Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Poll

Do Employers Really Pay Attention To US News & World Report Rankings?

Yes
No
To Some Extent

Author Topic: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?  (Read 18124 times)

vansondon

  • Guest
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

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
    • View Profile
    • Tell me where you are going to school and you get a cat!
Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #1 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. 
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

vansondon

  • Guest
Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 11:40:17 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. 

Yes. I completely agree.

hooloovoo

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 276
    • View Profile
Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 01:36:05 PM »
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

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

  • Guest
Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2009, 01:47:09 PM »
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

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

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

in general, anyway.

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?

hooloovoo

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 276
    • View Profile
Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2009, 02:16:53 PM »
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

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

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

in general, anyway.

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?

an analogy: cars don't get a particular mileage because the EPA says that they do.  they get a particular mileage based on completely different factors, and then the EPA gives them labels saying that they get particular mileages.

same thing with schools: the rank and tier doesn't determine the employment opportunities.  other factors determine the employment opportunities, and the rankings just categorize them according to what these opportunities look like.

vansondon

  • Guest
Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2009, 02:58:07 PM »
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

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

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

in general, anyway.

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?

an analogy: cars don't get a particular mileage because the EPA says that they do.  they get a particular mileage based on completely different factors, and then the EPA gives them labels saying that they get particular mileages.

same thing with schools: the rank and tier doesn't determine the employment opportunities.  other factors determine the employment opportunities, and the rankings just categorize them according to what these opportunities look like.

Okay.  Since rankings do not drive employer behavior, what drives employer behavior? 

hooloovoo

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 276
    • View Profile
Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2009, 03:07:50 PM »
What drives employer behavior?  I meant to ask this earlier.

past experience with hiring from schools is probably the biggest thing.

i'd guess that there's also some kind of bias toward one's own alma mater as well.

general school reputation probably plays a role, but more at a local level than a national one.

vansondon

  • Guest
Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2009, 03:13:58 PM »
What drives employer behavior?  I meant to ask this earlier.

past experience with hiring from schools is probably the biggest thing.

i'd guess that there's also some kind of bias toward one's own alma mater as well.

general school reputation probably plays a role, but more at a local level than a national one.

I completely agree. *wow, we actually agree on something. lol* 

If you think that general school reputation plays more of a role at a local level than a national level, do you think it makes more sense to have regional rankings rather than national rankings?

Matthies

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
    • View Profile
    • Tell me where you are going to school and you get a cat!
Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 03:28:24 PM »
I know it's conventional wisdom that they do. 

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

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

in general, anyway.

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?

an analogy: cars don't get a particular mileage because the EPA says that they do.  they get a particular mileage based on completely different factors, and then the EPA gives them labels saying that they get particular mileages.

same thing with schools: the rank and tier doesn't determine the employment opportunities.  other factors determine the employment opportunities, and the rankings just categorize them according to what these opportunities look like.

I donít know if I agree with this. Reputation plays a big role in ranking for US News, more so than job placement does (as an individual factor). There are simply more lawyers and judges getting ballots in places like DC and NYC, and SF and LA then there are getting ballots in most states. Hence the schools that feed into these markets most tend to get the most responses and get higher rankings than schools in BFE.

Wyoming is a state school, its in one of the least populated states, it graduates donít venture out of Wyoming much. The lawyers and judges in DC/NYC/LA/SF have probably never met a Wyoming grad. Its not on their radar when they fill out UN News Ballots.

Wyoming could, in an alternate universe be the best law school in the world, with 100% employment at graduation, but its never going to move out of T4 because its never going to get anywhere the reputation rankings in the markets most represented by UN News Ballots.

Take schools like GWU, W&L, William and Marry and any of those other schools with two names and put them in in the middle of Kansas and they would be T4. Why? Because no one west of Indiana has ever heard of them, they donít have any good sports teams, all they got is a lot of alumni in DC they get more ballots than the 12 lawyers and judges who get them in Kansas City do. 
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.