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Author Topic: Is UChicago in Decline?  (Read 2573 times)

BonJoviLover46

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Is UChicago in Decline?
« on: May 15, 2008, 09:46:38 PM »
reasons:

1. aging faculty, including the recent loss of Sunstein.  this is what happened to Michigan before its steady decline from HYS level to the decent but less prestigious MVP.  in the 1950s and 1960s, its faculty was arguably the best in the country.  look at the old issues of the Michigan Law Review for more information.

2. hard sell on the location.  this is what happened to Michigan, too.  Columbia and NYU soundly defeat Chicago in terms of location, despite the fact that NYC isn't that great.  (IMO)  NYU wins the cross-admit battle like cake.

3. US News trouble.  the methodology isn't helping Chicago.  it doesn't seem to do well with expenditures per student, and, despite its high reputation scores, NYU, Columbia, Penn, Boalt, and even NU are all very close to it in the other (hidden) categories.  it might even fall out of the T14.

is the US News bull?  yes.  I seriously loathe the magazine; i think it lets future lawyers off-the-hook in terms of due diligence and turns what should be a difficult career decision into a matter of 41 versus 62.  but . . . perception is everything, and, until we get a better ranking system or a serious US News rival, then the legal world will continue to totally influence the legal market.

These days, it seems like it's more HYSCN than HYSCC. 

any thoughts?  it's sad to see the school fall, especially since I'm a big fan.

dischord

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008, 11:24:18 PM »
Hi, Wally  :P
At least I can f-ing think.

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2008, 11:55:38 PM »
reasons:

1. aging faculty, including the recent loss of Sunstein.  this is what happened to Michigan before its steady decline from HYS level to the decent but less prestigious MVP.  in the 1950s and 1960s, its faculty was arguably the best in the country.  look at the old issues of the Michigan Law Review for more information.

2. hard sell on the location.  this is what happened to Michigan, too.  Columbia and NYU soundly defeat Chicago in terms of location, despite the fact that NYC isn't that great.  (IMO)  NYU wins the cross-admit battle like cake.

3. US News trouble.  the methodology isn't helping Chicago.  it doesn't seem to do well with expenditures per student, and, despite its high reputation scores, NYU, Columbia, Penn, Boalt, and even NU are all very close to it in the other (hidden) categories.  it might even fall out of the T14.

is the US News bull?  yes.  I seriously loathe the magazine; i think it lets future lawyers off-the-hook in terms of due diligence and turns what should be a difficult career decision into a matter of 41 versus 62.  but . . . perception is everything, and, until we get a better ranking system or a serious US News rival, then the legal world will continue to totally influence the legal market.

These days, it seems like it's more HYSCN than HYSCC. 

any thoughts?  it's sad to see the school fall, especially since I'm a big fan.

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SCK2008

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 12:00:44 AM »
Wally World is closed for repairs.


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Forsythe

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 02:55:53 AM »
Fairly Accurate, but it is not hopeless. 

 All U Chicago needs to do is find half the qualified applicants of NYU.  Its small size is a huge advantage as far as USNWR goes.  In fact size hurts H + Gtown in the Rankings and helps Penn, NU, and Chicago.  (And even with this advantage it is only #7 yikes!)

U Chicago does have a Market niche for those that either: dislike NYC (I met a few)  or lust after clerkships or academia.  That said I think a politically Conservative student would no longer choose U of C if that person got into something better ranked w/ the possible exception of NYU/Berk which are known to be liberal.  The Dean at the ASW pushed U of C's traditional 'life of the mind' cachet.  The problem with this approache is that it is a two edged sword especially given the undergrad's rep as the place 'fun comes to die.'  Chicago does get a a lot of love on the message boards.

The rise of Northwestern has also hurt it.  Although they are very different schools, both are LSAT heavy and I believe that the median LSAT is only one point different.  The same students visit both schools on the same weekend, and it is now a very credible choice to take NU with money over U of C if you like the Chicago area.  This was not a wise decision 10 years ago.  The NU admins did everything in their power to woo me.  U of C would not allow me even to woo them, despite multiple attempts on my part and having the numbers.

If you look at the GPA/LSAT of the accepting students on Law school numbers .com you are in for a shock. U of C 13 Attending (3.64/171) and Penn 26 Attending (3.66/171).  In other words based on this small dataset, it looks like Penn successfully gamed USNWR to move up at Chicago's expense.  Chicago's numbers are no longer in the Columbia 40 Attending (3.69/173.4/)range.  Despite complaints against LSN, I have found them very credible.

BonJoviLover46

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 07:59:09 AM »
Columbia has 370 people.  I would say that the Penn comparison is more relevant.  For better or worse, they're much closer to Penn now in terms of prestige.

I'm one of those dislikes NYC and lusts after academia people, so you nailed me.

Why would a conversative choose Columbia over Chicago?  I think the opportunities for a libertarian, for instance, are probably more solid at the latter.

Can you tell me a little more about the admins, Frosythe?

dischord

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2008, 10:26:02 AM »
Hi, Wally  :P

oh i get it, you'll talk to wally alts but not me?  :P

I don't think that's really talking . . . I was dedubbing, though. 
At least I can f-ing think.

Forsythe

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2008, 02:02:27 PM »

To answer BonJovi Lover, I am a conservative, and I did choose Columbia over U of C.  Although the star profs (some of who looked very not young in person) are much more conservative, the student body on the other hand struck me as a fairly studious and pre-professional lot, not a hot bed of conservatism despite the Mormon contingent at U of C and Scalia recruiting his clerks there.  The student body they most resemble actually is that of Columbia whose students are a bit less studious (due to how the grading is handled at the two schools) and a bit more pre-professional (NYC firms are always there).  However, since the student body is larger at Columbia there is more of an opportunity for successful niches.  Being a conservative at Columbia is exactly that.  Even if you do not love NYC, Morningside Heights (think of the Seinfeld Neighborhood which is just to the immediate south) is quite livable even if the apartments are a little small. 

In my case it was a particularly easy decision since as of this post I AM STILL PENDING AT UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.  That is right, May 16th, pending and not a waitlist or an acceptance and I am not the only one.   This is after visiting the University 3 times and 2 law forums/fair *it was my top pick before I saw Columbia/Chicago up close*.  I believe U of C has a very high opinion of itself, although I met some great students there and my favorite profs are there.  However, this is the only institution that I was snubbed on multiple occasions by both the students and unbelievably by two people on the Admission staff (but two others were good).  In contrast when I showed up on a July day at NU the dean of the law school and the head of admissions took time and answered my questions.  Columbia while not quite as extreme as NU was very open as well.  I do not even want to tell you how frustrating my first visit to U of Chicago  was.  That said (if I needed to clerk) it would still be easier from Chicago, but for me clerkship is merely an option.

As for not gaming the USNWR, it is a stupid decision.  Penn arguably the worst of the top 10 law schools, has managed to game and market themselves from 10 to 6-7 and perception becomes reality.  How powerful is UNSWR rankings?  When Penn jumped from 10 to 7 one year it has been reported that they got nearly a hundred more acceptances than they planned on.  UNSWR attracts good students, which are the life blood of any law school. 

czarevich

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2008, 02:16:41 PM »
Since Obama began lecturing at the school, U of C's quality has surely plummeted. 

SCK2008

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2008, 02:18:31 PM »
Since Obama began lecturing at the school, U of C's quality has surely plummeted. 

He seems like a pretty intelligent guy, even if one doesn't agree with his politics...

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