Law School Discussion

"Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)

jds

"Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« on: April 02, 2005, 08:25:32 PM »
For those of you looking up the rankings on the US News website... when you compare your schools, there's a row (the second or third row) that lists each school as Regional or National. I know this might sound ignorant considering that I'm already getting my acceptance (and denial) letters, but what do they mean by that? I'm thinking they mean the school focuses more on national or diverse areas of law for those wanting to practice out of state or far away from where they studied. For regional, do they mean the school focuses on central issues and subjects of law, for those wanting to practice in the same area?

Someone out there let me know if I'm on the right track, or if there is a different meaning to National and Regional schools.


Re: "Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2005, 11:42:24 PM »
IS Emory listed as National or Regional?

Re: "Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2005, 12:02:15 AM »
It's actually more about how much respect that school commands outside its own geographic region, and what options present themselves to its graduates.

Regional schools are schools where if you go there, you're first job out of law school is probably going to be limited to the city, or at least the general geographic region where that school is located. National law schools are those more prestigious institutions where recruiters from all over the country look to hire candidates from. A degree from a "national" school has national appeal to potential employers. The appeal of a degree from a "regional" school is going to be more limited to employers from that region.

I didn't see where USNWR defines what is and isn't a national school, but most of the pre law school advice books basically call any school that's not in the top 20 a regional school, and even #15-20 are marginal.

HTH

kristay

Re: "Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2005, 12:12:14 AM »
USNWR does not accurately (not even remotely accurately) define "regional" and "national".  Basically, all the law schools in this year's first two tiers were listed as "national"...which is not even close to being accurate.

Re: "Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2005, 01:46:48 AM »
It's actually more about how much respect that school commands outside its own geographic region, and what options present themselves to its graduates.

Regional schools are schools where if you go there, you're first job out of law school is probably going to be limited to the city, or at least the general geographic region where that school is located. National law schools are those more prestigious institutions where recruiters from all over the country look to hire candidates from. A degree from a "national" school has national appeal to potential employers. The appeal of a degree from a "regional" school is going to be more limited to employers from that region.

I didn't see where USNWR defines what is and isn't a national school, but most of the pre law school advice books basically call any school that's not in the top 20 a regional school, and even #15-20 are marginal.

HTH

That cannot be right because USNWR list Fordham as a national school, and Fordham, while known across the country, is definately a regional school as far as where its graduates work.

kristay

Re: "Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2005, 01:56:00 AM »
exactly...it also lists Rutgers, Seton Hall, etc...as national schools...after checking some random ones, i came to the conclusion that first two tiers are listed as national and tier 3/4 as regional according to USNWR, and therefore completely useless.

Re: "Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2005, 06:00:35 AM »
exactly...it also lists Rutgers, Seton Hall, etc...as national schools...after checking some random ones, i came to the conclusion that first two tiers are listed as national and tier 3/4 as regional according to USNWR, and therefore completely useless.

Except to the extent that tiers 3 and 4 are pretty much definitely regional.

Clearly the most national schoools are the top 14, especially the traditional top 10.  Schools in the 15-30 range are national to a somewhat lesser extent.

However, I think it could be argued that most top-tier schools have relatively national reputations, and if you do very well there, then you'll probably have some national opportunities.  (For example, I know a Maryland law review grad who got a biglaw job in San Francisco.) 

The same could also be said for schools on the border of the top tier, like Tulane and American, who move in and out, and some other second-tier schools.  In other words, if you do very well, then you'll probably have some national opportunties. 

So in that sense, I guess I can understand the vague categories, though there's obviously a big difference between a top 14, or even a top 25, and most 2nd-tier schools.

kristay

Re: "Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2005, 11:17:51 AM »
exactly...it also lists Rutgers, Seton Hall, etc...as national schools...after checking some random ones, i came to the conclusion that first two tiers are listed as national and tier 3/4 as regional according to USNWR, and therefore completely useless.

Except to the extent that tiers 3 and 4 are pretty much definitely regional.

Clearly the most national schoools are the top 14, especially the traditional top 10. Schools in the 15-30 range are national to a somewhat lesser extent.

However, I think it could be argued that most top-tier schools have relatively national reputations, and if you do very well there, then you'll probably have some national opportunities. (For example, I know a Maryland law review grad who got a biglaw job in San Francisco.)

The same could also be said for schools on the border of the top tier, like Tulane and American, who move in and out, and some other second-tier schools. In other words, if you do very well, then you'll probably have some national opportunties.

So in that sense, I guess I can understand the vague categories, though there's obviously a big difference between a top 14, or even a top 25, and most 2nd-tier schools.

Yeah, but there is no way that Rutgers or SHU can be definied as "national"...even schools that are in the top tier aren't necessarily national.  Just b/c it is possible to get a job outside the region, if it is highly unlikely, then it should not be defined as "national," imo. 

Re: "Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2005, 12:28:01 PM »
exactly...it also lists Rutgers, Seton Hall, etc...as national schools...after checking some random ones, i came to the conclusion that first two tiers are listed as national and tier 3/4 as regional according to USNWR, and therefore completely useless.

Except to the extent that tiers 3 and 4 are pretty much definitely regional.

Clearly the most national schoools are the top 14, especially the traditional top 10. Schools in the 15-30 range are national to a somewhat lesser extent.

However, I think it could be argued that most top-tier schools have relatively national reputations, and if you do very well there, then you'll probably have some national opportunities. (For example, I know a Maryland law review grad who got a biglaw job in San Francisco.)

The same could also be said for schools on the border of the top tier, like Tulane and American, who move in and out, and some other second-tier schools. In other words, if you do very well, then you'll probably have some national opportunties.

So in that sense, I guess I can understand the vague categories, though there's obviously a big difference between a top 14, or even a top 25, and most 2nd-tier schools.

Yeah, but there is no way that Rutgers or SHU can be definied as "national"...even schools that are in the top tier aren't necessarily national.  Just b/c it is possible to get a job outside the region, if it is highly unlikely, then it should not be defined as "national," imo. 


Yeah, I'm not defending the definitions, just trying to understand them.  Maybe one way to look at it is that with most 3rd/4th tier schools, even if you're on law review/top 5%, you'll probably be tied locally for awhile.  With most first tier schools, and some second tier schools, doing that well should get you shot at some national jobs.

USNews obviously has a lot of problems, this is just one of them.

Re: "Regional vs. National" schools (US News Rankings)
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2005, 12:55:37 PM »
  I think the only schools that count as truly "national" are the T15. After that (with Vanderbilt, for example) you start getting strong but semi-regional schools (USC, the Bostons, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, etc.). These are good schools, but they are "regional," i.e., W&L graduates are probably going to end up in the DC/Atlantic Coast area, not SF or LA. After that, you have what I would call "outliers" like Tulane, where most graduates will actually take the bar outside of the state. This is also the case with Washington-St. Louis, where I believe most grads take the Illinois bar. Beyond this most schools are regional; many of the Tier 3/4s (and I would argue Tier 2, by and large) are also state-restricted, beyond even being vaguely regional. McGeorge, for example: 90% of students will take the California bar. Similar stats for Washington, Oregon, etc. Almost certainly true for Nebraska, Kansas and South Carolina.
 I think this is a major flaw in the USNEWS system...I just don't know how you correct it.