Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: WashLaw on June 05, 2008, 03:09:14 PM

Title: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: WashLaw on June 05, 2008, 03:09:14 PM
Help a newbie, eh? Ignoring the relative accuracy of the US News system, why is the number 14 o important? I mean sure everyone wants to get into a top school but why is 14 so much better than 15? It's not really a round number or anything. Anybody want to weigh in? i would appreciate it. 
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: Willy Beachum on June 05, 2008, 03:33:57 PM
The story goes that all the schools currently in the T14 have, at some point or another, been in the T10. And 10 is a nice round number.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: mugatu on June 05, 2008, 03:56:45 PM
Hmmm.

The story is that none of the T14 have ever been ranked below 14.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: SCK2008 on June 05, 2008, 04:04:19 PM
I've heard both stories.  The other one I heard was that the "t14" have "national reach" that other schools do not.



I f-ing love story time.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: WashLaw on June 05, 2008, 08:08:45 PM
Hmm... three replies 3 theories :-[ They all make sense in their own right. But if we can't seem to agree on WHY we talk about the T14, is the arbitrary number worth discussing? Again, I'm just a newbie here, but I have a hard time believing that Vandy could be THAT much worse than G-Town.

Wait now that i think about it SCK's story might make a bit more sense, Vandy appears to be more for those wanting to practice in the south, while G-Town is more portable and they have the keys to the very prestigious DC market. But then again I can't imagine UCLA grads are stuck to the west (or TX for that matter). any thoughts?
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: dsetterl on June 05, 2008, 08:25:07 PM
I heard the number 14 is a magical number with special powers. Like if you say Yale in the mirror fourteen times you poop yourself. Same with all the t-14 schools.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: rigmastft on June 05, 2008, 08:57:54 PM
I don't know if T14 is that great. After all, I am going to one, and I just laughed really hard at that joke about pooping yourself.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: The Artist on June 05, 2008, 09:21:16 PM
The term T14 was created by East Coast Biased elitist snobs in an effort to limit the number of highly ranked West Coast schools to 2. If the more realistic 'Top 15' moniker was used, that would involve giving props to UCLA, and the Ivy snobs just will not let that happen.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: Willy Beachum on June 06, 2008, 03:00:53 AM
Another possibility is that whoever created the term was missing all but the 1 and 4 keys on his keyboard. And T41 just wasn't going to cut it.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: Ender Wiggin on June 06, 2008, 05:48:07 AM
If you don't get T14, kill self. HTH.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: Ender Wiggin on June 06, 2008, 05:49:23 AM
Or, how about this one? 

YOU'LL GET IN EVERYWHERE YOU APPLY!!!!!

Like those last two comments, there are some things you just shouldn't bother trying to figure out. 
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: UFBoldAsLove on June 06, 2008, 05:50:33 AM
OP: I agree. The number should be T15.

Shameless Vandy trolling ;)
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: mofauxhawk on June 30, 2008, 02:43:38 PM
All you had to do was a google search. All three of those reasons are correct. Only those 14 have been in the top ten at some point, only those 14 have been in the top 14 as well, and all of them are very prestigious and place well in the legal world. Schools like Texas, UCLA, and Vanderbilt often move around between #15 and #20 and that's why the term T20 is appropriately used for them.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: mofauxhawk on June 30, 2008, 10:07:57 PM
All you had to do was a google search. All three of those reasons are correct. Only those 14 have been in the top ten at some point, only those 14 have been in the top 14 as well, and all of them are very prestigious and place well in the legal world. Schools like Texas, UCLA, and Vanderbilt often move around between #15 and #20 and that's why the term T20 is appropriately used for them.

Wrong.

http://www.law.stanford.edu/publications/projects/lrps/pdf/lomiowayne_rp4.pdf

See p8. Do your research. :P

[and yes, I know what your counterpoints will be...]

Ah yeah, you're right, in the very first year they did the rankings a couple non-T14's were in the top 14. That does change things a little, and I was wrong, but (here's the counterpoint you were expecting) since 1990, the second year they did the rankings, the top 14 has been constant.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: uiucwannabe on July 09, 2008, 07:53:03 PM
Which just goes to show that statistics lie.  And liars use statistics... ;D
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: Pop Up Video on July 27, 2008, 01:51:29 AM
I don't believe that Georgetown has ever been in the USNews top 10. 

However, their rep ratings do place them in the top 10 at times.  And all of the T14 have either been ranked in the T14, or are considered by a decent number of attorneys as "Top 10" schools. (With "Top 10" simply being a familiar shorthand for any list of top somethings.)

Which is what it really comes down to -- reputation.  The T14 have a national reputation, and correponding national placement, that exceeds that of the other schools, even the other "elite" schools like USC, UCLA, Vandy, etc.  This, and correpondingly higher student numbers (particularly LSAT scores) is what really distinguishes the T14 from other programs. 

If you look at the USNews rep ratings over the last 20 years, they're even more consistent than the overall rankings, and pretty much only the T14 programs consistently score above 4.0 in both peer and practitioner ratings.  This specificially reflects broad-based, national prestige, as compared to more regional esteem.  (Fordham may get a 4.0 rating among NYC lawyers, but not L.A. lawyers.  The reverse will be true for USC.)

Schools like Vandy and UCLA will crack the 4.0 mark periodically in one or other of the rating categories, as they do have strong overall reputations, with relatively national placement.  And Texas, I believe, may actually be the only non-T14 school to usually have ratings above 4.0 in both.  (Leiter, of course, would argue that Texas does belong with this group.)  However, Texas also has more regional placement, for whatever reason, and somewhat lower student numbers, which puts it in a different category for most folks. 

The student numbers, of course, are also a major part of the story.  LSAT ranges at the T14 tend to be significantly above those at most other schools (although again, UCLA and other schools may come close at times).  Boalt was arguably at risk of losing its superior status when its LSAT range started slipping - which is why they revved it back up.  But for the most part, the best students want to go to the most reputable, national schools, so that feedback loop has been in place for awhile, and will be difficult for other schools to break. 

Personally, I still favor the top 10 designation, consisting of the traditional top "5" (actually 6:  HYS, CC, and Michigan), NYU, Boalt, UVA, and Penn, and I don't think there's a huge difference between the other generally elite schools (Duke, Cornell, GULC, Vandy, Texas, UCLA, USC, etc.)  However, some in the latter group are have become more national, and ramped up their numbers more over the past couple decades in an effort to be considered comparable to the traditional top 10 programs.

I'm curious why you place Mich above NYU. Traditional reputation/prestige aside, do you believe Michigan to be the "better" school (however you define that,) or do you think Mich places better nationally than NYU, or...?
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: CamelMan on July 27, 2008, 08:45:10 AM
I don't believe that Georgetown has ever been in the USNews top 10. 


They were in the top ten in 1993.

Legalresearchpwn3d.
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: Ender Wiggin on July 27, 2008, 08:51:46 AM
I'm curious why you place Mich above NYU. Traditional reputation/prestige aside, do you believe Michigan to be the "better" school (however you define that,) or do you think Mich places better nationally than NYU, or...?

What a silly thing to wonder.   ;D
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: CamelMan on July 27, 2008, 12:41:50 PM
you can look up old usnews and world report issues through lexis, assuming you've got access...

i agree though, that it's more about being a national school than about being in the top ten at one time...

and no...it's much easier than legal research...
Title: Re: Why the focus on the T14?
Post by: O. on July 27, 2008, 01:55:50 PM
It's more about being a national school in the sense that national firms OCI at your school.  That's it.  UCLA, USC, Texas, and Vandy don't bring in Seattle/CA/NYC/DC/Texas firms like GULC.  It doesn't mean that BigLaw is a guarantee, or that these schools will get you a job, but you can count on finding a Miami firm at your OCI, regardless of the fact that your school is in Boston, Chicago, or NYC.