Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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Poll

Are Chapman's Princeton Review rankings (see below):

Gospel - Screw the US NEWS
 0 (0%)
Very Helpful and Informative
 3 (3.6%)
One more tool in deciding value
 9 (10.8%)
Interesting trivia
 12 (14.5%)
Bought and Paid for (aka a load of crap)
 14 (16.9%)
Check with Princeton Review before believing this information is true
 3 (3.6%)
Does "Diverse" mean the same thing as "Clueless"?
 8 (9.6%)
Isn't Chapman that "Dog the Bounty Hunter" guy?
 21 (25.3%)
www.chapman.edu/law = source of misinformation
 9 (10.8%)
An explanation for this?: http://www.chapman.edu/law/about/2008_bar_results.asp
 4 (4.8%)
Inflated because John Yoo waterboarded Princeton Review Staff?  http://www.chapman.edu/images/userImages/dfinley/Page_9275/Statement%20Regarding%20John%20Yoo%20--%20revised.pdf
 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 45

Author Topic: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap  (Read 8690 times)

SoCal123

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Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« on: October 15, 2008, 03:05:43 PM »
This was copied from Chapman's Website

See source, along with other news, here: http://www.chapman.edu/law/newsArchive.asp

Chapman Earns a 4th Top 10 Ranking in Princeton Review's 2009 Best Law Schools!

Chapman University School of Law continues to rank among the nation's best in Princeton Review's Best 174 Law Schools, 2009 Edition. Chapman retained its Top 10 status in the “Quality of Life (#3)” “Professors Rock (Legally Speaking) (#7),” and “Best Classroom Experience (#3)” categories.  More importantly, Chapman added a fourth Top 10 category to its roster—“Most Diverse Faculty,” debuting at #9.

"Our newest Top 10 ranking is a testament to the significant effort Chapman has undertaken to have one of the most ideologically diverse law faculties in the country," said Dean John Eastman. With the latest figures, Chapman is in now in the Top 10 in four of Princeton Review’s 11 categories. Only Northwestern and Stanford have placed in more Top 10 categories, with six and five placements, respectively.

rhesusman

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Re: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 12:24:08 PM »
I hate it when schools talk about how bad of an idea rankings are... until they get ranked well.  Any rankings system that talks about the 174 "best" law schools when there are in fact only 193 ABA accredited law schools in existence probably has some issues.  Does Princeton Review explain its methodology anywhere?

I think that a lot of these Princeton Review categories are geared toward people with undergraduate mentalities.  These soft, "fuzzy" categories like having "cool" professors and quality of life make a lot of sense when you're picking an undergraduate college.  College is very much about personal growth, self-discovery, and pure intellectualism for its own sake.  Law school is not.  While it's great if law school manages to do those things for you, that's not what it's there for.  Law school is about preparing you to enter a profession and making you a marketable legal practitioner, and as such, career prospects for a law school's graduates take on an outsized importance in comparison with the coolness of the professors or the experience of going to the school.  For Princeton Review, career prospects of a school's graduates is just one category among many to consider.  I think in the end it's the only one that really matters.  When I think of college, I think of the experience and growth I gained there.  When I think of law school, I think of the fact that it got me a job that lets me pay the bills.

Ninja1

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Re: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2008, 03:58:33 AM »
The rankings are crap (mostly), but the school profiles can be very, very helpful.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

SoCal123

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Re: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 11:47:53 PM »
 :D "Isn't Chapman that "Dog the Bounty Hunter" guy?" is actually winning this poll.  WTF  ???

Ninja1

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Re: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2008, 06:32:08 AM »
:D "Isn't Chapman that "Dog the Bounty Hunter" guy?" is actually winning this poll.  WTF  ???

No one has heard of or gives a *&^% about Chapman. It's not that hard to understand.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

SoCal123

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Re: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 04:41:22 PM »
:D "Isn't Chapman that "Dog the Bounty Hunter" guy?" is actually winning this poll.  WTF  ???

No one has heard of or gives a poo about Chapman. It's not that hard to understand.

Yeah, I guess that should have been obvious to me.  Still, it is pretty amazing to think that Dog is the Dean of a law school. :o

LawDog3

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Re: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 01:52:29 AM »
You know? Every ranking has some arguability, and each seems as though it could have a useful methodology, though I do not know what Hon. Thomas Brennan (Cooley Law) and Princeton Review are using.

Lawdragon ranking is based strictly on the prestige of practicing lawyers, which is a somewhat useful gage. But, one problem with this methodology, aside from the fact that it ignores crucial factors included in Lieter, USNWR and Princeton Review, is that the acclaim of many of these lawyers can be attributed to many factors besides the schools they attend. Any attempt to infer a causal relationship between the lawyers' stellar performances and their law schools (which they often attended 20 years ago or more) is tenuous because their careers have been positively affected by training/mentoring, additional education, their individual work ethics, and even luck. Can any of those factors be attributed to their schools? Perhaps, but in what measurable way(s)? Moreover, the schools themselves have changed a great deal since these attorneys attended them. Harvard, for one, continues to roll on the steam it gained in the early 1900's and a self-fulfilling prophecy that continually drives great talent to the school. This isn't to say that it isn't deserving of its high ranking, only that it's relative rating/ranking (and that of other so-called "elite" law schools) may be inflated.

USNWR ignores those qualities that, despite what one poster deems an undergraduate-centered approach, are very important considerations in picking a law school. One absolutely should care about career prospects, campus environment, and diversity (i.e., welcoming of older students and minorities), to name a few. Yet, despite offering some useful standards of measurement, some categories (such as the number of volumes in the library) may have little importance. Plus the weights applied to those measurements are arbitrary. How does USN choose these weights, and what makes the mag the arbiter of what's most or least important in determining a law school's "quality"? Surveys from members of "peer" institutions are also problematic for obvious reasons: these peers have built-in self-interested motives for downgrading the competition, and judges and attorneys often wind up grading schools with which they have little familiarity. Therefore, the use of casually administered peer assesments borders on the irresponsible. In addition, the ranking has been proven vulnerable to "gaming" when it comes to the reporting of such factors as per-student expendatures and the GPA's and LSAT's of incoming classes. One increasingly popular method has been the recent trend in use of part-time and transfer admissions, directing arguably lesser-credentialed students into these programs so that their numbers do not count against the USNWR LSAT/GPA grade for "student quality". To counteract the gaming of GPA/LSAT stats, the USNWR should consider redistributing the weights applied to GPA/LSAT and/or include the numbers from p/t students and transfers in its assesments. A school can inflate its library's volume measurement simply by keeping outdated, yet seldom used, materials. For these and other reasons, the USNWR ranking also has great limitations.

Leiter's Educational Quality Rankings are, much like the USNWR rankings, useful but flawed, because of the arbitrary weights applied to certain categories. Are frequently cited professors and journals necessarily indicative of law school quality? Besides that, Leiter ignores useful/important factors the other rankings include.

The elephant in the room is that all of the rankings bring something valuable to the table. The most useful ranking method should incorporate the best aspects of all of the current methods.   

Ninja1

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Re: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 02:55:24 AM »
You know? Every ranking has some arguability, and each seems as though it could have a useful methodology, though I do not know what Hon. Thomas Brennan (Cooley Law) and Princeton Review are using.

...

The elephant in the room is that all of the rankings bring something valuable to the table. The most useful method should incorporate aspects of all of them.   

Epic fail.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

LawDog3

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Re: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2009, 11:21:31 PM »
You know? Every ranking has some arguability, and each seems as though it could have a useful methodology, though I do not know what Hon. Thomas Brennan (Cooley Law) and Princeton Review are using.

...

The elephant in the room is that all of the rankings bring something valuable to the table. The most useful method should incorporate aspects of all of them.   

Epic fail.

A non-believer. Well, you must forgive the eternal optomist in me if you think the rankings suck. I don't. But each is limited or flawed.

To amplify that "most useful" statement, the most useful method would incorporate the best aspect(s) of all of them.

Ninja1

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Re: Princeton Review Rankings - Useful or a load of Crap
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2009, 03:52:58 AM »
You know? Every ranking has some arguability, and each seems as though it could have a useful methodology, though I do not know what Hon. Thomas Brennan (Cooley Law) and Princeton Review are using.

...

The elephant in the room is that all of the rankings bring something valuable to the table. The most useful method should incorporate aspects of all of them.   

Epic fail.

A non-believer. Well, you must forgive the eternal optomist in me if you think the rankings suck. I don't. But each is limited or flawed.

To amplify that "most useful" statement, the most useful method would incorporate the best aspect(s) of all of them.

Some are without any "best aspect". No ranking is perfect and all are subjective to some degree, but there certainly is a hierarchy of bad to worst.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.