dcm81 wrote:They are going to fail because they won't get the reputation scores needed. TLS members don't guide the rankings, professors and judges do. Some deans/professors will love UCI, others won't even know where the hell UCI is. Judges/Partners won't have much to judge UCI by in terms of how they fare in the courtroom, so I doubt they are going to score in the 3 range there either. Their GPA/LSAT scores will assure them or a ranking somewhere in the top 50 range, but I would be shocked if they hit top 20 the first year out. If they did that would be a tremendous achievement that I doubt has ever been achieved by a law school in the USNews era of rankings.
25% of US News' rankings is based on peer assessment (assessment by law school deans and administrations)
- Law schools, professors, and deans have been nothing but hugely impressed and supportive (as noted in articles, mentioned by Chemerinsky, and explained to me by a T20 corporate law professor who's apparently very "in" with the world of "top" professors)
25% is based on selectivity (GPA, LSAT, acceptance rate)
- Let's assume Irvine will maintain T25 numbers at least until they feature in the rankings (not hard to believe considering we're only talking about a couple of years from now, and the first two classes have T20 numbers)
20% is based on bar passage rate
- Hardly the reason people think UCI will suffer in the rankings... I don't think anyone fears that Chem and the great faculty won't prepare UCI students well enough for the bar
15% is based on faculty resources (expenditures per student, student/faculty ratio, library resources)
- This is a serious plus for UCI, considering the small size of the program particularly during the first few years
That equates to 85% that works in favor of UCI being T20 or T25, by my calculations. You can disagree with the extent of my optimisim, but I don't see how anything listed above will really hurt
UCI's potential in the rankings...
The final 15% is for assessment scores by lawyers/judges. Those who are familiar with UCI (not many) are likely to give it strong scores (the few lawyers/judges that have dealt with UCI students thus far have been extremely impressed). Those who don't know UCI simply will decline to answer. They won't give them negative marks if they've never heard of them...
Even if that final 15% hurts UCI more than I expect, it will detract from T20 status (again, according to my breakdown above). Fine. So the school will be T25, T30, T40 (depending on your level of pessimism). But frankly, any prediction darker than that seems very implausible.