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Author Topic: Rankings  (Read 2326 times)

redsawxnation

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Rankings
« on: July 24, 2006, 01:28:21 PM »
If people say that the us news ranking aren't accurate- then what rankings do you go by?

Einstein

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Re: Rankings
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2006, 01:41:48 PM »
the prestigious Cooley rankings

http://www.cooley.edu/rankings/overall2005.htm

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budlaw

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Re: Rankings
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2006, 05:36:11 PM »
There is no such thing as an "accurate" ranking without a specific definition of what is allegedly being measured.  Since not all law students desire the same things out of their law schools, there will never be a universally-applicable accurate ranking of schools in the order that you should attend them.  However, there is much data available regarding the qualities of law schools that may be of interest to individual applicants, and often this data is presented in such a way to be a convenient basis for ordinal ranking.  For example, students who want elite firm jobs may look at studies that rank law schools based on the average firm rank of recent employers, or may consult the NALP directory to see the number of elite firms that recruit on campus.  Students seeking academic positions may look at a certain famous Longhorn's rankings of academics produced per-capita, or may find data on federal court clerkship rates (often a pre-requisite for academic positions).  Even then, most law students have multiple interests in selecting a law school, some less tangible than others - finding schools that stress teaching quality over scholarship, finding schools with clinical opportunites, finding schools renowned for the friendliness of their student body, etc.  These sorts of considerations prevent the possibility of even creating individually-tailored law school rankings oneself.  There is, and never will be, a ranking that any law school applicant should "go by." 

In broad stroked, the USNews rankings do correlate with the factor that most students are interested in - quality and availability of post-school opportunites (whether clerkships, academic positions, firm jobs, government work, public interest, etc).  Use tools like LSN, chiashu, and the LSAC Calculator to determine the range of schools at which you will be competitive (T14, 19-35, 35-50, T2, T3, T4).  Obviously, you will have reaches above this range and safeties below, but this is the heart of your search. Outside of the T14, start by eliminating any schools in areas that you would hate to live.  Then think about the factors that are important to you, and do a little reserch on which schools have what you are looking for.  While you will probably not attempt to put together a statisical model to rank your choices (most students don't), you will quickly come to group schools in varying levels of desireability.  Apply to the desireable ones.

What about the schools ranked 15-18?

Jolie Was Here

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Re: Rankings
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2006, 07:23:43 PM »
Just wanted to hijack for a minute to say: VU, I'm so glad I'm gonna be playing in your sandbox this fall.  You're great at this type of analysis!
/hijack
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

Jolie is creeping up on me. 

Towelie

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Re: Rankings
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2006, 03:14:02 PM »
If people say that the us news ranking aren't accurate- then what rankings do you go by?


US News is a good place to start, I don't think any law school dean would tell you otherwise. But I think as far as rankings go you should take a look at all of the ones out there (minus Cooley's) to get a general sense of the overall reputation of the school.

After you get a sense of that, you should do a little self-inventory and get a general sense of what YOU want from a school, and then rank the schools for yourself. After you figure that out, you may be surprised at how your own rankings vary from US News and other sources. Rankings can be helpful, but they shouldn't make the choice for you.
Penn Law '09

syracuse1L

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Re: Rankings
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2006, 06:23:30 PM »
While the USNWR is a good 'guide,' you shouldn't rely too much on it.  A year ago when I went through the app process, I like many kids got addicted to the damn USNWR, and it biased what schools I applied to.  While I am still ok with Syracuse and attending there, my opinion and perception on half the schools I applied to last year has changed, mostly becauese I now realize at the time I was spending way to much time looking at the USNWR list and not enough time speaking with current law students, law professors, etc.  Seriously, after I actually took the time to speak with law students and law professors, if I had to do it all over again I would have applied to totally different schools.  The number next to the school name means very little unless you can place it within a broader context that actually means something to you... like what kind of law you want to practice and where you want to live... how about those to start ?