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Author Topic: How much does a law schools ranking matter?  (Read 5002 times)

worthy22

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How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« on: April 22, 2009, 01:05:07 AM »
I am currently trying to decide between two law schools. I am from Ohio. I got in to Indiana University and also University of Toledo. I received a full ride at Toledo. I only received about 5,000 a year at indiana. Toledo is currently ranked as Tier 3. Indiana University is ranked in the top 50. My parents keep telling me that it doesn't matter what law school I go too. However, I think they just want me to go to toledo because I got a full ride there. I have visited both and actually like Indiana University better. Which law school should I choose? How much does ranking matter? Thanks.

LawDog3

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Re: How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2009, 01:43:47 AM »
I am currently trying to decide between two law schools. I am from Ohio. I got in to Indiana University and also University of Toledo. I received a full ride at Toledo. I only received about 5,000 a year at indiana. Toledo is currently ranked as Tier 3. Indiana University is ranked in the top 50. My parents keep telling me that it doesn't matter what law school I go too. However, I think they just want me to go to toledo because I got a full ride there. I have visited both and actually like Indiana University better. Which law school should I choose? How much does ranking matter? Thanks.

Well, as a general rule, ranking should be "a" factor, but never the factor. That said, you're really talking apples and oranges; IUB is superior...ABSOLUTELY SUPERIOR to Toledo, and not just b/c of ranking.

You should consider your goals, first and foremost. And, when two schools are that far apart in prestige, (as law schools and universities), it should be a no-brainer.

But here are some other things to consider:

Location and the distance from loved ones.
The cross-disciplinary education you want to receive, the B-Schools, the other grad departments, and their relative rankings
Course options
Access to BigLaw, judicial clerkships, government jobs, and academia
$cholar$hip dollar$
Cost, "relative cost" and ROI.
Travel and study abroad options
The school and university culture(s) (conservative v. liberal, etc)
Amenities and facilities
Campus Diversity (if that's important to you)
The cities/access to cities and activities you like

Those are all personal decisions, but, in the end, I think you'll find IUB superior to Toledo. 

StevePirates

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Re: How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 02:44:30 AM »
I'm a bit of a contrarian by nature.  I think people should go to school where they want to go and feel best.

You said you liked Indiana more than Toledo, there's your answer in my mind.
But, I suppose I have a very simplistic way of deciding a lot of things.

Ninja1

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Re: How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 03:48:11 AM »
IUB.
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bl825

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Re: How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 06:23:56 AM »
The rankings don't matter in and of themselves, but they may be indicative of other factors that do matter.  Do you have any idea where you'd like to be working after law school?  Try to get a sense of how the two schools compare in terms of job placement there.  Look at the law firms in that area and see where people are coming from.

I personally think IUB is the better option, but I don't know the market well enough to say for sure.
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SamE397

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Re: How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 10:02:21 AM »
Umm...what IU are we talking about? I ask because you say ranked around fifty IU-Bloomington was ranked 36th in the 2009 rankings and IU-Indianapolis was ranked 68th so they both had about the same proximity to 50 in 2009.

Anyways if it's IUB I would probably side with IUB and if its IUI I would lean towards Toledo.

CTL

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Re: How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 10:20:24 AM »
Ranking is the only thing that matters. 
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YouShouldFeelPrivileged

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Re: How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 10:24:24 AM »
Umm...what IU are we talking about? I ask because you say ranked around fifty IU-Bloomington was ranked 36th in the 2009 rankings and IU-Indianapolis was ranked 68th so they both had about the same proximity to 50 in 2009.

Anyways if it's IUB I would probably side with IUB and if its IUI I would lean towards Toledo.

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SwampFox

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Re: How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2009, 01:36:52 PM »
For the last few years, I have interviewed quite a lot of people for jobs (both by myself and with others). I would argue that the prestige of the school was, in fact, the LEAST important criterion on the resume, and a resume only gets you in the door for an interview.  Hiring lawyers might be different than hiring people with just a bachelor's or master's degree, but I don't think someone's school was even the most important aspect of education we looked at; I think how tough your major was (did you study physics or sociology?) and your GPA were more important.  Why?  The world is full of people who, for perfectly valid reasons, choose a less-prestigious school and are perfectly competent at what they do.  I won't say that an Ivy-league education doesn't look impressive, but I'd still interview the guy from Virginia Tech if he's qualified just the same.
More importantly, your resume just gets you an interview; the interview is really what matters for getting the job.  In fact, I don't ever remember a case where the prestige of the school was even considered in the final decision.
I'm sure someone will rabidly dispute this all day, but this is honestly the way things work in most lines of work.

bl825

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Re: How much does a law schools ranking matter?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2009, 01:40:46 PM »
For the last few years, I have interviewed quite a lot of people for jobs (both by myself and with others). I would argue that the prestige of the school was, in fact, the LEAST important criterion on the resume, and a resume only gets you in the door for an interview.  Hiring lawyers might be different than hiring people with just a bachelor's or master's degree, but I don't think someone's school was even the most important aspect of education we looked at; I think how tough your major was (did you study physics or sociology?) and your GPA were more important.  Why?  The world is full of people who, for perfectly valid reasons, choose a less-prestigious school and are perfectly competent at what they do.  I won't say that an Ivy-league education doesn't look impressive, but I'd still interview the guy from Virginia Tech if he's qualified just the same.
More importantly, your resume just gets you an interview; the interview is really what matters for getting the job.  In fact, I don't ever remember a case where the prestige of the school was even considered in the final decision.
I'm sure someone will rabidly dispute this all day, but this is honestly the way things work in most lines of work.

Do you think this is representative of all hiring for legal positions?
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