mudiverse wrote:Kinch08 wrote:Moneytrees wrote:
My contention is that we should stop emphasizing the importance of rankings. Texas students should not spend a load of money to attend A&M simply because it is "up and coming" in a magazine. It is pretty obvious that the rankings can be gamed (UCI's meteoric rise is the best example of that).
Is spending a ton of money on scholarships to attract good students and a bunch of money on professors to lower class sizes really "gaming the system"? To me, it sounds like they're making their law school better. I think it'd be more of a problem if you couldn't change your ranking by attracting good students and faculty.
Indeed, rankings utilize metrics that are not perfect, but they are the best proxies we have for measuring performance. People assume "gaming" the rankings is a bad thing, but raising expenditures per student, having higher standards of admission, and higher bar passage rates would never be considered a negative.
Rankings don't capture the depth or detailed information on class profile, but what mechanism could possibly capture all the information for every student? It's decent enough and it's failures are well documented. UCI and Texas are rising because they are doing well and/or their competitors are doing worse period.
UCI isn't really "rising", but it doesn't really matter either way. They were able to crack the T30 by basically giving huge amounts of scholarship grants to their first few classes of students, which is great for those students, but doesn't really help the current students get jobs. Also, they are able to game the rankings by keeping their classes really small, which allows them to artificially boost their LSAT/GPA medians and employment stats. If UCI expanded its incoming classes to 175/200 students, their numbers would plummet and so would their ranking. I'm in favor of keeping law school classes small, but realistically no top law school is going to be economically viable with only 100 students per class.
I think UCI has been criticized quite a bit on these boards because Chem has been so outspoken about wanting to shake up legal education and create a different type of law school, but in practice UCI has become another super expensive school with fairly mediocre employment stats.