I made my own law school rankings (essential data only)

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southernnewbie

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I made my own law school rankings (essential data only)

Postby southernnewbie » Thu May 24, 2018 9:22 pm

Just a data-obsessed prospective applicant who wanted to make a ranking based on the stats that seem most important instead of relying on US News (which, I believe, includes some more subjective factors like opinion surveys of law school faculty, lawyers, and judges, as well as some less relevant factors like student-faculty ratio and library resources).

I used the most recent data from the ABA's website (http://abarequireddisclosures.org/Disclosure509.aspx) and made a formula that included the following stats, with each of the three major categories weighted about equally. To save myself time and make sure I was only ranking schools that met a certain minimum of quality, I determined a bare minimum number for each factor and only considered schools that exceeded that number.
1. Admissions Standards: median LSAT score (minimum 155); median GPA (minimum 3.3)
2. Employment Outcomes: percentage of graduates getting bar-passage required or JD advantage jobs (minimum 75%); percentage of graduates getting big law or federal clerkships (minimum 15%); percentage of graduates unemployed 10 months after graduation (not to exceed 10%)
3. Bar Passage: percentage of graduates who pass a bar exam within 2 years of graduating (minimum 85%)

There were only 55 schools (out of 203 accredited by the ABA) that met or exceeded the minimum values in all categories (so you could say these schools represent the top 27% of US law schools). The rankings were as follows (with the difference from each school's US News ranking included in parentheses):

1. U Chicago (+3)
2. Penn (+5)
3. UVA (+6)
4. Harvard (-1)
5. Stanford (-3)
6. Michigan (+2)
7. Cornell (+6)
8. Columbia (-3)
9. Duke (+2)
10. NYU (-4)
11. Northwestern (0)
12. Berkeley (-3)
13. Yale (-12)
14. Vanderbilt (+3)
15. WUSTL (+3)
16. Georgetown (-2)
17. USC (+2)
18. Notre Dame (+6)
19. UCLA (-3)
20. Alabama (+7)
21. Boston College (+6)
22. University of Georgia (+10)
23. Boston University (-1)
24. Ohio State (+8)
25. UT Austin (-10)
26. Wake Forest (+6)
27. Emory (-5)
28. University of Florida (+13)
29. GW (-5)
30. Minnesota (-10)
31. Iowa (-4)
32. Baylor (+18)
33. Illinois (+4)
34. UC Irvine (-13)
35. Fordham (+2)
36. SMU (+14)
37. Wisconsin (-10)
38. George Mason (+3)
39. Kentucky (+26)
40. University of Washington (-8)
41. Yeshiva/Cardozo (+15)
42. William & Mary (-5)
43. St. John's (+40)
44. Temple (-3)
45. Tennessee (+20)
46. Indiana (-14)
47. UC Davis (-10)
48. North Carolina (-3)
49. Connecticut (+1)
50. University of Houston (+6)
51. Brooklyn (+32)
52. U Miami (+13)
53. Tulane (+1)
54. Georgia State (+11)
55. University of Pittsburgh (+19)

There aren't too many major differences, especially in the T13, but some takeaways I got included:
--Yale underperformed because it had a relatively low percentage of graduates taking bar-passage required or JD advantage jobs (and perhaps because its #1 ranking in US News depends partly on that faculty opinion survey?)
--Lower-ranked schools in New York drastically outperformed their US News rankings (see Cardozo, St. John's, Brooklyn)--perhaps because NYC has such a large market that even graduates of these schools get good jobs? (Interestingly, Columbia and NYU slightly underperformed)
--UT Austin underperformed with a relatively low bar passage rate (barely cleared 85%), while other schools in Texas (see Baylor, SMU, Houston) outperformed their US News rankings--is UT's advantage in Texas overrated?

Would love to hear others' thoughts on all this!

GaryGrice

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Re: I made my own law school rankings (essential data only)

Postby GaryGrice » Fri May 25, 2018 12:32 am

The T14 are the T14. Everything else is trash

Wu-Tang

southernnewbie

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Re: I made my own law school rankings (essential data only)

Postby southernnewbie » Fri May 25, 2018 2:47 pm

GaryGrice wrote:The T14 are the T14. Everything else is trash

Wu-Tang


Thanks for your useless contribution.

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Toni V

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Re: I made my own law school rankings (essential data only)

Postby Toni V » Fri May 25, 2018 4:32 pm

Your top 13 are all safe bets, especially those in your T6. Although I'd move Columbia and Cornell up and Mich down.

igo2northwestern

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Re: I made my own law school rankings (essential data only)

Postby igo2northwestern » Sat May 26, 2018 4:05 am

Thanks for your useless contribution

Npret

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Re: I made my own law school rankings (essential data only)

Postby Npret » Sat May 26, 2018 7:03 am

Yale is the 13th law school?
I’m not sure why you did this exercise but your results are questionable at best.

I know 0Ls care a lot about admission standards but all that really matters are accurate employment outcomes and cost, which you didn’t include.



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