What's the deal?

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MrLions
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

What's the deal?

Postby MrLions » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:29 pm

I came across an interesting question while researching law schools that I hope you can provide insight on. It's about University of Illinois Urabana-Champaign (UIUC). What's the deal with this school? I read something about their Dean fudging the numbers and heard that they took a pretty big hit in the USNWR rankings because of it. They're ranked something like #44 this year.

Above The Law, however, which uses a rankings system that heavily weights employment outcomes, has them at #22(!) above UCLA, BU, GW and Minnesota. Their ABA employment info seems to support this ranking, too, indicating that the Class of 2016 placed 29% into either federal clerkships or firms with 250+ attorneys.

Adding to the mystery is that their entering class stats (which might have been the numbers that were fudged in the past?) aren't as strong as other schools with similar employment outcomes. They have like a 158-161-163 LSAT spread, which seems low for 29% biglaw placement.

So, what's the deal here? Are they artificially underranked in the USNWR? One of my friends got a full tuition offer from UIUC with a 3.5x and 163. Seems like it would be a good option for someone with similar stats who wants to work in a big firm with low debt.

I'd appreciate any insight you have!

cavalier1138
Posts: 4667
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: What's the deal?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:36 pm

Don't look at a regional law school's USNWR rankings relative to other schools that aren't in its region. UIUC (for cheap) is a great option for someone who wants to work in Chicago/Illinois, as long as they aren't biglaw-or-bust.

MrLions
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: What's the deal?

Postby MrLions » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:48 am

bump

AJordan
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: What's the deal?

Postby AJordan » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:03 am

cavalier1138 wrote:Don't look at a regional law school's USNWR rankings relative to other schools that aren't in its region. UIUC (for cheap) is a great option for someone who wants to work in Chicago/Illinois, as long as they aren't biglaw-or-bust.


He's right. Regional schools should be judged by job placement in their feeder markets. ATL places more weight on this than USNWR, whose methodology really fails to stand past the 10-ish schools with national reach. Because UIUC has a feeder market for biglaw and little (relative) competition, AND because it's a place where a degree there is at least somewhat respected locally, it's usually a decent option if it's free. If you can place in the top 1/4 of your class there and you hustle/can interview, biglaw is a real possibility. If you're not going to a school with national pull that's a pretty decent deal at free.




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