Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

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BostonLawStudent
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby BostonLawStudent » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:32 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:Even in the boom years it wasn't as simple as go to top school, be in top half, get handed $160K/yr job. People at the top still strike out

And with Obeyme getting four more years, the economy will only get worse. Just look at how the DOW NOSEDIVED yesterday after the Socialist in Chief got reelected

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dingbat
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby dingbat » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:39 pm

BostonLawStudent wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:Even in the boom years it wasn't as simple as go to top school, be in top half, get handed $160K/yr job. People at the top still strike out

And with Obeyme getting four more years, the economy will only get worse. Just look at how the DOW NOSEDIVED yesterday after the Socialist in Chief got reelected

Considering that Obama's policies adhere more closely to, and Romney's economic plan went against everything, traditional economic theory espouses, I claim bullshit to your tongue-in-cheek statement

TLSwag
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby TLSwag » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:12 pm

BostonLawStudent wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:Even in the boom years it wasn't as simple as go to top school, be in top half, get handed $160K/yr job. People at the top still strike out

And with Obeyme getting four more years, the economy will only get worse. Just look at how the DOW NOSEDIVED yesterday after the Socialist in Chief got reelected


.
Last edited by TLSwag on Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ludo!
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby Ludo! » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:14 pm

TLSwag wrote:
BostonLawStudent wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:Even in the boom years it wasn't as simple as go to top school, be in top half, get handed $160K/yr job. People at the top still strike out

And with Obeyme getting four more years, the economy will only get worse. Just look at how the DOW NOSEDIVED yesterday after the Socialist in Chief got reelected


haha couldnt have said it better myself.


You guys are both idiots (or unfunny trolling I guess) but there's a whole thread in the lounge for you to derp in

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Sheffield
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby Sheffield » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:57 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:
Sheffield wrote:So, the one word answer to this thread is YES.


As with your other posts, you've overstepped here. Nobody would dispute that Penn (obviously your school) places well relative to the 190 schools un/ranked below it. People have actively disputed the broad strokes you've painted, however. The data show that once you get beyond the top schools, there's no correlation between employment opportunities and ranking. So does ranking "matter" in some trivial sense for the top schools? Yes, but only the top schools. By giving the rankings as much credit as you do, you mistakenly posit something that flies in the face of mountains of empirical data, while crediting a ranking system that is equally as flawed as it is dangerous to legal education for doing a good job at the top.

Let's say that the Cooley rankings did a good job at the very top at predicting employment success. Does this mean they matter? Note that this question, as with the OP, is normative. It's accurately reworded to, "should law school rankings matter to my decision?"

The answer is no because the one thing the rankings do well is predict biglaw employment opportunities at the top, but there are other data that do a better job at showing that than U.S. News ranking.

You R right. I am speaking specifically of certain rankings (usually designated on TLS as T14). Not intentionally trying to broad brush the entire system.

Korteja
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby Korteja » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:43 pm

Here is my understanding of rankings and employment.
If you go to a top law school (not just t-14, let's say t-25) and graduate with decent grades, you should have offers from good firms both locally and in major markets around the country. This is obviously the best route to take, it's hard to argue against the power of a name like Harvard or Penn vs Florida or U Cincinnati (no disrespect to those two schools). But obviously, these schools are not a viable option for everyone.
The next 50 or so schools in the rankings will present a student with far fewer options nationwide, but the oft-pushed concept that people who attend these schools are facing god-awful job prospects is a little far-fetched. At these schools, a student will have to do well and network to get good offers, but I don't think that's too much to ask. That is what summers are for in law school. The caution with these schools would be a large price tag that will not be easily repaid with your starting salary at a smaller regional firm.
Lastly, I know this is blashemphy, but there are some regional schools that will put you in position to be hired in weaker markets. The fact of the matter is that firms with 15-20 lawyers will not be head-hunting for t-14 lawyers in cities like Dayton or Oklahoma City, they will settle for the top of the class at regional schools.

Long story short, once you have a job, very few people care where you went to school, they are looking for someone who can do the job and do it well. I understand that this site is called TOP-law-schools.com, however, there seems to be a fair amount of blind hatred towards any school outside of the t-14. Again, I don't deny the opportunities these schools will provide students, but telling people that tier two schools are a waste of time is ridiculous. There's nothing wrong with working your way up the ladder and accepting a law position with a salary under 6 figures in your first few years out of school.

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dingbat
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby dingbat » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:42 pm

Korteja wrote:Here is my understanding of rankings and employment.
If you go to a top law school (not just t-14, let's say t-25) and graduate with decent grades, you should have offers from good firms both locally and in major markets around the country. This is obviously the best route to take, it's hard to argue against the power of a name like Harvard or Penn vs Florida or U Cincinnati (no disrespect to those two schools). But obviously, these schools are not a viable option for everyone.
The next 50 or so schools in the rankings will present a student with far fewer options nationwide, but the oft-pushed concept that people who attend these schools are facing god-awful job prospects is a little far-fetched. At these schools, a student will have to do well and network to get good offers, but I don't think that's too much to ask. That is what summers are for in law school. The caution with these schools would be a large price tag that will not be easily repaid with your starting salary at a smaller regional firm.
Lastly, I know this is blashemphy, but there are some regional schools that will put you in position to be hired in weaker markets. The fact of the matter is that firms with 15-20 lawyers will not be head-hunting for t-14 lawyers in cities like Dayton or Oklahoma City, they will settle for the top of the class at regional schools.

Long story short, once you have a job, very few people care where you went to school, they are looking for someone who can do the job and do it well. I understand that this site is called TOP-law-schools.com, however, there seems to be a fair amount of blind hatred towards any school outside of the t-14. Again, I don't deny the opportunities these schools will provide students, but telling people that tier two schools are a waste of time is ridiculous. There's nothing wrong with working your way up the ladder and accepting a law position with a salary under 6 figures in your first few years out of school.

You've more or less hit the nail on the head, except for one thing.
Most schools have COAs of $60-$70k per year. Outside of a handful of schools (UT/UCLA/USC/Vandy/GW/BU/BC/Fordham - am I mssing one?) your chance of getting a job paying in excess of 6 figures is minimal. UC Davis has a cost of attendance that is roughly double that of Alabama (in-state), so it does matter

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PDaddy
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby PDaddy » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:57 pm

lawschool111 wrote:
jump_man wrote:
lawschool111 wrote:I am now considering Santa Clara over USC


Let me know how that works out for.

Did you know that Santa Clara was ranked as having the highest "underemployment" score among all law schools?



Provide me with a link, and then i'll believe you. At SCU, 83% of graduates have work 9 months after graduation whereas USC is 82%. Also, the mid-career salary pay is higher for Santa Clara than USC.


Uh-oh! Somebody is late to the party and truly doesn't understand that ALL...i.e. EACH AND EVERY law school in the country has inflated its employment stats to some degree, and that schools ranked #40-TT are the most egregious offenders. Moreover, the lower you go, the worse it tends to get.

Don't drink the Kool Aid, please...

If you believe that SCU can offer any advantages over USC - other than geography, in some individual circumstances - you are headed for a very rude awakening. Never...NEVER...would an informed applicant choose SCU over USC (even with a full ride at the latter), unless his network in the field was set and daddy had a nice, cushy job waiting for Junior.

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PDaddy
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby PDaddy » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:05 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:Even in the boom years it wasn't as simple as go to top school, be in top half, get handed $160K/yr job. People at the top still strike out


This supports the argument that one is better-off hedging his bets at a top school. There is almost never justification for turning down a top-20 school in favor of what amounts to a second-tier school. I say this as one who has always been skeptical if rankings in general, but my skepticism has limits! Once schools like USC, Texas, Vandy, etc. enter the conversation, they should win out, unless you also have Michigan or one of the other T14's.

Korteja
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby Korteja » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:20 pm

I completely agree. When it comes down to it, how much better is a 43 than a 36? But with that being said, at a certain point, one school is flat out better than another. Still, as I mentioned in my previous post, people need to water down the aggressive rhetoric directed towards the 15-75 schools. I'm sure most of the time their intentions are good, but too many people do quite well after attending these "tier 2/3" schools. The real formula for long-term success places a lot more emphasis on hard work and networking than a degree that collects dust on the wall.

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Lasers
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby Lasers » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:22 pm

OP, if you really want to have any chance at getting big law/a 6 figure paycheck, you'd be absolutely silly going to santa clara over usc.

usc has outpaced ucla/some lower t14 in big law hiring in recent years, mostly due to its small class size and strong alumni network/reputation in socal.

now if you don't want to work in socal or CA (which would marginalize usc's huge advantage), i would simply not go to law school (or retake the LSAT) considering your other options are not ideal.

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Br3v
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby Br3v » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:43 pm

alwayssunnyinfl wrote:This is a subject which has never been discussed before on TLS. Using the search function would have shown absolutely no results that would answer this question.


Honestly I hate when people answer like this. Not just this site but other random forums you come across in a goolgle search. You always have to sift through the first few people who think they are original by adding no value before you get to any substance.

I get that this thread isn't a good example and it appears like a personal attack on sunny (it's not).

OP, rankings matter in the sense that they very vaguely represent employment stats (think top 5 school compared to top 20-30, not comparing 5 to 6 or 20 to 21 as those shift all the time).

rad lulz
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby rad lulz » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:54 pm

Br3v wrote:
alwayssunnyinfl wrote:This is a subject which has never been discussed before on TLS. Using the search function would have shown absolutely no results that would answer this question.


Honestly I hate when people answer like this. Not just this site but other random forums you come across in a goolgle search. You always have to sift through the first few people who think they are original by adding no value before you get to any substance.

I get that this thread isn't a good example and it appears like a personal attack on sunny (it's not).

OP, rankings matter in the sense that they very vaguely represent employment stats (think top 5 school compared to top 20-30, not comparing 5 to 6 or 20 to 21 as those shift all the time).

Go look at LST. They're not even really useful for that.

USNWR rankings are useful for literally nothing.

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dingbat
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby dingbat » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:59 pm

OP Don't listen to all this. A school's ranking is very important. If you get into a school ranked 27, don't go to one ranked 28. If you get into a school ranked 45, no amount of scholarship is worth attending one ranked 46 instead.

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suralin
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby suralin » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:59 pm

dingbat wrote:OP Don't listen to all this. A school's ranking is very important. If you get into a school ranked 27, don't go to one ranked 28. If you get into a school ranked 45, no amount of scholarship is worth attending one ranked 46 instead.


+1. Just think of the increase in preftige.

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BullShitWithBravado
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:02 pm

DerekTokaz wrote:
Sheffield wrote:Simply works like this. Go to a top rated law school, get median or better grades and step into a $160K job. From experience, this is the way it works.

Except that it's not. Only 10 schools placed at least 50% of their class in a large (101+) firm or a federal clerkship. Only Stanford broke 70%.

Cornell (USN #14) only had 46.8% in these jobs. Michigan (USN #10) had 44.6%. Georgetown (USN #13) had only 37.4%.

Not to mention that placing in the top half of a top school isn't a gimme. In fact, half of all students at these schools will fail to do it.


Your Cornell stats are wrong. Over 50% of the class of 2014 landed big law this year. Same goes for class of 2013 last year.

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:40 am

Br3v wrote:
alwayssunnyinfl wrote:This is a subject which has never been discussed before on TLS. Using the search function would have shown absolutely no results that would answer this question.


Honestly I hate when people answer like this. Not just this site but other random forums you come across in a goolgle search. You always have to sift through the first few people who think they are original by adding no value before you get to any substance.

I get that this thread isn't a good example and it appears like a personal attack on sunny (it's not).

OP, rankings matter in the sense that they very vaguely represent employment stats (think top 5 school compared to top 20-30, not comparing 5 to 6 or 20 to 21 as those shift all the time).

Reread the first page. The guy who started this thread was a combative douchebag who was just trying to get people to justify his decision to go to SCU under some thinly veiled hypothetical. Then it turned into a thread for on-topic regulars to show off how good they are at regurgitating TLS common wisdom.

Ph297
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby Ph297 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:10 pm

dingbat wrote:OP Don't listen to all this. A school's ranking is very important. If you get into a school ranked 27, don't go to one ranked 28. If you get into a school ranked 45, no amount of scholarship is worth attending one ranked 46 instead.



Ur so fucking cool.

jgalgano
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby jgalgano » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:48 pm

Ph297 wrote:
dingbat wrote:OP Don't listen to all this. A school's ranking is very important. If you get into a school ranked 27, don't go to one ranked 28. If you get into a school ranked 45, no amount of scholarship is worth attending one ranked 46 instead.



Ur so fucking cool.



Not sure I agree with this. Yes if you can get into T-14 go for it, but this does not guarantee success. School prestige and good grades will really only guarantee not having your resume tossed out early in the process. You actually have to be an someone who has the skills that the firm is looking for both personally, how well you write, your work ethic, etc. Even Yale grads at the top of their respective classes are finding this job market rough.

When deciding between what law school to go to it really is not a big deal if you have options within 5-10 places (ie 25-35, 45-55, etc) or even larger splits. It all depends what market you are looking for. For example, if you want to work in Arizona going to Emory instead of Arizona State just because they are ranked higher is not a good move. You go to Emory because you want a job in Georgia or the surrounding area. Branching out to bigger cities is a risk, and you need to have a good idea of where you want to work before you select a school. Then pick the best school in that area you can get into.

Santa Clara is a great school if you want to a) work in Silicon Valley and/or b) do patent law in California. Even if you want to do patent law the better option is to go to USC because there is more opportunities especially with On Campus Interviews. Firms have limited time and they are going to dedicate themselves to the bigger schools to set up interviews. if you have a full ride to Santa Clara (and is not contigent on being in the top third) then that may be the better choice, but still realize that if you are not in the top 1/3 of your class it is going to be a struggle.

Hope this helps
Last edited by jgalgano on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:50 pm

jgalgano wrote:Santa Clara is a great school if you want to a) work in Silicon Valley and/or b) do patent law in California. Even if you want to do patent law the better option is to go to USC because there is more opportunities especially with On Campus Interviews. Firms have limited time and they are going to dedicate themselves to the bigger schools to set up interviews. if you have a full ride to Santa Clara (and is not contigent on being in the top third) then that may be the better choice, but still realize that if you are not in the top 1/3 of your class it is going to be a struggle.

Hope this helps

Go look at LST. Santa Clara is a rancid shithole.

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Lasers
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby Lasers » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:15 pm

jgalgano wrote:if you have a full ride to Santa Clara (and is not contigent on being in the top third) then that may be the better choice, but still realize that if you are not in the top 1/3 of your class it is going to be a struggle.


top third? more like top 10% coming out of santa clara...

jgalgano
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby jgalgano » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:31 pm

Lasers wrote:
jgalgano wrote:if you have a full ride to Santa Clara (and is not contigent on being in the top third) then that may be the better choice, but still realize that if you are not in the top 1/3 of your class it is going to be a struggle.


top third? more like top 10% coming out of santa clara...


If you are doing anything other than patent law..probably true. Patent law is at least a little more forgiving on GPA if you have the right degree/background.

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dingbat
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:44 pm

jgalgano wrote:
Lasers wrote:top third? more like top 10% coming out of santa clara...


If you are doing anything other than patent law..probably true. Patent law is at least a little more forgiving on GPA if you have the right degree/background.

That's why top 10%; without patent, it'd be top 5%

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cinephile
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Re: Do law school rankings REALLY matter?

Postby cinephile » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:00 pm

On the subject of Santa Clara: my cousin graduated from there a few years ago and got a terrific in-house job through her parents' connections. She doesn't know anyone else in her class who is doing as well these days. Short of similar connections, you shouldn't go.




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