I would argue that all HBCU's offer similar prospects outside of FAMU, and so the conversation should be HBCU's vs. better ranked schools.Thanks for presenting your argument. Do you personally know anyone who has ever attended a HBLS? If so what did they say about their experience?
Also, today I ran into an article online from a website specifically for black lawyers. I wanted to share part of an article with all you future lawyers, and hear your opinions on it. I believe its relevant to the discussion, so this is open for everyone. Again thank you all for the feedback whether it was positive or negative!
"We often hear that black perspective law students rely on US News when choosing which law school to attend. This is a HUGE mistake. Frankly, it’s a mistake for all students, but it is especially damning for future black lawyers. To begin with, many of the things that US News takes into account are anachronistic. What does it matter how many volumes are in the law school library when research is increasingly done online. A whopping 40% of the ranking score is based on the subjective measure of a law school’s reputation. Perhaps something could be gained from a reporting of the number of judges, general counsel, and biglaw partners hailing from particular law schools since it is reasonable to assume that these distinguished alumni would favor graduates of their law schools, but that’s NOT how the figure is calculated. US News takes the “opinion” of people from OTHER law schools...
The biggest misconception lies in prospective law students’ belief that a direct correlation exists between a graduate’s law school rank and her first job’s salary and prestige. With few exceptions, this is not the case. Many T-14 graduates find themselves unemployed or in low-paying legal jobs following law school. There are few jobs more prestigious than a federal appeals court clerkship, and according to Law Clerk Addict, a graduate of the perennially fourth tier Southern University Law School clerked for a 5th Circuit judge last year. Only two employers are obsessed with law school rankings—the largest 250 (out of over 40,000) law firms and law school faculty...''It goes on to speak on factors black students should consider when choosing a law school. I found it interesting because it uses Southern as an example. Southern is also a HBLS. Anyway, it can be found here
That is an absolutely fair assessment of the USN rankings, however you will find that most serious debate on here is comparing the employment and salary statistics from USN, NLJ and Vault. To the Southern grad who got a sweet Article 3 clerkship, that is fantastic, however I should direct you to the 95 such clerkships that Harvard produced last year? Or even the 6 from tulane? Or the 4 from LSU? Or the 4 from Loyola? This is exactly the roulette argument I mentioned before. Southern as a TTTT gives you a .13% (I believe the last clerk from the one mentioned was 2-3 classes ago, 750 students) chance of becoming a clerk, or rather a 99.87% chance of not making it, vs, going to LSU (in the same city and state, for nearly the same price and very easy to get into,) where you have closer to a 2% chance or an "elite" institution where you have over a 15% chance. LSU in not great, but I would still take 2% over .13%.
I agree that under a microscope the rankings are close to meaningless (i.e. what is the difference between #30 and #31, or even #30 and #47,) however in the broader sense, the "tier" system is a pretty solid way to generalize schools: HYS, CCN, BMVP, DCNG, T20, Tier 1, Tier 2, TTT, TTTT; schools within these Tiers see each other as peers, and we can make fairly accurate assessments of career prospects and opportunities by using them. Attempting to argue against this based on the race of the applicant is absolutely absurd. The idea that the black community needs "its own law schools" is equally perplexing. Knowing the history of HBCUs, as I am sure you do, you understand that now that there are black deans and black professors and the URM boost and the ability to focus your legal education in the areas of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the necessity of having a racially divided education system is a completely outmoded.
For undergraduate education, I think HBCU's serve a valuable purpose in helping young black intellect find purpose for and amongst their community, however, in terms of professional schools this is no longer needed and a person should be looking for the school which affords them the highest chance of having a great career, not just *any* chance.
Riddle me this:
Black Male A goes to Southern and graduates median, manages to get a job making 60k doing doc review in Baton Rouge (This is one of the best outcomes for median at Southern, assuming no connections).
Black Female B goes to Tulane and graduates median, gets an 80k job as an attorney at a midlaw firm in New Orleans and does 50 hours of pro bono work a year advocating labor issues for underprivileged black workers in Southeast Louisiana.
Which one is doing more for the black community?
(PS I know both of these people, though I have changed their locations and obviously removed their names)
As for Law Firms being "obsessed" with rankings, if that is true then shouldn't it make sense to care about where your school is ranked? Would it not be in your best interest to impress one of the best 250 (out of over 40,000) firms in the country?