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Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?

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vansondon:
I know that law schools pay attention to the rankings, but do employers really pay attention to them?  Do they actually wait every March/April for the US New Rankings to come out and make decisions about where to do OCI?  I know it's conventional wisdom that they do.  But I'm really not so sure.  I've yet to see on any employer's website or in any  employer's hiring memos anything about the law school rankings.  If it's so important, why don't they ever mention it, and make it more visible in their hiring procedures?  I mean, is an employer really going to stop hiring from a particular school just because it drops in the rankings?  Is there any evidence of this?

Do schools that go from Tier 2 to Tier 3 in the rankings really have different hiring prospects (as indicated by any data) because of this? For example, Hamline and William Mitchell go back and forth between Tier 3 and Tier 4 all the time, does it really change anything in terms of hiring prospects?  And Syracuse is a Tier 3 school this year, but last year it was in the Top 100, is this really going to make a difference in their normal hiring numbers/trends?  Does this even matter?  Do schools who move up in the rankings actually get more hiring opportunities comparatively?  If so, is there any evidence of this?

George Washington placed 20th last year, now they're 28th this year, does this really matter in terms of career prospects?  Are employers actually making decisions not to hire at GWU just because of this?  My guess is, no.

Discuss.

Matthies:
No. Firms hire from the same schools they have always hired from. A drop from 100 to T3 is not going to change that, GWUs drop is not going to change that. US News screwing up and ranking Cooley tied with Yale in 2011 is not going to change that. Most of the lawyers I know, and I know a lot of them, have no clue what schools are ranked other then the very top 2-3 schools that never change, the school they went to and any local schools. Of course this changes a lot in markets like NYC and firms that follow the Cravath model, but the vast majority of lawyers donít work there or at those firms. Places hire students from schools they have had success with in the past, on recommendations of other lawyers and on their ties with schools in the vast majority of markets. A change in a regional schools national rank is not going to matter because it does not impact the schoolís reputation in that region. 

vansondon:

--- Quote from: Matthies on August 10, 2009, 11:36:19 AM ---No. Firms hire from the same schools they have always hired from. A drop from 100 to T3 is not going to change that, GWUs drop is not going to change that. US News screwing up and ranking Cooley tied with Yale in 2011 is not going to change that. Most of the lawyers I know, and I know a lot of them, have no clue what schools are ranked other then the very top 2-3 schools that never change, the school they went to and any local schools. Of course this changes a lot in markets like NYC and firms that follow the Cravath model, but the vast majority of lawyers donít work there or at those firms. Places hire students from schools they have had success with in the past, on recommendations of other lawyers and on their ties with schools in the vast majority of markets. A change in a regional schools national rank is not going to matter because it does not impact the schoolís reputation in that region. 

--- End quote ---

Yes. I completely agree.

hooloovoo:

--- Quote from: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 11:27:57 AM ---I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

--- End quote ---

i actually don't think this is the conventional wisdom.

employer behavior drives the rankings.  rankings do not drive employer behavior.

in general, anyway.

vansondon:

--- Quote from: hooloovoo on August 10, 2009, 01:36:05 PM ---
--- Quote from: vansondon on August 10, 2009, 11:27:57 AM ---I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

--- End quote ---

i actually don't think this is the conventional wisdom.

employer behavior drives the rankings.  rankings do not drive employer behavior.

in general, anyway.

--- End quote ---

Okay.  How would you reconcile or further your view with the other arguments that say that rank and tier determines employer-related opportunity prospects for graduates and students?  Is the determination really that unilateral?

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