kinds of employers: Those who know Minnesota is the best school in the region, and those who can't tell it apart from any other Big Ten flagship public school.

Fair points. I guess I'll wait and see, but considering what you say, it remains a viable backup.

Tiago Splitter wrote:Also, it is hard to imagine the U making sense for someone with a 169/3.8 unless leaving Minnesota isn't an option.


I'm from North Dakota actually. I had a couple of very close high school friends go to UMN, who said it was a solid place, where you retained a shot at big law and clerking. Not great, but decent. Considering that, I don't think some place like UT would be a better fit, and I don't like the idea of reapplying in the next cycle, so I lined up two possible safeties (Notre Dame was the other). But I spammed the T14, so hopefully it won't come to that.

BigZuck
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby BigZuck » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:34 pm

LTFGamut wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
LTFGamut wrote:. But maybe I'm just being paranoid. :shock:

Yes, you are. There are two kinds of employers: Those who know Minnesota is the best school in the region, and those who can't tell it apart from any other Big Ten flagship public school.

Fair points. I guess I'll wait and see, but considering what you say, it remains a viable backup.

Tiago Splitter wrote:Also, it is hard to imagine the U making sense for someone with a 169/3.8 unless leaving Minnesota isn't an option.


I'm from North Dakota actually. I had a couple of very close high school friends go to UMN, who said it was a solid place, where you retained a shot at big law and clerking. Not great, but decent. Considering that, I don't think some place like UT would be a better fit, and I don't like the idea of reapplying in the next cycle, so I lined up two possible safeties (Notre Dame was the other). But I spammed the T14, so hopefully it won't come to that.


If you want a shot at big law/clerking, don't go to Minn or ND. Retake, reapply, and go to a T14 if you don't get in the first time around.

No such thing as a safety law school

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Nova
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Re: How far will University of Minnesota's ranking drop???

Postby Nova » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:43 pm

This is a question for the TLS rankings predication contest

Not one that should have any effect on your choice of law school




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