Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

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icechicken
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Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby icechicken » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:29 am

Hey guys,

A lot of people seem to have trouble distinguishing between different schools in the T13 because the ranking criteria used by US News are heavily influenced by peer ratings. Reputation among law-school deans is interesting but that sort of amorphous "prestige" really is just statistical noise, in my opinion. If a school improves it might take decades for the peer surveys to catch up! Outcome-based rankings (like ATL's) are more useful, but they are still heavily dependent on reputation because of the weight placed on, for instance, SCOTUS clerkships, which are dispensed in an essentially incestuous environment.

So I created a new methodology. All the information used to create these rankings is performance-based, but still objective - these data are not confounded by the whims of elite federal judges. The relevant data are also publicly-available. I'd rather not disclose the precise intricacies of my calculations but I will confirm if anyone is able to reverse-engineer the system.

Without further ado:

[+] Spoiler
1) Yale
2) Michigan
3) Harvard
3) Penn
5) Berkeley
6) Cornell*
7) Stanford
8) Chicago
9) Duke
10) NYU
10) Northwestern
12) Columbia
12) Virginia


None of these positions should be that surprising to people familiar with the true strengths (both historical and present) of these universities.

Some notes:

If I had to predict future movers, I think that Stanford, Berkeley, and UVA have the best chance to advance in the future, although it won't be easy for any of them. Harvard probably has the resources to break their tie with Penn, if only they cared, but I doubt that their hidebound Ivy-League ways will soften enough to make that possible for the foreseeable future. Yale is basically untouchable - the reasons for their #1 position have deep roots that even #2-ranked Michigan would require years of excellence to overmatch.

It's also obvious, looking at the numbers, why GULC has failed out of the first class completely.

Thoughts or feedback?

*edit: mistyped Cornell's position at first. They definitely belong behind Berkeley. Sorry for any confusion.
Last edited by icechicken on Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

WheninLaw
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby WheninLaw » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:34 am

nope

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Pozzo
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby Pozzo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:39 am

Hot take, bro.

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KENYADIGG1T
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby KENYADIGG1T » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:40 am

I'm curious to know the extent to which placement in legal academia is a factor in your methodology. Do you mind going into that more, as far as you're comfortable?

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Delano
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby Delano » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:00 pm

Lol.

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Slippin' Jimmy
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby Slippin' Jimmy » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:13 pm

Thread of the year

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Delano
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby Delano » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:16 pm

HYM

Nice try, Dean Z.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:33 pm

Precise intricacies, people

Precise. Intricacies.

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mjb447
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby mjb447 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:48 pm

Where is Cooley?

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icechicken
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby icechicken » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:58 pm

KENYADIGG1T wrote:I'm curious to know the extent to which placement in legal academia is a factor in your methodology. Do you mind going into that more, as far as you're comfortable?


Unless success in the academy is for some weird reason a correlate with one of my data-units, not at all. As I outlined above, part of the goal here was to minimize the influence of the incestuous revolving door that yokes legal academia to a handful of elite schools and individuals.

The result should be a ranking that is more parsimonious and useful for the vast majority of people. The tiny minority who are actually cut out to be a professor of law probably know to look elsewhere.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:54 pm

Did you factor in expenditures per student and/or see it as relevant?

cavalier1138
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:58 pm

So wait, this is a serious thread?

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icechicken
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby icechicken » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:00 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Did you factor in expenditures per student and/or see it as relevant?


This wasn't a metric but I would not be surprised if gross expenditures (and so, to a lesser degree, spending per head) have had a substantial impact. Scholarships in particular are essential.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:21 pm

icechicken wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Did you factor in expenditures per student and/or see it as relevant?


This wasn't a metric but I would not be surprised if gross expenditures (and so, to a lesser degree, spending per head) have had a substantial impact. Scholarships in particular are essential.


I'd be curious if Yale is still on top without that. They far exceed everyone else at that metric.

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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:41 pm

icechicken wrote:*edit: mistyped Cornell's position at first. They definitely belong behind Berkeley. Sorry for any confusion.


Yes, that was the massive point of confusion. Everything in your list now looks well thought out and completely legitimate. Speaking of which...

icechicken wrote:This wasn't a metric but I would not be surprised if gross expenditures (and so, to a lesser degree, spending per head) have had a substantial impact. Scholarships in particular are essential.


How can something not be a metric but have a substantial impact? Are you saying that you literally don't know what metrics you applied to your own nonsense rankings?

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icechicken
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby icechicken » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:16 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
icechicken wrote:This wasn't a metric but I would not be surprised if gross expenditures (and so, to a lesser degree, spending per head) have had a substantial impact. Scholarships in particular are essential.


How can something not be a metric but have a substantial impact? Are you saying that you literally don't know what metrics you applied to your own nonsense rankings?


A factor might not be a metric under consideration per se but still have a substantial impact on scoring because it affects things which are.

E.g., if we were ranking famous authors and assigned a certain number of points based on size of oeuvre, then age at death, though not itself a metric used in the calculation, would nonetheless have a strong effect on scoring because authors who live longer tend to be more prolific.

cavalier1138
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:25 pm

icechicken wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
icechicken wrote:This wasn't a metric but I would not be surprised if gross expenditures (and so, to a lesser degree, spending per head) have had a substantial impact. Scholarships in particular are essential.


How can something not be a metric but have a substantial impact? Are you saying that you literally don't know what metrics you applied to your own nonsense rankings?


A factor might not be a metric under consideration per se but still have a substantial impact on scoring because it affects things which are.

E.g., if we were ranking famous authors and assigned a certain number of points based on size of oeuvre, then age at death, though not itself a metric used in the calculation, would nonetheless have a strong effect on scoring because authors who live longer tend to be more prolific.


Oh, dear. You really are determined to take yourself very seriously, aren't you?

Pyrex
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby Pyrex » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:05 pm

In dismissing "subjective" components like peer weighting and SCOTUS clerkships, I think you are missing the fact that, for many/most/virtually all students picking a school based on prestige, it is exactly this subject component that matters most. You are assuming that any important aspect of this subject ranking in terms of substantive impact on career will be seen in your rankings; but the reality is, people would rather go to Harvard than Michigan even if, 10 years later, they are in the EXACT same place. Because then, they could still tell their friends they went to Harvard.

Rankings that assume people don't care what other people think aren't useful.

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icechicken
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby icechicken » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:27 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:Oh, dear. You really are determined to take yourself very seriously, aren't you?


I am determined to take objectivity seriously. If you disagree on that point, I don't mind. I did ask for feedback earlier, and of course honest feedback is going to include some criticism; yours is appreciated.

Pyrex wrote:[...]

Rankings that assume people don't care what other people think aren't useful.


I hear you, but if one wants to know what her friends think, why not simply ask them? If one wants to know what hiring committees at big firms think, why not refer to a poll that specifically asks them (preferably for a specific market), or to the raw hiring data in ABA disclosures? My ranking focuses on objective performance of these universities; I think that this distilled information is indeed useful for the discerning student.

It's also worth noting that, again, US News relies on a variety of factors, so it is simultaneously distorted by schools' reputations and not a very good representation of their prestige either. Marrying inputs, outputs, and "prestige" results in a very unhappy ménage à trois.

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TheBlueDevil
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby TheBlueDevil » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:29 pm

Congratulations on your acceptance to Michigan, OP.

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mjb447
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby mjb447 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:35 pm

I'm more interested in this idea of ranking people by the size of their oeuvre. Love me a massive oeuvre.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:37 pm

I really don't get what the point is in posting a ranking without posting the criteria/methodology? Right now it looks like "best job placement in the UP" or something.

Aleksander
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby Aleksander » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:38 pm

TheBlueDevil wrote:Congratulations on your acceptance to Michigan, OP.



LOL :lol:

Exactly what I thought...

Lxwind
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby Lxwind » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:48 pm

I'm just confused. How can there be any serious feedback if the ranking algorithm is not posted here :shock: ? The list itself is meaningless without the criteria. I can provide a completely different list with my own taste of, say, the names of the schools, which are of course publicly available information...and without pointing out my criteria, I could've posted a thread just like this.. :wink:

cavalier1138
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Re: Icechicken's 2017 Law School Rankings

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:50 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I really don't get what the point is in posting a ranking without posting the criteria/methodology? Right now it looks like "best job placement in the UP" or something.


Is there any other criterion that matters?




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