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Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:08 pm
by 270910
Renzo wrote:But the whole idea of creating ordered lists of schools is pretty silly, so saying that "my ordered list is better than your ordered list" is even sillier.


I award Rezno the gold cross of reasonable TLS debating culminating in complete pwnage and /threading, first class.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:12 pm
by Unemployed
Rand M. wrote:
Unemployed wrote:
Rand M. wrote:TBF, all this talk of the fact that Leiter does not have a comprehensive ranking is a little misguided. His "Educational Quality Ranking" is comprehensive and seeks to try to properly weigh some of the same factors as USNWR. This ranking is highlighted on TLS's rankings pages and can be seen discussed at the following link.

http://www.leiterrankings.com/usnews/20 ... pare.shtml

Also, I'm not really sure that it is quite fair to just call his rankings biased because some schools come out in a better position. If you can find a metric within the stat/ranking that you don't like then that is another thing all together, but simply dismissing them as biased doesn't seem to do much good. W/R/T Chicago if you have ever taken a look at old (like 10? years) USNWR rankings it would probably jump out at you that Chicago used to be a perennial T-3. Then USNWR decided to change the way it calculated expenditures, moving Chicago to T-6. I say all that to say that it's not really all that ridiculous for a school to place differently in a different rankings system. Does he have a vested interest? Sure. Did he in 2000 when he called Chicago #2? Hired in 2008 so this argument is a little harder to make.

Bottom line- I think things are more complicated then simply dismissing his rankings. I have only ever seen very few substantive knocks on his stuff, and for the most part they come from him.

I also think its a bit silly to say that he is simply upset. If you read it he has some substantive points and seems to suggest that looking at the USNWR data is useful, while looking at the fact that Duke is 10 and UVA is 10 as well is not really useful. He seems to gripe with this whole 8 is better than 9 notion more than anything else. And would prefer that people look at reputation scores, inter-quartile ranges, etc. At the end of the day it does seem a bit silly to buy into a magazine's weighting of those different factors, but looking at the factors separately seems altogether appropriate.

/rant (I think)


Perennial T-3? I think not...

USNews Rankings 1987-1999

http://www.prelawhandbook.com/law_school_rankings__1987_1999

USNews Rankings 2000-present

http://www.prelawhandbook.com/law_school_rankings__2000_present



I think this is semantics, but ok. T2-4? I don't really know what you want there, but the rest of the post stands. This is the kind of stuff I'm talking about. Often, people use a single bit to invalidate broad swaths of information/argument. Chicago goes up a bit in Leiter's ranking ---> Leiter is crap.

My only point there was it ranked better....formula changed...it ranks worse.


I only brought up the T-3 point because it's a loaded term (the "gap" between #3 and #4 is perceived to be HUGE). Your point still stands, but the force of your argument is somewhat diminished - it's not like Chicago went from Yale's sidekick to Berkeley's peer due to an arbitrary change in the formula.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:13 pm
by rayiner
I don't know how you can get all that worked up over Leiter's rankings. I think they're methodologically more sound. Eg: instead of lawyer/judge surveys, using an elite placement measure, instead of academic survey, using a citation measure. But taken as a whole, the top schools are still the top schools, with a surprise here and there (eg: Vandy outdoing T14s in the faculty impact ranking). They're not really that much different from the USNWR rankings except for geeks who like to find micro-distinctions between #6 and #7, etc.

Elite firm placement rankings:
http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2008job_biglaw.shtml

Student quality rankings:
http://www.leiterrankings.com/students/ ... lity.shtml

Faculty impact rankings:
http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2 ... pact.shtml

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:14 pm
by Rand M.
disco_barred wrote:
Renzo wrote:But the whole idea of creating ordered lists of schools is pretty silly, so saying that "my ordered list is better than your ordered list" is even sillier.


I award Rezno the gold cross of reasonable TLS debating culminating in complete pwnage and /threading, first class.


I think I mostly agree with Renzo's sentiment, but this part just seems to simple to me. I think that there is a place in the world for schools to be sorted according to different datum. Where rankings lose me is when you say one piece is worth 20% and another is worth 14%. The truth could be that neither of those pieces are worth anything at all to me.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:18 pm
by Rand M.
Unemployed wrote:I only brought up the T-3 point because it's a loaded term (the "gap" between #3 and #4 is perceived to be HUGE). Your point still stands, but the force of your argument is somewhat diminished - it's not like Chicago went from Yale's sidekick to Berkeley's peer due to an arbitrary change in the formula.


Fair enough, but perhaps some of the perceived huge gap is because of the fact that there is no more fluctuation between 3 and 4. I think that all of the lines that are usually drawn within the T14 (and even the T14 itself) are only the result of stagnation in the rankings. Once the rankings stop moving the gap swells and there is never any real way of knowing the true difference between three and four anymore. Because each time three is three and four is four that affects reputation surveys and all that kind of stuff.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:21 pm
by Unemployed
Rand M. wrote:
Unemployed wrote:I only brought up the T-3 point because it's a loaded term (the "gap" between #3 and #4 is perceived to be HUGE). Your point still stands, but the force of your argument is somewhat diminished - it's not like Chicago went from Yale's sidekick to Berkeley's peer due to an arbitrary change in the formula.


Fair enough, but perhaps some of the perceived huge gap is because of the fact that there is no more fluctuation between 3 and 4. I think that all of the lines that are usually drawn within the T14 (and even the T14 itself) are only the result of stagnation in the rankings. Once the rankings stop moving the gap swells and there is never any real way of knowing the true difference between three and four anymore. Because each time three is three and four is four that affects reputation surveys and all that kind of stuff.


There's a huge echo chamber and we are all in it. :|

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:24 pm
by erniesto
miamiman wrote:
erniesto wrote:
miamiman wrote:I get it. the rankings aren't wonderful; most agree they're actually misleading to an extent. But, is Leiter suggesting it's reasonable for an entire group of people to ignore them?

Good, bad, or (apparently) evil, USNWR is undeniably a fixture in law and legal education.

Sorry, Brian, I don't think the average Joe Schmo applying to law school is going to cross-reference your Elite Firm Placement/Student Quality/Faculity Quality metrics to "ballpark" the overall value of their law school acceptance vis-a-vis other offers. It's far easier (and, to some extent, fairly accurate) to look at a USNWR guide, see your one offer of admission is ranked #25, see your other offer of aadmission is #30, think about where you want to practice, and make an imperfect, but not entirely ill-advised decision.


Excellent example for the banality of evil. Bravo! Your assertion regarding rank is equally foolhardy and ignores many factors, including the fact that USNews ranks from 1 to 100, with rankings outside the Top 20 or 30 largely insignificant. And where do most law students end up? Outside the the top 30.

Leiter's rankings have much more to do with career prospects coming out these quasi trade schools than USNews could ever hope to achieve with its current model.


wow, case in point of why i hate TLS more often than not. I made a qualified argument which highlighted implicit limitations to USNWR and you go off on me. you're going to tell me that the rankings difference separating Stetson and UF for a would be florida practiioner are irrelevant? No, i think the rankings actually fairly nicely correlate with job prospects. stop being a douchebag, looking for every opportunity to shit all over someone's post, and open your eyes to reality. USNWR correlates, albeit very imperfectly, with job prospects.


Wow. Are you going to cry when an opposing counsel rips a new one on one of your arguments?

So they correlate with firm placement and veiled self-reported law school statistics. Welcome to reality, where the rankings do not correlate with significant CoA increases vs significant differences with job prospects. Stetson's big firm placement is probably within 3% of UF. Both have non-existent judicial clerkship placement And while I don't follow either school, because Florida is a humid mosquito trap, I'd wager a 100 ranked school is going to end up much cheaper than a 51 ranked school for out of state students. I'd point you to a credited, major legal industry article which describes this trend but you should have already read it, so I won't insult you.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:24 pm
by KibblesAndVick
miamiman wrote:
Nightrunner wrote:If USNWR correlates with job prospects, why do they not include outcome-based data (e.g. actual graduates achieving actual jobs) in the metric?


my guess? because all law schools (with possible exception to Yale) have something to hide.


I agree that they are probably shying away from using outcome-based data because law schools bullshit their numbers. But, the top schools probably have something to gain from everyone being forced to take off the veil of lies. Because they actually have respectable employment prospects for their graduates and the lower ranked schools don't they would comparatively come out ahead. Columbia's stats would look a lot nicer than would Cordozo's if they had to be honest. This would make the contrast more apparent and help the T14. I don't understand why the top schools don't make more of a fuss about this.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:34 pm
by miamiman
erniesto wrote: So they correlate with firm placement and veiled self-reported law school statistics. Welcome to reality, where the rankings do not correlate with significant CoA increases vs significant differences with job prospects. Stetson's big firm placement is probably within 3% of UF. Both have non-existent judicial clerkship placement And while I don't follow either school, because Florida is a humid mosquito trap, I'd wager a 100 ranked school is going to end up much cheaper than a 51 ranked school for out of state students. I'd point you to a credited, major legal industry article which describes this trend but you should have already read it, so I won't insult you.


So far as I recall, Leiter doesnt factor into his rankings CoA either. And, with regard to your speculation that it would be cheaper to be out-of-state at Stetson vs. UF, no, it wouldn't be. But, this is all sidestepping the larger fallacy in your agument: Factoring into any ranking the CoA adjustment is problematic; would it then make sense to attend UChicago over Columbia categorically because Chicago is cheaper with lateral job prospects? Nah, there are things somewhat exogenous to rankings like preferences, preferences for region of employment, preferences for class size, preferences for disciplinary focus , etc., that wouldn't be neatly captured in your more rigorous rankings system.

Also, just because I don't resort to strawman argumentation and mischarcterizations of other people's arguments doesn't mean that I "cry" when people disagree with me. It means I'm not a douchebag.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:36 pm
by Always Credited
ITT: the word "perennial" is used a lot.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:37 pm
by miamiman
Nightrunner wrote:
miamiman wrote:Also, just because I don't resort to strawman argumentation and mischarcterizations of other people's arguments doesn't mean that I "cry" when people disagree with me. It means I'm not a douchebag.


miamiman wrote: exogenous

:?


can't use exogenous?

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:39 pm
by KibblesAndVick
Nightrunner wrote:
KibblesAndVick wrote:I don't understand why the top schools don't make more of a fuss about this.

Because the top schools benefit greatly from the 14% of "spending-per-student," due to their much larger endowments. This has more to do with the perennial "why are G'Town and Cornell always ranked ahead of Texas and Vandy?" problem than any other element to the metric. The top schools will remain the top schools until the formula changes; they have no incentive to change it.


I understand that they do derive benefits from it. What I'm getting at is that I think they would get more out of it if it were changed. If I told you that you could be ranked in the top group of something because I constructed a questionable ranking system that, for some clearly arbitrary reasons, placed you in the top group OR you could be ranked in the top group based on the important and relevant empirical evidence that suggests you deserve to be there (like the % of your graduates that land high paying jobs and made a sound financial investment) wouldn't you pick the latter? Wouldn't it be an easier sell when you're fighting for cross-admits? If you were Duke wouldn't you want potential students to say "I'm leaning towards Duke instead of Emory because my job prospects will be a lot better." instead of "Some bullshit magazine told me Duke is better than Emory based on a formula no one seems to agree with, so I'm leaning towards Duke."? It just seems like they're complacent with a system that could work a lot better for them.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:40 pm
by MD/JD2B
Is that what it comes down to stats and rankings? Vague, but any situation, including law school, is what you make of it--your work ethic and your ability to roll with the situation as it evolves. True, reputations count in the real world, but so do personal interactions. Would you hire Mr. zero personality just because of the law school he went to and his 4.0? If so, I would'nt want to work there. Coming from many years in medicine, I know I'm in for an interesting, eye-opening ride in law. I can't wait. I haven't had any luck convincing my attorney friends to enter med school, just for a comparison of our experiences. BTW, thank you TLS!! It's tough applying on your own and being removed from the scene. Your blogs have been educational.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:41 pm
by erniesto
miamiman wrote:Also, just because I don't resort to strawman argumentation and mischarcterizations of other people's arguments doesn't mean that I "cry" when people disagree with me. It means I'm not a douchebag.


I'm just going to let this stand on its own.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:44 pm
by miamiman
erniesto wrote:
miamiman wrote:Also, just because I don't resort to strawman argumentation and mischarcterizations of other people's arguments doesn't mean that I "cry" when people disagree with me. It means I'm not a douchebag.


I'm just going to let this stand on its own.


Seriously, not hugged enough as a kid?

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:45 pm
by erniesto
MD/JD2B wrote:Would you hire Mr. zero personality just because of the law school he went to and his 4.0? If so, I wouldn't want to work there.


The big firm associate model allows for this. The Mr. Zero's just waste away as associates and don't make partner.

Kudos to you for not wanting to work in that.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:47 pm
by KibblesAndVick
I like TLS bickering a lot more when it is actually funny and has copious amounts of racial slurs. :(

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:49 pm
by erniesto
KibblesAndVick wrote:I like TLS bickering a lot more when it is actually funny and has copious amounts of racial slurs. :(


This is why I prefer autoadmit

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:55 pm
by ggocat
KibblesAndVick wrote:But, the top schools probably have something to gain from everyone being forced to take off the veil of lies. Because they actually have respectable employment prospects for their graduates and the lower ranked schools don't they would comparatively come out ahead.

Some top schools pay their own graduates to work, thus improving both at-graduation employment rates and nine-month employment rates:

Boston College. --LinkRemoved-- (reporting that the law school will employ graduates in the law library and that “graduates are being welcomed to apply for [research] assistantships with professors”).
Georgetown (60+). viewtopic.php?f=2&t=108336#p2592062 ; http://xoxohth.com/thread.php?thread_id ... 9af6312f03.
Michigan. --LinkRemoved--.
Texas (38). http://www.utexas.edu/law/depts/alumni/ ... rogram.php.
Columbia. --LinkRemoved--.

These are not the only schools near the top that play games with U.S. News. In fact, you might guess that more top schools play games compared to lower-ranked schools because they have more to gain and lose. If GULC goes from 14 to 15, it's perceived as a big deal. But if Miami goes from 70 to 90 or vice versa (I have no idea what it's ranked other than it's in the second tier), it doesn't really matter.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:33 pm
by Kohinoor
erniesto wrote:
MD/JD2B wrote:Would you hire Mr. zero personality just because of the law school he went to and his 4.0? If so, I wouldn't want to work there.


The big firm associate model allows for this. The Mr. Zero's [strike]just waste away as associates and don't[/strike]make partner.

Kudos to you for not wanting to work in that.

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:46 pm
by tru
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Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:49 pm
by tru
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Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:07 pm
by ggocat
Daytukrjabs wrote:
ggocat wrote:
Nightrunner wrote:If USNWR correlates with job prospects, why do they not include outcome-based data (e.g. actual graduates achieving actual jobs) in the metric?

If schools report accurately, then US News does; 4% is based on employment at graduation and 14% is based on employment at nine months.

That's the problem. Employment stats are highly manipulable. Berkeley, for example, claimed 100% employment of all 2009 grads. I have reasons to believe this is total bullshit, even for a respected institution like Berkeley.

Yep, hence the "if." Professors Henderson and Morriss suggest that a third party (ABA, NALP, etc.) should collect more detailed employment data, thus making schools more accountable and the U.S. News rankings irrelevant. See Andrew P. Morriss & William D. Henderson, Measuring Outcomes: Post-Graduation Measures of Success in the U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings, 83 IND. L.J. 791 (2008).

Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:13 pm
by tru
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Re: An Open Letter to Other Law Bloggers Regarding the US News

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:58 pm
by Renzo
Daytukrjabs wrote:
You are an idiot. You obviously didn't read his blog because you speak too soon and get corrected later. He does have a ranking, but not the one like USNWR. He doesn't attempt to compile an "overall" ranking of schools. That's the bullshit USNWR does. Rather, he ranks them in specific categories (caliber of students, faculty assessment etc) based on verifiable facts. Stats he used are rank-able and fairly accurate.

He's taking the initiative to educate people like you who take USNWR as some kind of a credible guide. But then again, you're probably at TTT anyway so it wouldn't really matter to you.

Renzo wrote:
Rand M. wrote:rant


I agree with most all of this, and the USNWR rankings are not methodologically superior to Leiter's in any way. But the whole idea of creating ordered lists of schools is pretty silly, so saying that "my ordered list is better than your ordered list" is even sillier.


Except his methodology is credible to anyone familiar with statistics and he doesn't claim to have a better list. And I'm still convinced that you didn't even read his blog. You're an idiot.

Aww, princess, did I hurt your feelings?


:lol: I just noticed that you have 14 posts, and 6 of them involve defending Leiter's rankings.