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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 18789 times)

vansondon

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2009, 03:39:42 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. 


Wow, that's a really good point.  That's never occurred to me before.

vansondon

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2009, 03:50:33 PM »
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. 


Though I generally agree with your point, and the spirit of it.  I don't agree with the above quote.  West of Indiana is a very broad area.  I think folks in California and in cities like Seattle, Portland, Denver, Houston, Austin, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Kansas City, and Chicago (all of which are west of Indiana) have heard of these schools (especially GWU) and may even employ graduates from these institutions. 

big - fat - box

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2009, 03:52:06 PM »
Rankings are primarily for students (read OLs) and law schools so they can market themselves to prospective students who naively believe a random school ranked 58 is really better than another random school ranked tier 3/4 or whatever.

Employers hire from two types of schools:

1) Big name schools everyone knows are the top schools without even looking at the rankings.

2) Schools very close to where the employer is located that have a good rep in the local area regardless of rank.

Depending on where 2) school type is located you may have to have high grades/class rank to get a shot at even non-biglaw type jobs. This is especially true in large cities where the market is oversaturated with multiple local schools and big name schools feeding into the market.

In sum, employers have their own internalized ideas about what schools are "good". For the most part, they look at students from the same schools, year in year out when deciding to hire. They don't need the rankings to tell them anything.


Matthies

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2009, 03:56:38 PM »
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. 


Though I generally agree with your point, and the spirit of it.  I don't agree with the above quote.  West of Indiana is a very broad area.  I think folks in California and in cities like Seattle, Portland, Denver, Houston, Austin, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Kansas City, and Chicago (all of which are west of Indiana) have heard of these schools (especially GWU) and may even employ graduates from these institutions. 

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.
*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.

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2009, 03:57:59 PM »
Matthies is right about name recognition. Most attys are middle class people who work in small firms making a modest middle class salary. Many of them went to colleges and law schools that are near where they are practicing. Without alums in the area or sports team recognition, you'd be surprised who has not heard of school X. Especially when you get outside of the larger cities and big firm practice.

vansondon

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2009, 04:04:55 PM »

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html

vansondon

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2009, 04:11:29 PM »
Matthies is right about name recognition. Most attys are middle class people who work in small firms making a modest middle class salary. Many of them went to colleges and law schools that are near where they are practicing. Without alums in the area or sports team recognition, you'd be surprised who has not heard of school X. Especially when you get outside of the larger cities and big firm practice.

Surprised, indeed.

Matthies

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2009, 04:15:14 PM »
I remember having this conversation with a girl a year ahead of me in undergrad in Phoenix. She told me she got accepted to W&L or W&M or one of those law schools. I was like ďwhere is that?Ē She said its in X. Oh, I said they have a law school? Yes she said, you never heard of it (she knew I had applied to law school as well)? No I said, then I asked well before you applied there had you ever heard of it? She said, no, not really. Why did you apply there then? Because US News ranked it high. So I said do you want to work in X. She said no I want to work here. So I said why donít you go to school here? She said because that school is ranked a lot higher. I said, OK, so your moving almost all the way across the country to go to a school neither of us have heard of and you want to work back here in Phoenix but you think the school neither of us has heard of will give you a better shot than staying here at ASU? She said yes. Iíve never heard from her since and that was over six years ago. All I know is that she never made it back to Phoenix cause our mutual friends say she still on the east coast. I think the above happens allot, people move away thinking a 30s school far away is a better bet than a T2 school in their home city where they want to work, and they never make it back.
*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.

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2009, 04:22:54 PM »

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html

2 of the JD's from GWU got thier LLM there, not thier JD. And there are 5 Denver grads out of 17 lawyers, 3 to 1 of any other school. Damn, and one Roger Willaims grad who got his LLM at GWU. Good for that guy!
*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

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Re: Do Employers Really Look At The Rankings Like We Think They Do?
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2009, 04:26:50 PM »

I'm in Denver, and if not for this baord I never would have heard of any of those schools. I've also yet to meet any of thier grads. I'm sure there are some here, but not many. People here know the top few schools, the schools round here, and that's about it.

Here is one link I found with a law firm in Denver that just happened to have four attorneys from GWU and Washington and Lee... I'm sure there are more.  But I think I get what you mean; I just don't think it applies to everywhere west of Indiana.

http://www.lawyers.com/Colorado/Denver/McKenna-Long-and-Aldridge-LLP-296724-f.html

2 of the JD's from GWU got thier LLM there, not thier JD. And there are 5 Denver grads out of 17 lawyers, 3 to 1 of any other school. Damn, and one Roger Willaims grad who got his LLM at GWU. Good for that guy!

But does it really matter whether it's a JD or an LLM?