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I'm biased toward UMich, but I honestly think that is underated by USNews.  I think all public schools are underated by USNews a little, so I add Berkeley and UVa to my list.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Why MVPB ?
« on: July 07, 2006, 01:45:26 PM »
Unfortunately, reputational scores are done by survey. USNWR has a poor return rate of these surveys (note the fluctuations from year to year) and so while it is a useful metric, it is deeply flawed.

Agreed.  I noticed in an earlier post you also placed UMich in top 5/6.  Out of curiosity what are you basing that on?  I would be interested to know what the profession thinks the rankings are, either through a survey like USNWR or just from what you (or others) have heard.  Thanks!

UMich.  I talked to a guy the other day who kept asking "why do you want to go to law school in Michigan?".  Even after I explained that is was a top 10 school he still seemed puzzled.  Absolutely no layman prestige for UMich with the family either.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Why MVPB ?
« on: July 05, 2006, 08:04:07 PM »
Historically speaking (before USNWR) the top 10 were HYSCCNMVPB (not in that order though).  It is only much more recently (past 15 years or so) that Georgetown, NW, Duke and Cornell have been condsidered at the level of the MVPB.  In fact, NYU was never top 5 in most anyone's rankings until about 15 years ago.  Anyway I break it down like

Top 5
HYS, Columbia, Chicago

Top 10

Top 17 or so
Georgetown, NW, Duke, Cornell, Texas, UCLA (probably Vandy and USC too).

General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Lenovo T60
« on: June 25, 2006, 07:43:12 PM »
I'm about 90% sure I'm buying the z61t.  Anyone know how that battery life is on the z6x series?  Can one watch a 2 hour DVD on it (not like I'll have time during school ...)?

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. 

Put 80% of the ranking on reputation scores.  5% on incomming LSAT median and 5% on incomming GPA median and 5% on employed at 9 months, 2% on yeild and 3% on facilities (buildings, technology).

IMO I think 80% of the score should be on what LAWYERS and ACADEMICS think of the school.  These are the people in charge of hiring and the people you will be associated most with for the rest of your life.  In fact -- putting 20% on employment rate is complete crap for the T10 because all are like 98%+.  Thus, it magnifies insignificant differences.  I really only look at the reputation rankings of the schools when using USNWR.

Law School Applications / Re: hooded or not?
« on: March 28, 2006, 06:39:25 PM »
MS gets hooded too - usually.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Duke v UVA v Notre Dame
« on: March 19, 2006, 08:45:33 PM »
UVA -- by reputation its ahead of Duke and plus a bit more money there and you like the South.  Further, cost of living is less at UVA I think.

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