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Author Topic: Time for "T18"?  (Read 5365 times)

LawDog3

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Time for "T18"?
« on: April 24, 2009, 02:26:28 AM »
Texas, Vandy, UCLA, and USC have held spots 15-18 for several years now, while the 19th and 20th spots have been more prone to change - BU, GWU, Minnesota, WUSTL, etc. have held those spots.

Is their relative dominance good enough to make the case for an expansion of the highly arbitrary, and very elitist, "T14" group?

How would this effect the rankings from 10-14? Does the scholarship at these schools merit a change? Do you think USNWR would be less resistant to moving Cornell, Duke, Georgetown and others down?

What's Bob Morse's motivation for such a classification and resistance for change?

And, does USNWR perpetuate this myth, or do we?

bl825

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Re: Time for "T18"?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 06:15:59 AM »
I'm going to preempt como and say that it's actually time for a T13.  ;)
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nealric

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Re: Time for "T18"?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 10:57:32 AM »
Quote
I'm going to preempt como and say that it's actually time for a T13.  Wink
 

No, its a T17. Because I said so.
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Remarq

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Re: Time for "T18"?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2009, 11:36:23 AM »
No, the reason the T14 is the T14 is beacuse they are the only schools who have ever been in the top 10 in USNWR rankings. So, until 15-18 make it in to the top 10 the answer is no.

CTL

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Re: Time for "T18"?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2009, 11:44:00 AM »
I'm going to preempt como and say that it's actually time for a T13.  ;)

Damnit!  At least someone agrees with me.  T13 or bust!
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Mike8787

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Re: Time for "T18"?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2009, 01:11:17 PM »
There is no such thing as T14 - it's just a title people using the rankings have ascribed to the fourteen schools who have held top ten positions since the US News ranking's inception. If you want to talk about T18, go ahead - just like T14, T10, T20, T30, T100, T-Whatever, it's just a categorization.

On the other hand, I am against all of this categorization. The T14 label has all but ensured that those schools will never move out of their respective range - or, if so, only once, and really just for the dramatic effect it would cause. Since some of the ranking dimensions are at USN's discretion, they can and have kept the T14 the same for their list's existence. It gives the list creedence (in the sense that it doesn't fluctuate too much, and therefore looks like a stable and reliable list) while styming change. Honestly, I think it would be inane to claim that the education you are getting at Yale is any different from the one you are getting at BU or GMU or Syracuse. The professors are different, but they're all good. The only difference in any of these schools is location and reputation. USNews controls the latter. There is nothing inate about Harvard that makes it the "second best" law school other than what we think about it, and the students it can then choose from. Anyone who thinks differently either goes to a top tier law school and is deluding themselves or is falling for the hype. These schools aren't better - they're students might have higher LSAT scores than others, and they might get better placements, but they are no more capable and they are certainly not learning something in their classes that you won't be at lower ranked schools.

nealric

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Re: Time for "T18"?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2009, 01:18:48 PM »
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Honestly, I think it would be inane to claim that the education you are getting at Yale is any different from the one you are getting at BU or GMU or Syracuse. The professors are different, but they're all good.

I think you are being a bit extreme here. I will buy that most law schools teach basically the same things, and the educational quality will be roughly similar across a wide swath of institutions. However, Yale vs. Syracuse? Yale is known for having a unique policy focus that is going to be absent from a school like Syracuse (not knocking Syracuse). They will be different, no matter how you slice it.

Quote
These schools aren't better - they're students might have higher LSAT scores than others, and they might get better placements, but they are no more capable and they are certainly not learning something in their classes that you won't be at lower ranked schools.

Just for a concrete example: I have a family member at a T2. Many of his classes will emphasize state law on a subject. It make sense, since most grads will be practicing in state and they will need to learn the law of their jurisdiction. By contrast, none of my classes will ever mention the law of a specific jurisdiction except in passing as an example of variations between jurisdictions.

Quote
There is no such thing as T14 

The funny thing is, the  more people rant and rave about how there is no such thing as the T14, the more the solidify it as a category. It would only cease to exist if people stopped talking about it.



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bl825

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Re: Time for "T18"?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 01:22:46 PM »
I continue to disagree that USNews controls school reputation.  If you're a recruiter for a law firm and you see that a school ranks pretty well, but everybody that you've ever hired from there has been a disaster, what are you going to do?  The reverse is also true: maybe a school doesn't rank that well but everybody you've ever hired from there has turned out to be a superstar.  Are you going to stop hiring from that school based on their rankings?
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sheltron5000

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Re: Time for "T18"?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2009, 01:23:14 PM »
There is no such thing as T14 - it's just a title people using the rankings have ascribed to the fourteen schools who have held top ten positions since the US News ranking's inception. If you want to talk about T18, go ahead - just like T14, T10, T20, T30, T100, T-Whatever, it's just a categorization.

On the other hand, I am against all of this categorization. The T14 label has all but ensured that those schools will never move out of their respective range - or, if so, only once, and really just for the dramatic effect it would cause. Since some of the ranking dimensions are at USN's discretion, they can and have kept the T14 the same for their list's existence. It gives the list creedence (in the sense that it doesn't fluctuate too much, and therefore looks like a stable and reliable list) while styming change. Honestly, I think it would be inane to claim that the education you are getting at Yale is any different from the one you are getting at BU or GMU or Syracuse. The professors are different, but they're all good. The only difference in any of these schools is location and reputation. USNews controls the latter. There is nothing inate about Harvard that makes it the "second best" law school other than what we think about it, and the students it can then choose from. Anyone who thinks differently either goes to a top tier law school and is deluding themselves or is falling for the hype. These schools aren't better - they're students might have higher LSAT scores than others, and they might get better placements, but they are no more capable and they are certainly not learning something in their classes that you won't be at lower ranked schools.

I don't really have any desire to get into this, but have you ever been in an academic situation surrounded by highly intelligent, capable, motivated people? and the opposite? That's the difference.

Maybe the difference between GULC and BU isn't that great, I'll give you that. But you can't sit there and honestly say there is no difference between the students at Yale and the students at GW.

Are the rankings self perpetuating? Yes. Does it mean they aren't real? No.
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Mike8787

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Re: Time for "T18"?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2009, 01:24:10 PM »
Of course some programs have specialties. I am talking about a general education towards the law. Lawyers at Yale are not leaving more prepared than those at Syracuse but for the opportunities the diploma from Yale might afford them.

Let me put it this way: Say we wiped clear the rankings and anyone's perceptions of these schools. We kept the same faculty, the same locations. In the first graduating class, Syracuse students and Yale students would be equally prepared (as they are now).