ATL's Law School Rankings

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20141023
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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby 20141023 » Mon May 06, 2013 9:42 pm

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Sheffield
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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Sheffield » Mon May 06, 2013 9:56 pm

Are you satisfied with your LS choice? Did COL factor into your decision? Was USNWR the primary basis for your particular law school choice?

Or did COA mainly dictate the school you chose — meaning you selected a less expensive school even though you could have been (or were) accepted to a much higher ranked school.
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FWIW: I answered yes to the first three questions. COL is why I bypassed considering NYC and San Fran.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon May 06, 2013 10:06 pm

Yukos wrote:There's no way using COA instead of just tuition unfairly disadvantages schools in high cost of living areas.

First, schools have an easy way to remedy this: lower tuition.

Second, if, hypothetically, UChi and NYU have the exact same biglaw placement rate, Chicago is an objectively better bet. Obviously for some people regional placement might override this consideration but you can't argue against the fact that same results + less cost = better.

Third, while high COL hurts schools in some ways (cost-conscious students might stay away), you can't argue that NYU and Columbia don't benefit from being in New York. High COL implies that that area is desirable, and you gotta take the good (students will be happy to live there for three years) with the bad (that COL will increase your COA).

But including COL means you're including only the bad and not the good. If UVA and NYU had identical job placement and identical tuition, the COL difference alone would mean that UVA gets ranked way better. It doesn't matter if the "students are happy to live there" aspect actually makes it "cost effective" to go to NYU in that situation (i.e., subjectively "worth it"), the rankings just say cheaper is always better, all things equal. I think that's pretty silly because it obviously doesn't reflect how people go about deciding whether to live in high- or low-cost areas, whether for law school or at any other point in their lives. I wouldn't go live in Nebraska just because it would be dirt cheap. There is obviously some cost-benefit analysis involved.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:15 pm

FWIW, I definitely think COL should be included, though perhaps not the way they do it (average debt at graduation) because they're not accounting for scholarships.

Kronk wrote:Shouldn't someone considering top law schools be able to independently evaluate whether or not the COL of an area and the COA of a school is worthwhile to them, given how good the school is at getting them employed? That is an individual analysis for every student, unlike employment statistics, which don't differ student to student.

This isn't that hard to understand. Including COA in a ranking is TTT methodology.


Rankings are designed to bundle a bunch of information into one concise package. Ideally people would look at all the metrics separately and come to their own conclusions. If we're going to have rankings, we have to decide what is important to put into them. This is another reason LST is so nice: they provide an ordered list, but that list isn't numbered, which removes the sense that they're an incontrovertible list of the order in which people should have their school preferences. Then, they go on to provide the important numbers for a potential matriculant to consider, encouraging people to think for themselves rather than selling out to a ranking merely because its socially sanctioned.

In short, your argument is good, but I don't think you take it far enough.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:18 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Yukos wrote:There's no way using COA instead of just tuition unfairly disadvantages schools in high cost of living areas.

First, schools have an easy way to remedy this: lower tuition.

Second, if, hypothetically, UChi and NYU have the exact same biglaw placement rate, Chicago is an objectively better bet. Obviously for some people regional placement might override this consideration but you can't argue against the fact that same results + less cost = better.

Third, while high COL hurts schools in some ways (cost-conscious students might stay away), you can't argue that NYU and Columbia don't benefit from being in New York. High COL implies that that area is desirable, and you gotta take the good (students will be happy to live there for three years) with the bad (that COL will increase your COA).

But including COL means you're including only the bad and not the good. If UVA and NYU had identical job placement and identical tuition, the COL difference alone would mean that UVA gets ranked way better. It doesn't matter if the "students are happy to live there" aspect actually makes it "cost effective" to go to NYU in that situation (i.e., subjectively "worth it"), the rankings just say cheaper is always better, all things equal. I think that's pretty silly because it obviously doesn't reflect how people go about deciding whether to live in high- or low-cost areas, whether for law school or at any other point in their lives. I wouldn't go live in Nebraska just because it would be dirt cheap. There is obviously some cost-benefit analysis involved.

This isn't something the rankings are designed to take into account. A jobs oriented approach isn't targeted towards quality of life at all (unless you account for your finances in QOL in which case the COL should be factored in if you want a look at QOL) so even if you take out COL the criticism is still valid.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Yukos » Mon May 06, 2013 10:40 pm

Both sides have good argument and it's not as cut and dry as some people are saying. From a pure methodological perspective, I agree that including COA doesn't make that much sense. But I like rewarding schools for doing just as well with a lower COA and the idea that if influential rankings include COA it will incentivize (finally) falling tuition.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Yukos » Mon May 06, 2013 10:43 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Yukos wrote:There's no way using COA instead of just tuition unfairly disadvantages schools in high cost of living areas.

First, schools have an easy way to remedy this: lower tuition.

Second, if, hypothetically, UChi and NYU have the exact same biglaw placement rate, Chicago is an objectively better bet. Obviously for some people regional placement might override this consideration but you can't argue against the fact that same results + less cost = better.

Third, while high COL hurts schools in some ways (cost-conscious students might stay away), you can't argue that NYU and Columbia don't benefit from being in New York. High COL implies that that area is desirable, and you gotta take the good (students will be happy to live there for three years) with the bad (that COL will increase your COA).

But including COL means you're including only the bad and not the good. If UVA and NYU had identical job placement and identical tuition, the COL difference alone would mean that UVA gets ranked way better. It doesn't matter if the "students are happy to live there" aspect actually makes it "cost effective" to go to NYU in that situation (i.e., subjectively "worth it"), the rankings just say cheaper is always better, all things equal. I think that's pretty silly because it obviously doesn't reflect how people go about deciding whether to live in high- or low-cost areas, whether for law school or at any other point in their lives. I wouldn't go live in Nebraska just because it would be dirt cheap. There is obviously some cost-benefit analysis involved.


Yeah in my head I took it to the next logical step but I forgot to write it down. By "students are happy to go there" I mean people with good stats will be willing to look past the higher COA. Just on TLS you can find plenty of people willing to pay sticker at NYU/CLS over more rural/suburban T14s because of spending three years in New York and having a theoretically easier time getting NYC biglaw.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon May 06, 2013 11:24 pm

Yukos wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Yukos wrote:There's no way using COA instead of just tuition unfairly disadvantages schools in high cost of living areas.

First, schools have an easy way to remedy this: lower tuition.

Second, if, hypothetically, UChi and NYU have the exact same biglaw placement rate, Chicago is an objectively better bet. Obviously for some people regional placement might override this consideration but you can't argue against the fact that same results + less cost = better.

Third, while high COL hurts schools in some ways (cost-conscious students might stay away), you can't argue that NYU and Columbia don't benefit from being in New York. High COL implies that that area is desirable, and you gotta take the good (students will be happy to live there for three years) with the bad (that COL will increase your COA).

But including COL means you're including only the bad and not the good. If UVA and NYU had identical job placement and identical tuition, the COL difference alone would mean that UVA gets ranked way better. It doesn't matter if the "students are happy to live there" aspect actually makes it "cost effective" to go to NYU in that situation (i.e., subjectively "worth it"), the rankings just say cheaper is always better, all things equal. I think that's pretty silly because it obviously doesn't reflect how people go about deciding whether to live in high- or low-cost areas, whether for law school or at any other point in their lives. I wouldn't go live in Nebraska just because it would be dirt cheap. There is obviously some cost-benefit analysis involved.


Yeah in my head I took it to the next logical step but I forgot to write it down. By "students are happy to go there" I mean people with good stats will be willing to look past the higher COA. Just on TLS you can find plenty of people willing to pay sticker at NYU/CLS over more rural/suburban T14s because of spending three years in New York and having a theoretically easier time getting NYC biglaw.

Agreed. I think that a desire to live in NYC has been a very big factor in NYU's rise to prominence over the past couple of decades. To some extent that is reflected in the student quality; if you took NYU and put it in South Carolina, or several hours upstate for that matter, and left everything else about it exactly the same, I'm sure the average LSAT score would drop. But the ATL rankings don't take admissions standards or GPA/LSAT stats into account, and USNWR does but does not account for cost in their rankings. So what you have is two different ranking systems that each miss the mark on accounting for geography. USNWR factors in the "good" (attracts better students) but not the "bad" (costs more); ATL factors in the "bad" but not the "good." (Except to the extent that you could argue the employment numbers are a consequence of higher student qualifications, but that relationship seems indirect at best.)

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby 20141023 » Mon May 06, 2013 11:31 pm

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Yukos » Mon May 06, 2013 11:45 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Agreed. I think that a desire to live in NYC has been a very big factor in NYU's rise to prominence over the past couple of decades. To some extent that is reflected in the student quality; if you took NYU and put it in South Carolina, or several hours upstate for that matter, and left everything else about it exactly the same, I'm sure the average LSAT score would drop. But the ATL rankings don't take admissions standards or GPA/LSAT stats into account, and USNWR does but does not account for cost in their rankings. So what you have is two different ranking systems that each miss the mark on accounting for geography. USNWR factors in the "good" (attracts better students) but not the "bad" (costs more); ATL factors in the "bad" but not the "good." (Except to the extent that you could argue the employment numbers are a consequence of higher student qualifications, but that relationship seems indirect at best.)


You bring up some good points. Obviously there's some intrinsic value to taking kids with high GPAs and LSATs (it's not like schools didn't care about stats until 1988 or whenever USNWR) but that effect will be more indirect than the hit NYU and CLS will take for their high COL. Doesn't mean (by itself) that COA shouldn't be accounted for in a ranking system, but you're right that in the ATL system schools see none of the benefit and take all of the costs of being in a high COL area.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby bk1 » Tue May 07, 2013 12:08 am

How about a ranking system that requires you to input your CoA for each school (but it then factors CoA in) before it spits out results?

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Blessedassurance » Tue May 07, 2013 12:39 am

kappycaft1 wrote: you go there because of the faculty, curriculum, and outcomes offered by that school. (good jerbs).


curriculum and faculty are overrated. There are pretty terrible professors (w/r/t teaching) that are legends in their fields. Even when they do a good job teaching, they don't really proffer any profound insights that cannot be gleaned from a combination of the casebook, and various sources on Westlaw. In fact, the utility of a professor lies solely in recommending the right casebooks.

Glannon is considered the gold standard in civ pro and he teaches at suffolk or something.

Law School is mainly a credentialing system - a series of hoops to jump through to get a job.

The best argument for using the GPA and LSAT is that all things being equal (ignoring the faults of those measures as a good indicator), it may capture the subset of people best positioned to know how to teach themselves the law.

the fact that a lawyer from hys, t14 etc., is very good has very little to do with what he learned in law school. some professors at schools at the top don't even bother pretending to teach the law because they understand this.

the only reason why what the professor says is relevant is because he determines your grades. nothing more, really.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Kronk » Tue May 07, 2013 12:42 am

bk1 wrote:How about a ranking system that requires you to input your CoA for each school (but it then factors CoA in) before it spits out results?


That would be better.

The inherent idiocy of including CoA is that it doesn't matter at all to some people (rich, parents paying for school, have tons of savings, etc.) matters a ton to others (opposite of that, debt adverse, etc.) and each person likely has a different CoA based on stuff like scholarships, savings, how much you spend a month, etc. I like the individualized idea.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Tue May 07, 2013 1:07 am

Kronk wrote:
bk1 wrote:How about a ranking system that requires you to input your CoA for each school (but it then factors CoA in) before it spits out results?


That would be better.

The inherent idiocy of including CoA is that it doesn't matter at all to some people (rich, parents paying for school, have tons of savings, etc.) matters a ton to others (opposite of that, debt adverse, etc.) and each person likely has a different CoA based on stuff like scholarships, savings, how much you spend a month, etc. I like the individualized idea.

At the risk of being advertisement-y, you can (basically) do that here (LinkRemoved). Well, sorta. You can enter scholarship values (or how much your family is willing to pay, I suppose) and it runs the calculations for you :D It wouldn't be hard for ATL to make a similar system... they probably just didn't think of it (I didn't either, a TLS user suggested it to me)

Regarding your point, even if you can afford it, I would say that the cost still should matter. Ideally you'd get an education that is worth the cost, whether you can afford it or not. Just because a rich person can afford any brand of car doesn't mean that they don't (or shouldn't) care about the cost associated with each brand. Of course, once you get into the T14, this probably isn't so important because there isn't a huge difference in either job outcomes or associated with costs (both are very high).

ETA: Also, I tried to reconstruct the ATL rankings so as to see what they would be like without COA, but the data I found doesn't match up with whatever they apparently used.
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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Kronk » Tue May 07, 2013 1:18 am

LSATSCORES2012 wrote:Regarding your point, even if you can afford it, I would say that the cost still should matter. Ideally you'd get an education that is worth the cost, whether you can afford it or not. Just because a rich person can afford any brand of car doesn't mean that they don't (or shouldn't) care about the cost associated with each brand. Of course, once you get into the T14, this probably isn't so important because there isn't a huge difference in either job outcomes or associated with costs (both are very high).


But...why? I mean, that's a totally individual consideration that shouldn't be conflated with rankings. If your family has 30 million dollars, getting a $300k education at CLS might not be the prudent thing value-wise, but you might not give a fuck. The 12% bump in BigLawl / AIII clerkship might be well worth it to you even if you can go to Duke for a third of the price. That's just a drop in the bucket to you.

On the other hand, the other factors in rankings aren't nearly as individualized. Someone can argue that "people put different worth on job prospects as well," just like some people might care more or less about cost, but (1) employment prospects don't vary from applicant to applican, just from school to school, unlike COA and (2) people that don't care about job prospects are objective dumbshits, whereas if you have hella skrilla you might not be irrational in paying way too much for your education compared to the job prospect boost, as douchey as that might be.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Tue May 07, 2013 1:32 am

Kronk wrote:
LSATSCORES2012 wrote:Regarding your point, even if you can afford it, I would say that the cost still should matter. Ideally you'd get an education that is worth the cost, whether you can afford it or not. Just because a rich person can afford any brand of car doesn't mean that they don't (or shouldn't) care about the cost associated with each brand. Of course, once you get into the T14, this probably isn't so important because there isn't a huge difference in either job outcomes or associated with costs (both are very high).


But...why? I mean, that's a totally individual consideration that shouldn't be conflated with rankings. If your family has 30 million dollars, getting a $300k education at CLS might not be the prudent thing value-wise, but you might not give a fuck. The 12% bump in BigLawl / AIII clerkship might be well worth it to you even if you can go to Duke for a third of the price. That's just a drop in the bucket to you.

On the other hand, the other factors in rankings aren't nearly as individualized. Someone can argue that "people put different worth on job prospects as well," just like some people might care more or less about cost, but (1) employment prospects don't vary from applicant to applican, just from school to school, unlike COA and (2) people that don't care about job prospects are objective dumbshits, whereas if you have hella skrilla you might not be irrational in paying way too much for your education compared to the job prospect boost, as douchey as that might be.

I actually think you're right because now I see where you're coming from.

I was thinking of rankings as things that should measure the net value of attending a school, but it makes sense that they should rank quality, and then you decide what that quality is worth... I also think that quality jobs might be something to consider taking out of the equation. Not fully decided on that yet.

Overall my issue is still with rankings in general. It makes more sense to look at the data rather than these attempts to make a one-size-fits-all list.
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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby bk1 » Tue May 07, 2013 1:33 am

Kronk wrote:But...why? I mean, that's a totally individual consideration that shouldn't be conflated with rankings. If your family has 30 million dollars, getting a $300k education at CLS might not be the prudent thing value-wise, but you might not give a fuck. The 12% bump in BigLawl / AIII clerkship might be well worth it to you even if you can go to Duke for a third of the price. That's just a drop in the bucket to you.

On the other hand, the other factors in rankings aren't nearly as individualized. Someone can argue that "people put different worth on job prospects as well," just like some people might care more or less about cost, but (1) employment prospects don't vary from applicant to applican, just from school to school, unlike COA and (2) people that don't care about job prospects are objective dumbshits, whereas if you have hella skrilla you might not be irrational in paying way too much for your education compared to the job prospect boost, as douchey as that might be.

Meh, this sort of situation is rare enough that I think the added value of adding individualized cost to a ranking system probably outweighs it. Also, these people are so rich nobody cares what they do.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Blessedassurance » Tue May 07, 2013 1:59 am

even if they include the COA, it should be restricted to tuition (and other mandatory fees). The costs outside the mandatory are too individual-dependent to accurately conceptualize.

it is possible to live way beneath the amounts schools officially list for things like rent, books, etc. my school budgets over 1000 for books and i spent 50 bucks total on books second semester of 1l.

some people will also live above whatever budget the school sets. there are people paying 500 bucks per month and others paying 1500 per month on housing at the same school. i'm sure if you ask the folks at nyu/cls, they will tell you it's possible to live way beneath the published figures. one might prefer to live in hoboken and commute for example.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Kronk » Tue May 07, 2013 2:18 am

bk1 wrote:Meh, this sort of situation is rare enough that I think the added value of adding individualized cost to a ranking system probably outweighs it. Also, these people are so rich nobody cares what they do.


That's just one type of situation though. I mean, no one has the time to list every possible situation, that's just one extreme. Somewhere in between might be the CPA who worked 5 years before school and has $150k saved up. He or she might rather pay $50k extra for 12% better job prospects, whereas someone who takes out full loans wouldn't. Someone who gets need-based aid. Someone who truly plans to do PSLF / IBR, someone who __________. Possibilities are endless. COA is way too individualized.

I just assume that the point of a ranking system is to rank them on how "good" they are as the average employer would look at it, not to say "this school is the best buy for the money."

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby 20141023 » Tue May 07, 2013 8:03 am

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby BalanceCare » Tue May 07, 2013 8:59 am

slack_academic wrote:Lol at NYC schools having a "nearly identical" COA to other schools.


When choosing a lol school, it cant be said enough: patience is important

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue May 07, 2013 4:45 pm

LSATSCORES2012 wrote:I was thinking of rankings as things that should measure the net value of attending a school, but it makes sense that they should rank quality, and then you decide what that quality is worth...

Yeah, this is pretty much what i was trying to say but you and Kronk elucidated it more clearly.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue May 07, 2013 5:25 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:it is possible to live way beneath the amounts schools officially list for things like rent, books, etc. my school budgets over 1000 for books and i spent 50 bucks total on books second semester of 1l.


Image

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby Kronk » Tue May 07, 2013 5:42 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Either way, CoA (tuition and CoL) should be included not because it makes the rankings "accurate," but because it provides incentives to lower costs.


That's the only good argument for it, but I like that argument a lot. Good call.

Still don't think COA should be included, but that's a very good reason to do so. Although all law schools are pretty much the same cost so I'm not sure it'd affect that much. Like I said earlier in this thread, Boalt, considered uber-expensive, is actually cheaper in-state than almost all the T14 schools, and only $167 more than UVa. They're all pretty similar.

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Re: ATL's Law School Rankings

Postby bk1 » Tue May 07, 2013 6:18 pm

Kronk wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:Either way, CoA (tuition and CoL) should be included not because it makes the rankings "accurate," but because it provides incentives to lower costs.


That's the only good argument for it, but I like that argument a lot. Good call.

Meh, I don't think it produces much of an incentive since you will pretty much have all the top schools entering an unspoken gentleman's agreement to have similar tuition. It really only rewards and thus incentivizes not to go up schools that are already cheap (i.e. a lot of state schools). But that isn't a whole ton of schools and I think those schools are committed to not having outrageous tuition regardless of any ranking system.




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