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Author Topic: W&L Job placement  (Read 9415 times)

Lenny

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Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2006, 11:33:06 AM »
Both of those numbers are absolutely true.  The 2004 class was a bit of an anomaly, and pretty lame as well.  Last year's class is more typical, and this year's class is shaping up very well.  And, well said, Lily, about other schools maybe not fully reporting.  I promise you that if Yale only had 90-something percent, Duke did not have 100%.

Alamo

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Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2006, 11:33:41 AM »
Good point reach.  I'm not worried about my personal chances of getting a job as an W&L grad, but the small part of me that is obsessed with rankings is rankled by the fact that these employment numbers bring the school down . . .
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

joespecial

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Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2006, 11:41:33 AM »
I would take % employment numbers with a grain of salt. Schools can do shady things like hire back their grads for temp jobs to increase the #'s. I'm not sure how many or which schools actually do this, but they can.

LitDoc

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Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2006, 01:50:27 PM »
Something to keep in mind re: W&L...

They don't rank nearly so high on other rankings (Consus, Leiter, etc.). They fare well in USN because USN uses size as a criterion -- and it carries weight in such a way as to knock large schools down (e.g. Harvard, Texas) and to raise small schools up (e.g. Yale, W&L). Harvard would probably be #1 every year on USN if it wasn't so big; Texas would probably be in the 9-12 range; and W&L would probably drop to #30 or so if it wasn't so tiny.

If you're going straight by USN rankings, W&L looks great. But its job placement isn't as great as other comparably USN-ranked schools because it isn't really a comparable school.

For USN, size matters. In strange ways.
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09

Alamo

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Re: W&L Job placement
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2006, 02:22:11 PM »

If you're going straight by USN rankings, W&L looks great. But its job placement isn't as great as other comparably USN-ranked schools because it isn't really a comparable school.


What is it, then, that makes schools comparable?  USNWR does take into account peer and faculty reputation; in this respect, W&L is on a level with the other schools in the mid-first tier range.  I've heard arguments that a small class size may allow a school to manipulate LSAT and GPA data, but any size school could potentially manipulate this by taking people solely on the basis of hard factors.  On the plus side of small, W&L's S/F ratio is elite, and this does mean a lot to me - it's something that's usually sacrificed at large schools, and I like the close-knit community feel.

Look at the 3 other schools W&L is tied with in USNWR and tell me what separates the other schools (BU, Iowa and ND) from W&L.  Other than job placement, W&L scores better in the other areas.

As for job placement, I'm not too concerned, because W&L has a great rep for clerkships, and research of their alumni shows a lot of them in areas and locations in which I'd like to practice.  While it does make me wonder what the bottom 25% of students were doing, I know that I'll earn a job if I go there and give it my best effort.

Also, Consus has W&L at 27, not a huge leap down from USNWR - I was surprised to see Mason ranked at 25 on this list.

I'll reserve further judgment until my visit this weekend, but I'm inclined to believe (possibly due to bias) that W&L is every bit as good as similarly ranked schools, if not better.

I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

LitDoc

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Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2006, 02:35:37 PM »

If you're going straight by USN rankings, W&L looks great. But its job placement isn't as great as other comparably USN-ranked schools because it isn't really a comparable school.


What is it, then, that makes schools comparable?  USNWR does take into account peer and faculty reputation; in this respect, W&L is on a level with the other schools in the mid-first tier range.  I've heard arguments that a small class size may allow a school to manipulate LSAT and GPA data, but any size school could potentially manipulate this by taking people solely on the basis of hard factors.  On the plus side of small, W&L's S/F ratio is elite, and this does mean a lot to me - it's something that's usually sacrificed at large schools, and I like the close-knit community feel.

Look at the 3 other schools W&L is tied with in USNWR and tell me what separates the other schools (BU, Iowa and ND) from W&L.  Other than job placement, W&L scores better in the other areas.

As for job placement, I'm not too concerned, because W&L has a great rep for clerkships, and research of their alumni shows a lot of them in areas and locations in which I'd like to practice.  While it does make me wonder what the bottom 25% of students were doing, I know that I'll earn a job if I go there and give it my best effort.

Also, Consus has W&L at 27, not a huge leap down from USNWR - I was surprised to see Mason ranked at 25 on this list.

I'll reserve further judgment until my visit this weekend, but I'm inclined to believe (possibly due to bias) that W&L is every bit as good as similarly ranked schools, if not better.


In answer to the bolded parts:
1. What do you mean by "mid-1st tier range"? W&L is certainly comparable to Mason and probably Wm&Mary, and others. But not to, say, BU or UIUC and others. "Mid-1st tier range" is a loose construct -- W&L certainly belongs somewhere in that range, but that doesn't mean its equal to all the schools in that range.

2. You're right, their S/F ratio is excellent -- a real strength for the school. And their small size makes this possible. But it also means they have a small faculty, which may limit course offerings, etc. Something to look into...

3. What separates W&L from schools like BU, Iowa, and ND is national recognition. The latter 3 schools have a name that will travel to basically any region in the country. That's a big factor in why W&L suffers a bit in comparison when it comes to job placement. A BU or ND grad can still compete with grads from regional schools in, say, Oregon. But a W&L grad loses a step in the competition, because its name is not as national as the others'.

4. You're right -- if you are in the top 25% of your class at W&L, you'll find a job for sure. And their clerkship placement is reasonably strong, too. Don't get me wrong, W&L is a good school. I'm just saying that their ranking is inflated on USN, because USN counts size in a way that skews things a bit. I think they're more on par with Mason and Wm&Mary than with BU and ND. That's all.
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09

Fred Hits

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Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2006, 03:22:17 PM »
Something to keep in mind re: W&L...

They don't rank nearly so high on other rankings (Consus, Leiter, etc.). They fare well in USN because USN uses size as a criterion -- and it carries weight in such a way as to knock large schools down (e.g. Harvard, Texas) and to raise small schools up (e.g. Yale, W&L). Harvard would probably be #1 every year on USN if it wasn't so big; Texas would probably be in the 9-12 range; and W&L would probably drop to #30 or so if it wasn't so tiny.

If you're going straight by USN rankings, W&L looks great. But its job placement isn't as great as other comparably USN-ranked schools because it isn't really a comparable school.

For USN, size matters. In strange ways.

someone has been drinking the leiter kool aid

Fred Hits

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Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2006, 03:34:19 PM »
to give more of a real response-
first of all that big school thing makes no sense- sure smaller schools have less spots to fill but bigger schools usually are located in big cities and have a big pool to draw from

the only rankings w&l seems generally weaker then usual on is in the 'faculty citation' rankings- w&l prides itself on an academic based approach more then a research approach and you see that in the faculty

as far as quality- illinois has an attrocious gpa range and w&l has very strong numbers comparable to schools like nd, gw--- numbers much better then illinois, iowa, and bu which for some reason you think are well known to be better schools

in fact i dont really know where your argument is coming from- it seems like the bad employment rate combined with letiers constant w&l bashing means its a bad school---please explain further

Alamo

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Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2006, 03:39:28 PM »
Litdoc, by "mid first-tier" I was looking specifically at the schools that USNWR ranks 17 (USC/Vandy) to 32 (Fordham & Wisconsin-Madison).  This is the exact middle of the top 50 if you divide it into thirds.  In terms of combined peer and faculty rating, W&L scores slightly better than either UIUC or BU, and scores above most schools in this mid first-tier range, although behind a couple lower ranked schools (UNC and UW-M). 

Although I like W&L better than the other mid first-tier schools for a range of reasons, I'll not assert that the school is superior to these other schools - but I don't see how you assert that it isn't comparable. 

I also understand course offering limitations, and that's a trade-off I'm willing to make for a small S/F ratio.  A matter of personal preference, nothing more. 

As for national recognition, I understand, and I am perfectly content to live east of the Mississippi for the foreseeable future.  W&L does have a good number of alumni throughout the east coast and eastern portions of the midwest - I've looked into it and am happy with the locations I can expect to live in.

You obviously have your own preferences as to how you rank schools, but I do take issue with you objectively grouping BU and ND above W&M and Mason - everyone should rank these schools differently based on the factors that are important to them.
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

Lenny

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Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2006, 03:54:05 PM »
Yeah, I'll go ahead and chime in and just say that LitDoc's comments seem very inaccurate, at least based upon my experience in my three years here at W&L.  I assume we will just have to agree to disagree on some things, but at the very least, don't believe everything you hear about a school from someone who has never set foot in law school in general, much less the school in question.