Law School Discussion

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Hi all,

I did some research and compiled the reputation (peer and lawyer/judge) from US News from the 1999 edition through this year's edition.  This essentially is the same analysis found in the paper: "The Durability of Law School Reputation" by Shmalbeck which can be found easily on Google.  First, here is the 8 year average for the top 10 schools (I summed the peer and lawyer/judge reputation scores):



School     1999-2006 Average
Harvard    9.7
Stanford   9.7
Yale       9.6
Chicago    9.5
Columbia   9.4
Michigan   9.2
Virginia   9.1
Berkeley   9.1
NYU        8.9
U Penn     8.8


And the "average rank" over the 8 year period for just the peer reputation scores(this is an identical calculation to the chart on page 5 of Schmalbeck's paper where the author calculated up through 1998):

[EDIT] Just a note, the "average" is not what you typically would expect but rather calculated as follows:  Assume three schools are tied for number 1 then each of the recieve an average rank that year of (1+2+3)/3 = 2.  I did the calculation this way just to be consistent with Shmalbeck's paper.  I don't think it is the best way though.


School     1999-2006 Average
Harvard    1.75
Yale       2.06
Stanford   2.44
Columbia   4.25
Chicago    4.38
Michigan   6.56
Berkeley   7.00
NYU        7.56
Virginia   9.06
U Penn     9.75


A couple of comments and I look forward to the comments of others.

1) In 1974 (see Shmalbeck's paper) and again in 1987 (US News) UMich was ranked 3rd.  According to Schmalbeck's paper for the data up through 1998 Mich was in the "top tier" of 6 schools where there was large separation between the number 6 school and the number 7 school (Cal).  But now, according to my analysis, the gap has closed.  There is now a top tier of 5 schools rather than 6 schools with Mich outside of the "top tier".

2) NYU and U Penn have reputations that are much lower than their overall US News rank.  This to me seems to show the extreme flaw in US News ranking methodolgy.  If lawyers, judges, and peers all say that (on average) Penn is the 10th best school, then how is it that US News can legitimately place it at 7?

3) Reputation rankings are MUCH MUCH more consistent than US News.  It seems to me that US News chooses their methodlogy so that there are changes every year.  When going over reptuation data there is hardly any changes.  In fact, in all 8 years I examined Michigan was exactly 6th in the peer rankings every year. 


2
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Michigan Alumni Reception
« on: March 09, 2006, 10:26:12 PM »
Is any going to these (in selected cities) and if so what is your expectation?  Also, do we eat dinner there?

3
Law School Applications / GULC -- what is going on?
« on: January 06, 2006, 11:36:52 PM »
I went complete around the end of November at GULC.  I checked LSN and a lot of people who applied around that time have heard.  I am pretty borderline I guess, low gpa, high lsat.  Anyone else who is borderline and went complete around that time get a decision yet?

4
I'm really stuck on what to do for my diversity essay.  I'm not a URM, nor have I ever been socially or economically deprived/discriminated. 

I think I could do an essay on doing an graduate program but I already mentioned how that has shaped my character in my PS (maturity, work ethic etc.). 

I really don't want to write a diversity essay just for the sake of doing so, I know the adcomms will see right through that.  However, I don't want them to think I'm lazy either.  I've really brainstormed and struggled with this for about 2 weeks.  I'm sure that a lot of people have come across this same delima.  For those out there who were stuck like me, what did you do? 

I know there have already been a lot of these posts, and I've read through most of them -- but I'm still confused.

Any suggestions at all are GREATLY appreciated.  Thanks LSDers.

5
Law School Applications / Electronic only or mail in resume?
« on: November 12, 2005, 01:11:05 PM »
Anna Ivey's book says that LSAC discards formatting when submitting resumes online.  Is here book a little outdated?  When I submit my resume LSAC produces a pdf which is what I assume they will send to schools.  The PDF has all the formatting.

Anyway, wondering if we are still supposed to follow her advice and mail in any papers that have special formatting.


6
What is the opinion on this?  Say, for example, that you got into BU (US News 20).  But you know you want to live and work in CA after graduation.  Then would it be better to go to a lower rank school, say, Hastings (39)?

What about Duke and USC?

I'm sure you all have some situation like this where you are partial to a region of the country but might be able to go to a better school somewhere where you don't want to live afterwards.  Note: I am not talking about the region where you want to live DURING school as affecting the choice, but rather long term post grad living situation.

Thanks in advance.

7
Law School Applications / cornell LOR
« on: October 26, 2005, 05:02:30 PM »
Cornell has those special forms that say how do you rank this candidate (very strong, strong, ...) or something like that.

The Cornell application information pdf says that they accept the LORs directly through LSAC.  However, LSAC LORs do not have that extra info, correct?

Anyway, for those applying to Cornell did you send the special form or not?

Thank you all -- this app process is driving me crazy.  I would MUCH rather be studying for the LSAT (if anyone can believe that).

9
Studying for the LSAT / Are scores exactly comparable?
« on: October 23, 2005, 05:44:21 PM »
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