Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: DefenestrateMan on July 14, 2016, 05:44:28 AM

Title: UMass going anywhere?
Post by: DefenestrateMan on July 14, 2016, 05:44:28 AM
So how long until Umass-dartmouth becomes a tier three, tier two law school. UC Irving rose way faster. I'm planning to go to umass-dartmouth in the JD/mpp program, and I got a 17,000 dollar scholarship to the JD. But right now, even when it's parent is University of Massachusetts, they aren't even ranked. The usnews considers them less then tier four. Which I don't know why. They are by the way a public interest law school. They have higher bar pass, higher employment, higher lsat scores than a lot of the TTTT's. Someone explain.
Title: Re: UMass going anywhere?
Post by: loki13 on July 14, 2016, 06:50:19 AM
So how long until Umass-dartmouth becomes a tier three, tier two law school. UC Irving rose way faster. I'm planning to go to umass-dartmouth in the JD/mpp program, and I got a 17,000 dollar scholarship to the JD. But right now, even when it's parent is University of Massachusetts, they aren't even ranked. The usnews considers them less then tier four. Which I don't know why. They are by the way a public interest law school. They have higher bar pass, higher employment, higher lsat scores than a lot of the TTTT's. Someone explain.

First, you can't compare any school to UC Irving- it's sui generis. Hiring Chemerinsky, hiring the other faculty members that it did, subsidizing high LSAT students etc. It was a planned attempt to get to T50 that worked (and cost dearly).

UMass-D has a slightly different issue; look at the market. Massachusetts has nine law schools; of those nine, three of them are Harvard, BU, and BC (one of the top in the nation, and all three T25). It has three more respectable schools for its urban center (Northeastern, Suffolk, NESL).

So, no, I don't see it as being T2 (50-100) any time soon, at least not in today's market. It has no reputation, no real alum base, and it doesn't have particularly great admission numbers.
Title: Re: UMass going anywhere?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on July 14, 2016, 09:12:02 AM
As Loki stated, UCI is an anomoly. They had a huge budget to begin with (Donald Bren alone donated $20 million before they even opened their doors), and the full backing of the UC system. Hiring Chemerinsky was a huge coup for a start up law school, too.

UMass, IIRC, is the rebranded New England School of Law (can't remember exactly). The UMass system does have a good reputation, but UMD has not made the aggressive play for the rankings that Irvine has.

I would imagine that they will move up in the rankings, but over time. To which exact tier? Who knows. Remember, to move up you have to displace an existing school from it's position. So the question would be: What specifically is UMD doing that would put it ahead of other schools? Anything special? I'm not aware of anything particularly novel in their model.
Title: Re: UMass going anywhere?
Post by: Citylaw on July 28, 2016, 03:34:21 PM
Maybe, but I would not focus to much on rankings honestly.  I think one of the biggest issues out there for incoming law students is looking at rankings and reading all these books etc written by Harvard Grads etc. 

It is similar to a decent high school player getting advise from Lebron James or Shaquille O'Neal on how to get a scholarship.  Lebron James and Shaq are freaks of nature that had people begging them to go, and if you have a 178 LSAT and 3.9 from Yale yea you are going to have a different legal career than someone with a 3.2 from Whatever State and 157 LSAT.

To further make the analogy let's presuem there is 6'7 pretty good high school player, he gets a scholarship to a small division 1 school, plays professionally in Europe for a few years then gets a head college coaching job. That is pretty good, but there is no debate that Lebron or Shaq are infinetly more successful than the 6'7 guy that never made the NBA, let alone the NBA hall of fame, but most people would be pretty happy with that outcome.

No lets relate it to law school, the guy with a 3.2 and 157 LSAT gets into University of San Francisco Law School, finishes in the top third of his class, passes the bar and gets a job making $80,000 out of law school and eventually works in small firms the rest of his life, maybe ends up retiring working for a City Attorney's Office.  That is not terrible result, but the guy that graduates Valedictorian from Harvard, gets a Federal Clerkship, works in Biglaw, then it appointed to the Federal Bench, had a better career than person 1.

However, not everyone is Lebron James, Shaq, or capable of getting a 179 LSAT, but everyone listens to those people even though their advice to the average guy is terrible.

If you are looking at UMass and other schools of that caliber congrats, getting into any ABA school is a big accomplishment, but you are not at Harvard, Yale, etc.  Therefore, don't consider the rankings, which nobody cares about outside of the "Top" schools i.e. Harvard, Yale, etc. 

Nobody cares about the difference between UMass and NorthEastern for example. It is highly unlikely a employer will  say oh I see NorthEastern is ranked 98th and UMass is ranked 108th, we simply must pick the student from the higher ranked school.  Nobody ever cares about the difference between the 98th and 108th best anything.

Therefore, when it comes to selecting a school use common sense and figure out where you want to live, how much money it is going to cost, and how you feel about the school.  If all else fails then use the rankings as a tie breaker, but remember U.S. News is a for profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion. If you want to make life altering decisions based on what U.S. News says then you should move to Albuquerque, New Mexico, because U.S. News ranked it the #1 place to live. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live  .  I imagine you are not going to move to New Mexico, because U.S. News ranked it #1.

Therefore, do not make a life altering $100,000 + decision based on a magazine either.

Here is a great article on how to choose a law school. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

Good luck to you and congrats on your admission, despite all the b.s. you read on the internet the law can be a great career.

Title: Re: UMass going anywhere?
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on July 28, 2016, 05:04:58 PM
Meh, this is stuff that only undergrad people in LSAT prep, Deans, and the literal employees at US News&World Report worry about.
Title: Re: UMass going anywhere?
Post by: loki13 on July 29, 2016, 08:46:15 AM
Meh, this is stuff that only undergrad people in LSAT prep, Deans, and the literal employees at US News&World Report worry about.

That's not quite true. The following statements can both be true-

The difference between Nos. 40 and 70 in the rankings is minuscule.
The difference between Yale and Cooley is vast.

As I've repeatedly stated, USNWR does a very poor job sorting similar schools. Is Stanford "better" or "worse" than Harvard? Is UNC "better" or "worse" than Arizona State? And so on. However, it does a fairly good job of giving people a general idea of the rough sorting of the schools- because it reflects the consensus esteem that the schools are held in, and the LSAT/uGPA scores of the students within the schools - and, yes, this tends to be self supporting, because to the extent that a school is "good" in USNWR, it will continue to attract good students (a virtuous circle) and to the extent it is "bad," it will struggle to attract good students, and those factors will impact the esteem in which the school is held (which is also part of the rankings).

And this matters. Because signalling matters. If you are looking to work near where your law school is located, then most attorneys know the school. But what if you aren't? Or what if you want to apply for clerkships in different areas? Yes, after some time in practice, your actual work (and, hopefully, book of business) will matter a great deal more, but until then ...

Whether it should matter or not is a different question. But the rankings both reflect reality, and reinforce it.

Title: Re: UMass going anywhere?
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on July 29, 2016, 08:47:33 PM
Meh, this is stuff that only undergrad people in LSAT prep, Deans, and the literal employees at US News&World Report worry about.

That's not quite true. The following statements can both be true-

The difference between Nos. 40 and 70 in the rankings is minuscule.
The difference between Yale and Cooley is vast.

As I've repeatedly stated, USNWR does a very poor job sorting similar schools. Is Stanford "better" or "worse" than Harvard? Is UNC "better" or "worse" than Arizona State? And so on. However, it does a fairly good job of giving people a general idea of the rough sorting of the schools- because it reflects the consensus esteem that the schools are held in, and the LSAT/uGPA scores of the students within the schools - and, yes, this tends to be self supporting, because to the extent that a school is "good" in USNWR, it will continue to attract good students (a virtuous circle) and to the extent it is "bad," it will struggle to attract good students, and those factors will impact the esteem in which the school is held (which is also part of the rankings).

And this matters. Because signalling matters. If you are looking to work near where your law school is located, then most attorneys know the school. But what if you aren't? Or what if you want to apply for clerkships in different areas? Yes, after some time in practice, your actual work (and, hopefully, book of business) will matter a great deal more, but until then ...

Whether it should matter or not is a different question. But the rankings both reflect reality, and reinforce it.
Summarized:
"I disagree"
-insert reasons that actually SUPPORT your positon
"in closing, I reassert that I disagree"