Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: W&L Job placement  (Read 9433 times)

philibusters

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1076
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2006, 04:59:23 PM »
Wow, to say that w&l isn't comparable to notre dame or Iowa, or BU is way too strong.  Lots of people do it all the time and they don't think they are being irrational.  As for reputation I think it varies by region, Iowa and ND or midwest schools.  On the east coast hardly anybody knows Iowa, I follow sports so I know them from their football, basketball, and of course their powerhouse wrestling program, but I wouldn't have been able to guess their undergrad or law school rankings at all.  ND has football and to be honest a bigger name than Iowa on the east coast, so maybe you have some truth there.  BU is slightly in the shadow of BC (I believe BU doesn't even have a football team, so thats not going to help them become known.)  So I am not convinced what you say is true, the Notre Dame one rings a little true, because their football team seems ubitiqious somehow.  You seem to have a midwestern bias of sorts, because Iowa and ILL. aren't famous at all on the east coast, I see them, I think state school, not particularly prestigious.

 Also question people, why does the usnews have a different lsat range for w&l then lsac?

(Actually I think its quite normal to develop regional baises, I think east coast college sports easily trump midwest or west coast college teams, despite the success of a team like USC in football.   As for law schools I would have thought mich st. and penn st. have same reputation as say minn. and iowa as I think of all of them as big 10 schools.  Generally the east coast and west coasts dominate the undergrad college public school ranking, top 7 public are berekley, uva, ucla, micigan (ucla and michigan are tied), unc, and william and mary, uc san diego, so I was surprised that big 10 public schools like minn, iowa, ill did as well as they did)
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

LitDoc

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 720
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2006, 05:42:02 PM »
I think it's worth noting that Fred Hits and Lenny are both W&L students/grads. Obviously, there's a vested interest in "protecting" W&L's rep here. Please note: I am not trying to trash W&L in any way. I think it's a great school. I just disagree with you, apparently, on which schools it is more comparable to, and on where it belongs in the rankings.

Before continuing, let me just say, too, that one doesn't have to "set foot" in a school to gauge its quality, unless your criteria for measuring quality is strictly atmospheric (e.g. beautiful campus, clean streets, friendly students, etc.).

As with any and all "rankings," this is all going to come down to chosen criteria. If S/F ratio and teaching quality are high on your list, then W&L does very well. Hell, on those criteria it's a better school than Georgetown. If a rural atmosphere and small class size are important, W&L is great -- again, better than Georgetown, Harvard, Texas, and Michigan. If a relatively high LSAT range for incoming students is important to you, then, again, W&L does well for the "mid-1st tier."

This thread began, though, with a focus on job prospects and job placement, so I took for granted that an emphasis was being placed on these kinds of criteria. And I think it's hard to argue, for example, that W&L competes with, say, Illinois in BigLaw placement. (Illinois places a lot of grads in Chicago BigLaw, and is among Vault's top schools for big firm placement; W&L is not on Vault's list, despite its proximity to DC.) And I'm frankly a bit amazed that anyone would argue that W&L has a "national rep" on par with ND or BU. I'm from the West (lived in OR, ID, UT, and NV). I've had a career in academia. W&L is not a recognizable name like ND or BU, or Illinois or Iowa, or Vanderbilt or Minnesota. Sure, in the field of law, it is more recognizable and carries more weight than outside the field of law; but it's just not on par with these other names -- not in the West.

Of course, Alamo notes that he's fine sticking in the East -- again, if that's your criteria, then W&L is great. I was approaching this with "national" job prospects in mind. But 82% of W&L grads stay in the South and mid-Atlantic region. That doesn't seem incredibly national to me. 

Also, yes, I'm a fan of Leiter's rankings, and I agree with a lot of what Leiter has to say. If we move away from job stuff to other criteria, I think the quality of a school DOES depend heavily on the quality of the faculty, and the quality of the faculty IS revealed significantly through publications. Publications show familiarity with current issues/topics in the field, and productivity in and contribution to the field. I've been a professor in several English departments, and I can attest that great teachers do not necessarily deliver great education. The best education comes from great teachers who are also great researchers and writers, actively contributing to the field.

W&L has a rep for great teachers -- but not a great rep for publications. This ought to be of concern to anyone interested in obtaining the best education possible. A great teacher can deliver less-than-up-to-date info; moreover, if your prof has made no contribution to the field via publications, then his/her letter of recommendation won't carry as much weight either.

Again -- I'm not trying to trash on W&L. I think it deserves to be in the mid-1st tier. I just think it belongs closer to the '32' end of that range than to the '17' end. I wasn't saying W&L wasn't comparable at all to BU or ND -- only that it was more comparable to Mason and Wm&Mary, and less comparable to BU and ND. And I think it's least comparable to, say, Vanderbilt, which seems a solid step up (teetering on the edge of the top third of the first tier).
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09

yiplong

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1530
    • View Profile
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2006, 05:55:08 PM »
Well, of all the schools we talked about, BU, BC, Iowa, Illinois, ND and W&L, Illinois should have the strongest reputation overall. (not just for law school).  Even people in Asia or Europe has heard of Illinois, due to their very strong engineering program, they are also ranked as top university in the world. 

dwarflegs7

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2006, 06:25:45 PM »
Well, of all the schools we talked about, BU, BC, Iowa, Illinois, ND and W&L, Illinois should have the strongest reputation overall. (not just for law school).  Even people in Asia or Europe has heard of Illinois, due to their very strong engineering program, they are also ranked as top university in the world. 

So Illinois is a top research university and W&L and BU aren't.  That's nice.  Lawyers know law school reputation, and it doesn't much matter what non-lawyers think of your degree.  Who cares?  How is your point, whatever that point may be, at all relevant to the decision making process?


It doesn't matter what non-lawyers think about your degree?  Well I assume you want to be a lawyer, so what about potential clients?  They will judge by their own gut reaction to how good a school is. 

As for judging law schools by the faculty citations, that is absolutely ridiculous.  Washington and Lee is known for being an outstanding place to receive a law education.  It is a small school, but so what?  It's a small university, would you ask that their law school class be the same size as their undergraduate class?

In terms of job prospects, it seems to me that none of us yet knows what our job prospects are.  There are SO many more factors in hiring than where you went to school.  If you go to BU and finish in the middle of your class, your prospects are not as good as someone who finished in the top 1/4 at W&L.  My point?  You will do better if you like the school.  If you like W&L and want to go there, do so.  Don't let people who have already sold themselves on BU or Notre Dame talk you out of it.  No school is a good fit for everyone.

I have a few friends who are undergrads at W&L and I have heard nothing but good things about it.  Granted, the law school would be different, but the W&L people here seem to like it.

LawyersGunnersnMoney

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 964
    • View Profile
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2006, 06:27:17 PM »
Well, of all the schools we talked about, BU, BC, Iowa, Illinois, ND and W&L, Illinois should have the strongest reputation overall. (not just for law school).  Even people in Asia or Europe has heard of Illinois, due to their very strong engineering program, they are also ranked as top university in the world. 

that might be the dumbest thing ive heard all day.  ND and even BC has far, far more national and international recognition than illinois...

not to mention that w&l is highly regarded in the legal field.  so who has heard of them in asia is about as relevant as saying FSU has a stronger reputation overall bc of their great football program.  after all, a lot more people follow football than engineering

Fred Hits

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 556
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2006, 06:29:17 PM »
thanks for noting i go to W&L- i leave that at the bottom of my profile for a reason, so people know where i am coming from- i don't know if it is your intent but i feel like you are only mentioning that to basicaly say 'ignore these guys'  -i try very hard to be fair when saying anything so maybe i am reading more into that then i should, but still..

I repeat what i said before that you offer no real reason for what you are saying.  I know you say you aren't 'slamming' W&L but I fail to see how you are doing anything but.  My impression is that you are basing your argument on the idea that w&l doesn't have everything for everyone.  I don't see how this is anything new.  I don't know of many if any schools that offer everything someone would want. Most every school has its tradeoffs. 

Now I'm trying to see what you are getting at and it seems to me that you are saying that for you personally, w&l does not offer what you want and to you is about as valuable as certain other schools because of those preferences.  If so, then thats fine.  I would have said last year that to me going to a school like villanova is more valuable then illinois because i wanted to be on the east coast.  Illinois is a midwest school just as w&l is an east coast school.  To each his own.  Thing is, that is not what it sounds like you say. 

You then argue that w&l is not as good as those other schools without much to show except your opinion.  You keep referring to this 'national reputation' but i have no idea where you are coming from.  Sure ND has a huge national rep but thats a big exception t othe general rule.  ND football is college football.  Are you saying that from the people you talk to in your region of the country w&l isn't nearly as national?  If so, I can honestly say people here dont think of either iowa or illinois as super steller institutions unless they are in the 'legal know' so to speak. 

Maybe this is a regional difference, but still you are arguing for a national rep, not a regional one.  Also you mention academia reputation.  W&L is a small liberal arts college- in fact the only such school with a graduate school.  So no, W&L does not have massive labs, does not conduct massive studies, or have D1 football teams.

So maybe you are just agreeing with what leiter says?  If so, ok, I'll assume you are making his arguments and i'll go hide in the woods somewhere (i think what he says is some of the stupidest 1 sided stuff but thats for another day and i would at least know why you are saying what you do).  But I really would like to know where your opinion is coming from.  The more you know and understand the more sense things make.  I'm trying to see what you are saying but like i've said, I don't yet see it.

philibusters

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1076
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2006, 06:36:18 PM »
I think generally a good way to tell quality of law school is by the academic creditinals of the students.  Yes, you may say "so what, what does the quality of the class mean to me"-I think in generally people understand their assests, in this case their lsat's and grades and try to maximize it to the best extent possiblity (go to the best school for their ambitions whether that be biglaw or clerkships, whatever, so that student quality to me seems like the best indicator of school reputation.  Obviously things like family and geographic ties, and financial situations means its not a perfect correlation, but all things being equal, whos going to pick a school they don't will help them reach their goals as well as another school if they have the option between teh two.

I think Leiter over emphasizes faculty importance ot me, I would much rather know my profs, then have big name profs, though ideally I would want both.  I think Leiter whos in academia himself has a bias for faculty quality, thats obvious whats important for him.  It could be litdoc, that you ahve the same vantage pt. of leiter if you were in academia for a while.

 All this raises the questions is who is the usnews ranking really are designed for, 1)the potential student (thats who usnews would claim) or 2) the school's adminstration and faculty.  Leiter's ranking are def. designed for school's adminstration and facutly though there is a lot of cross of relevance for potential students.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

yiplong

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1530
    • View Profile
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2006, 10:29:57 PM »
they are also ranked as top university in the world. 

Except that they aren't, even UIUC admits so: http://www.publications.uiuc.edu/info/rankings.html

Now who said they were the top in the world?  Maybe USNews for Civil Engineeing, but that's some ineresting exaggeation here, I can think of at least five better schools for engineering alone.

Please, what are you talking about? How does the fact that you can think of five better schools for engineering show that Illinois is not a 'top university'?
http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2005/ARWU2005TOP500list.htm
Illinois ranked 25th on this ranking, and ranked 19th by Times Higher Education Supplement for 200 Best Schools in the world.   
good luck finding washington and lee on the list. 
Don't mean to bash the school or anything, but nobody I talked to either in the East Coast, Midwest or Asia has ever heard of Washington and Lee, some have heard of ND, and many confuse BU with BC.  Of these schools, only Illinois has any real international reputation. 
I would assume a Japanese client be more likely to accept service from a lawyer from Illinois than Washington and Lee (everything else being equal). There is little surprise that  T14 schools almost always have a strong undergrad/graduate reputation. 
But of course, W&L is a very good school, the above is just my opinion on how the reputation of the whole university overall might impact the value of your law degree. 

LawyersGunnersnMoney

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 964
    • View Profile
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2006, 11:06:59 PM »
they are also ranked as top university in the world. 

Except that they aren't, even UIUC admits so: http://www.publications.uiuc.edu/info/rankings.html

Now who said they were the top in the world?  Maybe USNews for Civil Engineeing, but that's some ineresting exaggeation here, I can think of at least five better schools for engineering alone.

Please, what are you talking about? How does the fact that you can think of five better schools for engineering show that Illinois is not a 'top university'?
http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2005/ARWU2005TOP500list.htm
Illinois ranked 25th on this ranking, and ranked 19th by Times Higher Education Supplement for 200 Best Schools in the world.   
good luck finding washington and lee on the list. 
Don't mean to bash the school or anything, but nobody I talked to either in the East Coast, Midwest or Asia has ever heard of Washington and Lee, some have heard of ND, and many confuse BU with BC.  Of these schools, only Illinois has any real international reputation. 
I would assume a Japanese client be more likely to accept service from a lawyer from Illinois than Washington and Lee (everything else being equal). There is little surprise that  T14 schools almost always have a strong undergrad/graduate reputation. 
But of course, W&L is a very good school, the above is just my opinion on how the reputation of the whole university overall might impact the value of your law degree. 


what about the fact that Illinois' own rankings dont even put them in the t40 PUBLIC schools internationally?...

how you think illinois is better known than ND is rediculous...

if youre concerned about the layperson opinion, i wouldnt put much stock in illinois' decent (not top) reputation in engineering.  unless you have an engineer or engineering firm as a prospective client, they wont have a clue that illinois is in the t20 in engineering.  nor will they care...

you are an idiot if you dont think anyone on the east coast has heard of w&l.  and if youre speaking strictly from an anecdotal perspective of one moron you know then thats equally pointless.




philibusters

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1076
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: W&L Job placement - WTF???
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2006, 11:40:58 PM »
yiplong only giant research institutions will have any international reputation, in other words big schools, that means nothing in law, nothing, law profession is a tight knit community, most lawyers are most familiar with the schools in their geographical area.

Ill. is a good undergrad but not great by any standard.  It is much tougher to gain admission to Notre Dame than Ill.  ND is ranked 18th in the nation, Ill 42nd by USNEWS.  I would guess W&L had better freshman data and is harder to get into than Ill.  W&L especially is different, its not even ranked against national universities, but is ranked against other liberal arts schools, and its 14th.  Thats a real good ranking, if it was a national university my guess is it would be ranked around 30th cause thats where W&M is ranked and they are similiar but thats only a guess.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School