Moonlight wrote:fallingwater wrote:Unfortunately UC Hastings seems like it's on a long-term downward decline in USN rankings. Probably a trend since before 2009. It had a high point (#19) in 1992. What's happening with this school?
Meanwhile UC Davis moved up 2 spots (#36). Sure it wasn't where it was in 2010-2012, but at least there's some improvement. I heard that their number of apps actually increased this year, although it's probably due to the fee waiver. Since Davis and Hastings are often deemed virtually the same school in terms of prospects (at least on TLS), does anyone think recent events change anything? Is Davis now objectively more favorable?
Also, USC is down 2 points (#20 tied with UMN). This doesn't seem very surprising as both USC's and UCLA's rankings have fluctuated in the top 25 for awhile. However in the current state of law school admissions, does anyone think this might be good news for those of us who are still waiting on a decision?
Here's what I took away from these changes. I think its questionnable that Davis went up 2 slots considering they had a hard time getting their full 200 some students last year. I think the Fee Waiver is a way to drive up the game and help their rankings. I'm not sure if Davis is objectively more favorable although if they are competing in Sacramento market then that's going to be way easier than San Francisco market relatively speaking.
I'm also thinking that with this employment aspect of the ranking, it's kind of unfair for schools in California because our markets are so much more saturated than say Indiana (picking a random state).
Moonlight - I was where you were at about a month or so ago; trying to justify and defend Hastings in the wake of lots of criticism and negativity, so I get where you are coming from. I'd like to respond to some of the things you said.
I don't think it's reasonable to rip Davis in the light of the USNews rankings to make yourself feel better about Hastings. Whether you want to admit it or not, Davis does have a higher employment rating than Hastings by over 10%, which is significant. This could also be because of lower class size but regardless, it's the reality. I've spoken with a recent Davis alum who told me that the majority of his classmates ended up in SF, not Sacramento, so I don't think your point about Davis having an easier time placing in Sacramento is true. It's also not "unfair" for schools in California due to market saturation, it's the reality. There's no point bemoaning that - it's a choice we are making to stay in a highly-desirable area with many people competing for these legal jobs.
Hastings does have a solid reputation in the Bay Area and I'm confident that any of the UCs would provide a high quality legal education. I personally am strongly leaning towards Davis in light of major scholarship offers and a myriad of other reasons I'm learning about Davis like the smaller class size and communal feel that many students speak of, the strong emphasis on social justice, the seemingly strong placement in the Bay Area, and quite honestly, their presentation. While I am obviously not going to choose a law school based on presentation, Hastings has sent me duplicate emails for almost every email I've received from them, including my scholarship offer and even some with typos. While we likely won't be interacting with the admissions offices once we matriculate, presentation is something I really value and I believe says something about how a university views themselves and how they want others to perceive them.