Law School Discussion

US News Rankings are Bogus

Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2006, 12:58:41 AM »
Here is the argument you ought to be trying to make:

Argument #1
Premise: 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 #2
Premise: 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?

OK sorry for not putting my arguments in numerical format. Calm down dude this is an internet message board not a court room and these are posts not legal motions.

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.

This is very interesting evidence but it's 8 years old. The study ended in 1998 and yet 1998 is the year that US News made a major change in their system for measuring academic reputation.

Additionally, it is one of the scores that are not manipulable by law schools. So even on top of this problematic tool, you still have a number of other factors that US News uses that are highly manipulable.

Also, the US News scholarly reputation rankings only present professors with a list of schools and has them rank them (with no corresponding faculty lists provideD). Leiter did his own study in 2003 where he handed out faculty lists:

Hastings came in at #29, just ahead of UC Davis (#32), its most comparable school.

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.

I think I have said like 3 times already that I agree the Brennan list that ranks hastings at 11 is way old and should obviously be discounted...

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.

Yes, the #43 is an outlier - it is the worst ranking of hastings out of any of these measurements. By definition it is the highest outlier. Brennan/#11 was the highest outlier on the other end and was obviously bogus.

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.

Again you keep attacking my brennan cite. You guys have done this like 5 times so far I have said over and over it is old and should be discounted.

You also go after the salary data AGAIN. I already posted the updated salary information from 2006. Hastings was #30. UC Davis was 45 (despite being 9 spots higher in US News).

I dealt with these issues a while back and you guys keep attacking them and pretending like everything I have said is wrong. It's setting up a straw man.

Why?  Becuase there are no objectively true, perfectly quantifiable standards for what makes a law school better than another.  They just don't exist.

Again this is being relatavist and it doesn't justify the flaws in US News' rankings that I have pointed out. Even if you do think there is no perfect ranking system, the goal should be as good a system as possible and US News clearly is not cutting it with all of these issues.

"Neither your posts nor your links have conveyed any new information (it might be arguable that they conveyed any information at all), and your rankings-obsession is misguided at best. "

What? That Hastings has way higher salary, bar passage, student quality, faculty quality, and firm recruitment than US News ranks it? That Hastings ranks way higher than US News in other comprehensive rankings?

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

I completely agree with you on that point. Interesting that you spend so much time defending US News only to say this now...

Jolie Was Here

  • ****
  • 2397
  • 3L. Meh.
    • View Profile
Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2006, 04:49:21 AM »
Okay, I give up on you, kid.  I really try to be kind on this board, but you're remarkably obtuse.

As someone who will complete his legal education in the very near future, surely you've been instructed as to the use of precise language?  The idea, then, that words have specific meanings probably isn't foreign?

For example: outlier.  You cannot decide that, in a list of numbers, the highest and lowest are outliers by virtue of their being the highest and lowest.  You determine outliers by looking at values which fall outside a certain number of standard deviations from the mean.  It's based on sample size and confidence level, not a desire to lop off unfavorable numbers. 

(I won't even bother explaining for the umpteenth time that you can't consider those different rankings as a set since they're all different measures of different standards.  I mean, compare and contrast the different rankings all you like, but that's it.  What you've argued is similar to invalidating the measure of today's temperature in Dublin because it's 18, which is clearly out of whack with reality since it's 61 in NYC and 63 in Boston, and nevermind that the Dublin temperature is from a different continent and measured in degrees Celsius...)

And of course this wasn't supposed to be a legal brief.  I know VU in real life, and I can assure you that if he intended to present a brief or a scholarly treatise, he'd at least take down his goofy 'tar and clean up his typos. ;)  What he was doing was constructing a sound argument:  applying logic and reason to the facts at hand in a systematic fashion.  You should try it sometime.

You should have just quit while you were...okay, not ahead, but at least even.  I think everyone here was willing to accept (or was indifferent to) your underlying premise  - namely, that the rankings fail to give an accurate picture of Hastings' overall quality.  Like the oft-cited amyt, all you've accomplished in several days of blustering is to put off those who might have helped you frame your argument more soundly.  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.


Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2006, 07:14:48 AM »
And if I ever meet one, I hope they explain what the hell a toliet is.
It's a far-flung southern suburb of Chicago.

Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2006, 09:18:39 AM »
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.

And now back to the personal attacks. I guess that is the way you are supposed to win arguments around here - insult people you disagree with instead of making arguments. Clearly we haven't convinced each other so leave it at that and agree to disagree. You are calling me a 15 year old and yet I haven't once engaged in the childish name-calling that everyone else here has been doing. So if that is all that you have left then I won't argue about US News rankings with you anymore. I still don't understand why you disagreed so strongly with me when you just stated that you don't think US News are a great ranking of how good law schools are.

I hope you don't make a habit out of insulting people so much. That crap may fly on internet message boards but it won't fly in courtrooms. It just makes you look cheap and pathetic.


  • ****
  • 1620
  • Treat??
    • View Profile
Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2006, 10:43:34 AM »
Just so you know, this does fly on an internet message board. And this internet message board has nothing to do with real life.

Unplug the computer and go play outside. It's a nice day.


  • ****
  • 161
    • View Profile
Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2007, 02:15:04 PM »

To the OP:

Seriously, posts like  this are embarrassing to read. Just take your summer job, turn it into an offer, and stop worrying about what others think about your school. Jesus. If you go out and get a good firm job offer, then you shouldnt care about what others think. If you dont get the offer, then you shouldn't be posting here anyways. Don't take this stuff so personally.

Jolie Was Here

  • ****
  • 2397
  • 3L. Meh.
    • View Profile
Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2007, 04:14:11 PM »
My favorite part was when he cited the Alamar rankings:

Finally found some link to the "Alamar" rankings from some other thread on this site:

The 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.

Denny Crane

  • *****
  • 5162
  • Where's my Shirley Schmidt-ho?
    • View Profile
Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2007, 05:21:11 PM »
Brennan founded Cooley, so his rankings aren't even worth the effort it would take me to wipe myself with them if they were printed on toilet paper.


  • ****
  • 159
  • Kage Bunshin No Jutsu
    • View Profile
Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2007, 06:51:52 PM »
You know something is wrong with your ranking system when literally EVERYONE ELSE has hastings ranked higher than you.

If everyone says the earth is flat and only 1 person says its round, that does'nt mean that the 1 person is wrong.


LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

  • ****
  • 1986
  • Hopelessly the Tennessee Vols!
    • View Profile
Re: US News Rankings are Bogus
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2007, 07:41:54 PM »
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.

good for her. how do you explain your classmates who have resorted to posting their resume on craigslist to look for jobs?