I decided to be civil as I think Remarq is actually a nice person and I probably shouldn't have given him crap so quick. Maybe this will be the new kinder/gentler Dudeman .With regards to why Biglaw? Well, for me it makes sense for 2-3 years. I'm fortunate to be graduating with hardly any debt, which means that I can continue living the way I do now, bank most of my pay, then use it for a down payment on a nice home for my family. At that point I'll come back to my federal position making GS-14 (possibly 15 by the time I graduate) and live comfortably.For me, the money is just a means to an end. That end being a nice home. For others, it is useful to pay off loans. Plus, law firms really do spend a lot training new associates. Miserable as the experience may be, it's still good experience.
I do think employers pay more attention than some people think, but their scrutinization must be put into context. As one poster has asked (in a nutshell) below, "What are the given employer's purposes?" That would matter a lot. Secondly, #40-#60 might be considered the same "batch" of schools...but I think we can all agree that there's a difference between the top-10 schools and, say #30-#40, or #40-#60...mostly in terms of perception. And a batch of #40-#60 will generally be perceived as "better" than most TTT, Wayne State, Howard, Syracuse and some others notwithstanding. That's going to affect recruiting, if only from the standpoint of OCI. The top schools have more resources, networks and long-held reputations for producing outstanding lawyers. It's not that other schools do not or cannot match up in terms of "substance", I believe the opposite, but, unfortunately, perception is reality. I wish we didn't have to look at rankings, but we do, to a certain point. If Seattle University could provide good employment, I would love to just go there. If Chapman was good at getting people to BigLaw, I would go there or pretty much any California school. Ditto Howard and the other HBCU's. I was offered a full scholarship to go the Howard and turned it down b/c, despite its decent access to BigLaw (for the top-15%), its networks and a student body that would make me more comfortable than any in the country, I turned it down. With the top schools on my menu, I still agonized over the decision. But the top schools can provide BigLaw access for the top 60% of their students; that's a world of difference. In the Black community, you are pretty much aiming for T14 or Howard (ok top-25 or Howard for some). You consider the other schools in between on a case-by-case basis.If the schools were treated equally by employers, we could pick according to what we really like. I suspect that most student choices would be different, and that's why the rankings are sad. I suspect that this is where the misery of many lawyers really begins, going to the wrong law school.
I'll admit I was wrong in terms of GW dropping to 28, but GW is still better than most of those schools that moved ahead of it. Anyone in law school and the legal community knows that it's a fact that IUB isn't even close to GW in terms of job placement and the same can be said for Iowa, etc....Come next year, GW will simply adjust admissions to work within the new US News methodology and things will magically go back to how they once were. In the long-run, I honestly think that the change will hurt US News because the more topsy-turvy the rankings become from year-to-year, the less people are going to give them weight.