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Author Topic: When was the last time the schools in the T14 changed?  (Read 4086 times)

Ninja1

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Re: When was the last time the schools in the T14 changed?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2008, 10:03:09 AM »
This certainly is the case.  Doesn't USNWR realize that, by making 'reputation reviews' of professionals/academics worth 40% of the total ranking score, schools are bound to stay relatively concentrated in their spot, especially at the upper end of the scale?

I think that's kind of an unstated goal of theirs though. If they shake things up too much, then what do their rankings matter at all? You saw how much changing their formula this last year made some folks question the whole thing.
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Re: When was the last time the schools in the T14 changed?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2008, 10:40:31 AM »
This certainly is the case.  Doesn't USNWR realize that, by making 'reputation reviews' of professionals/academics worth 40% of the total ranking score, schools are bound to stay relatively concentrated in their spot, especially at the upper end of the scale?

I think that's kind of an unstated goal of theirs though. If they shake things up too much, then what do their rankings matter at all? You saw how much changing their formula this last year made some folks question the whole thing.

True enough.  I hope that most applicants are wise to the flaws in the methodology however.  There is truth to the notion that one should go to a T14 school if they want national options.  However, the USNWR rankings don't really reflect the idiosyncracies of specific markets.  If you want to work in Boston, BC will go farther than Vanderbilt.  If you want to work in NY, Fordham is the best move you can make outside the T14.  I'm not too familiar with the west coast, but I would be willing to bet that UCLA grads have a huge advantage over even Cornell or GULC grads. 

The thing that I find hilarious is when someone freaks out that Chicago moves down two places in the rankings or gets excited when Berkely moves up a couple places.  There are few substantive changes in these schools and practically no fewer/greater opportunites that resulted in or result from these changes.  Those slight fluctuations occur because the differences in rank often hinge on one or two points.  The rank of a school can change based on the enrollment decisions of a few applicants in a particular year. 

If someone makes the decision to go a certain school solely based on its ranking, or movement in the ranks, that person needs help.
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observationalist

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Re: When was the last time the schools in the T14 changed?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2008, 04:34:13 PM »
This certainly is the case.  Doesn't USNWR realize that, by making 'reputation reviews' of professionals/academics worth 40% of the total ranking score, schools are bound to stay relatively concentrated in their spot, especially at the upper end of the scale?

I think that's kind of an unstated goal of theirs though. If they shake things up too much, then what do their rankings matter at all? You saw how much changing their formula this last year made some folks question the whole thing.

True enough.  I hope that most applicants are wise to the flaws in the methodology however.  There is truth to the notion that one should go to a T14 school if they want national options.  However, the USNWR rankings don't really reflect the idiosyncracies of specific markets.  If you want to work in Boston, BC will go farther than Vanderbilt.  If you want to work in NY, Fordham is the best move you can make outside the T14.  I'm not too familiar with the west coast, but I would be willing to bet that UCLA grads have a huge advantage over even Cornell or GULC grads. 

The thing that I find hilarious is when someone freaks out that Chicago moves down two places in the rankings or gets excited when Berkely moves up a couple places.  There are few substantive changes in these schools and practically no fewer/greater opportunites that resulted in or result from these changes.  Those slight fluctuations occur because the differences in rank often hinge on one or two points.  The rank of a school can change based on the enrollment decisions of a few applicants in a particular year. 

If someone makes the decision to go a certain school solely based on its ranking, or movement in the ranks, that person needs help.

I don't think this is the conventional wisdom.  Keep in mind firms in both cities will still go deeper into a class at higher-ranked schools where they do OCI at, not just the T-14. There are threads if you go back to last cycle comparing Fordham (and possibly BC) to more national programs where people linked to employment statistics... those of you looking at these schools should contact their career services offices and ask about viewing their actual job placement stats.  BC currently claims a median private-sector salary of 160K but that doesn't tell you how many people reported their starting salaries, and there's a strong argument that they're misleading prospective students by making it seem like everyone who wants it is finding the best work out there.  Transparency is even more important this year with the way the job market has shrunk... you'll want to be checking with all the schools you're looking at to see how their 2Ls have weathered the change. I think we're going to see smaller schools faring better than larger ones.

For my sake I'm leaning on our CSO to do what they did last March... send out a list of where every '07 grad found work (both firm and city). Some prospectives then cross-referenced the list w/ starting salaries and then created a spreadsheet to share with others. Only Duke and Vandy sent out that information last year but I would expect more schools will follow suit this cycle.  It was a huge boost in showing people that Vanderbilt is very strong in netting private-sector jobs around the country... my class has definitely benefited from being so geographically diverse in where we want to work, and we're already one of the smallest law schools to start with.
Vanderbilt University Law School Class of '10

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Re: When was the last time the schools in the T14 changed?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2008, 06:33:43 PM »
Fordham has an incredibly well-represented alumni base in biglaw in NYC.  According to Leiter's rankings, Fordham is #15 for job placement in V100 firms.

http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2008job_biglaw.shtml
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observationalist

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Re: When was the last time the schools in the T14 changed?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2008, 07:31:59 PM »
Fordham has an incredibly well-represented alumni base in biglaw in NYC.  According to Leiter's rankings, Fordham is #15 for job placement in V100 firms.

http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2008job_biglaw.shtml

It's true that Fordham grads can get the top jobs in NYC, but I'm looking at how well schools place their entire graduating class in biglaw.  Leiter's most recent study doesn't purport to look at job placement in V100 firms... he actually prefaces those charts by stating "Note that this is not a study of national placement power of law schools, since the super elite firms are overwhelmingly clustered in the Northeast corridor and in California; earlier studies are a better measure of the ‘national’ reach of a degree." The earlier study he links to is a better starting point (here's the results page: http://www.calvin.edu/admin/csr/students/sullivan/law/results.htm), but it still doesn't achieve what I think is a much better indicator of employment prospects: where each graduate of the most recent classes from different schools are finding work. And for that, all you need to do is ask the schools for the data (probably once you have acceptances in hand so you have more bargaining power) and then post.  Schools have this information but have traditionally chosen not to make it public. And if they refuse you can try and obtain their recruitment handbooks which should show summer employment for all 1Ls/2Ls.

Also, Leiter's study is historical; it's looking at the total number of associates from different schools.  That is as problematic as gauging your odds of acceptance by using hourmd.com... it doesn't reflect the current market.  We went through last spring's recruitment handbook to see how the current Vanderbilt 3Ls did with firm placement last summer... out of approximately 195 students (don't know how many transfers they have in their class), I have data for 182 of them.  152 worked as SAs... At least 119 of them (approx 61% of the class, or 78% of all the SAs) summered at NLJ250 firms. Most of them (at least 79, or approx 41% of the entire class) were in the V100.  26 summered in NY offices.  20 were in V24 firms, and 14 were with one of the firms Leiter looked at in his study. If all 14 returned to their firms (either straight out or after clerking), that would give us 0.57 for '09 grads... which would be higher than Fordham's historical placement in those same firms.

Obviously, this comparison is unfair; what you actually need is someone from Fordham to get you that same information for recent classes, and even then it won't show you everything. My point is just to be careful in reading through different studies and rankings... Leiter puts out some great stuff that's significantly more valuable than USNews or Vault rankings, but it still won't compare to the raw data each school you're looking at can offer. I'm going to double-check my numbers now and will edit this post with a link to the spreadsheet in a bit.

[Edited for correct numbers using the '09 V100 list... haven't figured out the best way to publish the spreadsheet yet, but I've got a web guru/1L who should be able to help me out this week assuming he's not too busy stalking our classmates on these discussion boards.]
Vanderbilt University Law School Class of '10

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Re: When was the last time the schools in the T14 changed?
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2008, 07:16:14 AM »
Great post :)
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Tetris

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Re: When was the last time the schools in the T14 changed?
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2008, 11:50:19 PM »
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