Law School Discussion

Law Students => Job Search => Topic started by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 09:27:57 AM

Title: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 09:27:57 AM
I know that law schools pay attention to the rankings, but do employers really pay attention to them?  Do they actually wait every March/April for the US New Rankings to come out and make decisions about where to do OCI?  I know it's conventional wisdom that they do.  But I'm really not so sure.  I've yet to see on any employer's website or in any  employer's hiring memos anything about the law school rankings.  If it's so important, why don't they ever mention it, and make it more visible in their hiring procedures?  I mean, is an employer really going to stop hiring from a particular school just because it drops in the rankings?  Is there any evidence of this?

Do schools that go from Tier 2 to Tier 3 in the rankings really have different hiring prospects (as indicated by any data) because of this? For example, Hamline and William Mitchell go back and forth between Tier 3 and Tier 4 all the time, does it really change anything in terms of hiring prospects?  And Syracuse is a Tier 3 school this year, but last year it was in the Top 100, is this really going to make a difference in their normal hiring numbers/trends?  Does this even matter?  Do schools who move up in the rankings actually get more hiring opportunities comparatively?  If so, is there any evidence of this?

George Washington placed 20th last year, now they're 28th this year, does this really matter in terms of career prospects?  Are employers actually making decisions not to hire at GWU just because of this?  My guess is, no.

Discuss.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 09:36:19 AM
No. Firms hire from the same schools they have always hired from. A drop from 100 to T3 is not going to change that, GWUs drop is not going to change that. US News screwing up and ranking Cooley tied with Yale in 2011 is not going to change that. Most of the lawyers I know, and I know a lot of them, have no clue what schools are ranked other then the very top 2-3 schools that never change, the school they went to and any local schools. Of course this changes a lot in markets like NYC and firms that follow the Cravath model, but the vast majority of lawyers donít work there or at those firms. Places hire students from schools they have had success with in the past, on recommendations of other lawyers and on their ties with schools in the vast majority of markets. A change in a regional schools national rank is not going to matter because it does not impact the schoolís reputation in that region. 
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 09:40:17 AM
No. Firms hire from the same schools they have always hired from. A drop from 100 to T3 is not going to change that, GWUs drop is not going to change that. US News screwing up and ranking Cooley tied with Yale in 2011 is not going to change that. Most of the lawyers I know, and I know a lot of them, have no clue what schools are ranked other then the very top 2-3 schools that never change, the school they went to and any local schools. Of course this changes a lot in markets like NYC and firms that follow the Cravath model, but the vast majority of lawyers donít work there or at those firms. Places hire students from schools they have had success with in the past, on recommendations of other lawyers and on their ties with schools in the vast majority of markets. A change in a regional schools national rank is not going to matter because it does not impact the schoolís reputation in that region. 

Yes. I completely agree.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: hooloovoo on August 10, 2009, 11:36:05 AM
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

i actually don't think this is the conventional wisdom.

employer behavior drives the rankings.  rankings do not drive employer behavior.

in general, anyway.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 11:47:09 AM
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

i actually don't think this is the conventional wisdom.

employer behavior drives the rankings.  rankings do not drive employer behavior.

in general, anyway.

Okay.  How would you reconcile or further your view with the other arguments that say that rank and tier determines employer-related opportunity prospects for graduates and students?  Is the determination really that unilateral?
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: hooloovoo on August 10, 2009, 12:16:53 PM
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

i actually don't think this is the conventional wisdom.

employer behavior drives the rankings.  rankings do not drive employer behavior.

in general, anyway.

Okay.  How would you reconcile or further your view with the other arguments that say that rank and tier determines employer-related opportunity prospects for graduates and students?  Is the determination really that unilateral?

an analogy: cars don't get a particular mileage because the EPA says that they do.  they get a particular mileage based on completely different factors, and then the EPA gives them labels saying that they get particular mileages.

same thing with schools: the rank and tier doesn't determine the employment opportunities.  other factors determine the employment opportunities, and the rankings just categorize them according to what these opportunities look like.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 12:58:07 PM
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

i actually don't think this is the conventional wisdom.

employer behavior drives the rankings.  rankings do not drive employer behavior.

in general, anyway.

Okay.  How would you reconcile or further your view with the other arguments that say that rank and tier determines employer-related opportunity prospects for graduates and students?  Is the determination really that unilateral?

an analogy: cars don't get a particular mileage because the EPA says that they do.  they get a particular mileage based on completely different factors, and then the EPA gives them labels saying that they get particular mileages.

same thing with schools: the rank and tier doesn't determine the employment opportunities.  other factors determine the employment opportunities, and the rankings just categorize them according to what these opportunities look like.

Okay.  Since rankings do not drive employer behavior, what drives employer behavior? 
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: hooloovoo on August 10, 2009, 01:07:50 PM
What drives employer behavior?  I meant to ask this earlier.

past experience with hiring from schools is probably the biggest thing.

i'd guess that there's also some kind of bias toward one's own alma mater as well.

general school reputation probably plays a role, but more at a local level than a national one.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 01:13:58 PM
What drives employer behavior?  I meant to ask this earlier.

past experience with hiring from schools is probably the biggest thing.

i'd guess that there's also some kind of bias toward one's own alma mater as well.

general school reputation probably plays a role, but more at a local level than a national one.

I completely agree. *wow, we actually agree on something. lol* 

If you think that general school reputation plays more of a role at a local level than a national level, do you think it makes more sense to have regional rankings rather than national rankings?
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 01:28:24 PM
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

i actually don't think this is the conventional wisdom.

employer behavior drives the rankings.  rankings do not drive employer behavior.

in general, anyway.

Okay.  How would you reconcile or further your view with the other arguments that say that rank and tier determines employer-related opportunity prospects for graduates and students?  Is the determination really that unilateral?

an analogy: cars don't get a particular mileage because the EPA says that they do.  they get a particular mileage based on completely different factors, and then the EPA gives them labels saying that they get particular mileages.

same thing with schools: the rank and tier doesn't determine the employment opportunities.  other factors determine the employment opportunities, and the rankings just categorize them according to what these opportunities look like.

I donít know if I agree with this. Reputation plays a big role in ranking for US News, more so than job placement does (as an individual factor). There are simply more lawyers and judges getting ballots in places like DC and NYC, and SF and LA then there are getting ballots in most states. Hence the schools that feed into these markets most tend to get the most responses and get higher rankings than schools in BFE.

Wyoming is a state school, its in one of the least populated states, it graduates donít venture out of Wyoming much. The lawyers and judges in DC/NYC/LA/SF have probably never met a Wyoming grad. Its not on their radar when they fill out UN News Ballots.

Wyoming could, in an alternate universe be the best law school in the world, with 100% employment at graduation, but its never going to move out of T4 because its never going to get anywhere the reputation rankings in the markets most represented by UN News Ballots.

Take schools like GWU, W&L, William and Marry and any of those other schools with two names and put them in in the middle of Kansas and they would be T4. Why? Because no one west of Indiana has ever heard of them, they donít have any good sports teams, all they got is a lot of alumni in DC they get more ballots than the 12 lawyers and judges who get them in Kansas City do. 
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 01:39:42 PM
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

i actually don't think this is the conventional wisdom.

employer behavior drives the rankings.  rankings do not drive employer behavior.

in general, anyway.

Okay.  How would you reconcile or further your view with the other arguments that say that rank and tier determines employer-related opportunity prospects for graduates and students?  Is the determination really that unilateral?

an analogy: cars don't get a particular mileage because the EPA says that they do.  they get a particular mileage based on completely different factors, and then the EPA gives them labels saying that they get particular mileages.

same thing with schools: the rank and tier doesn't determine the employment opportunities.  other factors determine the employment opportunities, and the rankings just categorize them according to what these opportunities look like.

I donít know if I agree with this. Reputation plays a big role in ranking for US News, more so than job placement does (as an individual factor). There are simply more lawyers and judges getting ballots in places like DC and NYC, and SF and LA then there are getting ballots in most states. Hence the schools that feed into these markets most tend to get the most responses and get higher rankings than schools in BFE.

Wyoming is a state school, its in one of the least populated states, it graduates donít venture out of Wyoming much. The lawyers and judges in DC/NYC/LA/SF have probably never met a Wyoming grad. Its not on their radar when they fill out UN News Ballots.

Wyoming could, in an alternate universe be the best law school in the world, with 100% employment at graduation, but its never going to move out of T4 because its never going to get anywhere the reputation rankings in the markets most represented by UN News Ballots.

Take schools like GWU, W&L, William and Marry and any of those other schools with two names and put them in in the middle of Kansas and they would be T4. Why? Because no one west of Indiana has ever heard of them, they donít have any good sports teams, all they got is a lot of alumni in DC they get more ballots than the 12 lawyers and judges who get them in Kansas City do. 


Wow, that's a really good point.  That's never occurred to me before.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 01:50:33 PM
Because no one west of Indiana has ever heard of them, they donít have any good sports teams, all they got is a lot of alumni in DC they get more ballots than the 12 lawyers and judges who get them in Kansas City do. 


Though I generally agree with your point, and the spirit of it.  I don't agree with the above quote.  West of Indiana is a very broad area.  I think folks in California and in cities like Seattle, Portland, Denver, Houston, Austin, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Kansas City, and Chicago (all of which are west of Indiana) have heard of these schools (especially GWU) and may even employ graduates from these institutions. 
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: big - fat - box on August 10, 2009, 01:52:06 PM
Rankings are primarily for students (read OLs) and law schools so they can market themselves to prospective students who naively believe a random school ranked 58 is really better than another random school ranked tier 3/4 or whatever.

Employers hire from two types of schools:

1) Big name schools everyone knows are the top schools without even looking at the rankings.

2) Schools very close to where the employer is located that have a good rep in the local area regardless of rank.

Depending on where 2) school type is located you may have to have high grades/class rank to get a shot at even non-biglaw type jobs. This is especially true in large cities where the market is oversaturated with multiple local schools and big name schools feeding into the market.

In sum, employers have their own internalized ideas about what schools are "good". For the most part, they look at students from the same schools, year in year out when deciding to hire. They don't need the rankings to tell them anything.

Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 01:56:38 PM
Because no one west of Indiana has ever heard of them, they donít have any good sports teams, all they got is a lot of alumni in DC they get more ballots than the 12 lawyers and judges who get them in Kansas City do. 


Though I generally agree with your point, and the spirit of it.  I don't agree with the above quote.  West of Indiana is a very broad area.  I think folks in California and in cities like Seattle, Portland, Denver, Houston, Austin, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Kansas City, and Chicago (all of which are west of Indiana) have heard of these schools (especially GWU) and may even employ graduates from these institutions. 

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: big - fat - box on August 10, 2009, 01:57:59 PM
Matthies is right about name recognition. Most attys are middle class people who work in small firms making a modest middle class salary. Many of them went to colleges and law schools that are near where they are practicing. Without alums in the area or sports team recognition, you'd be surprised who has not heard of school X. Especially when you get outside of the larger cities and big firm practice.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 02:04:55 PM

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 02:11:29 PM
Matthies is right about name recognition. Most attys are middle class people who work in small firms making a modest middle class salary. Many of them went to colleges and law schools that are near where they are practicing. Without alums in the area or sports team recognition, you'd be surprised who has not heard of school X. Especially when you get outside of the larger cities and big firm practice.

Surprised, indeed.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 02:15:14 PM
I remember having this conversation with a girl a year ahead of me in undergrad in Phoenix. She told me she got accepted to W&L or W&M or one of those law schools. I was like ďwhere is that?Ē She said its in X. Oh, I said they have a law school? Yes she said, you never heard of it (she knew I had applied to law school as well)? No I said, then I asked well before you applied there had you ever heard of it? She said, no, not really. Why did you apply there then? Because US News ranked it high. So I said do you want to work in X. She said no I want to work here. So I said why donít you go to school here? She said because that school is ranked a lot higher. I said, OK, so your moving almost all the way across the country to go to a school neither of us have heard of and you want to work back here in Phoenix but you think the school neither of us has heard of will give you a better shot than staying here at ASU? She said yes. Iíve never heard from her since and that was over six years ago. All I know is that she never made it back to Phoenix cause our mutual friends say she still on the east coast. I think the above happens allot, people move away thinking a 30s school far away is a better bet than a T2 school in their home city where they want to work, and they never make it back.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 02:22:54 PM

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html

2 of the JD's from GWU got thier LLM there, not thier JD. And there are 5 Denver grads out of 17 lawyers, 3 to 1 of any other school. Damn, and one Roger Willaims grad who got his LLM at GWU. Good for that guy!
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 02:26:50 PM

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html

2 of the JD's from GWU got thier LLM there, not thier JD. And there are 5 Denver grads out of 17 lawyers, 3 to 1 of any other school. Damn, and one Roger Willaims grad who got his LLM at GWU. Good for that guy!

But does it really matter whether it's a JD or an LLM? 
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 02:30:47 PM

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html

2 of the JD's from GWU got thier LLM there, not thier JD. And there are 5 Denver grads out of 17 lawyers, 3 to 1 of any other school. Damn, and one Roger Willaims grad who got his LLM at GWU. Good for that guy!

But does it really matter whether it's a JD or an LLM? 

Yes, hiring works diffrently for LLM. But again, local grads outnumber all other grads even from t14 schools. Its like that at most Denver firms.  I'm amazed at the Roger Williams guy, now that's a school no one has heard of, even in RI.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 02:34:08 PM
Oh and note they have a DC office, it could be that the GWU's summered in the DC office, then got offers for the frims Denver office becuase that what the firm had open. So we don't know, they could have wanted to be in Denver, or they could have been placed in Denver. So it may not be self selction theat they ended up here. I think you if looked at Denver firms without any east cost offices you would not find as many east coast schools (other than the tops of course).
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 02:34:54 PM

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html

2 of the JD's from GWU got thier LLM there, not thier JD. And there are 5 Denver grads out of 17 lawyers, 3 to 1 of any other school. Damn, and one Roger Willaims grad who got his LLM at GWU. Good for that guy!

But does it really matter whether it's a JD or an LLM? 

Yes, hiring works diffrently for LLM. But again, local grads outnumber all other grads even from t14 schools. Its like that at most Denver firms.  I'm amazed at the Roger Williams guy, now that's a school no one has heard of, even in RI.

What do you mean hiring works differently?  Are you talking about OCI?
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 02:36:13 PM
Oh and note they have a DC office, it could be that the GWU's summered in the DC office, then got offers for the frims Denver office becuase that what the firm had open. So we don't know, they could have wanted to be in Denver, or they could have been placed in Denver. So it may not be self selction theat they ended up here. I think you if looked at Denver firms without any east cost offices you would not find as many east coast schools (other than the tops of course).

Martindale shows about 144 results for individual lawyers in Colorado who are graduates from GWU (not sure if they're JD or LLM,though).
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 02:39:44 PM
Oh and note they have a DC office, it could be that the GWU's summered in the DC office, then got offers for the frims Denver office becuase that what the firm had open. So we don't know, they could have wanted to be in Denver, or they could have been placed in Denver. So it may not be self selction theat they ended up here. I think you if looked at Denver firms without any east cost offices you would not find as many east coast schools (other than the tops of course).

Martindale shows about 144 results for individual lawyers in Colorado who are graduates from GWU (not sure if they're JD or LLM,though).

Becuase I'm lazy, do a search for Denver and Colorado and let me know the numbers plaese.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 02:45:32 PM
Oh and note they have a DC office, it could be that the GWU's summered in the DC office, then got offers for the frims Denver office becuase that what the firm had open. So we don't know, they could have wanted to be in Denver, or they could have been placed in Denver. So it may not be self selction theat they ended up here. I think you if looked at Denver firms without any east cost offices you would not find as many east coast schools (other than the tops of course).

Martindale shows about 144 results for individual lawyers in Colorado who are graduates from GWU (not sure if they're JD or LLM,though).

Becuase I'm lazy, do a search for Denver and Colorado and let me know the numbers plaese.

lol!  There are 86.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 02:47:00 PM
Oh and note they have a DC office, it could be that the GWU's summered in the DC office, then got offers for the frims Denver office becuase that what the firm had open. So we don't know, they could have wanted to be in Denver, or they could have been placed in Denver. So it may not be self selction theat they ended up here. I think you if looked at Denver firms without any east cost offices you would not find as many east coast schools (other than the tops of course).

Martindale shows about 144 results for individual lawyers in Colorado who are graduates from GWU (not sure if they're JD or LLM,though).

Becuase I'm lazy, do a search for Denver and Colorado and let me know the numbers plaese.

lol!  There are 63.

what? at that firm or in all of colorado? LOL and 63 total
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 02:48:29 PM
Oh and note they have a DC office, it could be that the GWU's summered in the DC office, then got offers for the frims Denver office becuase that what the firm had open. So we don't know, they could have wanted to be in Denver, or they could have been placed in Denver. So it may not be self selction theat they ended up here. I think you if looked at Denver firms without any east cost offices you would not find as many east coast schools (other than the tops of course).

Martindale shows about 144 results for individual lawyers in Colorado who are graduates from GWU (not sure if they're JD or LLM,though).

Becuase I'm lazy, do a search for Denver and Colorado and let me know the numbers plaese.

lol!  There are 63.

what? at that firm or in all of colorado? LOL and 63 total

Sorry.  Martindale shows 86 (individual lawyers).
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 02:48:51 PM

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html

2 of the JD's from GWU got thier LLM there, not thier JD. And there are 5 Denver grads out of 17 lawyers, 3 to 1 of any other school. Damn, and one Roger Willaims grad who got his LLM at GWU. Good for that guy!

But does it really matter whether it's a JD or an LLM? 

Yes, hiring works diffrently for LLM. But again, local grads outnumber all other grads even from t14 schools. Its like that at most Denver firms.  I'm amazed at the Roger Williams guy, now that's a school no one has heard of, even in RI.

What do you mean hiring works differently?  Are you talking about OCI?

Yea, LLMís are not usually hired through OCI. Some schools allow you to participate in the OCI process, but since most of that is done your 2L summer, 3L or LLM OCI is not that great for finding a job. LLM jobs usually come from a) contacts you made in the LLM program, b) employers seeking out LLM grads (though kind of like OCI but not really done on campus, more give us a list of your LLM grades or tell them to apply) c) getting published and getting jobs from that. I have an MLS/LLM in addition to the JD and it just works differently how your present yourself. I.e. the LLM means you have speclized, so OCI is not that helpful since many firms may not even practice what you specialized in. Itís a lot more targeting your resume to specific firms that have what you specialized in or contacts you made in that specialty, rather than firms coming and OCing for you.  The fact that the firm has so many LLMs from one school likely means they are opne to LLMs and hence would be a good target to apply to if you got one. Some firms won't hire LLMs at all
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 02:50:14 PM

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html

2 of the JD's from GWU got thier LLM there, not thier JD. And there are 5 Denver grads out of 17 lawyers, 3 to 1 of any other school. Damn, and one Roger Willaims grad who got his LLM at GWU. Good for that guy!

But does it really matter whether it's a JD or an LLM? 

Yes, hiring works diffrently for LLM. But again, local grads outnumber all other grads even from t14 schools. Its like that at most Denver firms.  I'm amazed at the Roger Williams guy, now that's a school no one has heard of, even in RI.

What do you mean hiring works differently?  Are you talking about OCI?

Yea, LLMís are not usually hired through OCI. Some schools allow you to participate in the OCI process, but since most of that is done your 2L summer, 3L or LLM OCI is not that great for finding a job. LLM jobs usually come from a) contacts you made in the LLM program, b) employers seeking out LLM grads (though kind of like OCI but not really done on campus, more give us a list of your LLM grades or tell them to apply) c) getting published and getting jobs from that. I have an MLS/LLM in addition to the JD and it just works differently how your present yourself. I.e. the LLM means you have speclized, so OCI is not that helpful since many firms may not even practice what you specialized in. Itís a lot more targeting your resume to specific firms that have what you specialized in or contacts you made in that specialty, rather than firms coming and OCing for you.  The fact that the firm has so many LLMs from one school likely means they are opne to LLMs and hence would be a good target to apply to if you got one. Some firms won't hire LLMs at all

Very cool. 8)
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 02:51:34 PM
Oh and note they have a DC office, it could be that the GWU's summered in the DC office, then got offers for the frims Denver office becuase that what the firm had open. So we don't know, they could have wanted to be in Denver, or they could have been placed in Denver. So it may not be self selction theat they ended up here. I think you if looked at Denver firms without any east cost offices you would not find as many east coast schools (other than the tops of course).

Martindale shows about 144 results for individual lawyers in Colorado who are graduates from GWU (not sure if they're JD or LLM,though).

Becuase I'm lazy, do a search for Denver and Colorado and let me know the numbers plaese.

lol!  There are 63.

what? at that firm or in all of colorado? LOL and 63 total

Sorry.  Martindale shows 86 (individual lawyers).

Now you made me go search. When I put in Denver I got 4,378 did not bother doing Colorado. Did you do a search under Denver Univisity by chance?
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 02:57:34 PM
Oh and note they have a DC office, it could be that the GWU's summered in the DC office, then got offers for the frims Denver office becuase that what the firm had open. So we don't know, they could have wanted to be in Denver, or they could have been placed in Denver. So it may not be self selction theat they ended up here. I think you if looked at Denver firms without any east cost offices you would not find as many east coast schools (other than the tops of course).

Martindale shows about 144 results for individual lawyers in Colorado who are graduates from GWU (not sure if they're JD or LLM,though).

Becuase I'm lazy, do a search for Denver and Colorado and let me know the numbers plaese.

lol!  There are 63.

what? at that firm or in all of colorado? LOL and 63 total

Sorry.  Martindale shows 86 (individual lawyers).

Now you made me go search. When I put in Denver I got 4,378 did not bother doing Colorado. Did you do a search under Denver Univisity by chance?

That was the point (to make you go search)...lol Well, there are definitely not 4,378 from George Washington Law School though... I didn't do it by any Denver schools.  I kind of already figured they would be the overwhelming majority.  I went to advanced search, typed in George Washington in the law school portion, then once I got the results, I clicked on Denver under the "City" sub-category on the left.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 03:01:08 PM
Oh and note they have a DC office, it could be that the GWU's summered in the DC office, then got offers for the frims Denver office becuase that what the firm had open. So we don't know, they could have wanted to be in Denver, or they could have been placed in Denver. So it may not be self selction theat they ended up here. I think you if looked at Denver firms without any east cost offices you would not find as many east coast schools (other than the tops of course).

Martindale shows about 144 results for individual lawyers in Colorado who are graduates from GWU (not sure if they're JD or LLM,though).

Becuase I'm lazy, do a search for Denver and Colorado and let me know the numbers plaese.

lol!  There are 63.

what? at that firm or in all of colorado? LOL and 63 total

Sorry.  Martindale shows 86 (individual lawyers).

Now you made me go search. When I put in Denver I got 4,378 did not bother doing Colorado. Did you do a search under Denver Univisity by chance?

That was the point (to make you go search)...lol Well, there are definitely not 4,378 from George Washington Law School though... I didn't do it by any Denver schools.  I kind of already figured they would be the overwhelming majority.  I went to advanced search, typed in George Washington in the law school portion, then once I got the results, I clicked on Denver under the "City" sub-category on the left.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 03:08:00 PM
Hey I have a job I'm not doing, I don't need to be cuaght goiung to Martindale on my first day. Not the look at all
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 03:09:48 PM
Hey I have a job I'm not doing, I don't need to be cuaght goiung to Martindale on my first day. Not the look at all

 :D
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: hooloovoo on August 10, 2009, 03:10:00 PM
I donít know if I agree with this. Reputation plays a big role in ranking for US News, more so than job placement does (as an individual factor). There are simply more lawyers and judges getting ballots in places like DC and NYC, and SF and LA then there are getting ballots in most states. Hence the schools that feed into these markets most tend to get the most responses and get higher rankings than schools in BFE.

i'm speaking in very general terms.  and i did say that reputation is more relevant at a local than a national level.  USNWR doesn't capture that.

and yes, i think regional rankings make more sense.  maybe state-by-state, which schools will provide the best job opportunities.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 03:19:00 PM
I donít know if I agree with this. Reputation plays a big role in ranking for US News, more so than job placement does (as an individual factor). There are simply more lawyers and judges getting ballots in places like DC and NYC, and SF and LA then there are getting ballots in most states. Hence the schools that feed into these markets most tend to get the most responses and get higher rankings than schools in BFE.

i'm speaking in very general terms.  and i did say that reputation is more relevant at a local than a national level.  USNWR doesn't capture that.

and yes, i think regional rankings make more sense.  maybe state-by-state, which schools will provide the best job opportunities.

Myabe a national ranking of which school place best nationally, then a regional ranking, tops in the region. That way you take the national schools out so they don't dominate by the presence of so many grads in one or two cities. Still own't work well for east coast becuase of the number of large markets and schools there, but would give you a more realistic idea of what your chances are of moving from say Seattle to Boston to go to BC in hopes of coming back to Seattle. 1-xxx national rankings just tend to make people think a 30s school is better than a 90s school even if the 90s school is in the city where they want to work. I think a lot of people get stuck that way in places they did not really want to live.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 03:26:34 PM
I donít know if I agree with this. Reputation plays a big role in ranking for US News, more so than job placement does (as an individual factor). There are simply more lawyers and judges getting ballots in places like DC and NYC, and SF and LA then there are getting ballots in most states. Hence the schools that feed into these markets most tend to get the most responses and get higher rankings than schools in BFE.

i'm speaking in very general terms.  and i did say that reputation is more relevant at a local than a national level.  USNWR doesn't capture that.

and yes, i think regional rankings make more sense.  maybe state-by-state, which schools will provide the best job opportunities.

Myabe a national ranking of which school place best nationally, then a regional ranking, tops in the region. That way you take the national schools out so they don't dominate by the presence of so many grads in one or two cities. Still own't work well for east coast becuase of the number of large markets and schools there, but would give you a more realistic idea of what your chances are of moving from say Seattle to Boston to go to BC in hopes of coming back to Seattle. 1-xxx national rankings just tend to make people think a 30s school is better than a 90s school even if the 90s school is in the city where they want to work. I think a lot of people get stuck that way in places they did not really want to live.

I see.  Definitely makes a lot of sense to me.  BTW, I love your clinical studies quote.  Hilarious!
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: hooloovoo on August 10, 2009, 03:27:41 PM
Myabe a national ranking of which school place best nationally, then a regional ranking, tops in the region. That way you take the national schools out so they don't dominate by the presence of so many grads in one or two cities. Still own't work well for east coast becuase of the number of large markets and schools there, but would give you a more realistic idea of what your chances are of moving from say Seattle to Boston to go to BC in hopes of coming back to Seattle. 1-xxx national rankings just tend to make people think a 30s school is better than a 90s school even if the 90s school is in the city where they want to work. I think a lot of people get stuck that way in places they did not really want to live.

or just get rid of "national placement" altogether.  if people want to know what that looks like, they can just see the rankings for NYC.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: goaliechica on August 10, 2009, 03:47:55 PM
Myabe a national ranking of which school place best nationally, then a regional ranking, tops in the region. That way you take the national schools out so they don't dominate by the presence of so many grads in one or two cities. Still own't work well for east coast becuase of the number of large markets and schools there, but would give you a more realistic idea of what your chances are of moving from say Seattle to Boston to go to BC in hopes of coming back to Seattle. 1-xxx national rankings just tend to make people think a 30s school is better than a 90s school even if the 90s school is in the city where they want to work. I think a lot of people get stuck that way in places they did not really want to live.

or just get rid of "national placement" altogether.  if people want to know what that looks like, they can just see the rankings for NYC.

*cough*doesn'taccountforselfselection*cough*

Obviously there are no perfect indicators.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: hooloovoo on August 11, 2009, 12:11:49 AM
Myabe a national ranking of which school place best nationally, then a regional ranking, tops in the region. That way you take the national schools out so they don't dominate by the presence of so many grads in one or two cities. Still own't work well for east coast becuase of the number of large markets and schools there, but would give you a more realistic idea of what your chances are of moving from say Seattle to Boston to go to BC in hopes of coming back to Seattle. 1-xxx national rankings just tend to make people think a 30s school is better than a 90s school even if the 90s school is in the city where they want to work. I think a lot of people get stuck that way in places they did not really want to live.

or just get rid of "national placement" altogether.  if people want to know what that looks like, they can just see the rankings for NYC.

*cough*doesn'taccountforselfselection*cough*

Obviously there are no perfect indicators.

*cough*givingmeahardtime*cough*
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 11, 2009, 12:17:28 AM
lol
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: goaliechica on August 11, 2009, 12:30:29 AM
Myabe a national ranking of which school place best nationally, then a regional ranking, tops in the region. That way you take the national schools out so they don't dominate by the presence of so many grads in one or two cities. Still own't work well for east coast becuase of the number of large markets and schools there, but would give you a more realistic idea of what your chances are of moving from say Seattle to Boston to go to BC in hopes of coming back to Seattle. 1-xxx national rankings just tend to make people think a 30s school is better than a 90s school even if the 90s school is in the city where they want to work. I think a lot of people get stuck that way in places they did not really want to live.

or just get rid of "national placement" altogether.  if people want to know what that looks like, they can just see the rankings for NYC.

*cough*doesn'taccountforselfselection*cough*

Obviously there are no perfect indicators.

*cough*givingmeahardtime*cough*

Well, yes. But also sticking up for my school/region!  :P
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: vansondon on August 15, 2009, 10:11:55 PM
 I guess this answers my question: http://www.diverseattorney.org/pdf/Debunking%20the%20Mystique%20of%20Top%2020%20Law%20Schools.pdf
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Miche on November 02, 2009, 04:08:54 PM
A slightly different perspective. I attended an Ivy. The name recognition has helped, tremendously. But I've also run into attorneys who dislike the Ivy reputation, or are suspicious of it.

Approximately 75% of the time, I've received a great advantage from my alma mater. That means that approximately 25% of the time, I've had a mediator, colleague, or potential employer ask, snidely, "We have a Good Local School right here, you know. *I* went to Good Local School. Not prestigious enough, huh?" Or, "I know someone who attended [Ivy]! S/he is MUCH dumber than I would've expected." Or, "With an Ivy degree, what are you doing here? Slumming until you decide to do X?"

Rankings are a (loose) collection of assumptions and impressions. They're useful, but they don't capture what an individual employer or peer believes, knows, understands, and likes. Which isn't to belittle rankings; it's just a reminder that there's a personal element that can be just as strong.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: MCB on November 02, 2009, 10:22:02 PM
My ex boyfriend was in the top of his class at a local T14 and really wanted to do government work, and got all kinds of *&^% from the regionally educated interviewing attorneys who didn't trust his motives.  I go to U San Diego and even I get *&^% from the Tier 4 grads doing the hiring at non-profits where I interview.  There's no easy, automatic answer or path in life, even in an industry as cookie-cutter as law.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: nealric on November 04, 2009, 01:30:07 PM
It really comes down to the type of employer. Employers have a strong tendency to go what they are comfortable with.

Biglaw is comfortable with the T14. That's not because US News says so, it's because those happen to be schools they are comfortable hiring from. Most of the partners went to top schools and trust the education they provide (and mistrust the education of regional schools).

It's for this reason that biglaw won't really be more impressed with a school ranked #36 over one ranked #65. Neither is a school they usually hire from or are comfortable with.

Regional firms may be more comfortable hiring from the local law school. The partners probably came from the regional school, and again trust the education they provide (and often mistrust the education at top schools).

Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Alamo on January 10, 2010, 12:17:40 PM
Rankings are relevant if you go to a small school and want to work somewhere outside the region.  I went to W&L, and several associates during callback interviews in Chicago said something to the effect of "I'd never heard of W&L, but I looked at the rankings and noticed it's a pretty good school." 

It can also be useful to attend a highly ranked school outside the geographic area where you want to work.  Besides providing diversity of life experience, you'll also stand out from the dozens of local law school applicants with whom you're competing from jobs.  If someone wants to work in Denver, and can go to a crap school in Colorado or a decent school on the east coast, they're much better off going to school on the east coast, particularly if the person has ties for Denver.  You'll get not just a better education, but a different education, from all of your colleagues, who will have studied law in the same environment with most of the same professors -- you'll have a different and valuable perspective.
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Alamo on January 10, 2010, 05:27:22 PM

I've had a mediator, colleague, or potential employer ask, snidely, "We have a Good Local School right here, you know. *I* went to Good Local School. Not prestigious enough, huh?" Or, "I know someone who attended [Ivy]! S/he is MUCH dumber than I would've expected." Or, "With an Ivy degree, what are you doing here? Slumming until you decide to do X?"


LMAO. I highly doubt that any of this ever occurred and it is likely that these quotes were just your own mis-interpretations. 

Laugh at whatever you want to, but this actually happened, I'm sure it was at least twice, in the fall of 2007, at Skadden, Mayer, and/or Jenner.  What's your basis for doubting it besides a generalized skepticism (which is not a bad thing when reading message board material)?
Title: Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
Post by: Henri_Allen on August 27, 2012, 03:08:59 PM
I believe job placement is only one of many factors that go into the rankings.  I also believe that if those other factors improve a schools rankings over the years, eventually their job placement will improve as well.  If you're trying to decide between a school in the upper half of tier 1 and one that's way down on the rankings in tier 2, ranking would definitely be important in job placement.  If the two schools are just a few apart in the rankings, probably not.  It's really common sense.