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Author Topic: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System  (Read 3289 times)

SouthSide

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Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« on: April 12, 2006, 06:44:35 AM »
Here are my ideas:

1) Decrease the weight given to entering GPA, and increase both the entering LSAT and the acceptance rate weightings. GPA is just too random to be very useful. Plus, this encourages schools to accept a bunch of kids who didn't challenge themselves in college but took easier courses to inflate their GPAs. Also encourages college students to seek out easy classes and profs, which is a bad trend.

2) Only measure employment ratio nine months after graduation. Give people a little bit more time. Not everyone wants to get a job right after law school.

3) Do not measure financial aid at all. This should be considered separately in terms of which law schools offer the most value, but should not affect the consideration of a school's inherent quality.

4) Eliminate the library size measurement. Rather than counting books, I would count faculty citations per capita. I would rather go to a school where the profs are the tops in their fields than one where the library has a lot of books.

These are starters for a better process. Any others?

Columbia 2L.

Eastchic2001

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Re: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2006, 08:49:35 AM »
I think that these are all good ideas. My question is "Why is the bar passage rate for places like Harvard so low compared to other schools?" For instance Texas Tech has a 90% passage rate compared to the estimated 75% rate at Yale. Can you explain this? Don't get me wrong, I realized local bars are different and that Harvard and Yale are awesome schools, I just wondered about this.
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SouthSide

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Re: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2006, 10:12:15 AM »
Some lower tier schools teach to the bar for three years, while Harvard, Yale, etc. have profs that teach their interests, and consistently question the very assumptions behind the questions on the bar. Consequently, their students might not do as well on the bar.

A friend of mine went through a mail-order unaccredited law program in CA that claimed to have a higher bar passage rate than Harvard, so bar passage is probably pretty meaningless too. Eliminate it from the rankings!
Columbia 2L.

Happy_Weasel

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Re: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2006, 12:48:38 PM »
Why won't it just focus on what type of jobs that grads get?

Groundhog

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Re: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2006, 06:21:09 PM »
Excellent suggestions, except I think #2 is an important criterion. It allows you to ensure that the law schools are getting their clients jobs for immediately after graduation, rather than scrounging around looking for anything legal.

Happy_Weasel

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Re: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2006, 06:31:41 PM »
Maybe USNWR should adopt a star and secription system like.


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Reaching

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Re: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2006, 06:40:02 PM »
USNews should divide Lawyer reputation scores into regions... say have a reputation ranking for the South, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, and the West Coast and have the reputation data be based on surveys of lawyers and judges in each region.

and then, it should incorporate this data into regional rankings like it does for colleges.

Happy_Weasel

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Re: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2006, 11:44:17 PM »


USNews should divide Lawyer reputation scores into regions... say have a reputation ranking for the South, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, and the West Coast and have the reputation data be based on surveys of lawyers and judges in each region.

and then, it should incorporate this data into regional rankings like it does for colleges.


Perhaps there should be: National Schools 4.0+ employer rep.
Regional: 2.0-3.9


and then unranked local schools that are 1.9 and under

Lily Jaye

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Re: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2006, 12:01:21 AM »
Here are my ideas:

1) Decrease the weight given to entering GPA, and increase both the entering LSAT and the acceptance rate weightings. GPA is just too random to be very useful.

The LSAT may be standard, but it's pretty useless on its own.

Besides, there's a fairly easy solution to this that some UG admissions offices use: you keep track of students' grades in law school, and see if any institutional trends pop out.  You then alter your index formula to account for it.

It was a pain in the ass before computers were in wide use, but now all you need is a work-study gopher and a copy of Excel.

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Plus, this encourages schools to accept a bunch of kids who didn't challenge themselves in college but took easier courses to inflate their GPAs. Also encourages college students to seek out easy classes and profs, which is a bad trend.

Doesn't everything encourage this?

Honestly, I think the solution is to just go to extended recommendations in each class. 

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2) Only measure employment ratio nine months after graduation. Give people a little bit more time. Not everyone wants to get a job right after law school.

That's not quite how legal employment works: generally, you wind up working for one of the two firms you worked at your 2L summer.  If you get a job 9 months after graduation, you're at the bottom of your class.  Having both gives you an idea about how many firms are really willing to hire a school's students, and if so, how many students have a fairly easy time getting hired.

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3) Do not measure financial aid at all. This should be considered separately in terms of which law schools offer the most value, but should not affect the consideration of a school's inherent quality.

Why not?

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4) Eliminate the library size measurement. Rather than counting books, I would count faculty citations per capita. I would rather go to a school where the profs are the tops in their fields than one where the library has a lot of books.

I agree.

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These are starters for a better process. Any others?

Stop using Yale as the benchmark and tinkering the formula every year to ensure that it comes out at #1.  Pick the criteria and their relative importance first, and then see where the schools fall.
Random 2L who does not spend nearly as much time here as she should.

Groundhog

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Re: Suggested Changes to US News Ranking System
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2006, 01:24:05 AM »
Excellent points, Lily, although they have analyzed UGPA and found it to be a pretty insignificant factor of predicting success in law school, compared to the LSAT solely. My feeling is that if we are going to have representative rankings, perhaps we should act the way the schools do-LSAT above all. Even alone, it's the most predictive factor in law school success.