Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses => Topic started by: lawboy81 on June 23, 2010, 09:43:36 AM

Title: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: lawboy81 on June 23, 2010, 09:43:36 AM
What do "regular people" (let's say college educated people who have never attended a law school) think are the best law schools?

1. Harvard
2. Yale
3. Stanford
... (big drop off)
4. Columbia
5. Georgetown
6. Berkeley
7. Duke
8. Notre Dame
9. Vanderbilt
10. Michigan
11. NYU
12. Cornell
13. UPenn
14. UCLA
15. USC
16. Virginia
17. Northwestern
18. Texas
19. Emory
20. GW
21. Chicago
22. BC?
23. BU?
24. UNC?
25. W & M?
26. Washington U.?
27. Tulane?
28. Wisconsin?
29. Minnesota?
30. W & L? American?
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: Morten Lund on June 23, 2010, 10:15:08 AM
Interesting exercise.  I suspect the answer would vary rather drastically on a regional basis, and I assume you are limiting yourself to theoretical US respondents.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: lawboy81 on June 23, 2010, 11:56:11 AM
Sure, regionalism matters a lot. For example, I've heard Cornell is highly regarded in the Northeast, but most people don't know it in the South.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: Thane Messinger on June 23, 2010, 12:21:43 PM
Sure, regionalism matters a lot. For example, I've heard Cornell is highly regarded in the Northeast, but most people don't know it in the South.

Quite right, and this highlights one of the dangers of relying on a single ranking, as we tend to assume that this is a linear progression from "best" to "worst."  You've also added an important note between #3 and #4, in that there are "batches" of schools, rather than a linear truth.  At the top especially, firms operate with assumptions about rough categories, which also coincide with regional awareness. 

So, a national firm will look only to a handful of law schools in their recruiting, and possibly to the very top students in another handful of regionally well-ranked schools.  A solid regional firm will consider all of the above, and perhaps a slightly broader mix of regionally well-ranked schools.  And so on down the line.  Government agencies follow something like this, but with a generally broader pattern once you move down from the "prestige" positions.

To anyone considering the ever-vexing question of which law school for you, try to avoid thinking of rankings as linear . . . even though that's how they are presented.  There are, instead, hierarchical "cones" in each region, and then from region to the nation.

Thane.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: lawboy81 on June 23, 2010, 01:38:19 PM
No doubt. Once could of course do a rankings system based on regions or states or even cities. For example, Atlanta might be something like this:

1. Harvard, Yale, Standford
2. Emory, UG, Vanderbilt + other T14's
3. Georgia State, Mercer, other good Southern schools (Alabama, Florida, UNC, W & M, W & L, Wake Forest, Tulane)
4. Lower-ranked Southeastern schools
5. everything else

But my original ranking is more for just national lay perception.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: lawboy81 on June 28, 2010, 08:05:18 AM
no other ideas? do lay people know anything beyond Harvard, Yale, Stanford -- maybe GTown, Columbia, Duke?
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: JG on July 17, 2010, 11:31:09 AM
I'd bet that most lay people think Princeton has an excellent law school.  Basically, I think people who don't go to law school don't know anything about law school rankings or quality and think a law school is about as good as the undergrad institution it's associated with. 
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: pacelaw2013 on July 20, 2010, 12:16:14 PM
Hmmm.....

I would say:

Harvard
Yale
Georgetown
Notre Dame
Stanford
BU
Ohio State
USC
Michigan
Pace Law (ok, maybe wishful thinking)

Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: lawboy81 on July 20, 2010, 01:20:38 PM
Haha, yeah sorry I wouldn't put Pace quite up that high. Your top 5 are similar to mine and clearly all national schools. BU and Ohio State seem pretty regional to me. I mean, I think people not from the Northeast are more likely to be somewhat familiar with Columbia, NYU, and possibly UPenn and GW (if that's a "Northeatsern school") than BU. Everyone's heard of Ohio State but I'd guess mos people just assume they have a good football team. Maybe they are well known for their academics too, but certainly not as much as Michigan...
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: Thane Messinger on July 20, 2010, 04:10:26 PM
Haha, yeah sorry I wouldn't put Pace quite up that high. Your top 5 are similar to mine and clearly all national schools. BU and Ohio State seem pretty regional to me. I mean, I think people not from the Northeast are more likely to be somewhat familiar with Columbia, NYU, and possibly UPenn and GW (if that's a "Northeatsern school") than BU. Everyone's heard of Ohio State but I'd guess mos people just assume they have a good football team. Maybe they are well known for their academics too, but certainly not as much as Michigan...

Part of this is a very simple test, corresponding to the initial question:  reputation. 

As lawyers interact, they draw conclusions about each other.  I just spoke with someone who, as it happens, graduated from Michigan.  (I don't normally focus on this, but as it was our first conversation I did want to learn something about him and, of course, alma mater is one of the first facts listed.)  The conclusion?  He was VERY sharp.  (Very decent, too.)  In my mind, that confirmed the prejudice that graduates of Michigan are, yes, very sharp.  Should I run across a Michigan grad who is not sharp, I would probably chalk that up to an outlier.  If I continued to run across bad Michigan grads--unlikely--the broader opinion might change.  This is the process, repeated countless times, in firms and law offices large and small. 

Numerous potential problems exist with this "method," of course, but we will hardly change our human nature.  What we can change is our own quality, to be the outlier on the upside--and, of over time, to be the evidence of superior quality.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: bigs5068 on July 20, 2010, 07:24:44 PM
I really think a hiring attorney absent big law would be more concerned with more than an alma matter.  In the Bay Area there are about a million law schools and I interact with other 1L's at my internship and I would say that it varies a lot by the person not the school.  There are a lot of Hastings people at my internship there are some that I think are idiots, others I think are awesome, and one that I think is smart, but the person is a an absolute a-hole.  There are three Berkley people two are cool, but one is so quiet I couldn't tell you if she was a genius or a retard. She simply does not talk to anyone and maybe she is a genius and doing well I have no idea, but I would not want her to argue in court for me that is for sure, even if she does go to Berkley. Maybe she is a great writer, but she is just to shy.

There are few Santa Clara and USF people they are fine. However, far and away the best intern out of everyone goes to Florida Coastal he gets the most responsibility and has won a lot of the motions he was written. I can't say anyone has had the success rate he has.  I really in all honestly believe everything in life is related to your performance not your school. It certainly helps to go to a good school and I am sure that quiet Berkley girl will get some opportunities, but I would be terrified to have her represent me in a trial. I know there a lot of great Berkley attorneys, but her as an individual would probably be to shy to object to anything if she was in litigation. Painful shyness is not something your LSAT or GPA displays, but it would certainly affect your ability to be a good attorney.

Again there is no doubt that to some people school name is everything and it helps and I would much rather be at Stanford than GGU. However, if I ever pass the bar and become a lawyer I will look at a lot more than the name of someone's school if I have to make a hiring decision.  I have met a lot of awesome people that go to great schools as well as a lot of duds from great schools. I have met idiots that go to bad bad schools and really awesome people that go to bad schools. I am referring to undergrad right now by the way and I just think for the majority of people that personality, actual performance, and hard word would be more important for your success in any field opposed to your pedigree.

The perfect example of that is sports again. How many #1 draft picks have been terrible and how many people picked 52 or 200th have been hall of famers. The answer is a lot.  Again being a number one pick opens more doors at first, but if you can't do the job it is real noticeable and you end up like Jamarcus Russel on the street in three years.  His Pedigree was great LSU in regards to football is like Harvard in regards to law school. He led them to a champsionshiop and had good numbers in college. He was a terrible NFL quarterback though and he is gone now. His college accomplishments don't help him at all. Tom Brady picked #223 I think had to bust his ass to get noticed, but he did it and is possibly the greatest quarterback of all time. Same thing with Brett Favre and I could go on a long list of people in sports nobody expected anything from that flourished and people drafted #1 that were terrible Kwame Brown, Michael Olowkandi etc. 
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: the white rabbit on July 20, 2010, 07:56:18 PM
I always stop reading your posts when I get to the sports analogy.  :)
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: exspes on July 20, 2010, 10:29:47 PM
Even though most lawstudents and lawyers claim to be against online grads, I'm pretty sure that the average true "layperson" would be like "oh my god, you must be a genius!!!! You are self taught, wow!!!!" and even more so for the ones who skipped lawschool all together and just did an intership and the bar, the whole "I'm so smart, that I just clep'ed it female dog!" attitude.

You can say that you don't think so, but your opinion is as a person in the lawfield or at least interested in it enough to come to this forum, not the average layman changing tires going "Hey Tony, you forgot the pepperoni and the gobbeldygook, my love to your mother."
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: the white rabbit on July 21, 2010, 03:57:35 AM
...I'm pretty sure that the average true "layperson" would be like "oh my god, you must be a genius!!!! You are self taught, wow!!!!" and even more so for the ones who skipped lawschool all together and just did an intership and the bar, the whole "I'm so smart, that I just clep'ed it female dog!" attitude.

How are you "pretty sure" of this?
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: pacelaw2013 on July 21, 2010, 05:17:41 AM
Quote
Even though most lawstudents and lawyers claim to be against online grads, I'm pretty sure that the average true "layperson" would be like "oh my god, you must be a genius!!!! You are self taught, wow!!!!" and even more so for the ones who skipped lawschool all together and just did an intership and the bar, the whole "I'm so smart, that I just clep'ed it female dog!" attitude.


I also question that. I think even most laypeople (if only through Legally Blonde) realize being in class is important in law school. But I guess the true litmus test for this would be the University of Phoenix. Are people just as/more impressed with a degree from that online university? My expirience says absolutly not. Whether it is right or wrong, there is a perception that online degrees are "lesser", and I am not going to try and argue either way, but especially in law, where the school does count, that would be a MAJOR hit against any graduate. The lawconomy (yes, making up words now) is rough at this point, I am not sure its as tough as some people are trying to make it sound, probably to try and dissuade some people from going into it in an attempt to somewhat lessen the stress on the market. Don't get me wrong, its tough to find jobs, but especially from an online or unaccredited school, it is just damn near impossible. It can be done, but its tough.

Most non-ABA schools do not publish employment statistics, so I really can not compare them, but I guess the fact they do not publish them speaks volumes. Also, I don't believe any online JD's are approved by ABA, I know there is at least one L.L.M. that is approved online. I would just say overall bad investment.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: exspes on July 21, 2010, 09:25:50 AM
Here is where I get my thought on it from, in undergrad people who used the CLEP test to get credit for classes they never took were seen by the vast majority of students in the school as smarter than the guys who had to sit in a chair for a semester to end up in the same place. I can't think of anyone, anywhere who actually thought negative of it.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: the white rabbit on July 21, 2010, 06:04:42 PM
Here is where I get my thought on it from, in undergrad people who used the CLEP test to get credit for classes they never took were seen by the vast majority of students in the school as smarter than the guys who had to sit in a chair for a semester to end up in the same place. I can't think of anyone, anywhere who actually thought negative of it.

So...based on your experience, you think the average layperson "would be like 'oh my god, you must be a genius!!!! You are self taught, wow!!!!'"  There's not enough in there to be pretty sure of anything, really, right? 

I know it seems like I'm splitting hairs, but it's an important distinction.  :)
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: lawboy81 on July 21, 2010, 07:32:29 PM
I don't think online degrees carry much weight...
I did define "lay perception" in OP as what does the typical college educated person think? I think most college educated people know that University of Phoenix is not exactly the most competative degree.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: bigs5068 on July 21, 2010, 07:43:35 PM
Sometimes being self-taught is benefecial and if you are self-taught those lessons are more benefecial than schooling.

My old roomate got a felony while in college and got kicked out and he got out and obviously nobody would hire him, but he is quite smart with no degree. Anyways, he started his own business since nobody would hire him and he needed computer programers he kept hiring students from school, but they kept messing it up. So he decided to teach himself how to program and he figured out he ended up making his own business and then he get a job at Mozilla making 200k a year now even with a felony, because he started something from the ground up no degree or anything, but he really knows the stuff.

I think school in any instance doesn't teach you what you REALLY need to know and the only way to learn practical things is by actual experience. He is a perfect example of that he does not even have a B.A. in computer science yet he makes more than a lot of programers with masters because he knows how to do it.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: exspes on July 21, 2010, 09:59:30 PM
short of actually doing a full on cross country survey, all anyone (including you) can do is give guesses and their own opinions based on the facts they have available to them. I gave other layman in semi-simular situations, you just gave "I dont think they would".

Here is where I get my thought on it from, in undergrad people who used the CLEP test to get credit for classes they never took were seen by the vast majority of students in the school as smarter than the guys who had to sit in a chair for a semester to end up in the same place. I can't think of anyone, anywhere who actually thought negative of it.

So...based on your experience, you think the average layperson "would be like 'oh my god, you must be a genius!!!! You are self taught, wow!!!!'"  There's not enough in there to be pretty sure of anything, really, right? 

I know it seems like I'm splitting hairs, but it's an important distinction.  :)
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: exspes on July 21, 2010, 10:05:50 PM
The two groups are very different. The average Americans won't even get an associates degree(dont need it to pull turds out of urinals for a living)
So to say a fully college educated person would think as a true "layperson" is not at all true. Those are two totally seperate groups.



I don't think online degrees carry much weight...
I did define "lay perception" in OP as what does the typical college educated person think? I think most college educated people know that University of Phoenix is not exactly the most competative degree.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: Cicero on July 21, 2010, 10:06:37 PM
I think most college educated people don't view online programs (such as Kaplan) as being at the same level as a regular in-class degree program (exception: if it is through a respected university and is considered the same as that university's in-class degree). I would think this view would carry over to their opinion of law schools.

Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: exspes on July 21, 2010, 10:08:02 PM
True, for those who went through it, but thats like asking what the average person thinks of the military and then only polling veterans. Not really the same deal, ya'know?


I think most college educated people don't view online programs (such as Kaplan) as being at the same level as a regular in-class degree program (exception: if it is through a respected university and is considered the same as that university's in-class degree). I would think this view would carry over to their opinion of law schools.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: Cicero on July 21, 2010, 10:11:40 PM
My answer is based on the OP's question. The OP asked for the opinion of the regular college educated person who has not attended LS, not the opinion of people in general.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: exspes on July 21, 2010, 10:23:32 PM


 Author Topic: Best Law Schools according to lay perception


lay person, layperson
n pl lay persons, laypersons, lay people, laypeople
1. a person who is not a member of the clergy
2. a person who does not have specialized or professional knowledge of a subject a lay person's guide to conveyancing

Then the OP was wrong in a what a layperson was.

My answer is based on the OP's question. The OP asked for the opinion of the regular college educated person who has not attended LS, not the opinion of people in general.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: bigs5068 on July 22, 2010, 12:23:25 AM
I heard Harvard & Yale were decent schools. I think most lay people will agree with that. Honestly, I doubt most people not in law school know anything about any law school. Most people in San Francisco have no idea Hastings or GGU exist. If you tell someone you are in law school in San Francisco they assume University of San Francisco, Berkley, or Stanford. They don't even know the other ones exist.

I am sure in Florida if you said I am in law school they would assume Florida or Florida State most people probably have no idea Stetson or any of the other ones exist. Cardozo is a good school, but lay people in New York have no idea about it they don't know about Brooklyn Law School either. If you say law school in New York people will know NYU & Columbia the rest lay people would have no idea.

The real truth is if a school is famous for sports or is really prestigious then people will have heard of it. Otherwise people have no reason and don't care what school you go to. The odds are most clients you get in the real world will have absolutely no idea if a school is highly ranked or not.

It's like Medical School I have no idea if a school is ranked highly or not I know Harvard is good, but I don't even know if University of San Francisco has a medical school.  I am sure there are several medical schools in San Francisco, but I don't know what they are I know Stanford has one, but that is really all I know.  I do know a medical school trains doctors and that is as far as my knowledge goes. If I am sick I will go to a doctor with a medical degree and probably not care to much about what school he/she went to, because they will know how to treat illness better than me or any jackass without a medical degree would.



Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: the white rabbit on July 22, 2010, 05:22:51 AM
short of actually doing a full on cross country survey, all anyone (including you) can do is give guesses and their own opinions based on the facts they have available to them. I gave other layman in semi-simular situations, you just gave "I dont think they would".

Actually, I don't believe I expressed an opinion one way or the other.  And short of doing some kind of survey, I don't think people should say they're "pretty sure" of what laymen think in general.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: the white rabbit on July 22, 2010, 05:27:06 AM
The odds are most clients you get in the real world will have absolutely no idea if a school is highly ranked or not.

Depends what kind of law you're practicing.  If you're at a big firm where most of your clients are large corporations, then you're probably dealing with their GC's, who generally have an idea as to how highly schools are regarded (though not necessarily ranked).
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: exspes on July 22, 2010, 09:45:22 AM
pretty sure is an opinion, beyond that would be a fact.

short of actually doing a full on cross country survey, all anyone (including you) can do is give guesses and their own opinions based on the facts they have available to them. I gave other layman in semi-simular situations, you just gave "I dont think they would".

Actually, I don't believe I expressed an opinion one way or the other.  And short of doing some kind of survey, I don't think people should say they're "pretty sure" of what laymen think in general.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: lawboy81 on July 23, 2010, 07:11:10 PM
I think college educated people are a little bit more knowledgable about law schools.
Let's take a fairly successful businessman, for example. His company has likely needed lawyers before for a merger, for employment discrimination suit, products liability suit, whatever. So he's met lawyers that way.
Maybe he sends his kids to a decent private school and he knows the parents, some of whom are lawyers.
Maybe he goes to church and knows other middle-aged professional people, some of whom are lawyers.
It's not unlikely that he has a brother or cousin or lifelong friend who is a lawyer.
Maybe when he gets old enough his daughter or niece is considering applying to law school.

I am asking about this type of person -- middle/ upper middle-class college educated people. These people probably have some familiarity with what law schools are generally considered good, but it is limited.

I wasn't asking about Tyrone who dropped out after 9th grade and is currently a server at Burger King, or Billy Bob the farmer, because of course these people probably have no idea about law schools...
Now I realize who I'm talking abojt may not in fact be the "typical American" or a correct definition of a lay person. Just go with me here.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: bigs5068 on July 23, 2010, 07:56:42 PM
Granted a lot of people have probably used lawyers businessman etc, but most people probably have no idea of the rank the lawyer goes to. Just like I have no idea if my doctor or dentist went to a good or bad school.  If they clean my teeth properly and are licensed to be dentists I go to them. If a doctor is cool to me and makes me feel better I have no idea if the Med School they went to was ranked 200 or 5th. I think that is how most people view lawyers you have to use them and if they are licensed to be lawyers and they take care of things for you then you wouldn't know the rank of the school they went to.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: the white rabbit on July 24, 2010, 06:58:03 AM
pretty sure is an opinion, beyond that would be a fact.

short of actually doing a full on cross country survey, all anyone (including you) can do is give guesses and their own opinions based on the facts they have available to them. I gave other layman in semi-simular situations, you just gave "I dont think they would".

Actually, I don't believe I expressed an opinion one way or the other.  And short of doing some kind of survey, I don't think people should say they're "pretty sure" of what laymen think in general.

"Pretty sure" suggests that you know something rather than that you think something.

Though at this point it appears we agree in concept, and we're just arguing over terminology.

I never understood why anyone cared about lay perception of law schools, anyway.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: bigs5068 on July 24, 2010, 10:02:27 AM
Well unless you go into Big Law, which most people don't the majority of your clients will be lay people. As a result of that understanding and respecting their opinions would probably be important.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: marcus-aurelius on July 24, 2010, 12:32:04 PM
I can speak from my experience ONLY before researching into schools.  I believed Harvard and Yale to be 1 and 2 in that order.  Then, being from the NYC area, I thought Columbia and NYU were 3-4.  Finally, Georgetown I thought to be five.  I did not know Chicago had a law school, let alone many of the other top ranked schools.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: sonofapickle on July 24, 2010, 01:34:10 PM
Every law school except for Cooley.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: lawboy81 on July 24, 2010, 04:04:31 PM
I knew U Chicago has a great law school because I have a friend who is a U Chicago undergrad and she bragged about how great their law school is...

I think it's basically a combination of 2 things: (1) general perception of how good the undergrad program is -- which BTW, I think a lot of people could give you a general idea of what they consider to be great universities based on where they and friends went, where famous people went, populare culture, etc.; (2) Region -- #1 is obviously going to be shaped by what region the person is from.

Private schools have a big advantage over public schools, generally speaking. Of course in the flagship state is usually considered "great" by people in that state, but you leave the state and your school is only known if they're good at football or basketball, and even then they're only known for football or basketball. Interestingly, there seem to be a lot of schools which have "good" (according to US News anyway) law schools that don't have good undergrad programs -- Fordham, GW, American, GMU, Minnesota, Alabama -- I would guess these schools are not highly regarded according to lay perception (though GW may be an exception). However, there aren't as many schools that have very highly regarded undergrad programs with inferior law schools -- all I can think of is Wake Forest (I know it's undergrad is around #25 and law is around #40) so might be hard to make any conclusions about these schools.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: llsatt1 on July 28, 2010, 12:59:42 PM
I really think a hiring attorney absent big law would be more concerned with more than an alma matter.  In the Bay Area there are about a million law schools and I interact with other 1L's at my internship and I would say that it varies a lot by the person not the school.  There are a lot of Hastings people at my internship there are some that I think are idiots, others I think are awesome, and one that I think is smart, but the person is a an absolute a-hole.  There are three Berkley people two are cool, but one is so quiet I couldn't tell you if she was a genius or a retard. She simply does not talk to anyone and maybe she is a genius and doing well I have no idea, but I would not want her to argue in court for me that is for sure, even if she does go to Berkley. Maybe she is a great writer, but she is just to shy.

There are few Santa Clara and USF people they are fine. However, far and away the best intern out of everyone goes to Florida Coastal he gets the most responsibility and has won a lot of the motions he was written. I can't say anyone has had the success rate he has.  I really in all honestly believe everything in life is related to your performance not your school. It certainly helps to go to a good school and I am sure that quiet Berkley girl will get some opportunities, but I would be terrified to have her represent me in a trial. I know there a lot of great Berkley attorneys, but her as an individual would probably be to shy to object to anything if she was in litigation. Painful shyness is not something your LSAT or GPA displays, but it would certainly affect your ability to be a good attorney.

Again there is no doubt that to some people school name is everything and it helps and I would much rather be at Stanford than GGU. However, if I ever pass the bar and become a lawyer I will look at a lot more than the name of someone's school if I have to make a hiring decision.  I have met a lot of awesome people that go to great schools as well as a lot of duds from great schools. I have met idiots that go to bad bad schools and really awesome people that go to bad schools. I am referring to undergrad right now by the way and I just think for the majority of people that personality, actual performance, and hard word would be more important for your success in any field opposed to your pedigree.

The perfect example of that is sports again. How many #1 draft picks have been terrible and how many people picked 52 or 200th have been hall of famers. The answer is a lot.  Again being a number one pick opens more doors at first, but if you can't do the job it is real noticeable and you end up like Jamarcus Russel on the street in three years.  His Pedigree was great LSU in regards to football is like Harvard in regards to law school. He led them to a champsionshiop and had good numbers in college. He was a terrible NFL quarterback though and he is gone now. His college accomplishments don't help him at all. Tom Brady picked #223 I think had to bust his ass to get noticed, but he did it and is possibly the greatest quarterback of all time. Same thing with Brett Favre and I could go on a long list of people in sports nobody expected anything from that flourished and people drafted #1 that were terrible Kwame Brown, Michael Olowkandi etc.

check your writing before you call anyone an idiot.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: bigs5068 on July 28, 2010, 02:57:21 PM
I wrote a long rant on a random internet forum.  It is kind of sad I spent that much time writing it and it is even sadder for someone to be upset about grammar on a random website.

Honestly, none of the interns are idiots they were all smart enough to get through the first year of law school. My point was that the FCSL student was the one everyone was most impressed with. He wrote his motions well and ended up winning a lot of them.  The fact that he went to FCSL did not matter, the substance of his motions were good and the attorneys liked that. THE END.


Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: llsatt1 on July 28, 2010, 03:17:50 PM
I wrote a long rant on a random internet forum.  It is kind of sad I spent that much time writing it and it is even sadder for someone to be upset about grammar on a random website.

Honestly, none of the interns are idiots they were all smart enough to get through the first year of law school. My point was that the FCSL student was the one everyone was most impressed with. He wrote his motions well and ended up winning a lot of them.  The fact that he went to FCSL did not matter, the substance of his motions were good and the attorneys liked that. THE END.

I stopped reading after you misspelled 'too' as 'to' the second time.  Your impression that Berkley is the correct spelling also tickles me.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: Cicero on July 28, 2010, 03:21:55 PM
llsatt1, Bigs5068's writing bothered me a little at first as well, but then he explained (awhile ago) that he writes most of his posts on his phone. It can be a bit of a pain to write posts on a phone, so give him a break.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: llsatt1 on July 28, 2010, 04:58:25 PM
I don't think anyone would write a post of that length from a phone but I'll cut him some slack. 
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: bigs5068 on July 28, 2010, 05:33:55 PM
They are generally just rants from my phone while I am on the Cal-train. However, sometimes I do write from a computer and maybe it comes out better. Truth is I don't really care how bad my grammar is on here.  This is an internet forum where anybody and everybody can say whatever they want.  If it was a legal paper I would take some time to check grammar etc, but when posting to random strangers about subjective topics on the internet I really don't care if a few words are misspelled or commas are in the wrong place.  Maybe I should care, but I already waste way to much time posting on here as it is, and I do not plan spending time proofreading everything.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: lawboy81 on July 30, 2010, 06:52:20 PM
EDIT:

The Official, Updated T25:

1. harvard
2. yale
3. stanford
4. georgetown
5. columbia
6. duke
7. berkeley
9.  notre dame
10. vanderbilt
11. cornell
12. ucla
13. virginia
14. michigan
15. nyu
16. penn/ penn state
17. emory
18. northwestern
19. gw
20. usc
21. texas
22. unc
23. tulane
24. bc/ bu
25. u. chicago

Basically take US News list for undergraduate schools. Then add point for having an expensive, prestigious sounding private school name (see "cornell," "vanderbilt," "tulane," "berkeley"), deduct major points for sounding like a state school (see "u. chicago), but deduct less points if the school is a state or private school that sounds like a state school with a catchy moniker ("ucla" "unc," "nyu", etc.). Add points if school has good sports programs (notre dame, duke), but deduct points if more people think of it as PRIMARILY a sports powerhouse (michigan, usc, texas). Add a few points if the word "Boston" is in the name, because Boston sounds prestigious.  Viola, the list.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: MidWesternPleb on September 28, 2010, 03:13:51 PM
I agree with some of the earlier posts.  I think it's highly regional.  Almost any non-lawyer, anywhere in the country, is going to have a high initial perception of a HYS grad.  After that, there probably aren't many who know the difference between, say, Virginia and IU, or Michigan and Florida.  I'm sure there are a lot of non-lawyers who would probably assume that schools with a high academic profile generally (Notre Dame, Duke, NYU, Berkeley), also have respected law schools.  You probably wouldn't have a great deal of recognition for otherwise great LS like WashSTL or W&M aside from non-lawyers in those regions.

Another interesting point if you are considering "laypersons" to be non-college graduates:  If you are outside of biglaw (especially in flyover country) and the client base is blue collar small business, you'll likely find that even HYS would be trumped by the state school, or if more than one, the more highly respected state school.  Sure, it's a stereotype, but people in these areas honestly do look at people coming from those schools with a little bit of suspicion AND there is a very noticeable "ours is as good as yours" type of mentality.  Whether or not this overrides their self-interest in hiring the attorney/firm with the best law school credentials would be a good question - but my guess is that it happens more often than not.  But I suppose that goes less to perception and more to personal client preferences - so it doesn't really address the OP topic.  But it's worth thinking about, I suppose.

Interesting topic, OP.   
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: bigs5068 on September 28, 2010, 03:29:36 PM
I totally agree with that post. In some instances Harvard law school may look bad on your resume. I have lived in some small towns and they would much rather have someone from their area handle their problems. They view the Ivy League's in negative light, obviously that is unfounded, but people are people. Employment and perception is highly subjective I am impressed by someone who graduated from Stanford, but a person in Weed, California might rather have a graduate from Cal Northern a CBA school handle their problems.
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: MeganEW on October 03, 2010, 06:36:32 AM
A couple nitpicking thoughts...

Private schools have a big advantage over public schools, generally speaking. Of course in the flagship state is usually considered "great" by people in that state, but you leave the state and your school is only known if they're good at football or basketball, and even then they're only known for football or basketball. Interestingly, there seem to be a lot of schools which have "good" (according to US News anyway) law schools that don't have good undergrad programs -- Fordham, GW, American, GMU, Minnesota, Alabama -- I would guess these schools are not highly regarded according to lay perception (though GW may be an exception). However, there aren't as many schools that have very highly regarded undergrad programs with inferior law schools -- all I can think of is Wake Forest (I know it's undergrad is around #25 and law is around #40) so might be hard to make any conclusions about these schools.
Like GW, I think Fordham could also be an exception, at least regionally.  It has a rich history and relatively good brand despite its weaker undergrad (but even that is respected... 3rd best undergrad in NYC after Columbia and NYU, right?).  However, I would guess most lay NYers would guess the law school is in the Bronx instead of down at Lincoln Center. :)

Quote from: lawboy81
1. harvard
2. yale
3. stanford
4. georgetown
5. columbia
6. duke
7. berkeley
9.  notre dame
10. vanderbilt
11. cornell
12. ucla
13. virginia
14. michigan
15. nyu
16. penn/ penn state
17. emory
18. northwestern
19. gw
20. usc
21. texas
22. unc
23. tulane
24. bc/ bu
25. u. chicago

Basically take US News list for undergraduate schools. Then add point for having an expensive, prestigious sounding private school name (see "cornell," "vanderbilt," "tulane," "berkeley"), deduct major points for sounding like a state school (see "u. chicago), but deduct less points if the school is a state or private school that sounds like a state school with a catchy moniker ("ucla" "unc," "nyu", etc.). Add points if school has good sports programs (notre dame, duke), but deduct points if more people think of it as PRIMARILY a sports powerhouse (michigan, usc, texas). Add a few points if the word "Boston" is in the name, because Boston sounds prestigious.  Viola, the list.
I think your logic makes sense.  I'm curious why you put Penn/Penn State, though.  I mean, the former is an Ivy with a Top 5 b-school.  Those in business make a HUGE distinction between Penn and Penn State. I imagine most other college educated types at least know the difference. 
Title: Re: Best Law Schools according to lay perception
Post by: huiru on October 15, 2010, 02:02:22 AM
I've heard Cornell is highly regarded in the Northeast, but most people don't know it in the South. pandora (http://www.pandora-au.org/)