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CanadianWolf
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:01 pm

@MikeJD: Interesting. The article that I read specifically detailed the "Penn State law school" entry noting that this test occurred before Penn State had purchased a law school.

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KMart
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby KMart » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:31 pm

LawsRUs wrote:I think I would respect ATL more if, rather than fixing its methodolgy, it just stopped ranking schools. The same goes for USNWR.

+1. It misleads a lot of uninformed students into making stupid choices which set them back hundreds of thousands of dollars.

PoopNpants
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby PoopNpants » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:42 pm

close friend wants Biglaw in boston and is using these rankings as a rationale for attending BC. told me his overall debt load wouldn't exceed 80-90k and he got shut out of the T14 with a 3.49 168 already. he is re-taking next week though but already deposited to BC. Is that a good idea? I'm like 90% sure it's a solid plan but part of me is still kinda iffy would like some feedback

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:13 am

BC is not a bad deal for <6 fig total debt, but I think we've already established ITT that:

ATL rankings <<<<<<<<<<<<<<< US News rankings <<< Employment + price + location considerations

PoopNpants
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby PoopNpants » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:12 am

Yeah he has a SO in CT so he wants to be close. Got a hefty scholarship too

nerd1
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby nerd1 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:16 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:BC is not a bad deal for <6 fig total debt, but I think we've already established ITT that:

ATL rankings <<<<<<<<<<<<<<< US News rankings <<< Employment + price + location considerations


ATL rankings are all about "Employment + price".

Since you like US News rankings, you value prestige more than "employment + price". That's not necessarily a bad thing. But make sure you read the methodology before commenting next time.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:50 am

nerd1 wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:BC is not a bad deal for <6 fig total debt, but I think we've already established ITT that:

ATL rankings <<<<<<<<<<<<<<< US News rankings <<< Employment + price + location considerations


ATL rankings are all about "Employment + price".

Since you like US News rankings, you value prestige more than "employment + price". That's not necessarily a bad thing. But make sure you read the methodology before commenting next time.


Make sure you read this thread before commenting next time. ATL sucks miserably at calculating employment + price. Explain how USC is not even in the top 50, given its employment numbers. Or, maybe, how Iowa and New Mexico are superior to GULC, given their respective employment numbers. Or why BYU is rank 22 when there are about a dozen schools ranked lower with obviously superior placement numbers. These aren't just "oops" mistakes, these are straight backwards rankings.

Similarly, I said US News is worse than simply looking at LST employment numbers and considering the price.

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fratstar1
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby fratstar1 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:29 am

Idk man BYU is 11k a year and places over 75% of students into law jobs (albiet not big law) and new mexico and Iowa also have comparably low debt loads w/instate tuition/throwing out big schollys they also place pretty well regionally into law jobs (again similiar to USC in terms of percentage actually getting a legal job) - USC and Gtown probably got screwed because of the high cost of attendance and the fact that they are stingy w/scholarships.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:30 am

fratstar1 wrote:Idk man BYU is 11k a year and places over 75% of students into law jobs (albiet not big law) and new mexico and Iowa also have comparably low debt loads w/instate tuition/throwing out big schollys they also place pretty well regionally into law jobs (again similiar to USC in terms of percentage actually getting a legal job) - USC and Gtown probably got screwed because of the high cost of attendance and the fact that they are stingy w/scholarships.


BYU is 11k for mormons, its 24k for everyone else

Also, that's hardly the point - most students attend law school on merit scholarships. If everyone paid sticker cost and had the same financial constraints then ATL's cost input would make a lot of sense. But would you say BYU is a better option than Wash U with $40k scholarship because BYU is $30k cheaper in the abstract? I'd hope not -- but ATL totally butchers the ability of students to perform that independent calculus by incorporating the abstraction ex ante. It should be employment and just employment, with cost factored in heavily on an individual basis.

LurkerShirker
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby LurkerShirker » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:51 am

One of the strengths of the ATL rankings is that they count school funded jobs not at all. Georgetown and USC do not have great employment numbers when you take out the school funded jobs, and that is why they did not well in the ATL rankings. And of course cost and debt.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby beepboopbeep » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:00 am

jbagelboy wrote:
fratstar1 wrote:Idk man BYU is 11k a year and places over 75% of students into law jobs (albiet not big law) and new mexico and Iowa also have comparably low debt loads w/instate tuition/throwing out big schollys they also place pretty well regionally into law jobs (again similiar to USC in terms of percentage actually getting a legal job) - USC and Gtown probably got screwed because of the high cost of attendance and the fact that they are stingy w/scholarships.


BYU is 11k for mormons, its 24k for everyone else

Also, that's hardly the point - most students attend law school on merit scholarships. If everyone paid sticker cost and had the same financial constraints then ATL's cost input would make a lot of sense. But would you say BYU is a better option than Wash U with $40k scholarship because BYU is $30k cheaper in the abstract? I'd hope not -- but ATL totally butchers the ability of students to perform that independent calculus by incorporating the abstraction ex ante. It should be employment and just employment, with cost factored in heavily on an individual basis.


I think this is right if the idea is to making rankings that are useful to prospective students

And wrong if the idea is that rankings influence school behavior - which is the only justification I can think of for ATL including cost in the metric

But lol @ the idea that schools are going to change their financial decisionmaking because of ATL

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jbagelboy
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:17 am

beepboopbeep wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
fratstar1 wrote:Idk man BYU is 11k a year and places over 75% of students into law jobs (albiet not big law) and new mexico and Iowa also have comparably low debt loads w/instate tuition/throwing out big schollys they also place pretty well regionally into law jobs (again similiar to USC in terms of percentage actually getting a legal job) - USC and Gtown probably got screwed because of the high cost of attendance and the fact that they are stingy w/scholarships.


BYU is 11k for mormons, its 24k for everyone else

Also, that's hardly the point - most students attend law school on merit scholarships. If everyone paid sticker cost and had the same financial constraints then ATL's cost input would make a lot of sense. But would you say BYU is a better option than Wash U with $40k scholarship because BYU is $30k cheaper in the abstract? I'd hope not -- but ATL totally butchers the ability of students to perform that independent calculus by incorporating the abstraction ex ante. It should be employment and just employment, with cost factored in heavily on an individual basis.


I think this is right if the idea is to making rankings that are useful to prospective students

And wrong if the idea is that rankings influence school behavior - which is the only justification I can think of for ATL including cost in the metric

But lol @ the idea that schools are going to change their financial decisionmaking because of ATL


that's true. I think LST, for example, has had an impact on school behavior, at least with regards to CSO and disclosures - it hasn't had any impact at all from what I can tell with regards to tuition.

071816
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby 071816 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:41 am

fratstar1 wrote:Idk man BYU is 11k a year and places over 75% of students into law jobs (albiet not big law) and new mexico and Iowa also have comparably low debt loads w/instate tuition/throwing out big schollys they also place pretty well regionally into law jobs (again similiar to USC in terms of percentage actually getting a legal job) - USC and Gtown probably got screwed because of the high cost of attendance and the fact that they are stingy w/scholarships.

usc isn't stingy with scholarships. pretty sure these rankings don't even take scholarships into account. so, yes, the school probably got screwed due in part to its relatively high tuition.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:08 pm

fratstar1 wrote:Idk man BYU is 11k a year and places over 75% of students into law jobs (albiet not big law) and new mexico and Iowa also have comparably low debt loads w/instate tuition/throwing out big schollys they also place pretty well regionally into law jobs (again similiar to USC in terms of percentage actually getting a legal job) - USC and Gtown probably got screwed because of the high cost of attendance and the fact that they are stingy w/scholarships.



Fratstar these rankings don't take into account scholarships. GULC is theoretically helped in these rankings by being stingy in the sense their peer schools are wasting their money on scholarships instead of paying alums to rank the school well on ATL's stupid website.

These rankings are garbage. The only people who think otherwise are people whose law school is higher in the ATL rankings than the usnews rankings.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:49 am

jbagelboy wrote:that's true. I think LST, for example, has had an impact on school behavior, at least with regards to CSO and disclosures - it hasn't had any impact at all from what I can tell with regards to tuition.


I think you're right that we've had a much larger impact on disclosures than tuition. The impact on tuition is much harder to measure and less direct. One thing I haven't done yet (but would like to do) is to chart tuition increases over time to see if there's a correlation with slower increases and greater transparency.

The one place we have had a fairly substantial impact is on net tuition, and this goes beyond law schools needing to offer greater discounts to attract people who are aware of the job outcomes. We have, for many years now, been encouraging students to negotiate. I frequently convince journalists to talk about negotiation in news articles. And we have done our best to get prelaw advisers to realize that negotiation is possible and the right thing to encourage their students to do.

All of that said, I'm open to any suggestions on how we can incentivize law schools to become more affordable for everyone.

ETA: I just got word from ATL that the education cost portion is our non-discounted cost number with 0% COL discount and 0% tuition discount. Whether this will provide the incentive schools need is an important question. I wrote about this last year for law.com, but here's a link that isn't behind a subscriber wall: www.lawschoolcafe.org/thread/how-deans- ... -rankings/

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storpappa
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby storpappa » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:34 pm

I ask the same question on all of these ... Thanks, now what am I supposed to do with this?

if I get into a school that is rank 25 on a ranking of 200, is that good?
Or if my school went from 40 to 50 is that bad?

Or do I just apply to the schools I want to, get into them, and then pick one, and hope its on the lists somewhere ...

abl
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby abl » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:53 pm

storpappa wrote:I ask the same question on all of these ... Thanks, now what am I supposed to do with this?

if I get into a school that is rank 25 on a ranking of 200, is that good?
Or if my school went from 40 to 50 is that bad?

Or do I just apply to the schools I want to, get into them, and then pick one, and hope its on the lists somewhere ...


Ignore the ATL ranking entirely. That's what you should do with it.

Beyond that, you should use USNews and LST differently depending on your goals. Do you want to be a lawyer at a small- or mid-sized firm in a small regional market? If so, going to one of the best regional schools in that market (and it could be ranked 25 or even 40 or 50) could be a good call--especially if you get some finaid. I'd use USN and LST in conjunction to make that call. USNews can be helpful in telling you what the best schools in your region are, and then LST can be helpful in evaluating how much money it makes sense to spend on those schools. Do you want to be a biglaw lawyer or work at some prestigious PI position? If so, you should probably go to one of USNews's "top 14" schools.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:01 pm

abl wrote:
storpappa wrote:I ask the same question on all of these ... Thanks, now what am I supposed to do with this?

if I get into a school that is rank 25 on a ranking of 200, is that good?
Or if my school went from 40 to 50 is that bad?

Or do I just apply to the schools I want to, get into them, and then pick one, and hope its on the lists somewhere ...


Ignore the ATL ranking entirely. That's what you should do with it.

Beyond that, you should use USNews and LST differently depending on your goals. Do you want to be a lawyer at a small- or mid-sized firm in a small regional market? If so, going to one of the best regional schools in that market (and it could be ranked 25 or even 40 or 50) could be a good call--especially if you get some finaid. I'd use USN and LST in conjunction to make that call. USNews can be helpful in telling you what the best schools in your region are, and then LST can be helpful in evaluating how much money it makes sense to spend on those schools. Do you want to be a biglaw lawyer or work at some prestigious PI position? If so, you should probably go to one of USNews's "top 14" schools.


This is a really good post. I would add that the school could be ranked 127 but if its the best school in the region according to USNEWS and your COA makes sense given the schools LST score, you are fine. Honestly it is said on here a lot but it bears repeating due to resurgence of 0Ls every year. After the top 14, national rankings don't really matter. Consider regional rankings because that is going to determine the "prestige" or "pedigree" in that region, which can give you a boost and help you get interviews. Look closely at the LST data because its really really good.

NorCalLaw
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby NorCalLaw » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:28 pm

abl wrote:
storpappa wrote:I ask the same question on all of these ... Thanks, now what am I supposed to do with this?

if I get into a school that is rank 25 on a ranking of 200, is that good?
Or if my school went from 40 to 50 is that bad?

Or do I just apply to the schools I want to, get into them, and then pick one, and hope its on the lists somewhere ...


Ignore the ATL ranking entirely. That's what you should do with it.

Beyond that, you should use USNews and LST differently depending on your goals. Do you want to be a lawyer at a small- or mid-sized firm in a small regional market? If so, going to one of the best regional schools in that market (and it could be ranked 25 or even 40 or 50) could be a good call--especially if you get some finaid. I'd use USN and LST in conjunction to make that call. USNews can be helpful in telling you what the best schools in your region are, and then LST can be helpful in evaluating how much money it makes sense to spend on those schools. Do you want to be a biglaw lawyer or work at some prestigious PI position? If so, you should probably go to one of USNews's "top 14" schools.


Ignore all the rankings other than the top 10-16 or so schools (depending on who you ask) entirely. US News is virtually useless for regional schools; focus on employment outcomes and cost instead. Location is also an important consideration, but much less so for top schools; basically, outside of the actual "top 14," schools largely place people within their state (or nearby region, for schools in smaller states).

The best employment metrics are 1) overall full-time, JD-required, non-school positions and 2) Clerkships + biglaw. Clerkship + biglaw is generally a good proxy for overall placement strength even if you don't necessarily want biglaw. People set on public interest should be more interested in overall cost and overall employment, but the clerkship+biglaw rate will still give you an idea of the school's placement into other prestigious programs such as gov't honors, high-end private interest, big city DA/PD, and high-end plaintiff-side firms.

Don't rely on the ATL ratings. Employers do not look at them, and employers are what matter.

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rpupkin
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby rpupkin » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:42 pm

NorCalLaw wrote:Don't rely on the ATL ratings. Employers do not look at them, and employers are what matter.

For what it's worth, employers don't really look at the USNWR rankings either.

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LawsRUs
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby LawsRUs » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:08 pm

jbagelboy wrote:No one cares


This.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:24 am

jenesaislaw wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:that's true. I think LST, for example, has had an impact on school behavior, at least with regards to CSO and disclosures - it hasn't had any impact at all from what I can tell with regards to tuition.


I think you're right that we've had a much larger impact on disclosures than tuition. The impact on tuition is much harder to measure and less direct. One thing I haven't done yet (but would like to do) is to chart tuition increases over time to see if there's a correlation with slower increases and greater transparency.

The one place we have had a fairly substantial impact is on net tuition, and this goes beyond law schools needing to offer greater discounts to attract people who are aware of the job outcomes. We have, for many years now, been encouraging students to negotiate. I frequently convince journalists to talk about negotiation in news articles. And we have done our best to get prelaw advisers to realize that negotiation is possible and the right thing to encourage their students to do.

All of that said, I'm open to any suggestions on how we can incentivize law schools to become more affordable for everyone.

ETA: I just got word from ATL that the education cost portion is our non-discounted cost number with 0% COL discount and 0% tuition discount. Whether this will provide the incentive schools need is an important question. I wrote about this last year for law.com, but here's a link that isn't behind a subscriber wall: http://www.lawschoolcafe.org/thread/how ... -rankings/


Thanks for this, and I'm glad to hear you've pushed to even the relative bargaining power of students and schools. Certainly that's shifted with declining applicants. I wasn't criticizing btw. I don't think there's necessarily a successful way to incentivize tuition reduction without ABA-style leverage.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby jenesaislaw » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:37 pm

No worries, I know you weren't criticizing.

Leverage is something we have and can get more of when needed. So any ideas, whether via ABA or other means, are welcome.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:19 pm

Tuition reduction can be accomplished with a return to the pre-2006 bankruptcy law. The 2006 changes made student loans almost virtually non-dischargeable debt, thereby greatly reducing lender risk. Under the pre-2006 bankruptcy laws, lenders could lose their principle & interest if the borrower filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. When lenders stop loaning money freely & tighten credit requirements & make borrowers justify the amount borrowed, many law schools will close & others are likely to shrink class size while also reducing tuition. Very similar to what caused the real estate bubble (easy money & automatic appraisal approval for just about any valuation) which burst in 2007.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Above The Law Rankings

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:31 pm

Relevant factors in ranking calculus:

1. What percentage of student that want a six-figure job can get one?
2. How much does the average student pay all-in over three years?

Anything else is window dressing.




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