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Author Topic: Do rankings really matter?  (Read 9328 times)

anon

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Do rankings really matter?
« on: July 19, 2001, 08:48:11 PM »
Okay, I know there are definitly different leagues of law schools, but to what extent do the rankings really matter?  I mean, is there really a big difference between the number 20 and number 30 school?  Would you say that each "tier" is fairly similar?

Burt Gifford Jr.

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Re: Do rankings really matter?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2002, 03:26:52 PM »
I am forty-years-old and have been a homicide detective for the past twenty-two years. In 1996, I entered the University of New Haven to obtain a degree in forensic science. In May of 2001 I graduated summa cum laude. I next decided to apply to law school. I felt that obtaining my law degree late in life would have several advantages, but I want to make sure to optimize my decission because at this point in my life I don't have time to waste. I conducted an exhausting investigation compiling as mush information about laws schools, tiers, and rankings. I have learned that obtaining a top ten law school, such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, etc..., does make a difference. But, from twenty to thirty-five or so, makes very little difference. It's always better to graduate from a tier one law school than a tier two and so on. You should strive to get into the best law school that you possibly can. The better laws schools (tier one) haveeater numer of firms that conduct interviews on campus. Also, if you are going to teach law or strive to become a state or federal judge you want to attend a tier one law school. But, again you have to match the law school to your GPA and LSAT score. I've accepted an offer to attend the University of Connecticut Law School in the falll on 2002. It's a tier one law school(one the lower end ranked between 38-43), but the great advantage is that being a Connecticut resident the tuition is only 9,000.00 a year. Hope any of this was helpful.


                              Burt

MarieB

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Re: Do rankings really matter?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2002, 03:37:41 PM »
Of course we all know rankings matter in terms of career prospects and future earnings, etc.  However, my problem is to decide whether to go to a second tier school where I can get $ vs. a first tier that offers me no $.  Also, the second tier is close to my home and I would not have to move my family - I'm married with kids.  Any advice? ???

Swoop

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Re: Do rankings really matter?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2003, 02:50:44 AM »
Don't forget that you need to consider what type of law you want to practice.  If you no for certain that you want to work in the public sector...say as a local prosecutor, then there is really no need to go to a tier 1 school.  It would be a shame to sink 80 grand in debt to come out as an assistant prosectuor making 30 grand a year.

beninoregon

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Re: Do rankings really matter?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2003, 10:51:00 AM »
Law school rankings matter ONLY if you want to get a job as an attorney with a top rated private law firm or corporation.  Yes, you can get any job you want anywhere in the country with a degree from Harvard... but in a normal firm your coworkers will have degrees from other law schools, will be making the same amount of money as you, and will be 100,000 less in debt. =)  SO, if POWER and MONEY is your goal... pay attention to rankings.  If those are NOT your goals, then pay MORE attention to the prestige a school has in the region you are planning to practice in.
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Re: Do rankings really matter?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2003, 07:11:51 PM »
Just remember as I have and many before myself have stated, rankings may matter preliminarily but after you get passed the entrance to the law school of your choice (hopefully) regardless of where it stands on the "US News and WORLD REPORT" if you do well enough and your accomplishments IN law school or then noticed you will have no trouble succeeding in the outside workforce.  For example if you go to a top 10 law school you may be able to compete with resumés of many many applicants in the labor market providing that you graduating within the top 40%ish of your class, however if the same person were to graduate from let's say a 2nd or 3rd tier law school providig they graduated within the top 5,10 or even 15%ish of their class then they could compete with that same top 10 law school grad.  Just keep in mind although law school is very important to the future lawyer rank is not as important in the long run as the degree itself!
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beninoregon

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Re: Do rankings really matter?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2003, 09:11:57 AM »
Exactly.  The reason Harvard is so great is that you can be last in your class and still get a decent job.

You can't do that at a 2nd or 3rd tier school. ;)

I have a friend who graduated last year from the University of Nebraska.  He was 2nd in his class and editor of the law review... and now he is working for one of the more well-known firms in New York with recent Harvard and Yale grads.
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lawdawg19

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Re: Do rankings really matter?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2004, 03:26:06 AM »
Rankings/image is everything. Saving money is second. How you feel and quality of Law School is last.

dnw2007

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Re: Do rankings really matter?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2004, 11:05:21 AM »
I'll admit, to some employers, rankings do matter.  But how you feel about the quality of education that you will receive is far more important.  For some, saving money is extremely important, especially if you support yourself.  Life is alot harder without mommy and daddy.  If you have a full scholarship to a "Tier 4" school that you admire and a no scholarship to a Tier 1 or 2 school that costs $30,000 a year, then you have a decision to make- especially if mommy and daddy aren't/can't help.  You can go over $100,000 in debt for the so called "Tier 1" degree or you can graduate debt free and still have wonderful opportunities- maybe better ones than the "Tier 1" grad pending on your class ranking.  The real key is to do well, whether you're at Harvard or Cooley.  Don't let an arbitrary ranking control where you will spend that next 3 years of your life. 

prelaw_undergrad

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Re: Do rankings really matter?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2004, 10:00:12 AM »
You can go over $100,000 in debt for the so called "Tier 1" degree or you can graduate debt free and still have wonderful opportunities- maybe better ones than the "Tier 1" grad pending on your class ranking.  The real key is to do well, whether you're at Harvard or Cooley.  Don't let an arbitrary ranking control where you will spend that next 3 years of your life. 

Harvard, Yale and Stanford are "so called 'Tier 1'" schools?!?! HAHA!  ;D

Not to start a 'fight,' dnw2007, but you must not have been accepted to one of those prestigious "so called 'Tier 1'" schools, otherwise you would not be combating  the "arbitrary ranking" system so passionately.

I do not rely on the ranking system; I rely on the statistics, especially the ones concerning employment.  Tier 1 law school graduates generally have a higher employment rate, are more likely to get an impressive judicial clerkship, and have a higher bar pass rate.

If someone was accepted to Harvard, s/he would be a complete dumbass for choosing Cooley, unless s/he had emergency family obligations (a close relative who lives with him/her is dying; NOT just spouse and kids to care for because one can move a healthy family to the Boston area) and lived within driving distance of Cooley.


Some information concerning a career after attending Thomas M. Cooley Law School:

Pass rate for first time Bar Exam takers: 63%
Students employed upon graduation: 31%
Students employed in 3 months: 88%
Average starting salary: $41,895


Here is the same information, only it is concerning a career after attending Harvard Law School:

Pass rate for first time Bar Exam takers: 95% 
Students employed upon graduation: 99%
Students employed in 3 months: 98%


Granted, I wouldn't choose Harvard over any of the UC law schools, most of the other tier 1 schools, or University of Houston (because I cannot stand the cold and I hate the Red Sox), but I DEFINITELY would choose HLS over Cooley!!  I don't hold anything against Cooley except the school's stats.