Assuming, in many people's minds, the ranking of what's important when choosing a school goes USNews Ranking -> Lay Prestige (which is probably something like it is in most people's minds, though I think for many (most?) TLSers this isn't the case because employment is thrown in there), then we have the following two scenarios:
1. (what presumably happened) 5. NYU & 6. Chicago -> 5. Chicago & 5. NYU (Chicago ties NYU) or 5. NYU & 6. Chicago -> 5. Chicago & 6. NYU (Chicago passed NYU)
In this situation, we go from NYU winning the USR -> LP battle to a tie or Chicago winning the USR -> LP battle, which will cause a significant change in the decisions of people choosing between NYU and Chicago.
2. (what just happened) 5. Chicago & 4. Columbia -> 4. Chicago & 4. Columbia
In this situation, we go from Columbia winning the USR -> LP battle to Columbia still winning the USR -> LP battle, because though they are tied in terms of USNews Ranking, Columbia's LP exceeds Chicago's LP.
So I doubt whether tying Columbia would have as large an effect on Chicago's yield as tying or passing NYU would.
Of course, no one, no matter how much they value these kinds of social structures, would be likely to make their law school decision based upon such a rigid equation, but if there are a lot of people out there, all of whom think in this general mindset, even if it's not such a rigidly rule-based system, then this is what we would expect.
Of course, there's also the fact that I do think that TLS is legitimately changing how people make law school decisions (mostly because I think that we posters are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of who is influenced by what we say - right now, for example, there are three times as many guests browsing this subforum as there are registered users, and four times as many guests on the forum as a whole as there are registered users - assuming they don't browse as long as us, I'd bet that TLS reaches about 70-80% of the applicant pool), and Chicago's being on top of the LST rankings this year might also affect their yield.
FYI, right now Chicago and Stanford are tied on LSN in terms of the biggest yield improvements from last year, and Columbia is third. NYU is last among the top 7 schools. Caveat is, of course, that this is LSN data.
Crowing wrote:Chicago and NYU have similar lay prestige and therefore a bump in the rankings would be a sort of tiebreaker for Chicago. Meanwhile Columbia has higher lay prestige so even though Chicago tied Columbia people won't really be influenced by that ranking shift because in their minds Columbia has always been more preftigious.
and TLS is bigger than we think so maybe I'm wrong.