Here is the argument you ought to be trying to make:Argument #1Premise: US News purports to be a ranking of the top American law Schools. Premise: In determining their rankings, US News relied on factors x, y, and z.Premise: However, factors x, y, and z are either a) not measured properly, b) not weighted properly, or c) not relevant to a determination of what constitutes a top American law school.---------------------------------------------Conclusion #1: US News rankings do not successfully measure the top American law schools. Argument #2Premise: Factors r, s, and t are more accurate and/or more appropriate measures of what constitutes a top American law school. Premise: When judged on these factors, schools A, B, and C perform much better than would have been expected based on their US News ranking. ----------------------------------------------Conclusion #2: Schools A, B, and C are better law schools than would have been expected based on their US News ranking. Here is the argument you tried to make, which is illegitimate: Premise: Ranking #1, which measures factors x, y, and z places school A at #50. Premise: Ranking #2, which measures factor r places school A at #10. Premise: Ranking #3, which measures factor s, places school A at #20.Premise: Ranking #4, which measures factor t, places school A at #30. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Conclusion: Ranking #1 is incorrect. See the difference?
The natural response, of course, to your one anecdote regarding a law professor who claims to be only passingly familiar with certain schools is "The Durability of Law School Reputation" a 1998 article from The Journal of Legal Education, in which its author, Richard Schmalbeck, found that the reputations (and reputation scores) of law schools have remained virtually unchanged since the introduction of US News Rankings in 1987 (indeed, there is a great degree of consistency dating as far back as the 1974 survey, replete with methodological challenges though it was). Given the level of consistency over time, the argument that the reputation scores are the result of poorly informed deans making arbitrary distinctions based on tenuous connections seems untennable.
For instance, when you post rankings of Hastings that range from #11 to #36, claim that there is "no statistical variance" among those, and then claim that these rankings "show" that another ranking placing Hastings at #43 is bogus.
the #43 is not an outlier - the value would still be reasonable given the dispersion of other rankings. You can't automatically lop off the lowest or highest values simply becuase they are low or high.
To make matters worse, you are posting links to information that is even more outdated, irrelevant, and methodologically flawed than the US News rankings. You give us 10-year old salary data, we give you "Correlates of Elite Firm Placement." You give us Brennan, we give you ALAMAR.
Why? Becuase there are no objectively true, perfectly quantifiable standards for what makes a law school better than another. They just don't exist.
one point you're trying to make (that the US News rankings aren't the best measure of a law school) is so obvious to all of us that it usually gos without saying
And if I ever meet one, I hope they explain what the hell a toliet is.
I give up. This guy's just an idiot. He's never going to get it. I'm still very skeptical that he's a law student at all, especially a 3L, given that he doesn't know the difference between placement and recruiting, that he can't follow or construct an argument, that arguments from policy or theory so confound him that the best he can do is defend the details in a failed scheme, and that he's wasting his time on an internet message board trying to justify his school choice like a sulking 15 year old when he should really be out looking for a job (along with the other 43% of his class that is unemployed at graduation). I never thought much of Hastings to begin with, but if this guy actually is a student there, my opinion of it will be even further depressed. God forbid I ever fill out a USNews reputation survey.
Frankly, I'm now convinced that someone should yank Hastings' ABA-accreditation, since 2/3 of the way through your legal education it appears that they've taught you nothing.
Finally found some link to the "Alamar" rankings from some other thread on this site: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php?topic=66033.0The 2007 list has Hastings at 39 which I think is still a little low but it's still 4 spots ahead of US News. Of course, this list also has Georgetown at 31 so I'm not sure if it is a very trustworthy measure. Also, the link to the ranking from the thread is dead, so is the alamar foundation website.
You know something is wrong with your ranking system when literally EVERYONE ELSE has hastings ranked higher than you.
oh yeah and my girlfriend is a 3-L at hastings... she is in the top 25% of her class, not in moot court or law journal, and she summered at, was offered, and accepted an offer at Orrick, the #1 firm in the bay area and a top firm nationally and internationally. She will be making $135,000/year starting next year... all that from getting good but not great grades and not doing any extracurriclars...just another reason why US News is bogus - The Firms know US News is bogus. That's why hastings is still top 20 for top firm recruitment despite being ranked 43rd in US News.