Syracuse's Ranking drop?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
sbalive
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby sbalive » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:25 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:
sbalive wrote:
hoffb86 wrote:
Other25BeforeYou wrote:But really, when it comes down to it, Buffalo's cheaper, Albany's in a better city (not a lot better, but still better) and has better employment stats, and both Buff and Albany have higher bar passage rates. Also, in my experience, in any upstate city except for Syracuse, Buffalo & Albany are more respected (these days, anyway).


By only, I meant the best choice, not the actual only choice. Also, Syracuse has the well-known university behind it, which keeps SU on the map....

I haven't had a chance to call my dad yet, busy day at work. Sorry.


No prob, but it should be interesting to find out.

Syracuse is by far the strongest university of those - and it's not even just that Syracuse is a better university, it's that it's particularly good in humanities / social sciences disciplines that overlap with law. My bet is crappy law school administration combined with an overall university administration that didn't make the law school a priority.


Please. Syracuse Law isn't anywhere near on-par with UB. It's better than Albany, but Buffalo definitely has a better reputation in the western NY and even NYC area (they place better there, Biglaw-wise).


I don't think anyone is saying that Syracuse Law "should" be ranked higher (whatever that means) - the current law school admin doesn't seem to question that either, since their plans are to improve the law school as opposed to just game the rankings. My question was more how it got to be that way & why it declined.

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hoffb86
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby hoffb86 » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:26 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:
sbalive wrote:
hoffb86 wrote:
Other25BeforeYou wrote:But really, when it comes down to it, Buffalo's cheaper, Albany's in a better city (not a lot better, but still better) and has better employment stats, and both Buff and Albany have higher bar passage rates. Also, in my experience, in any upstate city except for Syracuse, Buffalo & Albany are more respected (these days, anyway).


By only, I meant the best choice, not the actual only choice. Also, Syracuse has the well-known university behind it, which keeps SU on the map....

I haven't had a chance to call my dad yet, busy day at work. Sorry.


No prob, but it should be interesting to find out.

Syracuse is by far the strongest university of those - and it's not even just that Syracuse is a better university, it's that it's particularly good in humanities / social sciences disciplines that overlap with law. My bet is crappy law school administration combined with an overall university administration that didn't make the law school a priority.


Please. Syracuse Law isn't anywhere near on-par with UB. It's better than Albany, but Buffalo definitely has a better reputation in the western NY and even NYC area (they place better there, Biglaw-wise).


Overall Syracuse is a better academic institution, by far, compared to UB. Without a doubt. More highly ranked programs in a variety of different fields, and a truly global reputation. Buffalo is getting there, but isn't anywhere close yet.

edit: finally getting a break, calling my dad... will report back in a bit.

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hoffb86
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby hoffb86 » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:00 pm

Sba (since I think it was you who asked what happened to Syracuse Law, not just in the last year) -

Here are some thoughts from my father, a Syracuse Alum.

- First off, when he was there, apparently Syracuse was a top 20 school, and just before that even, a top 10 from what he knew...

- One reason for the law school's fall from the top, he attributes to the culture of a large portion of the legal market in syracuse. Syracuse Law fill's a certain "niche" to the firms in the Upstate New York area. Overall, syracuse was catering to firms that didn't want to pay top market value for talent, and thus, it was important for Syracuse to produce quality attorneys who were not expecting to make market, because Syracuse just isn't the type of place to pay it. So, Syracuse was admitting "middle range" law students, to place in the largely with the syracuse firms and other upstate legal markets. Syracuse was producing solid legal talent that would fit the market "profile" and placement characteristics of its greater legal community. This became the attitude of the law school increasingly over time.

- Secondly, the senior administration within the law school was not actively pursuing and paying for the top legal teaching talent when it was readily available and when top professors wanted to come to Syracuse. So, overtime other schools surpassed Syracuse in terms of faculty quality.

- Thirdly, Syracuse didn't really NEED to attract better students or faculty as long as the supply of both exceeds the demand from the Syracuse/Upstate New York legal market. Meaning, as long as the firms were getting some decent lawyers from Syracuse law, they were satisfied. Students were still willing to pay the very high tuition, which made the school itself quite fiscally successful. As long as there are students to pay, and firms to hire the students, where is the need to change what they are doing? Syracuse was still able to bring in some decent quality students, produce decent lawyers, and fill the firms/legal market with the talent. The school did not have to change its "profile" in order to have students pay for the education.

- Lastly, there are a lot more law schools out there now that have increased in name recognition over time. So, while Syracuse is still a name that is known nationally as a solid academic institution, other school's have closed the gap or surpassed Syracuse in "joining the party" as a solid regional law school.

So, I guess there you have it... those are of course, just his thoughts. He thinks that the school has been putting in more efforts to "get back on the map" lately, especially in this ever increasingly rankings-centric legal world. At the time, the rankings just didn't matter that much "back in the day." So that is just something to keep in mind.

sbalive
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby sbalive » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:36 pm

Thanks! That really helps resolve the curiosity and explain why in an era when it seems like all the schools are hustling upwards, someplace like Syracuse would decline.

I wonder if they'll be able to ever fix the problem though - given that upstate New York isn't decreasing in population and economic activity. It's a good enough school, but unless it tries to become a top regional school somehow (and it's crowded in the Northeast) then it's hard to see how it can continue to function as a local feeder and yet have a good position in the rankings. It's really interesting to see how law school and higher ed dynamics have changed over time...

Masternater9
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby Masternater9 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:00 am

Thanks Hoff for the insight. Your Dad makes some solid observations. Hopefully Syracuse gets there act together and starts to really try and reestablish themselves as a top school.

Starbuck
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby Starbuck » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:01 pm

I would bet bar passage rates, retention, and employment prospects really hurt the school in terms of rankings and will hurt it even more next year.

The school actually did not report their employment % at all because the number was so much lower than the standard number USNWR plugs in for the schools that don't report their stats. So, as grim as this sounds, the TTT drop was with numbers less bad than the actuality.

An inside source tells me that SUCOL employment for this year was less than 40% at graduation, and projected to be worse for the next.

Bar passage rates were said to be way under the state median as well. Don't know how they propped up that number, but not terribly surprising given the schools lack of teachers that can actually teach core subjects.

The Dean, in a Q&A session, basically stated that the school was an even bigger mess before she took over.

Students, in the meantime, appear to be transferring out in droves. About half the top 10% has already placed deposits at other schools, despite law review invites and increased scholarship offers to stay at SUCOL. A good percentage of the student body has also applied for lateral transfer to cheaper schools or schools closer to their target markets or any school that is not SUCOL.

Apparently, it's gotten so bad that Student Life has been working overtime on weekends, calling students to try and get them to stay.

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coolkatz321
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby coolkatz321 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:30 pm

Starbuck wrote:I would bet bar passage rates, retention, and employment prospects really hurt the school in terms of rankings and will hurt it even more next year.

The school actually did not report their employment % at all because the number was so much lower than the standard number USNWR plugs in for the schools that don't report their stats. So, as grim as this sounds, the TTT drop was with numbers less bad than the actuality.

An inside source tells me that SUCOL employment for this year was less than 40% at graduation, and projected to be worse for the next.

Bar passage rates were said to be way under the state median as well. Don't know how they propped up that number, but not terribly surprising given the schools lack of teachers that can actually teach core subjects.

The Dean, in a Q&A session, basically stated that the school was an even bigger mess before she took over.

Students, in the meantime, appear to be transferring out in droves. About half the top 10% has already placed deposits at other schools, despite law review invites and increased scholarship offers to stay at SUCOL. A good percentage of the student body has also applied for lateral transfer to cheaper schools or schools closer to their target markets or any school that is not SUCOL.

Apparently, it's gotten so bad that Student Life has been working overtime on weekends, calling students to try and get them to stay.


Wow...that's disturbing. And yet, somehow, I'm not surprised...

Starbuck
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby Starbuck » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:12 pm

Yeah, well, you know it's bad when they're offering scholarships to students within the top 40% (as opposed to just the top 10 or 20%) not to jump ship. :?

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hoffb86
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby hoffb86 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:14 pm

Starbuck wrote:Yeah, well, you know it's bad when they're offering scholarships to students within the top 40% (as opposed to just the top 10 or 20%) not to jump ship. :?


Lots of school's do that in an effort to a) keep solid students b) as a gesture for doing well... because overall if you are top half of your class at a law school you've done "well" in the grand scheme of things (depending on the school too of course). A lot of times, these "gesture" scholarships are not very large.

I have a friend at Maryland who is around median who got a small scholarship from them after 1L.

Starbuck
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby Starbuck » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:23 pm

Gesture is understandable, but these are scholarships to students who've applied to transfer, and from what I gather are large enough to make a sizeable dent in the 43K tuition to the point where the tuition becomes comparable to other schools of similar rank.

Starbuck
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby Starbuck » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:28 pm

Smart on administrations part too. Money + journal or moot court, etc. would probably make anyone seriously reconsider a lateral transfer. :| Dunno about transferring up...

reidki
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby reidki » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:51 am

Just to clarify, it is an exaggeration, to say the least that "at least half of the top 10%" is tranferring out. Having just received my law review invitation, and being a student solidly in the top 10%, I can say with great confidence that a number of my peers at the top of the class are staying at Syracuse and all of us have no fear that we will all have plenty of good employment options this fall. I am not the only SUCOL student who secured a paid firm job this summer (in this economy!), and one of my friends even scored a Big Law SA as a 1L! Is SUCOL a dangerous place to be if you're not in the top of the class? ITE, probably. But ITE, as someone mentioned earlier, being median at ANY non-T14 is a risky proposition.

griffy
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby griffy » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:14 pm

reidki wrote:Just to clarify, it is an exaggeration, to say the least that "at least half of the top 10%" is tranferring out. Having just received my law review invitation, and being a student solidly in the top 10%, I can say with great confidence that a number of my peers at the top of the class are staying at Syracuse and all of us have no fear that we will all have plenty of good employment options this fall. I am not the only SUCOL student who secured a paid firm job this summer (in this economy!), and one of my friends even scored a Big Law SA as a 1L! Is SUCOL a dangerous place to be if you're not in the top of the class? ITE, probably. But ITE, as someone mentioned earlier, being median at ANY non-T14 is a risky proposition.


reidki, thanks for the input. It is nice to hear from a current student that is not jaded by their particular situation. Although I am sure that some students do not have a good experience at the school the above postings seem to go beyond reality and it is good to hear from a current student that has had a good experience.

In regards to syracuse's low ranking I am sure it will go up. The university is too good and has too much money to stay down for long. I will say that it has fascinated me that a school with a top 50 undergrad can have a law school ranked in the 90-110 range.

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coolkatz321
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby coolkatz321 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:18 pm

griffy wrote:

In regards to syracuse's low ranking I am sure it will go up. The university is too good and has too much money to stay down for long. I will say that it has fascinated me that a school with a top 50 undergrad can have a law school ranked in the 90-110 range.


I may be the anti-Cuse troll, but this is doubtful. Syracuse enjoyed its single year back in the top 100, then plummeted back to T3-dom. Don't expect much improvement any time soon.

griffy
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby griffy » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:21 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:
griffy wrote:

In regards to syracuse's low ranking I am sure it will go up. The university is too good and has too much money to stay down for long. I will say that it has fascinated me that a school with a top 50 undergrad can have a law school ranked in the 90-110 range.


I may be the anti-Cuse troll, but this is doubtful. Syracuse enjoyed its single year back in the top 100, then plummeted back to T3-dom. Don't expect much improvement any time soon.


you are right........you are the anti-cuse troll.

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altoidz
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby altoidz » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:22 pm

griffy wrote:you are right........you are the anti-cuse troll.


whoa. someone pretty special to me uses the same s/n as you :) not here tho. for everything else.

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coolkatz321
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby coolkatz321 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:22 pm

griffy wrote:
coolkatz321 wrote:
griffy wrote:

In regards to syracuse's low ranking I am sure it will go up. The university is too good and has too much money to stay down for long. I will say that it has fascinated me that a school with a top 50 undergrad can have a law school ranked in the 90-110 range.


I may be the anti-Cuse troll, but this is doubtful. Syracuse enjoyed its single year back in the top 100, then plummeted back to T3-dom. Don't expect much improvement any time soon.


you are right........you are the anti-cuse troll.


Maybe, but you can't ignore the fact that Syracuse is a pretty crappy law school. They may have been good, once, but certainly not now. Look at admissions statistics, employment, attrition...it's embarrassing. They will not be digging themselves out of the third tier any time soon.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:27 pm

altoidz wrote:
griffy wrote:you are right........you are the anti-cuse troll.
whoa. someone pretty special to me uses the same s/n as you :) not here tho. for everything else.

You can't be sure they aren't the same person.

reidki
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby reidki » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:30 pm


Maybe, but you can't ignore the fact that Syracuse is a pretty crappy law school. They may have been good, once, but certainly not now. Look at admissions statistics, employment, attrition...it's embarrassing. They will not be digging themselves out of the third tier any time soon.


Actually, I strongly disagree with this statement and I'm not sure on what facts you are basing your opinion. So far, I have found the quality of education at Syracuse to be excellent, and the administration has been nothing but helpful. I would agree that employment prospects outside the top of the class are grim, but no different than the prospects for median graduates at ANY Tier 2/Tier3 law school. Outside of the T14, ONLY the very top law students will get BigLaw. I would further argue that for the top of the class at Syracuse, job prospects are SUPERIOR to most similarly-ranked schools, particularly competitors in central NY. We have a strong alumni base in NYC, Boston, and DC, and our top graduates have never had any trouble breaking into these markets and making market salaries. The same most certainly cannot be said for Buffalo or Albany.

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coolkatz321
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby coolkatz321 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:33 pm

reidki wrote:

Maybe, but you can't ignore the fact that Syracuse is a pretty crappy law school. They may have been good, once, but certainly not now. Look at admissions statistics, employment, attrition...it's embarrassing. They will not be digging themselves out of the third tier any time soon.


Actually, I strongly disagree with this statement and I'm not sure on what facts you are basing your opinion. So far, I have found the quality of education at Syracuse to be excellent, and the administration has been nothing but helpful. I would agree that employment prospects outside the top of the class are grim, but no different than the prospects for median graduates at ANY Tier 2/Tier3 law school. Outside of the T14, ONLY the very top law students will get BigLaw. I would further argue that for the top of the class at Syracuse, job prospects are SUPERIOR to most similarly-ranked schools, particularly competitors in central NY. We have a strong alumni base in NYC, Boston, and DC, and our top graduates have never had any trouble breaking into these markets and making market salaries. The same most certainly cannot be said for Buffalo or Albany.


Buffalo places better into "Biglaw" than Syracuse. What I'm more interested in is why Syracuse neglected to publish employment #s in the latest US News...surely it couldn't have been that bad?

And seriously...13% attrition? 71% bar passage (average is 76%) in NY? These aren't exactly things to be proud about.

redginseng
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby redginseng » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:43 pm

Syracuse does have a brand name undergrad and money to become a T1 school.

However, ability and willingness are different. If the school currently makes good money and contend with the ways things are, they might want keep things status quo.

Recruiting top talents and building the state of the art facilities cost money. Syracuse might not want to take that risk and compete in the ranking game.

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hoffb86
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby hoffb86 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:07 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:
reidki wrote:

Maybe, but you can't ignore the fact that Syracuse is a pretty crappy law school. They may have been good, once, but certainly not now. Look at admissions statistics, employment, attrition...it's embarrassing. They will not be digging themselves out of the third tier any time soon.


Actually, I strongly disagree with this statement and I'm not sure on what facts you are basing your opinion. So far, I have found the quality of education at Syracuse to be excellent, and the administration has been nothing but helpful. I would agree that employment prospects outside the top of the class are grim, but no different than the prospects for median graduates at ANY Tier 2/Tier3 law school. Outside of the T14, ONLY the very top law students will get BigLaw. I would further argue that for the top of the class at Syracuse, job prospects are SUPERIOR to most similarly-ranked schools, particularly competitors in central NY. We have a strong alumni base in NYC, Boston, and DC, and our top graduates have never had any trouble breaking into these markets and making market salaries. The same most certainly cannot be said for Buffalo or Albany.


Buffalo places better into "Biglaw" than Syracuse. What I'm more interested in is why Syracuse neglected to publish employment #s in the latest US News...surely it couldn't have been that bad?

And seriously...13% attrition? 71% bar passage (average is 76%) in NY? These aren't exactly things to be proud about.


71% isn't terrible for New York at all. It is the hardest bar exam, and the average (76%) is including students from NYU, Columbia, Cornell, Fordham, the entire T14, lots of other test-takers from top schools all who take the NYS Bar... so I would expect Syracuse's numbers to be around average, EVEN if they were a better regarded school. Think about that, with the entire T14 having tons of test takers take the NYS Bar, and still only having a 76% average? Thats a tough exam....

also, i would agree on one point with reidki... if you are at the TOP of the class at Syracuse, your degree will get you further into other markets than a degree from Buffalo would. Syracuse alumni are very proud, and they have a network that really is quite global. So, if you are comparing the top students at Syracuse, and the top students at Buffalo, I bet Syracuse would place students in their desired markets more frequently than Buffalo. However, for the REST of the class, I think the prospects are much more promising out of Buffalo.

edit: For most people trying to choose between the two, I would nearly ALWAYS say Buffalo. However, my point is that the prospects are better at the top of the class for a Syracuse grad, but there is a HUGE amount of risk involved.

reidki
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby reidki » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:30 pm

edit: For most people trying to choose between the two, I would nearly ALWAYS say Buffalo. However, my point is that the prospects are better at the top of the class for a Syracuse grad, but there is a HUGE amount of risk involved.


I think this risk is HUGELY minimized if you have a large scholarship to attend SUCOL. I am extremely debt-averse (turned down Cornell to attend SU on a full scholarship because I simply could not fathom graduating over $200,000 in debt), and personally would not attend ANY school outside of the top 6 without substantial funding assistance, especially ITE. I came to SU because I wasn't determined to practice big law, and the scholarship ensured that if I were denied that possibility, I would, at worst, still graduate debt-free.

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hoffb86
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby hoffb86 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:38 pm

reidki wrote:
edit: For most people trying to choose between the two, I would nearly ALWAYS say Buffalo. However, my point is that the prospects are better at the top of the class for a Syracuse grad, but there is a HUGE amount of risk involved.


I think this risk is HUGELY minimized if you have a large scholarship to attend SUCOL. I am extremely debt-averse (turned down Cornell to attend SU on a full scholarship because I simply could not fathom graduating over $200,000 in debt), and personally would not attend ANY school outside of the top 6 without substantial funding assistance, especially ITE. I came to SU because I wasn't determined to practice big law, and the scholarship ensured that if I were denied that possibility, I would, at worst, still graduate debt-free.


Ok OK.... fine, you beat me at my own game (stretching people's words). :lol:

SUCOL is a decent choice on a large scholarship. However, what's the benefit of being debt-free but still being unemployed or not doing what you want to do when you finish? There is definitely that risk in question. You may be debt-averse, but are you risk averse? What would've happened to you if you graduated debt-free, or better yet, if something happened and you lost your scholarship and were not at the top of the class, you then may have to do personal injury law and HATE it? (personal injury just used for an example) So, despite the scholarship, if your job prospects are scary/ if you aren't at the top of the class, you may be in big trouble. While your choice seemed like the right one for you, I likely would've chosen Cornell (but thats just me), or if I was a middle of the road student and didn't have a HUGE scholarship from Syracuse, I would go to UB over Syracuse, because the prospects are better overall. In your case you did well, and you sound like you will finish towards the top of your class, have no debt, and be in a good position, but you may just be a lucky one in a bunch of your fellow students who may seriously struggle. Just providing food for thought....

I am a proud Syracuse native, the son of two syracuse alumni, and I went to undergrad at University at Buffalo, so I am in a funny spot as far as opinions go....

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coolkatz321
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Re: Syracuse's Ranking drop?

Postby coolkatz321 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:46 pm

reidki wrote:
edit: For most people trying to choose between the two, I would nearly ALWAYS say Buffalo. However, my point is that the prospects are better at the top of the class for a Syracuse grad, but there is a HUGE amount of risk involved.


I think this risk is HUGELY minimized if you have a large scholarship to attend SUCOL. I am extremely debt-averse (turned down Cornell to attend SU on a full scholarship because I simply could not fathom graduating over $200,000 in debt), and personally would not attend ANY school outside of the top 6 without substantial funding assistance, especially ITE. I came to SU because I wasn't determined to practice big law, and the scholarship ensured that if I were denied that possibility, I would, at worst, still graduate debt-free.


I think you're out of your fucking mind.

/thread




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