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Topics - Amanda H.

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Where should I go next fall? / Michigan vs. Georgetown, with info
« on: July 27, 2005, 06:47:46 PM »

This is just meant to follow up the first Michigan v. Georgetown thread, but with additional supporting information.  Most of the rankings below can be found in the upper right-hand corner at JD2b.com.  Others can be found in current and prior USNews issues.  Note that this is not meant to disparage Georgetown, which is in fact an excellent program, as are all schools in the top 15.  However, there are in fact reputational and placement differentials between these programs, and students should be aware of these when choosing between potential schools. 

This doesn't mean personal fit and scholarship money shouldn't also affect one's decision, it simply means they are all factors to consider.


Average USNews rank over the last 10 years:  

Michigan:  7

Georgetown:  14

(Note that this is significantly greater than the average ranking difference between Harvard [3] and Michigan.) 


Average Rank by Lawyers and Judges, last 5 years:

Michigan:  5

Georgetown:  12

(Again, this is greater than the average ranking difference between Harvard and Michigan.  As recently as 1997, Michigan was actually tied for first in this category.  It should be noted, of course, that lawyers and judges are the ones who do the actual hiring.) 


Average Rank by Academics, last 5 years:

Michigan:  6

Georgtown:  13


(Note that lawyers, judges, and academics all rank Michigan closer to Harvard and Yale than to Georgetown.) 


National Elite-firm Placement, per-capita (Leiter):  

Michigan:  6

Georgetown:  17

(This ranking examines how national each school's placement is at top firms.  Again, Michigan is much closer to Harvard here [2nd] than it is to Georgetown.)


National Elite-firm placement (Ciolli Study):

Michigan:  6

Georgetown:  15

(This ranking also examines how well each school does in national elite-firm placement.  Again, Michigan places much closer to Harvard [2nd] than to Georgetown.)


Academic Placement (Leiter study):

Michigan:  4th (tied with Chicago)

Georgetown:  10th (tied with Cornell, Duke, and Texas).

(This survey notes how well each school does in placing graduates as law professors.  Note that class size is not taken into account, which would probably widen the gap between the two schools.  However, again, Michigan is ranked closer to Harvard in this category than to Georgetown.)


Supreme Court Clerkships:  

Michigan:  6th

Georgetown:  13th. 

(Michigan placed over 3 times as many SCOTUS clerks in a recent ten-year span.  When adjusted for class size, Michigan did 5 times better on a per-capita basis in this area.) 


Michigan also has a significantly higher average faculty quality rating in Leiter's survey than Georgetown.


Looking at all the above, we can discern several basic facts:  1)  Michigan has a significantly better reputation than Georgetown (or most top 15 schools).  2)  Michigan has significantly better placement, in pretty much all areas, then Georgetown.  (Including national elite-firm placement, clerkships, and academic placement.)  3)  Michigan is clearly more prestigious than Georgetown, as can be viewed by examining placement in the most selective jobs -- Academia and Supreme Court Clerkships. 

(The only area where Georgetown is comparable to Michigan (or most other top-10 schools) is in terms of student numbers, particularly LSAT's.  However, all this really means is that things will be more competitive at Georgetown, with less opportunities to show for it upon graduation.  Reputation and placement involve more than just LSAT scores, which is why Stanford consistently outplaces NYU, despite NYU's higher ranges.)

The bottom line is that while most students at top 15 programs have great numbers, some programs have stronger reputations than others, and place better.  HYS all place better than the other top programs, Chicago and Columbia place somewhat better than Michigan, and Michigan places somewhat better than other top 15 schools, particularly those ranked in the 10-15 range. 

All schools in the top 15 place very well, of course.  But when comparing these programs, it should be noted that Michigan is generally ranked closer to Harvard than to Georgetown in pretty much every placement category, while Georgetown is generally ranked closer to Texas than to Michigan.  Again, all these programs are excellent programs, but there are in fact variations between them.


2
Is is just me, or is is he really goofy-looking?

And if so, why is he posting his pic on the ad?

3
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Should Rankings Matter/Exist?
« on: June 06, 2005, 11:09:46 PM »
I've seen threads claiming that rankings don't matter.

My question is a little different.  Basically, I'm wondering if rankings should matter, or, on the other hand, should rankings even exist? 

Would it be better if USNews stopped ranking schools?  If so, why? 

Should employers not be permitted to see the student number of each entering class?  Why or why not? 

Would hiring patterns change if the rankings disappeared?  Why or why not? 

Should there be any kind of ranking?  If so, what should be the criteria used to determine if a school is "better" than another? 

Just curious what people think. 

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Where should I go next fall? / Should Rankings Matter?
« on: June 06, 2005, 11:08:54 PM »
I've seen recent threads stating that rankings don't matter.

My question is a little different.  Basically, I'm wondering if rankings should matter, or, on the other hand, should rankings even exist? 

Would it be better if USNews stopped ranking schools?  If so, why? 

Should employers not be permitted to see the student number of each entering class?  Why or why not? 

Would hiring patterns change if the rankings disappeared?  Why or why not? 

Should there be any kind of ranking?  If so, what should be the criteria used to determine if a school is "better" than another? 

Just curious what people think. 

5
Any such?

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Studying for the LSAT / Anyone here Superstitious?
« on: May 07, 2005, 04:36:59 PM »
I'm thinking of selling my lucky LSAT pencil (mechanical).

Any takers? 

7
Studying for the LSAT / Mastering yourself to Completion
« on: May 07, 2005, 04:34:18 PM »
Sorry, just saw the opportunity for a rare double-parody thread.

("Mastering your endurance" always reminded me of "Mastering your domain" anyway.)

8
I'm not affiliated with the site at all, but I've found it a good source of information for comparing schools with regard to faculty quality, national placement, clerkships, etc.

Basically, in the upper right-hand corner, there's a link to various rankings and studies.  If you go to the Leiter national placement study, you can also see his other surveys. 

Basically, a good resource for people who aren't big fans of USNews, and want additional information.

9
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Suggested Rankings Changes
« on: May 03, 2005, 05:12:25 PM »
I've heard a lot of criticism of USNews here, so I thought it would be nice to have a thread for proposed changes to the rankings.  We can also post proposed changes in admissions policy here as well.

Personally, I think the rankings are useful inasmuch as they give students a sense of what schools will make it easiest to get certain kinds job jobs after law school.  It is a big investment, after all, so this would seem like worthwhile information. 

Therefore, I would like to see rankings that focus more on what schools firms really prefer.  Maybe there could be one ranking for Biglaw firms, and one ranking for all firms/attorneys.  There could also be separate regional rankings, which would more accurately measure the placement power of schools in specific regions.  These rankings could be created by polling key hiring partners at each firm, thereby controlling for the effects of self-selection.

Surveys for academic and clerkship placement would also be good.  Maybe one for public interest placement as well.

If I was just going to tinker with USNews, I would improve the lawyer/judge rep survey, and make it at least as important as the academic rep survey, if not more so.  Presumably, what hiring partners and judges think is more important than what academics think.

As far as admissions goes, I think it might make sense to weigh GPA comparably to LSAT, as long as more analysis is done in terms of difficulty of major, quality of undergrad, and undergrad grade inflation.  Economic opportunity should be factored in to the extent it apparently affects academic performance (working during school, etc.) 

10
Add punchline here.

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