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Author Topic: Top 6 vs. money  (Read 6164 times)

FalconJimmy

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Re: Top 6 vs. money
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 02:49:09 PM »
In response to White Rabbit even T14 schools jump there is no consistency even there that is how bad the U.S. News ranking system is.

T14 Schools that did move from 2010-2011
1.   Yale
2.   Harvard
3.   Stanford
4.   Columbia
13. Cornell
14. Georgetown, but they are now in a tie for 14th with Texas Georgetown was alone in 14th last year.

T14 schools that moved from 2010 to 2011
Chicago was tied for 6th in 2010 so it might have been 7th in 2010 anyways they are no soley in 5th.
NYU went from 5th in 2010 to 6th in 2011
Penn went from 8th to a tie for 7th so maybe they are 6th or 7th this year they are tied for 7th after all so hard to say.
Michigan went from 9th in 2010 into the tie for 7th with Penn.
Duke from a 3 way tie for 10th in 2010 to 11th in 2011
Northwestern part of the 3 way tie for 10th in 2010 moved to 12th.
Virginia from part of the 3 way tie for 10th in 2010 moved to 9th

Biggest Jump in the T14 schools from 2010 to 2011 this strongly proves my point
Berkeley was tied for 6th in 2010, which is the number the OP wants and in 2011 Berkeley is now tied for 9th with Virginia. Had the OP said I can only go to a school ranked 6th when his second year started he would be 9th.

To simply add some icing to the cake there are 15 schools in the top 14 because of their ties. Before writing this post I thought U.S. news at least distinguished between T14 schools and did not have ties there, but they do. Nothing surprises me with them anymore they have about as much journalistic integrity as the National Enquirer.

Point being even in the Top 14 schools there is movement every year and the T14 schools will always be in T14, but where who knows and some might even slip out I am sure UCLA and USC have been in the T14 before, but UCLA is tied for 16th and USC tied for 18th. You can see the ties in the T14 here http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings

Although I don't necessarily agree with all your conclusions regarding USN&WR rankings (though I do agree in a general way with much of what you assert), your due diligence in ferretting out the data is always interesting and illuminating.

bigs5068

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Re: Top 6 vs. money
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 03:54:31 PM »
Thank you. I probably go a little overboard and there is some value to them, but as you can see from reading posts from 0L's people put way more stock in the rankings than they should. The OP's son thinks he needs to go to the 6th best school, but 6th best is basically illusory there are ELITE schools, which are the T14 and I am not saying GGU, Gonzaga, Maine, Florida International etc are anywhere close the caliber of school that Columbia is, but you simply cannot distinguish between NYU & Columbia or Michigan and Penn. They are GREAT schools. If U.S. News simply used LSAT test scores then that would be an objective category and could be measured. Or if they only measured the top 25 or something along those lines it would make some sense. There are obviously classes of schools, but within the same class of schools there is no way to distinguish between them. There is no way to tell if Golden Gate is better than Toledo or if Columbia is better than Stanford it just can't be keep done and they shouldn't claim to have an answer.

The really sad thing is that schools focus on these rankings much more than providing a quality education and schools are literally lying. Villanova was caught most recently for doing this, but I am sure it happens. The National Jurist wrote a great article on it calling all schools out. I mean the employment rate of law school graduates has steadily climbed over the last decade, but all schools acknowledge employment is more difficult now so how has the employment for grads increased? It is obvious by them lying to U.S. News who doesn't verify the facts and offers a subjective opinion and can't get in trouble for misreporting data. The National Jurist Volume 20 No. 6 has some great articles about it. Unfortunately I can't post the links, but it goes into more detail and is written very well.

FalconJimmy

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Re: Top 6 vs. money
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 05:18:09 PM »
I agree that they're a thumbnail.  As I've said before, I don't think there's likely to be a difference in the 110th best school and the 140th best school.  Frankly, at that point, they're basically in a cloud of schools that are all approximately equal as far as most folks are concerned.

At the top, same thing.  There may be distinctions between Stanford grads and Michigan grads, but in the grand scheme of things, are their opportunties really that different?  Personally, I don't think so.  So, yeah, the magazine could call one of them #3 and the other one #7, but the reality is that for nearly all intents and purposes, the schools aren't appreciably different.

The one thing that I think they could do better at is emphasizing that within certain metro areas (or even states), that home-field advantage is a huge factor.  A friend of mine once told me (and I believe him) that in Texas, a degree from University of Texas would be better than a degree from Michigan. 

I don't think the rankings are worthless, but I agree with you that they shouldn't be used to say that #80 is clearly worse than #63, and so one should attend #63 if given the opportunity.

Morten Lund

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Re: Top 6 vs. money
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2011, 08:28:52 PM »

I would discount any discussion of how much the top six are going to change from year to year.  While the USNWR rankings are totally flawed, they're actually pretty consistent toward the very top. 

As other posters pointed out, I think you are placing the distinction in the wrong place.  Regardless of what USNews says, the marketplace is pretty consistent in how it values law schools.  In terms of "national law school" value and placement, there are basically three categories:  (1) Yale, Harvard, Stanford, (2) the rest of the "t14", and (3) all the other schools.  Within each group, frankly, there isn't much difference.  As far as I am concerned, there is no particular difference between NYU and Georgetown.

One more point: best not to lump all "biglaw" together.  Firms are not all created equal.

This is certainly true, both as regards to culture and hiring.  There are, however, consistent themes, and to the extent that "BigLaw or bust" is the goal, t14 is a very good idea - regardless of which end of "BigLaw" is being targeted.

Finally, I question whether any law school is worth the sticker price--not so much because I don't think law school is worthwhile for some, but because even the top six schools are, in my opinion, seriously overpriced.

It all depends on what you are looking for, of course, but on the whole I would beg to differ - at a minimum with regard to the top three.  Law degrees from Yale, Harvard, or Stanford (and to a lesser degree from any t14 school) place you in a position of legitimacy with regard to almost any endeavor, and makes everything easier.  Not just in terms of the first post-graduation hire, but in terms of any other job you might be seeking at any point, whether law-related or not, and even in terms of a random real estate deal you might be involved with 30 years later.

While it is possible to squander these opportunities, I find that a top law degree is incredibly valuable - certainly worth the price of admission and then some.  It's a gift that keeps on giving.

Yale grads are assumed to be more "eggheady" than even Harvard's

... not to mention better looking, better from the 3-point line, and far more humble.

the white rabbit

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Re: Top 6 vs. money
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2011, 11:16:55 PM »
In response to White Rabbit even T14 schools jump there is no consistency even there that is how bad the U.S. News ranking system is.

T14 Schools that did move from 2010-2011
1.   Yale
2.   Harvard
3.   Stanford
4.   Columbia
13. Cornell
14. Georgetown, but they are now in a tie for 14th with Texas Georgetown was alone in 14th last year.

T14 schools that moved from 2010 to 2011
Chicago was tied for 6th in 2010 so it might have been 7th in 2010 anyways they are no soley in 5th.
NYU went from 5th in 2010 to 6th in 2011
Penn went from 8th to a tie for 7th so maybe they are 6th or 7th this year they are tied for 7th after all so hard to say.
Michigan went from 9th in 2010 into the tie for 7th with Penn.
Duke from a 3 way tie for 10th in 2010 to 11th in 2011
Northwestern part of the 3 way tie for 10th in 2010 moved to 12th.
Virginia from part of the 3 way tie for 10th in 2010 moved to 9th

Biggest Jump in the T14 schools from 2010 to 2011 this strongly proves my point
Berkeley was tied for 6th in 2010, which is the number the OP wants and in 2011 Berkeley is now tied for 9th with Virginia. Had the OP said I can only go to a school ranked 6th when his second year started he would be 9th.

...and that's why I said "pretty consistent toward the very top" and not "fixed within the Top 14."  See these little nuances matter.
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)

the white rabbit

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Re: Top 6 vs. money
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2011, 11:25:11 PM »
As far as I am concerned, there is no particular difference between NYU and Georgetown.

I'd say that there's probably a noticeable difference between hiring at NYU versus hiring at Georgetown, but that's just quibbling.  My point is that toward the top of the rankings, the ranks actually are somewhat reflective of reality and not as completely arbitrary as are the distinctions between say 100 and 125.  1-6 will therefore remain more consistent than say, 101-106.  That's not to say there's a magic line between 6 and 7 (there is not, in my opinion).
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bigs5068

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Re: Top 6 vs. money
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 12:11:11 PM »
Yea there is definitely consistency in the T14, but they might move up a spot or even 3 or 4 in one year, but Columbia & NYU will always be at the top rightfully so. However, it is ridiculous to me that they have ties in the top 14 at least make distinctions there and the OP saying he only wants to attend #6 and having that line is misguided because 6 could very easily be 9th next year and 9th or 10th could be 6. Nobody would be blown away if Virginia moved to 6 and NYU was number 9 and to set an arbitrary line on the rankings is probably the wrong thing to do. The T14 schools are going to move within the T14 and Harvard, Yale, Stanford have the top 3 locked up. After that Berkeley could be anywhere between 4 & 14 by the time a Berkeley 1L graduates.

the white rabbit

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Re: Top 6 vs. money
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2011, 06:02:17 AM »
...6 could very easily be 9th next year and 9th or 10th could be 6. Nobody would be blown away if Virginia moved to 6 and NYU was number 9...

Actually, if NYU were 9 next year, it would probably raise quite a few eyebrows (and it would be a mix of, "what's going on with NYU" and "wow USNWR is even more worthless than we thought").

But again, this is quibbling.
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)