Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
accidentalhippy
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:21 am

Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby accidentalhippy » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:17 pm

Hi all,
I'm a first time poster and have apps in for fall 2012.

I am curious what impact you all think the impending changes to the USNWR ranking system criteria might have on admissions.

http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/articl ... ethodology

If USNWR is going to emphasize job placements, types of jobs, and other employment data, how might that challenge the law schools to look beyond UGPA & LSAT as primary criteria (particularly since there is some controversy about the correlation of those factors and LS success)? It would seem paramount to not only maximize legal placements for alumni, but perhaps admit students who might have traits coming in that firms and other employers value.

Just pondering, you know, when I'm not obsessive compulsively checking my application status.

minnesotamike
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:23 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby minnesotamike » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:24 pm

I'm not sure but I'm waiting until the new rankings come out before choosing a school. Don't want to get left behind by the march of progress.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:28 pm

minnesotamike wrote:I'm not sure but I'm waiting until the new rankings come out before choosing a school. Don't want to get left behind by the march of progress.

This doesn't make sense. Employers don't hire people based on the USNWR, and you should be choosing a school based on job placement. Enough info is out there right now to tell you where you should and shouldn't go, if you care to look for it. The rankings are informative, not controlling.

User avatar
AntipodeanPhil
Posts: 1300
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:43 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
minnesotamike wrote:I'm not sure but I'm waiting until the new rankings come out before choosing a school. Don't want to get left behind by the march of progress.

This doesn't make sense. Employers don't hire people based on the USNWR, and you should be choosing a school based on job placement. Enough info is out there right now to tell you where you should and shouldn't go, if you care to look for it. The rankings are informative, not controlling.

Of course this is right, but it is difficult. If you compare the NLJ 250 placement charts for 2009 and 2010, for example, there are some major differences. For example:

Cornell: 41.5% in 2009 (14th); 58.3% in 2010 (2nd).
Northwestern: 55.9% in 2009 (1st); 44.3% in 2010 (8th).

That's a difference of well over 10% in each case. So even if you don't wait for new rankings, you should wait for new employment data.

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:51 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
minnesotamike wrote:I'm not sure but I'm waiting until the new rankings come out before choosing a school. Don't want to get left behind by the march of progress.

This doesn't make sense. Employers don't hire people based on the USNWR, and you should be choosing a school based on job placement. Enough info is out there right now to tell you where you should and shouldn't go, if you care to look for it. The rankings are informative, not controlling.

Of course this is right, but it is difficult. If you compare the NLJ 250 placement charts for 2009 and 2010, for example, there are some major differences. For example:

Cornell: 41.5% in 2009 (14th); 58.3% in 2010 (2nd).
Northwestern: 55.9% in 2009 (1st); 44.3% in 2010 (8th).

That's a difference of well over 10% in each case. So even if you don't wait for new rankings, you should wait for new employment data.


1) Clerkship #'s really need to be accounted for somehow to give more meaning to these numbers.
2) Markets may play a role in placement numbers. (And for what it's worth: I heard DC and Chicago were bloodbaths this past OCI. NYC seemed to be much closer to "back to normal"--with the qualification that previous boom times seem unlikely to ever really return.)

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:11 pm

Also, remember that NLJ250 just means law firms with over 160 lawyers (right now that's the smallest NLJ250 firm). That's going to count out A LOT of market-paying employers.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby ahduth » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:17 pm

IAFG wrote:Also, remember that NLJ250 just means law firms with over 160 lawyers (right now that's the smallest NLJ250 firm). That's going to count out A LOT of market-paying employers.


As well as counting in some firms that aren't necessarily paying market.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:20 pm

ahduth wrote:
IAFG wrote:Also, remember that NLJ250 just means law firms with over 160 lawyers (right now that's the smallest NLJ250 firm). That's going to count out A LOT of market-paying employers.


As well as counting in some firms that aren't necessarily paying market.

I suspect this issue negatively impacts schools with solid market-paying placement in secondary and tertiary markets, like Duke. But, like I keep saying on the boards, the lesson to draw from the NLJ250 numbers and their fluctuations is how similar top schools are and how little the CCN/MVP/DCN distinction means.

I am not saying it doesn't mean ANYTHING, just that it's not very significant.

User avatar
AntipodeanPhil
Posts: 1300
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:36 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:1) Clerkship #'s really need to be accounted for somehow to give more meaning to these numbers.
2) Markets may play a role in placement numbers. (And for what it's worth: I heard DC and Chicago were bloodbaths this past OCI. NYC seemed to be much closer to "back to normal"--with the qualification that previous boom times seem unlikely to ever really return.)

Of course, there are other highly desirable jobs outside of the NLJ 250, and perhaps some that aren't that desirable within it.

And while markets may play a role, it is curious that U of C stayed #1 both years, whereas Northwestern took a heavy hit.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:37 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:1) Clerkship #'s really need to be accounted for somehow to give more meaning to these numbers.
2) Markets may play a role in placement numbers. (And for what it's worth: I heard DC and Chicago were bloodbaths this past OCI. NYC seemed to be much closer to "back to normal"--with the qualification that previous boom times seem unlikely to ever really return.)

Of course, there are other highly desirable jobs outside of the NLJ 250, and perhaps some that aren't that desirable within it.

And while markets may play a role, it is curious that U of C stayed #1 both years, whereas Northwestern took a heavy hit.

That's not surprising at all; U of Chi isn't really a "Chicago" school.

ETA: I still object to the assumption that these numbers reflect what's going on with a school's placement power and therefore that it means that Northwestern took a "hit." But anyway.

User avatar
accidentalhippy
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:21 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby accidentalhippy » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:54 pm

accidentalhippy wrote:If USNWR is going to emphasize job placements, types of jobs, and other employment data, how might that challenge the law schools to look beyond UGPA & LSAT as primary criteria (particularly since there is some controversy about the correlation of those factors and LS success)? It would seem paramount to not only maximize legal placements for alumni, but perhaps admit students who might have traits coming in that firms and other employers value.


Thus far the responses have been quite interesting, but they also haven't addressed the portion of my OP excerpted above. Any thoughts on this?

User avatar
JDizzle2015
Posts: 638
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:16 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby JDizzle2015 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:00 pm

When do new rankings come out? March?

I don't think it'll affect my LS decision but it would be interesting to see the new results.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:00 pm

accidentalhippy wrote:
accidentalhippy wrote:If USNWR is going to emphasize job placements, types of jobs, and other employment data, how might that challenge the law schools to look beyond UGPA & LSAT as primary criteria (particularly since there is some controversy about the correlation of those factors and LS success)? It would seem paramount to not only maximize legal placements for alumni, but perhaps admit students who might have traits coming in that firms and other employers value.


Thus far the responses have been quite interesting, but they also haven't addressed the portion of my OP excerpted above. Any thoughts on this?

I am having a hard time imagining what criteria they could use that they would realistically use that would be game-changing at the T14 level or even the T50 level. They almost certainly won't use V100 or NLJ250 placement My prediction is: no change to admissions criteria.

User avatar
drdolittle
Posts: 628
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:15 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby drdolittle » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:52 pm

accidentalhippy wrote:If USNWR is going to emphasize job placements, types of jobs, and other employment data, how might that challenge the law schools to look beyond UGPA & LSAT as primary criteria (particularly since there is some controversy about the correlation of those factors and LS success)? It would seem paramount to not only maximize legal placements for alumni, but perhaps admit students who might have traits coming in that firms and other employers value.

Any such effect would only materialize if legal job placement were more of an independently verifiable criterion in the methodology, like GPA and LSAT. (And even GPAs and LSATs can be misrepresented, e.g., recently at Illinois, so independent verification of all data is needed for any meaningful ranking system in general, especially re: non truly top schools). Otherwise, it's far easier for schools to simply continue significantly and knowingly fudging their legal job placement numbers (e.g, UC Davis) instead of actually altering their longstanding selection criteria. So as soon as job placement becomes a real number rather than a mere claim schools make, I think as you suggest, unique applicant softs that will in fact enhance their chances to land a legal job should gain significance in admissions.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby ahduth » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:19 pm

IAFG wrote:
ahduth wrote:
IAFG wrote:Also, remember that NLJ250 just means law firms with over 160 lawyers (right now that's the smallest NLJ250 firm). That's going to count out A LOT of market-paying employers.


As well as counting in some firms that aren't necessarily paying market.

I suspect this issue negatively impacts schools with solid market-paying placement in secondary and tertiary markets, like Duke. But, like I keep saying on the boards, the lesson to draw from the NLJ250 numbers and their fluctuations is how similar top schools are and how little the CCN/MVP/DCN distinction means.

I am not saying it doesn't mean ANYTHING, just that it's not very significant.


The question might be, will the USNWR changes crystallize schools' rankings, because their non-NLJ250 numbers become clear? Put another way, Columbia places people with Kellogg Huber, and they don't get counted. Duke's counterweight is a 60k local job.

Having written that, seems like a stretch - I doubt either of those cases are particularly prevalent. I do think the general principle may hold however, with "true" top schools, in terms of placement power, solidifying their ranking, and increased chaos once you dip into the spectrum of schools that aren't actually placing people with consistency.

Either way, god bless the USNWR and may NYU stay about 10th.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:24 pm

ahduth wrote:
IAFG wrote:
ahduth wrote:
IAFG wrote:Also, remember that NLJ250 just means law firms with over 160 lawyers (right now that's the smallest NLJ250 firm). That's going to count out A LOT of market-paying employers.


As well as counting in some firms that aren't necessarily paying market.

I suspect this issue negatively impacts schools with solid market-paying placement in secondary and tertiary markets, like Duke. But, like I keep saying on the boards, the lesson to draw from the NLJ250 numbers and their fluctuations is how similar top schools are and how little the CCN/MVP/DCN distinction means.

I am not saying it doesn't mean ANYTHING, just that it's not very significant.


The question might be, will the USNWR changes crystallize schools' rankings, because their non-NLJ250 numbers become clear? Put another way, Columbia places people with Kellogg Huber, and they don't get counted. Duke's counterweight is a 60k local job.

Having written that, seems like a stretch - I doubt either of those cases are particularly prevalent. I do think the general principle may hold however, with "true" top schools, in terms of placement power, solidifying their ranking, and increased chaos once you dip into the spectrum of schools that aren't actually placing people with consistency.

Either way, god bless the USNWR and may NYU stay about 10th.

No no no local jobs don't pay 60k. This is the biggest TLS misunderstanding about secondary and tertiary markets.

That said, I agree, chaos and wild fluctuations in lower schools as they place 3 students in V100s one year and "zomg twice as many!" the next year.

Betharl
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:48 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby Betharl » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:58 pm

accidentalhippy wrote:how might that challenge the law schools to look beyond UGPA & LSAT as primary criteria


I dont imagine it will have any impact on the importance of UGPA and LSAT. The academic profile of the class is still a component in the rankings and will still be weighted the same way after these changes. You could make the case that schools will care more about whether students will be attractive to employers coming out of law school (assuming these changes in how schools report employment numbers are actually worth a crap and schools won't still find way to game the stats), and will look more favorably prior work experience/anything else employers might want, but for the most part, I don't think this will affect how schools look at LSAT/UGPA.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:17 pm

I believe that if the methodology truly changes to a relevant extent, schools will change the programs and opportunities they offer students while students are in law school. As everyone is already well aware, LSAT and GPA are the primary tools used in accepting students. However, as another poster has stated, schools want their graduates to appear to be attractive (even if they really aren't). The only way to continue accepting students the way they did 15 years ago and simultaneously attempt to get those students into good or better jobs is by offering more resume filler while they are in law school. This "resume filler" could come in the form of more secondary journals, more clinics, more specializations, more different types of moot courts, more joint degree options (especially ones that shave off more than a year - i.e. 3 year JD/MBA shaves off two years), more spots on the law review, more random non-law school related certification programs (like ADR), etc. Various academics believe that in the future, more law schools will be specialized. Maybe that time will (slowly) begin sooner than we thought.

EDIT: Big law probably won't care very much about the resume filler. But mid and small law certainly will. As will government.

User avatar
kapital98
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby kapital98 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:25 pm

Somehow I see UC Davis' irrationally high employment numbers falling... and it's #23 rank with it.

Employed at Graduation

2007: 86.7% (#35)

2008: 97.3% (#28)

2009: 95.8% (#23)

Their 'Employed after 9 months' stat is the exact same. And the 56% who reported employment make a median of "$145,000." Oddly, their employment numbers dramatically improved during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Hmmm....

LIES, LIES, AND DAMN LIES!!!!

User avatar
drdolittle
Posts: 628
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:15 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby drdolittle » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:39 pm

kapital98 wrote:Somehow I see UC Davis' irrationally high employment numbers falling... and it's #23 rank with it.

Employed at Graduation

2007: 86.7% (#35)

2008: 97.3% (#28)

2009: 95.8% (#23)

Their 'Employed after 9 months' stat is the exact same. And the 56% who reported employment make a median of "$145,000." Oddly, their employment numbers dramatically improved during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Hmmm....

LIES, LIES, AND DAMN LIES!!!!

Kevin R. Johnson became the UC Davis Law Dean in 2008 according to his curriculum vitae. Davis' unbelievable employment claims, and concomitant rise in US News rank, happened right under his admin.

Ironic, considering this quote from Dean Johnson's TLS Dean Interview: "Aside from those measures [GPA, LSAT, peer assessment, etc.], the U.S. News methodology has a number of other limitations. For instance, its data on 'percentage of graduates employed after graduation' doesn’t consider where you work, or even if the position is in a law-related capacity. You could be working at the local shopping mall, and the U.S. News survey would classify you as 'employed.'"

On the other hand, maybe this is just being honest and reveals how law school admins typically view and answer US News' employment questions. What the heck, since US News' employment data purportedly doesn't consider where grads work, any employment qualifies for reporting. Makes things pretty easy, and has the added benefit of improving even a law school's rank (and helps attract better students, faculty, donations, etc.). Davis' newly improved "top 25" rank, by the way, comes up early and often in Dean Johnson's TLS interview.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby ahduth » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:05 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:I believe that if the methodology truly changes to a relevant extent, schools will change the programs and opportunities they offer students while students are in law school. As everyone is already well aware, LSAT and GPA are the primary tools used in accepting students. However, as another poster has stated, schools want their graduates to appear to be attractive (even if they really aren't). The only way to continue accepting students the way they did 15 years ago and simultaneously attempt to get those students into good or better jobs is by offering more resume filler while they are in law school. This "resume filler" could come in the form of more secondary journals, more clinics, more specializations, more different types of moot courts, more joint degree options (especially ones that shave off more than a year - i.e. 3 year JD/MBA shaves off two years), more spots on the law review, more random non-law school related certification programs (like ADR), etc. Various academics believe that in the future, more law schools will be specialized. Maybe that time will (slowly) begin sooner than we thought.

EDIT: Big law probably won't care very much about the resume filler. But mid and small law certainly will. As will government.


My only response to this is... please learn about paragraphs. They're a wonderful part of our grammar.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:25 am

You do realize that this is an online forum, right? No one cares :lol:

User avatar
JusticeHarlan
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:56 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:14 pm

kapital98 wrote:Somehow I see UC Davis' irrationally high employment numbers falling... and it's #23 rank with it.

Employed at Graduation

2007: 86.7% (#35)

2008: 97.3% (#28)

2009: 95.8% (#23)

Their 'Employed after 9 months' stat is the exact same. And the 56% who reported employment make a median of "$145,000." Oddly, their employment numbers dramatically improved during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Hmmm....

LIES, LIES, AND DAMN LIES!!!!

Tso much anger.

User avatar
kapital98
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Thoughts on forthcoming USNWR criteria change & LS rxns

Postby kapital98 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:27 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
kapital98 wrote:Somehow I see UC Davis' irrationally high employment numbers falling... and it's #23 rank with it.

Employed at Graduation

2007: 86.7% (#35)

2008: 97.3% (#28)

2009: 95.8% (#23)

Their 'Employed after 9 months' stat is the exact same. And the 56% who reported employment make a median of "$145,000." Oddly, their employment numbers dramatically improved during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Hmmm....

LIES, LIES, AND DAMN LIES!!!!

Tso much anger.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm glad he's not completely forgotten on TLS. Especially considering this is what got him banned.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BobBoblaw and 1 guest