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Topics - OnTheRoad

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Choosing the Right Law School / Vault, Leiter, USNews
« on: April 08, 2008, 09:21:17 AM »
Wanted to post this since we're thinking about the USNews rankings. Especially if you're new to this whole process, here's a chance to look at the rankings in a slightly different way. No matter what anyone says, the USNWR rankings are around and will continue to be. Brian Leiter is the traditional alternative to them, and I think that Vault's new rankings make a good case for joining him. I find both of these rankings very useful because they are simple and clear. Leiter simply ranks the schools by their 75th percentile GPA and LSAT score, that is, who gets the (numerically) best students. Vault surveys legal professionals to ask them what schools produce the best lawyers. Hope this is useful.




Rank by Average of 75th/25th LSAT

1   Yale University   
2   Harvard University   
3   Columbia University   
4   New York University   
5   University of Chicago   
6   Stanford University   
7   Georgetown University   
8   University of Virginia   
9   Northwestern University   
10   University of Michigan, Ann Arbor   
11   University of Pennsylvania   
12   Duke University   
13   Cornell University   
14   University of California, Berkeley   
15   University of California, Los Angeles   
16   Vanderbilt University   
17   University of Southern California   
18   George Washington University   
19   University of Texas, Austin   
20   University of Notre Dame   
21   Boston University   
    Fordham University   
23   University of Minnesota, Twin Cities   
24   Washington University, St. Louis   
25   Brigham Young University   
26   Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University   
    Emory University   
28   Washington & Lee University   
29   Boston College   
30   Brooklyn Law School    
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign   
32   University of Maryland, Baltimore    
33   University of California, Hastings   
34   College of William & Mary   
35   George Mason University   
    University of Alabama   
    University of Colorado, Boulder   
38   Wake Forest University    
39   Temple University    
    University of Georgia    


1 Stanford University Law School
2 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Law School
3 New York University School of Law
4 University of Virginia School of Law
5 University of Chicago Law School
6 Harvard Law School
7 Columbia Law School
8 University of California, Berkeley - Boalt Hall School of Law
9 Northwestern University School of Law
10 Yale Law School
11 Vanderbilt University Law School
12 Duke University Law School
13 University of Pennsylvania Law School
14 Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington
15 Cornell University Law School
16 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Law School
17 Georgetown University Law Center
18 University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
19 University of Iowa College of Law
20 George Washington University Law School
21 Boston University School of Law
22 University of Texas at Austin School of Law
23 University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill School of Law
24 Emory University School of Law
25 University of Wisconsin Law School

(Just noticed that there's only two schools in the top five in both rankings.)

Choosing the Right Law School / Mergers and Acquisitions
« on: March 14, 2008, 09:57:08 AM »
Anyone have any thoughts on getting into this? Difficult to get into? What firms do the work? How is the work? Whatever?

Choosing the Right Law School / Schools gaming rankings with WLs?
« on: January 27, 2008, 09:14:38 AM »
Please don't take this as complaining, I just wanted to throw this out to the assembled group and see what people thought. At an accepted students day recently, I was talking to another admit and we found that we'd had an eerily similar last couple weeks. In that period we had both been wait-listed at Penn, UCLA, and Northwestern, after having been asked to apply by both schools. I've been on the fence about what to make of a school sending you a fee waiver and then denying you admission. However, he was adamant that the schools were trying to game the rankings by driving up the number of applicants that they denied admission to. I hadn't intended to apply to two out of those three, and had done so after being asked to. I'm a bit miffed if this is what happened, since I did have to spend 12 bucks an application, work on them, etc. As a side note, I don't want to do the numbers thing, but we're both in to higher-ranked schools. Curious what people think - any chance that some of these places are gaming things by asking people to apply?

Choosing the Right Law School / Any difference between WL and Hold?
« on: January 23, 2008, 04:41:11 PM »
Is there? Certainly feels the same...

Ok, so here's a new theory I'm working on, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm not really sure where I want to be after school for practice and so forth. I know this is a decision that I have to make soon, but I'm not sure I can make it before I pick a school. I made the subject a bit more abrupt than what I'm really saying, but it strikes me that some of the big T14 schools in top 4 legal markets send the majority of their graduates to that city. For example, it's my impression that most NYU and Columbia grads stay in NYC, most Chicago and Northwestern grads stay in chicago, and most georgetown grads stay in DC. While any school near a big legal market is going to send a lot of people there, it strikes me that someone who isn't sure where they want to practice may be better off going to one of the T14 schools that isn't in a major market, ie Duke, Michigan, UVA. It seems that those schools have a more loyal that normal alumni base, and are likely to have a group in any major city, as well as some other big towns. So wouldn't an applicant that wasn't sure where they were going to be benefit from chosing one of those schools and keeping their options open?

Choosing the Right Law School / Got my FAFSA Back - Is this good?
« on: January 14, 2008, 11:44:27 AM »
It says "EFC - 00000". That's Expected Financial Contribution, right? And I'm so broke that they used 5 zeroes? Does anyone understand this stuff better than me?

Choosing the Right Law School / Is Northwestern a regional school?
« on: January 11, 2008, 07:25:03 PM »
I know it's a great school and all, but I haven't heard anything anecdotally about people leaving chicago. Anyone know how often they do? Seems like an awesome program with the emphasis on WE, but is it a good bet if you don't want to stay in the midwest?

Law School Admissions / Splitters: Looks like it'll be a long cycle
« on: December 05, 2007, 03:01:08 AM »
Or is it just me? Hoping to hear something by May.

We've usually got a lot of discussion comparing which schools get people in to the most $$$ BigLaw first year positions. Obviously, 160K a year is great. And we're all aware of the statistics about 1st year TTT graduates making __K/year (insert sufficiently scary 2-digit number.) However, I'm finding it very hard to find more detailed information. Vault lists first year pay at a lot of firms, as well as the typical 8-year salary progression at some big firms (which seems to me to not progress very far compared to that first number.) I think there's more to it than these numbers. Obviously when you look at the raises given at a lot of places, 160 a year is a selling point to get people in the door. At the same time, though smaller firms start at lower levels, I'm curious to see what people earn as their career progresses.

I'm not looking for the quality of life vs pay argument here, which we've had in other places. I'm more griping about the paucity of useful information. I'd much rather have a 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th year salary chart than one showing me the first year and then PPP. A friend tells me that after taking a partnership law class he realised there's a lot of money to be made all over. Does anyone have insight on this issue? How do I go about finding out what people actually make beyond the first year other than stopping lawyers on the street and asking to see their bank account?

Law School Admissions / Judging schools based on admissions speed?
« on: October 19, 2007, 10:04:40 PM »
Anyone else out there find themselves subtly judging schools based on how efficiently their admissions offices seem to operate? With duke turning around decisions in seven days, and with most of my september 1st apps complete, I find myself wondering why it's taken a few schools two months to process my paper, and if that's the sort of thing I could expect from the school in general. I know it's the sort of stupid thing one worries about while awaiting decisions, but this is also my first and only exposure to a given school's bureaucracy, and if it takes them two months to process the most important paper in my life, I have to think that reflects to some extent on the overall efficiency of a school about that sort of thing.

I say this by way of warning schools that if they take much longer to finish my apps, I'm going to reject them first.

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