« on: January 14, 2008, 08:47:11 PM »
I go to Dickinson, so to avoid being called a troll, I'm not going to add much to this debate. (I also never looked at Pitt, so anything I could say would be pretty one-sided.) However, I think the article below makes a good point. This blurb is from the ABA Journal:
Why U.S. News Rankings May Mislead
Posted Jan 2, 2008, 07:51 am CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Potential law students who want a job at a top law firm shouldn’t blindly follow the rankings of U.S. News & World Report.
Students who attend a top-tier law school are likely to get interviews at any law firm they desire, according to a Wall Street Journal op-ed (sub. req.) written by lawyer and law professor Cameron Stracher. But grades and law review are more important than school rank at lower-tier schools, he says.
“The difference between the 55th-ranked law school and the 105th law school is of little significance in determining which students are more likely to get a good job,” he says.
“At both schools, unless a student is in the top 15 percent or 20 percent of his class, he has little chance of getting a high-paying job directly upon graduation. Students might be better served by going to a lower-ranked law school and doing better, rather than going to a middling law school and not doing as well.”
The magazine’s rankings stress reputation over bar passage rates, which account for only 2 percent of a school’s rank.
Stracher concludes that law schools would better serve their constituencies if they released accurate information about numbers that matter to students—about bar passage rates, the kinds of jobs its graduates land, and average salaries after graduation.
From the point of view of a current law student, I would really stress this point - it's something that's far too often overlooked on this site.
If you have any specific questions about PSU, I'd be happy to try to answer them.