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Author Topic: did your school drop in the rankings?  (Read 2774 times)

InVinoVeritas

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2005, 06:30:36 PM »
although everyone pays attention to them, the usnews rankings ought to be taken with some measure of skepticism, especially since the response rates of evaluators is extremely low.  movements of only several places (up or down) are almost meaningless, especially if a given school has seen a lot of movement recently.

that said, obsess away....

mattb23

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2005, 06:35:09 PM »
although everyone pays attention to them, the usnews rankings ought to be taken with some measure of skepticism, especially since the response rates of evaluators is extremely low.  movements of only several places (up or down) are almost meaningless, especially if a given school has seen a lot of movement recently.

that said, obsess away....

Basically agree, though it seems certain that what the huge majority of folks care about are the reputational consequences of a school's rank, more than the specific rank itself. Thought not a big prestige whore, I'll admit to a little of this. I'd never base it solely on one set of rankings, one single methodology, one or two individual points, etc.--but I am to a limited degree concerned as to whether schools I'm considering are generally seen as on the rise or in decline amongst those in the legal world.

InVinoVeritas

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2005, 06:40:55 PM »
right.  but the problem is that the folks who are asked to evaluate the reputation of a school, particularly the judge/lawyer score, rarely fill out the form.  i think the response rate is something like 30%.  i'm not saying that might not be statistically valid, but you're almost better off just talking to alums of the schools you're interested in, as well as other folks who are part of the legal community so you can get more nuanced and complete answers to your concerns about reputation.

dubris

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2005, 07:02:14 PM »
Phuk!!! I think all the schools that accepted me dropped in this year's rankings. Why did ND's employment rate drop so much from last year?

mattb23

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2005, 07:07:55 PM »
right.  but the problem is that the folks who are asked to evaluate the reputation of a school, particularly the judge/lawyer score, rarely fill out the form.  i think the response rate is something like 30%.  i'm not saying that might not be statistically valid, but you're almost better off just talking to alums of the schools you're interested in, as well as other folks who are part of the legal community so you can get more nuanced and complete answers to your concerns about reputation.

Oh I pretty much totally agree with you regarding the statistical validity. Though I'll admit to sometimes enjoying the ranking gossip, and looking at every little movement, I think you're def. right about the response rate--and I'd never take a school slipping a place or two in USNWER as any kind of conclusive evidence that the school was declining either in reality or in perception. What I wonder about, though, is just how influential the rankings are in shaping perceptions of those who don't know anything about the methodology. Boalt would be the best example in the time I've been researching law school. If you were to listen to lots of folks, its drop last year was a culmination of a real loss of prestige. I personally don't think that's the case, at least not yet, but I do wonder whether that kind of drop can impact the perceptions of those whose matter in the legsl world.

InVinoVeritas

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2005, 07:24:59 PM »
the usnews ranking are tremendously influential, even with people who are familiar with the methodology.  no doubt about it.  that's why schools do what they can to move up in the rankings.  i'm sure the deans of all of the schools even hear from alumni when a schools ranking drops.  who wouldn't want to be a graduate of a highly ranked school?

however, among most people who really make a difference in the legal community from our perspective (i.e. hiring partners, academics, etc.), i don't think slight changes matter a whole lot.  good schools are good schools on the whole, and what really matters in the end is how a given student performs at that school.  in spite of boalt's decline, it's reputation rankings are still pretty good; in fact, better than some schools ranked higher than it.

reputations aren't made in a year, or even two or three.  i'd definitely pay attention if a school had sustained movement in this factor, one way or the other. 

hocuspocus

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2005, 08:27:40 PM »
1) Harvard.  didnt lose any spots, but lets face it, it could be #1. what is holding it back? its larger class size.  Shrink the class size,(this will help in both acceptance rate and student/faculty ratio) hire some more profs too, and send out a bunch of fee waivers to auto-rejects.

Harvard isn't number one because Yale is better in several important statistical categories.  Yale is clearly the top spot for law faculty and it has the highest yield rate for admitted students, who statistically are better than Harvard's.  How then could Harvard be #1?

Bahamut

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2005, 12:44:29 AM »
Who cares if your school moves up and down? What happens if it moves the year you're a 3L?

That's why people have to stop fussing over this stupidity.
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bruin

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2005, 10:30:47 PM »
the usnews ranking are tremendously influential, even with people who are familiar with the methodology.  no doubt about it.  that's why schools do what they can to move up in the rankings.  i'm sure the deans of all of the schools even hear from alumni when a schools ranking drops.  who wouldn't want to be a graduate of a highly ranked school?

however, among most people who really make a difference in the legal community from our perspective (i.e. hiring partners, academics, etc.), i don't think slight changes matter a whole lot.  good schools are good schools on the whole, and what really matters in the end is how a given student performs at that school.  in spite of boalt's decline, it's reputation rankings are still pretty good; in fact, better than some schools ranked higher than it.

reputations aren't made in a year, or even two or three.  i'd definitely pay attention if a school had sustained movement in this factor, one way or the other. 

I agree that in the big picture, USNWR changes really don't make much of a difference. But I was surprised that a hiring partner that I was put in contact with knew quite a bit about the rankings, specifically noting Boalt's drop over the past couple of years.

I think many people here miss the point that you make in the last paragraph, that what matters is sustained movement.
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stateofbeasley

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Re: did your school drop in the rankings?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2005, 07:58:27 PM »
Temple fell slightly from 59 to 65. I was dissapointed, though more in the U.S. News ranking system than anything else. Temple was a solid law school when I arrived, and it's improved significantly in the past two years. The school has gotten a lot more applications (5300+ compared to 4300 last year and mid 3000s 2-3 years ago) and has become a lot more selective. GPA, LSAT medians, and bar passage rates are also up and well above the state average. We have a good, dedicated faculty, and  great facilities.

Yet none of this matters because a few lawyers and judges, who probably know little or nothing about our school, caused us to get a 2.9 in one of the reputation ratings. Temple has also stayed at a 2.6 peer assessment rating for years, which just doesn't reflect reality. I hate to bring up the Cooley rankings, but they do prove one point - take away the "reputation" ratings (often self perpetuating IMO), and Temple jumps up quite a bit (into the 30's). Of course, the Cooley rankings have problems as they use a lot of quantity factors (like library square footage, wtf?!), but at least they generally aren't self perpetuating factors.

I also have a sneaking suspicion (but no proof), that schools like Temple and Rutgers Camden get a bad rep from their locations. There are still many people out in the suburbs who don't believe that Temple Law's objective statistics are higher than those of Villanova Law or Dickinson.