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Author Topic: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?  (Read 18341 times)

hooloovoo

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #70 on: August 06, 2009, 04:05:42 PM »
If these are five strong candidates, I don't see why it would be a hardship to interview all of them (if I understand what you're saying).  Succumbing to imperfect proxies is likely to yield imperfect results, and perhaps a disappointing hire.

that's not what i'm saying.  the employer has time to interview five people.  there are hundreds of applicants.  how does it determine which five get past the resume review and get in the door for an interview? 

vansondon

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #71 on: August 06, 2009, 04:20:10 PM »
you're suggesting that there is absolutely no relationship between that capacity and what school a person attends?

Yes!  That's exactly right.  That's precisely what I'm suggesting and arguing, here.

what if employers have determined, through their experience over the years in hiring law school graduates, that on balance some schools produce more capable lawyers than others?  for example, say an employer has hired people from two schools for the past 20 years (we'll call these hypothetical schools "boalt" and "uchicago" to be random), and that it's found that in general, graduates of boalt are awesome and graduates from uchicago are mediocre at best?  should it still not be allowed to favor boalt graduates over uchicago graduates?

but you're saying this doesn't happen, and that really what's going on is that employers aren't using their past hiring experiences as a guide, but instead are just going by what some magazine tells them.  is that right?

That might be plausible, but the problem with that is one runs into what I call "institutional determinism," where in the absence of a decent to thorough review of an applicant, one is determined to be a certain kind of lawyer because of the institution s/he attended.  You're bound to run into a snag in this instance, because you might get an associate from boalt who isn't quite up to par, at the expense of the uchicago applicant.  And then the method exposes its flaw.

The other problem with this bivariate scenario is this implicit "causal" relationship between one's law school and one's performance on the job.  It may be plausible that associates who are doing well under a particular employer happen to have all gone to the same school, but my problem is when one assumes that the reason for them doing well has everything to do with their school.  Rather than linking the causation to the school, the employer might be better served to seek out the qualities of his or her most successful associates in their applicants (regardless of the school they went to). For instance, maybe the quality is excellent work-ethic, or an excellent legal-writing capacity, well an employer can look for these qualities independently, and find them among a diverse array of applicants from all law schools, and get the same results in terms of having successful associates on staff.  This way, the employer won't run into a slump by picking new hires blindly by virtue of the name of the school they attended.

hooloovoo

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #72 on: August 06, 2009, 04:24:26 PM »
you're suggesting that there is absolutely no relationship between that capacity and what school a person attends?

Yes!  That's exactly right.  That's precisely what I'm suggesting and arguing, here.

what if employers have determined, through their experience over the years in hiring law school graduates, that on balance some schools produce more capable lawyers than others?  for example, say an employer has hired people from two schools for the past 20 years (we'll call these hypothetical schools "boalt" and "uchicago" to be random), and that it's found that in general, graduates of boalt are awesome and graduates from uchicago are mediocre at best?  should it still not be allowed to favor boalt graduates over uchicago graduates?

but you're saying this doesn't happen, and that really what's going on is that employers aren't using their past hiring experiences as a guide, but instead are just going by what some magazine tells them.  is that right?

That might be plausible, but the problem with that is one runs into what I call "institutional determinism," where in the absence of a decent to thorough review of an applicant, one is determined to be a certain kind of lawyer because of the institution s/he attended.  You're bound to run into a snag in this instance, because you might get an associate from boalt who isn't quite up to par, at the expense of the uchicago applicant.  And then the method exposes its flaw.

The other problem with this bivariate scenario is this implicit "causal" relationship between one's law school and one's performance on the job.  It may be plausible that associates who are doing well under a particular employer happen to have all gone to the same school, but my problem is when one assumes that the reason for them doing well has everything to do with their school.  Rather than linking the causation to the school, the employer might be better served to seek out the qualities of his or her most successful associates in their applicants (regardless of the school they went to). For instance, maybe the quality is excellent work-ethic, or an excellent legal-writing capacity, well an employer can look for these qualities independently, and find them among a diverse array of applicants from all law schools, and get the same results in terms of having successful associates on staff.  This way, the employer won't run into a slump by picking new hires blindly by virtue of the name of the school they attended.

the problem is that information is costly to attain.  in the absence of cheap information that would easily allow an employer to determine whether or not a candidate will be a good lawyer, why shouldn't they use the best proxy that they've found?  why should it be illegal for them to do so?

it's a heck of a lot easier to look at the school on a person's resume than to read hundreds or thousands of writing samples.

hooloovoo

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #73 on: August 06, 2009, 04:31:55 PM »
You've missed the point, entirely.

let me see if i can go back and dig it up.

you're saying that there is no causal relationship between where one attends law school and how capable one is as a lawyer.  was that your point?

Ninja1

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #74 on: August 06, 2009, 04:32:57 PM »
I think it's a shame that there is this unfortunate and elitist perception fueling the dilemmas of this discussion, but I acknowledge the unfortunate reality.  As I see it, it really shouldn't matter which law school you go to (of any tier, whether ABA accredited or not), as long as the school offers a solid legal education and there is some national uniformity in standards.  Unfortunately, employers do place a high premium on this.  I feel like it should be illegal to discriminate against someone because of the school s/he attended.  It is all so arbitrary and ridiculous.

Lol at this.

Care to elaborate on your internet laughter?

Just enjoying your vision of a world where there's basically no difference between Harvard and the People's College of Law.

Law is an elitist profession and that's the way it should remain for everyone's good. If someone can't get into at least an ABA school, they have no business entering into the legal profession. And given the recent explosion of T3s and T4s, a legal education is now overly accessible to the common man as someone with a LSAT in the high 140s and a GPA in the high 2s can probably find somewhere that's ABA to take them.

On your feeling that it should be illegal to discriminate against someone based on where they went to school, pretend you're a hiring partner somewhere and you're interviewing two recent grads that are both in their early-mid 20s and have no relevant work experience. Would you really want to pick a guy from Appalachian, FAMU, or some CBA toilet that finished slightly above median over a guy from Columbia or Virginia that finished slightly below median and would you really pay them the same that you would have paid the guy from the better school, or maybe even more since they are apparently the better candidate based on their class rank?

Well, you shouldn't be surprised that I disagree with you.  Given how facetious you've been, I'm not sure if I should even take you seriously, here. The fact of the matter is, not you or anyone else on this planet will ever convince me that the legal profession should remain elitist (and I do think it has made some tremendous strides away from this), nor will you ever be able to justify discrimination of any kind to me.  How dare you? Foolish of you to even try.

As for your ABA-accredited comment, there are plenty of Massachusetts School of Law (a school which has taken the ABA head-on, and doesn't want accreditation for issues of access and affordability to the legal profession) graduates who have wiped the courtroom floor with graduates from ABA-accredited law schools (of all kinds), sometimes with mere procedural arguments.  Access to the legal education apparatus is about more than just an acceptance, an arbitrary  LSAT/GPA range, or some flawed four-tiered ranking system designed by U.S. News and World Report.

As for your hiring question, *tisk tisk*. I don't really understand the point of that question.  If we go with your ABA-accreditation argument, what is the point of having a uniformed code of standards and norms (ABA accreditation process), if not to proceed with the understanding that law school graduates will be equally qualified and competent for the profession?  As far as I'm concerned, an ABA-accredited school is an ABA-accredited school, and through that standard of expectation and uniformity, there should be no question that law school graduates are fundamentally equal and deserve equal pay for equal work.  At this juncture, class rank, academic performance, grades, etc, do become important in distinguishing applicants in the decision-making processes, but by the standard of accreditation, the school you went to should not matter, since all schools are meeting the same standards that legitimate their existence to graduate law students.  It should be noted that I reject any notion of aba-accredited vs. non-aba-accredited (I'm just making a more general point, here).  Moreover, the fact of the matter is, law students learn what they know from their respective faculty.  Students from perceived "lower-ranked" schools are taught by faculty from the very schools you've deemed as being "top" institutions, and vice versa.  You're not necessarily going to be a better lawyer just because you graduated from Yale as oppose to MSU. Good lawyers are going to be good lawyers, no matter which school they attend!

The reality is, many big employers act inconsistently with this elitist notion you have.  Howard University, a Tier 3 school, has just as many, if not more, big law employers recruiting (year after year after year after year) at their school as your perceived "top schools."  In this instance, these graduates are on par with graduates of higher-ranked schools; they are on equal footing; they are being hired over other graduate from "top-tier" schools.  Your argument is just ridiculous.

...
 

I'm not trying to convince you, just putting my $.02 out there.

On the Massachusetts School of Law example, it's not that surprising that some of their grads have beat some ABA grads, they're going to get a lot of chances. Each case is a new battle, and even the little guy wins sometimes. Lots of people have also successfully represented themselves in court, it still doesn't make them good lawyers. And why is the floor wipe analogy always used in these situations ("I've seen [Cooley/T4/Non-ABA] grads wipe the floor with [T14/ABA] grads")?

I like that you didn't answer my hiring question, just prattled on.

This, "Students from perceived 'lower-ranked' schools are taught by faculty from the very schools you've deemed as being 'top' institutions, and vice versa.", is just plain wrong. Go look at the faculty page for any T3/4. They might have a few grads from good schools (and "good" is usually going to mean somewhere like Tennessee or North Carolina, not Harvard or Columbia), but most of their profs are from either the school itself or a similarly situated school. And you're not going to be finding T3/4 grads teaching at T1/2 schools in any significant number. Maybe you'll get 1 per school in the T50 and they'll probably be teaching a clinic.

On hiring practices being inconsistent with my "law is elitist" view, Howard is a bull example and you know it. The reason Howard has such good placement given its rank is because its the only HBCU law school that's worth a damn. Try to find any other school in the entire T3 and T4 that comes close to Howard's placement rates. You can't, because no such place exists. Howard is a unique outlier, not an example. If Miami took on Howard's racial makeup, they'd probably out place half of the T14. And see the chart for my evidence that hiring practices are much more closely aligned to my view:

http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/composite.pdf
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

Ninja1

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #75 on: August 06, 2009, 04:35:22 PM »
you're suggesting that there is absolutely no relationship between that capacity and what school a person attends?

Yes!  That's exactly right.  That's precisely what I'm suggesting and arguing, here.

what if employers have determined, through their experience over the years in hiring law school graduates, that on balance some schools produce more capable lawyers than others?  for example, say an employer has hired people from two schools for the past 20 years (we'll call these hypothetical schools "boalt" and "uchicago" to be random), and that it's found that in general, graduates of boalt are awesome and graduates from uchicago are mediocre at best?  should it still not be allowed to favor boalt graduates over uchicago graduates?

but you're saying this doesn't happen, and that really what's going on is that employers aren't using their past hiring experiences as a guide, but instead are just going by what some magazine tells them.  is that right?

That might be plausible, but the problem with that is one runs into what I call "institutional determinism," where in the absence of a decent to thorough review of an applicant, one is determined to be a certain kind of lawyer because of the institution s/he attended.  You're bound to run into a snag in this instance, because you might get an associate from boalt who isn't quite up to par, at the expense of the uchicago applicant.  And then the method exposes its flaw.

The other problem with this bivariate scenario is this implicit "causal" relationship between one's law school and one's performance on the job.  It may be plausible that associates who are doing well under a particular employer happen to have all gone to the same school, but my problem is when one assumes that the reason for them doing well has everything to do with their school.  Rather than linking the causation to the school, the employer might be better served to seek out the qualities of his or her most successful associates in their applicants (regardless of the school they went to). For instance, maybe the quality is excellent work-ethic, or an excellent legal-writing capacity, well an employer can look for these qualities independently, and find them among a diverse array of applicants from all law schools, and get the same results in terms of having successful associates on staff.  This way, the employer won't run into a slump by picking new hires blindly by virtue of the name of the school they attended.

the problem is that information is costly to attain.  in the absence of cheap information that would easily allow an employer to determine whether or not a candidate will be a good lawyer, why shouldn't they use the best proxy that they've found?  why should it be illegal for them to do so?

it's a heck of a lot easier to look at the school on a person's resume than to read hundreds or thousands of writing samples.

This is right.

The name in the frame is a good way to start screening and it's a really cheap way to do it.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

big - fat - box

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #76 on: August 06, 2009, 04:35:33 PM »
One quick comment:

For a lot of legal jobs or internship, there are way more apps than spots available. There are way more apps than the employer can feasibly interview. There are way more apps than the employer can comb through. It's not an exact science, but the employer or the person whose job it is to go through those apps is going to do anything they can to thin the pile out. For different employers, there are different ways of doing this.

Such as:

Only hiring from top schools, only hiring from schools that lawyers at the employer went to, only hiring people they personally know, only hiring people with very high grades,  only hiring attractive women or fratboys, randomly picking apps out of a shuffled pile, whatever, etc.

Maybe none of this is fair, but it happens in reality. I can tell you right now there is nothing you can do to change it. You just have to make the best of your own situation within the system.

With the big firms, a lot comes down to marketing and justifying the high billing rates to rates to clients. They say, "well, our billing rates are high because we have to pay out huge salaries to recruit the best and brightest young associates and retain the most experienced partners." To some big corporation, best and brightest simply translates to Harvard et al.

hooloovoo

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #77 on: August 06, 2009, 04:41:40 PM »
Maybe none of this is fair, but it happens in reality. I can tell you right now there is nothing you can do to change it.

i disagree that this is the case in the long run.  we can probably develop systems to make it easier for employers to select good candidates based on more than just school.  we just haven't done it yet.

vansondon

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #78 on: August 06, 2009, 04:43:20 PM »
You've missed the point, entirely.

let me see if i can go back and dig it up.

you're saying that there is no causal relationship between where one attends law school and how capable one is as a lawyer.  was that your point?


You've missed the point, entirely.  Alright. So then, what if an employer claims that in 20 years of experience, they've somehow arrived at the notion that their white lawyers are as you say "awesome" and their lawyers of color are just "mediocre?"  Is this a best proxy?  Should the employer just go along with this proxy?  And what would be the consequences of going along with this proxy?  What would be suspiciously problematic about it?

Or what if an employer finds that their male lawyers are "awesome" and that their female lawyers are "mediocre?"  How should they proceed with that proxy?  Or what if an employer finds that their protestant lawyers are "awesome" and their Hindu lawyers are "mediocre?"  What should that employer do with that proxy?

My point is, one's law school as a determining factor is just as ridiculous, problematic, and arbitrary as a "best proxy" as any of the above.  Moreover, it's never just one variable that causes a particular result, it's a culmination of many variables, and as an employer, you have to be able to recognize these variables.

big - fat - box

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Re: Cooley + Law Review/Moot Court/etc. or MSU with Nothing?
« Reply #79 on: August 06, 2009, 04:44:40 PM »
Ninja, I think you're wrong about profs at lower ranked schools. While some lower ranked schools do have a lot of non-top profs on the faculty, they are usually older profs. It's highly possible that those older faculty members could not get hired at the school they teach at today.

Because of the USNews rankings, it is becoming more and more common for lower ranked schools to recruit profs that went to top schools and had fed clerkships. The number of top school grads that want to be law profs also plays into this.

For example, at the random tier 2/3 school I spent 1L at, I had profs that had gone to NYU, Yale, and Michigan. Most of the recent hires were of that ilk. The older faculty members were from an even mix of low ranked and high ranked schools. All of them either had super succesful careers or had graduated high in their class and done fed clerkships.