ATL's Law School Rankings

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
Ruxin1
Posts: 1284
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Ruxin1 » Thu May 02, 2013 2:03 pm

The Brainalist wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:
Kronk wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:
no. what do you think the clerks go on to do?


Get bonuses from the big law jobs they already had or get offered better big law positions that they would have previously. Definitely harder to get and more prestigious. Whether or not they are "better" is probably personal, but they're certainly seen that way.


the bonuses are not really relevant. besides the fact that not all firms offer the bonus, even when they do, most come out worse off financially. if it leads to better biglaw, then biglaw > clerkship.

it's also entirely useless for transaction. it's just something law students like to salivate over due to their inherent need to unnecessarily strive.


I tend to agree. Clerking isn't a career, it's a resume' line. Clerks do the same stuff other people do, but with longer resumes, basically.

It isn't always an indicator of better job prospects. You'd be surprised the number of people who do clerkships because they get no-offered or bombed out of 2L interviews. Although it often gives another chance at getting those entry-level positions, I'm also not sure how much it helps beyond that because the top firms are still looking at grades and journal work. If you didn't meet the minimum standards before, a clerkship doesn't always fix it. Often it's correlated with acheivement, but doesn't necessarily cause it.

It may matter a lot more as experience for jobs that expect you to hit the ground running, though, like government or boutique firms. Those don't seem to be highly valued by ATL, however.


RE: Government & Boutique Firms, I believe the LST guys made a post about that category is difficult to parse some of the categories, like with the business category. Obviously MBB and BB IB is a tremendous outcome from LS and will tend to favor T6 schools and the schools with prestigious JD/MBA programs. However, I side with the LST mindset of it is best to stay as conservative as possible when viewing the stats; if that means not counting some good outcomes that would be tough to do for every single school, so be it.

User avatar
Renne Walker
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:12 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Renne Walker » Thu May 02, 2013 2:23 pm

The Brainalist wrote:....jobs that expect you to hit the ground running, though, like government or boutique firms. Those don't seem to be highly valued by ATL, however.

If that is the case, their perception is wrong, I know several SAs working at boutiques compensated at the +$135K level. Because boutiques tend to have fewer than 60 attorneys they probably slip under the radar. Not sure how ATL/USNWR handles that, unless the schools provide salaries.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby 2014 » Thu May 02, 2013 6:51 pm

I am personally offended no one has commended U.Chi for another strong showing in yet another rankings system. Bout time we extend it to HYSChi, next year should secure it.

enigmabk
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:52 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby enigmabk » Thu May 02, 2013 6:53 pm

Tag

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Blessedassurance » Thu May 02, 2013 7:03 pm

2014 wrote:I am personally offended no one has commended U.Chi for another strong showing in yet another rankings system. Bout time we extend it to HYSChi, next year should secure it.


(guy who fails to note that the difference between H and Chi is nearly the same in terms of points as that between Chicago and Duke while proposing to separate chicago into another tier when the difference between chi and P is 0.4)

re: rankings. i love how students at yale give it an A in terms of practical training while alumni give it a B minus. why are they even taking student ratings into account?

run26.2
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby run26.2 » Thu May 02, 2013 7:08 pm

Anyone want to take out the SCOTUS clerk element and rerun the analysis? This is probably the one factor contributing the most to the mirroring of US News at the very top.

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Blessedassurance » Thu May 02, 2013 7:11 pm

run26.2 wrote:Anyone want to take out the SCOTUS clerk element and rerun the analysis? This is probably the one factor contributing the most to the mirroring of US News at the very top.


might as well take out the % of active federal judges while at it. that is a pretty useless boomer-centric metric

User avatar
The Brainalist
Posts: 317
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:12 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby The Brainalist » Thu May 02, 2013 7:25 pm

Actually, these rankings break into a top-5 and top-10 a lot easier than the USNews rankins. Yale to Penn score about 85-80; Duke to NYU score about 75 to 70. Those gold ribbons at #1 and #5 really give that visual impression as well.

The only reason the YHSChi works well is because it is both rankings are consistent as to these being the top 4 schools (much like the T14 is a shorthand for what everyone agrees are elite schools)

I'm hoping someday for a ranking that goes:

1. Stanford
2. Harvard
3. University of Texas
4. University of Pennsylvania

That way, when someone asks what law schools are worth going to, we can just respond, "SHUT UP."

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby 2014 » Thu May 02, 2013 8:02 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:
2014 wrote:I am personally offended no one has commended U.Chi for another strong showing in yet another rankings system. Bout time we extend it to HYSChi, next year should secure it.


(guy who fails to note that the difference between H and Chi is nearly the same in terms of points as that between Chicago and Duke while proposing to separate chicago into another tier when the difference between chi and P is 0.4)

I guess I could be down with HYSChiP but USNWR wouldn't like it very much

Stinson
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:01 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Stinson » Thu May 02, 2013 8:16 pm

Gotta keep the federal judge ranking so we know the top go-to schools of 1975.

run26.2
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby run26.2 » Thu May 02, 2013 8:34 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:
run26.2 wrote:Anyone want to take out the SCOTUS clerk element and rerun the analysis? This is probably the one factor contributing the most to the mirroring of US News at the very top.


might as well take out the % of active federal judges while at it. that is a pretty useless boomer-centric metric

Excellent point. Let's take that out and rebalance the other percentages. Should be possible to reverse engineer the rankings and correct for the absence of these 2 data points. If I had to guess, the top 5 would be:
1. Stanford
2. Chicago
3. Penn
4. Harvard
5. Duke

May try to work on this later.

User avatar
jcccc
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:42 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby jcccc » Fri May 03, 2013 2:05 am

Yea seems like CoA is accounting for CLS/NYU rankings low rankings. Eh.

User avatar
Crowing
Posts: 2636
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Crowing » Fri May 03, 2013 3:35 am

jcccc wrote:Yea seems like CoA is accounting for CLS/NYU rankings low rankings. Eh.


I don't see why that shouldn't be important. People trash the other NYC schools relative to peers because of NYC COL. Why shouldn't people be similarly wary of CLS/NYU compared to other T14s for the same reason?

ITT: CLS/NYU students bash new rankings while Duke and Penn students lavish them with praise. Nothing to see here - move along.

User avatar
beepboopbeep
Posts: 1230
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:36 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby beepboopbeep » Fri May 03, 2013 11:04 am

Crowing wrote:I don't see why that shouldn't be important. People trash the other NYC schools relative to peers because of NYC COL. Why shouldn't people be similarly wary of CLS/NYU compared to other T14s for the same reason?


They should be aware of it, but it's just such an individual determination. People thinking about CLS and NYU are generally deciding between 1) money at CLS/NYU vs. sticker-ish at HYS, 2) money at lower t-14 vs sticker-ish at CLS/NYU, or 3) similar money at each of CCN. How do these rankings help those people? They know how much each school will cost for them. What it costs everyone else is irrelevant.

Crowing wrote:ITT: CLS/NYU students bash new rankings while Duke and Penn students lavish them with praise. Nothing to see here - move along.


Heh, indeed. CLS c/o 2016 here.

User avatar
MikeSpivey
Posts: 2608
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:28 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri May 03, 2013 12:15 pm

run26.2 wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:
run26.2 wrote:Anyone want to take out the SCOTUS clerk element and rerun the analysis? This is probably the one factor contributing the most to the mirroring of US News at the very top.


might as well take out the % of active federal judges while at it. that is a pretty useless boomer-centric metric

Excellent point. Let's take that out and rebalance the other percentages. Should be possible to reverse engineer the rankings and correct for the absence of these 2 data points. If I had to guess, the top 5 would be:
1. Stanford
2. Chicago
3. Penn
4. Harvard
5. Duke

May try to work on this later.


Technically I believe you are "re-engeneering" the rankings, but the point is it would be really interesting, cool, and worthwhile if you did. Many thanks!

Swimp
Posts: 493
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 9:32 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Swimp » Fri May 03, 2013 4:02 pm

I definitely agree that CoA matters to the rankings in a pure "who wins?" kind of sense. But I think the rankings would be more useful as a tool to decide which school to go to if CoA were removed from the equation. Of all the data that prospective students have to balance to make their decisions, CoA is maybe the most cut-and-dried. It doesn't need to be stirred around in the pot with everything else to be put in a useful context.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18418
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby bk1 » Fri May 03, 2013 4:18 pm

The problem with law school rankings is that doing anything "objectively" doesn't produce the results that people think they should. By objective I mean where someone does not have to make a lot of decisions about weighting (e.g. going by pure percent of biglaw+clerkships+gov is fairly objective as opposed to doing something like assigning differing weights to differing types of employment). The problem then results when Yale doesn't take the top spot or HYS don't take the top 3. You are then left with the option that either HYS aren't the top 3 schools or your rankings system is flawed and I'm fairly sure I know how most people come out on that question.

In the guise objectivity, people try to create rankings with different weights that seem objective (why shouldn't really great clerkships count for 7.5%?) in order to create a ranking they "know" to be the true order. USNWR did it with GPA/LSAT scores. ATL is doing it with SCOTUS clerks and A3 judges. But ATL's rankings aren't much more objective than USNWR even though they seem more objective.

So what do we do? I don't know. No rankings system is going to be perfect. "Objective" ones will be criticized for not capturing the magic of HYS (or NYU for PI or GULC for gov or whatever, hypothetically) where students have the option and do choose to pursue alternative career paths. Subjective ones will get criticized for not being objective enough. Ideally I wish that rankings would start to describe schools in bands rather than pure rank order since I think that more closely approximates their value. I don't think cost should be factored in since cost varies widely from applicant to applicant (a 4.0/180 is not going to be evaluating NYU in the same way that a 3.5/173 is going to). In the end, I think that we'll have to use somewhat subjective rankings (like ATL's) to capture the reality of how good schools are compared to each other.

valrath
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:39 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby valrath » Fri May 03, 2013 4:37 pm

bk1 wrote:The problem with law school rankings is that doing anything "objectively" doesn't produce the results that people think they should. By objective I mean where someone does not have to make a lot of decisions about weighting (e.g. going by pure percent of biglaw+clerkships+gov is fairly objective as opposed to doing something like assigning differing weights to differing types of employment). The problem then results when Yale doesn't take the top spot or HYS don't take the top 3. You are then left with the option that either HYS aren't the top 3 schools or your rankings system is flawed and I'm fairly sure I know how most people come out on that question.

In the guise objectivity, people try to create rankings with different weights that seem objective (why shouldn't really great clerkships count for 7.5%?) in order to create a ranking they "know" to be the true order. USNWR did it with GPA/LSAT scores. ATL is doing it with SCOTUS clerks and A3 judges. But ATL's rankings aren't much more objective than USNWR even though they seem more objective.

So what do we do? I don't know. No rankings system is going to be perfect. "Objective" ones will be criticized for not capturing the magic of HYS (or NYU for PI or GULC for gov or whatever, hypothetically) where students have the option and do choose to pursue alternative career paths. Subjective ones will get criticized for not being objective enough. Ideally I wish that rankings would start to describe schools in bands rather than pure rank order since I think that more closely approximates their value. I don't think cost should be factored in since cost varies widely from applicant to applicant (a 4.0/180 is not going to be evaluating NYU in the same way that a 3.5/173 is going to). In the end, I think that we'll have to use somewhat subjective rankings (like ATL's) to capture the reality of how good schools are compared to each other.


Completely agree that bands > pure rank order

User avatar
LSATSCORES2012
Posts: 770
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:12 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Fri May 03, 2013 4:45 pm

valrath wrote:
bk1 wrote:The problem with law school rankings is that doing anything "objectively" doesn't produce the results that people think they should. By objective I mean where someone does not have to make a lot of decisions about weighting (e.g. going by pure percent of biglaw+clerkships+gov is fairly objective as opposed to doing something like assigning differing weights to differing types of employment). The problem then results when Yale doesn't take the top spot or HYS don't take the top 3. You are then left with the option that either HYS aren't the top 3 schools or your rankings system is flawed and I'm fairly sure I know how most people come out on that question.

In the guise objectivity, people try to create rankings with different weights that seem objective (why shouldn't really great clerkships count for 7.5%?) in order to create a ranking they "know" to be the true order. USNWR did it with GPA/LSAT scores. ATL is doing it with SCOTUS clerks and A3 judges. But ATL's rankings aren't much more objective than USNWR even though they seem more objective.

So what do we do? I don't know. No rankings system is going to be perfect. "Objective" ones will be criticized for not capturing the magic of HYS (or NYU for PI or GULC for gov or whatever, hypothetically) where students have the option and do choose to pursue alternative career paths. Subjective ones will get criticized for not being objective enough. Ideally I wish that rankings would start to describe schools in bands rather than pure rank order since I think that more closely approximates their value. I don't think cost should be factored in since cost varies widely from applicant to applicant (a 4.0/180 is not going to be evaluating NYU in the same way that a 3.5/173 is going to). In the end, I think that we'll have to use somewhat subjective rankings (like ATL's) to capture the reality of how good schools are compared to each other.


Completely agree that bands > pure rank order

Banding the ATL rankings would probably go something like this (based on raw scores alone):

HYS CP DVCBN CMNTV G

Does anyone know if there's a way to get their raw data?

User avatar
rickgrimes69
Posts: 1107
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:56 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby rickgrimes69 » Fri May 03, 2013 5:31 pm

bk1 wrote:The problem with law school rankings is that doing anything "objectively" doesn't produce the results that people think they should. By objective I mean where someone does not have to make a lot of decisions about weighting (e.g. going by pure percent of biglaw+clerkships+gov is fairly objective as opposed to doing something like assigning differing weights to differing types of employment). The problem then results when Yale doesn't take the top spot or HYS don't take the top 3. You are then left with the option that either HYS aren't the top 3 schools or your rankings system is flawed and I'm fairly sure I know how most people come out on that question.

In the guise objectivity, people try to create rankings with different weights that seem objective (why shouldn't really great clerkships count for 7.5%?) in order to create a ranking they "know" to be the true order. USNWR did it with GPA/LSAT scores. ATL is doing it with SCOTUS clerks and A3 judges. But ATL's rankings aren't much more objective than USNWR even though they seem more objective.

So what do we do? I don't know. No rankings system is going to be perfect. "Objective" ones will be criticized for not capturing the magic of HYS (or NYU for PI or GULC for gov or whatever, hypothetically) where students have the option and do choose to pursue alternative career paths. Subjective ones will get criticized for not being objective enough. Ideally I wish that rankings would start to describe schools in bands rather than pure rank order since I think that more closely approximates their value. I don't think cost should be factored in since cost varies widely from applicant to applicant (a 4.0/180 is not going to be evaluating NYU in the same way that a 3.5/173 is going to). In the end, I think that we'll have to use somewhat subjective rankings (like ATL's) to capture the reality of how good schools are compared to each other.


I agree with all of this. However,the biggest difference I see is that 75% of ATL's ranking is based on factors that objectively matter: cost, employment outcome, and desirable job placement. These are the three factors we use almost exclusively here at TLS (with the fourth being location). The cost criteria used by ATL is admittedly wanting of clarity, but there is only so far one can extrapolate from the scant data available, and it's too important of a factor to ignore. I'd rather have cost included as an imperfect metric than discounted entirely.

Everyone knows the 7.5% to SCOTUS clerks is a directed bump at HYS to ensure they stay on top. I think it's reasonable to assume that, from an institutional legitimacy standpoint, no list will be taken seriously if HYS aren't numbers 1, 2, and 3 (regardless of order). Personally, I think it makes more sense to consider that 7.5% as a proxy metric for measuring the intangible value inherent in an HYS degree (particularly Y). They might as well have just reserved 7.5% for "DAT PREFSTIGE" and called it a day. It's a factor that's basically irrelevant to the rest of the T197, but makes a big difference for those few top schools. I actually think this is a far better solution than allocating 40% of the score to some nebulous criterion like "Peer Assessment" as per USNWR.

SportsFan
Posts: 722
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:26 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby SportsFan » Fri May 03, 2013 5:39 pm

valrath wrote:
bk1 wrote:The problem with law school rankings is that doing anything "objectively" doesn't produce the results that people think they should. By objective I mean where someone does not have to make a lot of decisions about weighting (e.g. going by pure percent of biglaw+clerkships+gov is fairly objective as opposed to doing something like assigning differing weights to differing types of employment). The problem then results when Yale doesn't take the top spot or HYS don't take the top 3. You are then left with the option that either HYS aren't the top 3 schools or your rankings system is flawed and I'm fairly sure I know how most people come out on that question.

In the guise objectivity, people try to create rankings with different weights that seem objective (why shouldn't really great clerkships count for 7.5%?) in order to create a ranking they "know" to be the true order. USNWR did it with GPA/LSAT scores. ATL is doing it with SCOTUS clerks and A3 judges. But ATL's rankings aren't much more objective than USNWR even though they seem more objective.

So what do we do? I don't know. No rankings system is going to be perfect. "Objective" ones will be criticized for not capturing the magic of HYS (or NYU for PI or GULC for gov or whatever, hypothetically) where students have the option and do choose to pursue alternative career paths. Subjective ones will get criticized for not being objective enough. Ideally I wish that rankings would start to describe schools in bands rather than pure rank order since I think that more closely approximates their value. I don't think cost should be factored in since cost varies widely from applicant to applicant (a 4.0/180 is not going to be evaluating NYU in the same way that a 3.5/173 is going to). In the end, I think that we'll have to use somewhat subjective rankings (like ATL's) to capture the reality of how good schools are compared to each other.


Completely agree that bands > pure rank order

Bands are dumb too. It's all about what an individual wants and what their options are.

valrath
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:39 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby valrath » Fri May 03, 2013 5:53 pm

SportsFan wrote:
valrath wrote:
bk1 wrote:The problem with law school rankings is that doing anything "objectively" doesn't produce the results that people think they should. By objective I mean where someone does not have to make a lot of decisions about weighting (e.g. going by pure percent of biglaw+clerkships+gov is fairly objective as opposed to doing something like assigning differing weights to differing types of employment). The problem then results when Yale doesn't take the top spot or HYS don't take the top 3. You are then left with the option that either HYS aren't the top 3 schools or your rankings system is flawed and I'm fairly sure I know how most people come out on that question.

In the guise objectivity, people try to create rankings with different weights that seem objective (why shouldn't really great clerkships count for 7.5%?) in order to create a ranking they "know" to be the true order. USNWR did it with GPA/LSAT scores. ATL is doing it with SCOTUS clerks and A3 judges. But ATL's rankings aren't much more objective than USNWR even though they seem more objective.

So what do we do? I don't know. No rankings system is going to be perfect. "Objective" ones will be criticized for not capturing the magic of HYS (or NYU for PI or GULC for gov or whatever, hypothetically) where students have the option and do choose to pursue alternative career paths. Subjective ones will get criticized for not being objective enough. Ideally I wish that rankings would start to describe schools in bands rather than pure rank order since I think that more closely approximates their value. I don't think cost should be factored in since cost varies widely from applicant to applicant (a 4.0/180 is not going to be evaluating NYU in the same way that a 3.5/173 is going to). In the end, I think that we'll have to use somewhat subjective rankings (like ATL's) to capture the reality of how good schools are compared to each other.


Completely agree that bands > pure rank order

Bands are dumb too. It's all about what an individual wants and what their options are.


Bands would at least group like options together so the individual can make choices based on preference of location/ties instead of differences in individual ranking. This saves people from being like "oh this school has everything I want, but the other school is 5 ranks higher" and end up taking the one with higher ranking when in reality, they're both in the same band.

run26.2
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby run26.2 » Fri May 03, 2013 6:13 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
bk1 wrote:The problem with law school rankings is that doing anything "objectively" doesn't produce the results that people think they should. By objective I mean where someone does not have to make a lot of decisions about weighting (e.g. going by pure percent of biglaw+clerkships+gov is fairly objective as opposed to doing something like assigning differing weights to differing types of employment). The problem then results when Yale doesn't take the top spot or HYS don't take the top 3. You are then left with the option that either HYS aren't the top 3 schools or your rankings system is flawed and I'm fairly sure I know how most people come out on that question.

In the guise objectivity, people try to create rankings with different weights that seem objective (why shouldn't really great clerkships count for 7.5%?) in order to create a ranking they "know" to be the true order. USNWR did it with GPA/LSAT scores. ATL is doing it with SCOTUS clerks and A3 judges. But ATL's rankings aren't much more objective than USNWR even though they seem more objective.

So what do we do? I don't know. No rankings system is going to be perfect. "Objective" ones will be criticized for not capturing the magic of HYS (or NYU for PI or GULC for gov or whatever, hypothetically) where students have the option and do choose to pursue alternative career paths. Subjective ones will get criticized for not being objective enough. Ideally I wish that rankings would start to describe schools in bands rather than pure rank order since I think that more closely approximates their value. I don't think cost should be factored in since cost varies widely from applicant to applicant (a 4.0/180 is not going to be evaluating NYU in the same way that a 3.5/173 is going to). In the end, I think that we'll have to use somewhat subjective rankings (like ATL's) to capture the reality of how good schools are compared to each other.


I agree with all of this. However,the biggest difference I see is that 75% of ATL's ranking is based on factors that objectively matter: cost, employment outcome, and desirable job placement. These are the three factors we use almost exclusively here at TLS (with the fourth being location). The cost criteria used by ATL is admittedly wanting of clarity, but there is only so far one can extrapolate from the scant data available, and it's too important of a factor to ignore. I'd rather have cost included as an imperfect metric than discounted entirely.

Everyone knows the 7.5% to SCOTUS clerks is a directed bump at HYS to ensure they stay on top. I think it's reasonable to assume that, from an institutional legitimacy standpoint, no list will be taken seriously if HYS aren't numbers 1, 2, and 3 (regardless of order). Personally, I think it makes more sense to consider that 7.5% as a proxy metric for measuring the intangible value inherent in an HYS degree (particularly Y). They might as well have just reserved 7.5% for "DAT PREFSTIGE" and called it a day. It's a factor that's basically irrelevant to the rest of the T197, but makes a big difference for those few top schools. I actually think this is a far better solution than allocating 40% of the score to some nebulous criterion like "Peer Assessment" as per USNWR.

The problem with this methodology is that it assumes what it sets out to prove.

Why 7.5%, btw? It certainly appears like the methodology chosen creates a "Tier" among the top 3 schools. Why? Because everyone universally recognizes them as best?
Last edited by run26.2 on Fri May 03, 2013 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SportsFan
Posts: 722
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:26 pm

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby SportsFan » Fri May 03, 2013 6:17 pm

run26.2 wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:
bk1 wrote:The problem with law school rankings is that doing anything "objectively" doesn't produce the results that people think they should. By objective I mean where someone does not have to make a lot of decisions about weighting (e.g. going by pure percent of biglaw+clerkships+gov is fairly objective as opposed to doing something like assigning differing weights to differing types of employment). The problem then results when Yale doesn't take the top spot or HYS don't take the top 3. You are then left with the option that either HYS aren't the top 3 schools or your rankings system is flawed and I'm fairly sure I know how most people come out on that question.

In the guise objectivity, people try to create rankings with different weights that seem objective (why shouldn't really great clerkships count for 7.5%?) in order to create a ranking they "know" to be the true order. USNWR did it with GPA/LSAT scores. ATL is doing it with SCOTUS clerks and A3 judges. But ATL's rankings aren't much more objective than USNWR even though they seem more objective.

So what do we do? I don't know. No rankings system is going to be perfect. "Objective" ones will be criticized for not capturing the magic of HYS (or NYU for PI or GULC for gov or whatever, hypothetically) where students have the option and do choose to pursue alternative career paths. Subjective ones will get criticized for not being objective enough. Ideally I wish that rankings would start to describe schools in bands rather than pure rank order since I think that more closely approximates their value. I don't think cost should be factored in since cost varies widely from applicant to applicant (a 4.0/180 is not going to be evaluating NYU in the same way that a 3.5/173 is going to). In the end, I think that we'll have to use somewhat subjective rankings (like ATL's) to capture the reality of how good schools are compared to each other.


I agree with all of this. However,the biggest difference I see is that 75% of ATL's ranking is based on factors that objectively matter: cost, employment outcome, and desirable job placement. These are the three factors we use almost exclusively here at TLS (with the fourth being location). The cost criteria used by ATL is admittedly wanting of clarity, but there is only so far one can extrapolate from the scant data available, and it's too important of a factor to ignore. I'd rather have cost included as an imperfect metric than discounted entirely.

Everyone knows the 7.5% to SCOTUS clerks is a directed bump at HYS to ensure they stay on top. I think it's reasonable to assume that, from an institutional legitimacy standpoint, no list will be taken seriously if HYS aren't numbers 1, 2, and 3 (regardless of order). Personally, I think it makes more sense to consider that 7.5% as a proxy metric for measuring the intangible value inherent in an HYS degree (particularly Y). They might as well have just reserved 7.5% for "DAT PREFSTIGE" and called it a day. It's a factor that's basically irrelevant to the rest of the T197, but makes a big difference for those few top schools. I actually think this is a far better solution than allocating 40% of the score to some nebulous criterion like "Peer Assessment" as per USNWR.

The problem with this methodology is that it assumes what it sets out to prove.

Yeah, I was thinking this as I read through the post too. I think the biggest problem with objectively ranking law schools is that we have no way to account for self-selection.

run26.2
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby run26.2 » Fri May 03, 2013 6:20 pm

run26.2 wrote:
Why 7.5%, btw? It certainly appears like the methodology chosen creates a "Tier" among the top 3 schools. Why? Because everyone universally recognizes them as best?


Not looking for an answer to the above. Just pointing out that the percentages chosen happen to create a very distinct set of 3 schools at the top. That, in and of itself, calls them into question in my mind.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 8 guests