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Author Topic: For those who don't like rankings...  (Read 4159 times)

bigs5068

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Re: For those who don't like rankings...
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2010, 06:14:01 AM »
Yes subjectivity is important and it does have merit at times. Even in the legal world subjectivity, makes a difference most of the law is in of itself subjective and that's why Supreme Court decisions go 5-4 all the time, because the law is in a large part subjective opinion.

However, the rankings subjective opinion really screws with applicants and students. Harvard, Yale etc are great schools I knew that before U.S. news put them in a ranking.

My problem and concern for potential and current students is that people at the 99th best school will think they are really entitled to something more than a student at the 122nd best school, but that is not the case. I know 3 student's that transferred from GGU to USF or Santa Clara thinking it would open all kinds of doors that GGU wouldn't I mean USF and Santa Clara are tier 2's employers must be jumping through hoops to get a tier 2 grad right? Actually truth is not really those people were in the same boat trying to find internships with nobody tracking them down and they got basically the same thing they would have been doing at GGU, but they just lost 70,000 in scholarship money they would have gotten at GGU. Otherwise everything else essentially the same. Now had they transferred into Stanford that would be a whole other story, because that does open doors and U.S. news subjective opinion is right on there. Harvard, Yale, Stanford are pretty f'ing good schools and some VERY SMART people go there.

However, when they get into distinguishing between 111 and 89 I think applicants like me get concerned and nearly horrendous life altering decisions, by moving to a location they have no desire to live in or transferring up for no apparent purpose like going from GGU to USF.  That is my real issue with the rankings is that law students particularly applicants are naive and put so much emphasis on the rankings when it doesn't matter for the most part. Tell me the difference between Williamette, Franklin Pierce, Florida International, Georgia State, Faulkner, McGeorge, Gonzaga, University of North Dakota, California Western, Mercer, Texas Wesleyan, Barry, Southwestern, Suffolk I mean the list goes on and the truth is none of those schools are going to have employers knocking your door down, but you can get a career going from any of them.  I think Gonzaga is 99 or something while Suffolk is 121 I don't know what the actual rankings are, but if the person wants to live in Boston he should NOT go to Gonzaga despite it being ranked 22 spots higher in my hypo. That is because 99 or 121 is not going to have people dropping their jaws. Long rant again, but the rankings really piss me off you are right that subjectivity plays a part in the law, in school, and basically everything in life. However, I just have a problem when they are making these subjective statements regarding schools outside of the top 25 or so and almost passing them off as fact that law school applicants take very seriously.


nerfco

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Re: For those who don't like rankings...
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2010, 02:58:19 PM »
So, in short, your problem is that students are putting too much weight on rankings?

Having rankings simply provides people more information than they would have otherwise. If they misuse that information, it is their own fault, not the rankings' fault.

I agree that some people make poor decisions based on rankings. But rankings also let other people use the information wisely in making an informed decision.

bigs5068

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Re: For those who don't like rankings...
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2010, 01:03:39 AM »
I will agree with that, if you make bad decisions based on the rankings it is your own fault.

The main point of this post was to let potential students know not to get to caught up in the rankings, unless of course you are deciding between an elite school. I think the rankings have some merit if they are distinguishing between NYU and Penn or schools of that nature, but when you are trying to make a distinction between St. Mary's and Hamline is where I get upset and think applicant's make bad decisions.

 I was browsing through law school numbers the other day and saw people being thrilled to be accepted into tier 3 schools and willing to move across country for based on rankings alone and that will likely lead to a bad result. I mean for a New York City applicant to go to Gonzaga instead of New York Law School based on Gonzaga being Tier 2 and NYLS being tier 3 is a terrible decision, unless Washington is where they want to end up, but assuming the applicant likes NY that will be a horrendous decision. However, I see people on LSN potentially making that mistake a lot and I nearly did myself last year going to Michigan State instead of GGU, when I wanted to live in San Francisco.

You are right it is not U.S. News rankings fault for creating the rankings, nobody is forcing you to even look at them yet alone take them seriously. So you are 100% right U.S. News didn't do anything wrong they are just a business with a niche that people are willing to pay for.  Honestly, my post is more of a word of caution to potential applicants rather than a knock against the rankings.




Thane Messinger

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Re: For those who don't like rankings...
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2010, 02:00:12 AM »
I was browsing through law school numbers the other day and saw people being thrilled to be accepted into tier 3 schools and willing to move across country for based on rankings alone and that will likely lead to a bad result. I mean for a New York City applicant to go to Gonzaga instead of New York Law School based on Gonzaga being Tier 2 and NYLS being tier 3 is a terrible decision, unless Washington is where they want to end up, but assuming the applicant likes NY that will be a horrendous decision. However, I see people on LSN potentially making that mistake a lot and I nearly did myself last year going to Michigan State instead of GGU, when I wanted to live in San Francisco.


This point is quite right, and it's equally true that many use the rankings badly, or give too much weight to the wrong factors.

To anyone in the process of applying to law school, rankings ARE important, but there are other factors, and there are nuances within rankings that can make a difference to an individual applicant.

It's easy to see a singular ranking as part of a linear rank.  No.  Rankings should be seen as a three-dimensional, non-linear guide extending above and across the U.S.  They should also be seen, in most cases, as only the crudest of approximations.  Among the many factors are considerations unique to the individual, such as area preferences.  

In sum, rankings are valuable, if considered properly.  It's important to put them into a context useful to a specific person: you.