Law School Discussion

Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy

rtqw

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Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2007, 03:53:27 PM »
The unstated assumption here seems to be that the other Texas schools set their curves lower out of some sense of fairness, rather than what is best for their school/their students. I don't think there is anything stopping lower ranked schools from raising their median, but they've decided not to. At those schools, it's important that the top students are distinguished enough from the rest of the student body. A low median accomplishes this by spreading out the student body over a large numerical range. This is because some employers only want top students at these schools. At other schools, where there is a perception that a large proportion of the student body is very strong, distinguishing the top students from the rest is less important.

While it's certainly true that both great and mediocre lawyers come from any and all law schools, it's wrong to conclude that the student body as a whole at every law school is equal. There is very little reason to think that other Texas schools have a stronger student body than UT. Like it or not, UT is more highly regarded than the rest of the Texas schools you mention. Employers that will hire median Texas students might not want median students at other schools.

Ultimately, UT's median and percentiles are not a secret, and if an employer feels that a student at UT's median is equivalent to a student at Baylor's median, then they have the information necessary to make an informed choice.

I also don't quite understand your comments about moving away for law school. Some people a) don't want to practice law in the location they are currently in or b) want to keep their geographic options open, so they attend the higher ranked law school with a more national reputation rather than the school in their backyard. Many aren't necessarily rich, but have few enough financial constraints that they can take out loans and go full time.

leostrauss

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Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2007, 04:02:49 PM »
I would like to add this. You can compare UT to all the other TX schools all you want - and TX does have many tremendous law schools. However, the fact is that UT is hands down the best law school in Texas. There is really little comparison. It's not like UT needs to give its students an edge to be able to get them favorable treatment against UH grads.

*I must reiterate my respect for UH, South Texas, Tech, Baylor, St Mary's, SMU, and the others.

Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2007, 06:11:59 PM »
I just find it funny that somebody would criticize somebody for moving across the country for a great opportunity.  It takes a lot more courage to move from New Mexico to say Boston than just sitting back in New Mexico for your legal education.  Also, job prospects aside I am pretty sure that you get a better education at Harvard than you would at a school like UNM or something.

Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2007, 06:59:06 PM »
I just find it funny that somebody would criticize somebody for moving across the country for a great opportunity.  It takes a lot more courage to move from New Mexico to say Boston than just sitting back in New Mexico for your legal education.  Also, job prospects aside I am pretty sure that you get a better education at Harvard than you would at a school like UNM or something.

I guess I'm a little unique on this board.  I don't see the point in moving around the country for law school.  Law school is not a "great opportunity."  Law school is an obligatory step required for a profession in the law.  The choice to go to law school should reflect some actual thought.  It shouldn't be some whimsical choice.  This is what determines your career.  What I find funny is that so many people are willing to just pack up their bags and move to a part of the country unseen because their state school is ranked 75th in USNews and they got into a school ranked 25 somewhere else.  To use the topical example, you're a resident of Texas and you get into Baylor, SMU, UH, Tech, STCL but you don't get into Texas.  You also apply to some schools like Iowa, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Washington & Lee, UC Hastings, etc... Really good schools elsewhere.  Now say you've thought about how you want to start your career and what path you want to take and you want to stay in Texas.  To me it makes no sense to go anywhere but Baylor, SMU, UH, Tech, STCL.

Let's stretch the analogy to my situation.  I personally want to stay in New Mexico.  I've been around, I've seen the puppet show and the strings and I want to live in New Mexico.  Let's say I was accepted to Havard, Yale, Stanford, and UNM.  I would choose UNM because it fits my ultimate goal of having my career in New Mexico better.

In my humble opinion, I think the willingness of students to pack up and go to a law school across the country for a "better opportunity" is misguided at best.  I don't believe there are national degrees.  I do believe there are stuck up firms that might really prefer Harvard over NYU or something like that, I'm sure it exists.  I just think it is overly-exaggerated on this board and I sincerely wish that people were more willing to pursue a professional path they planned out for themselves rather than trying to get the 'best' school they can.

Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2007, 07:12:17 PM »
Law school is a great opportunity just like anything else.  It's an opportunity to go somewhere that is different from what you are use to and get out of your comfort zone (if that is what you desire.) There is a lot more to this world than just New Mexico and Texas.  I want to go to school outside of Texas because I want to see what it is like to live somewhere besides here and experience four seasons meet new people and such.  I also want to get the best education I can and I think it is silly to think that Yale and New Mexico are on the same page.  Sure you get a legal education at both but there is something to be said from learning from the best legal minds in the country.  If people from Texas get accepted to Harvard and not Texas but get into a school like South Texas and want to practice in Houston it sounds like you are saying that person isn't taken their chosen career seriously for choosing Harvard.  That just doesn't make sense to me.

Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2007, 07:38:50 PM »
Let's stretch the analogy to my situation.  I personally want to stay in New Mexico.  I've been around, I've seen the puppet show and the strings and I want to live in New Mexico.  Let's say I was accepted to Havard, Yale, Stanford, and UNM.  I would choose UNM because it fits my ultimate goal of having my career in New Mexico better.

I guess it depends on what kind of law you want to practice. If you're aiming for a position in the big firm, I can assure you that it would be easier to get a job there with a H/Y/S degree than a UNM degree. There may be more UNM law grads working there, but the percentage of associates hired out of those who applied from UNM versus from UVa or Georgetown or Michigan is much lower. If you want to go into politics, then yes, it would be silly to go anywhere but UNM, but to act like a better law school education is wasted simply because you don't want to practice on the east or west coast is, well, incomprehensible.

I mean, yeah, the attorney I worked for in high school made fun of grads from any school but UNM Law, but in the end, if he were a hiring partner at a large firm, I know he'd go for the more prestigious degree first.

I also disagree with the mentality that everyone should treat law school solely as a means to an end - if that's what you have to do to get through it, then whatever, but you can learn a lot and profit from those three years instead of just viewing them as a chore, as three years stolen from you.

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Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2007, 09:19:02 PM »
In my humble opinion, I think the willingness of students to pack up and go to a law school across the country for a "better opportunity" is misguided at best.  I don't believe there are national degrees.  I do believe there are stuck up firms that might really prefer Harvard over NYU or something like that, I'm sure it exists.  I just think it is overly-exaggerated on this board and I sincerely wish that people were more willing to pursue a professional path they planned out for themselves rather than trying to get the 'best' school they can.


I disagree-- I think there are definitely "national" law degrees.  Columbia sends a huge number of students to California, even though it's on the opposite coast.  A Harvard Law grad is going to be able to find a job pretty much anywhere, and (s)he would most likely fare a lot better in Texas, than a UNM graduate, for example.  Lots of law students don't know where they are going to end up after law school--and lots of people end up relocating due to personal or professional reasons.  Going to a more "national" law school means a more portable degree, should your plans change.

Moreover, students from top-ranked law schools tend to have more options available to them than students at lower-ranked schools.  Just compare the average salaries, clerkship percentages, academia placement, etc.  It's certainly not silly or whimsical to go to a school that improves your career opportunities.

Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2007, 09:35:21 PM »
In my humble opinion, I think the willingness of students to pack up and go to a law school across the country for a "better opportunity" is misguided at best.  I don't believe there are national degrees.  I do believe there are stuck up firms that might really prefer Harvard over NYU or something like that, I'm sure it exists.  I just think it is overly-exaggerated on this board and I sincerely wish that people were more willing to pursue a professional path they planned out for themselves rather than trying to get the 'best' school they can.


I disagree-- I think there are definitely "national" law degrees.  Columbia sends a huge number of students to California, even though it's on the opposite coast.  A Harvard Law grad is going to be able to find a job pretty much anywhere, and (s)he would most likely fare a lot better in Texas, than a UNM graduate, for example.  Lots of law students don't know where they are going to end up after law school--and lots of people end up relocating due to personal or professional reasons.  Going to a more "national" law school means a more portable degree, should your plans change.

Moreover, students from top-ranked law schools tend to have more options available to them than students at lower-ranked schools.  Just compare the average salaries, clerkship percentages, academia placement, etc.  It's certainly not silly or whimsical to go to a school that improves your career opportunities.

I totally agree with the above post.  Just call a law firm and ask them where they recruit from.  For example, BakerBotts in Houston recruits from the top 50% at Harvard and only the top 10% from STCL which is about 5 blocks away from their office.

Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2007, 10:08:11 PM »
In my humble opinion, I think the willingness of students to pack up and go to a law school across the country for a "better opportunity" is misguided at best.  I don't believe there are national degrees.  I do believe there are stuck up firms that might really prefer Harvard over NYU or something like that, I'm sure it exists.  I just think it is overly-exaggerated on this board and I sincerely wish that people were more willing to pursue a professional path they planned out for themselves rather than trying to get the 'best' school they can.


I disagree-- I think there are definitely "national" law degrees.  Columbia sends a huge number of students to California, even though it's on the opposite coast.  A Harvard Law grad is going to be able to find a job pretty much anywhere, and (s)he would most likely fare a lot better in Texas, than a UNM graduate, for example.  Lots of law students don't know where they are going to end up after law school--and lots of people end up relocating due to personal or professional reasons.  Going to a more "national" law school means a more portable degree, should your plans change.

Moreover, students from top-ranked law schools tend to have more options available to them than students at lower-ranked schools.  Just compare the average salaries, clerkship percentages, academia placement, etc.  It's certainly not silly or whimsical to go to a school that improves your career opportunities.

ti,oc,tcr

Re: Gross Grade Inflation and UTexas' Ranking Strategy
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2007, 10:27:34 PM »
I just find it funny that somebody would criticize somebody for moving across the country for a great opportunity.  It takes a lot more courage to move from New Mexico to say Boston than just sitting back in New Mexico for your legal education.  Also, job prospects aside I am pretty sure that you get a better education at Harvard than you would at a school like UNM or something.

I guess I'm a little unique on this board.  I don't see the point in moving around the country for law school.  Law school is not a "great opportunity."  Law school is an obligatory step required for a profession in the law.  The choice to go to law school should reflect some actual thought.  It shouldn't be some whimsical choice.  This is what determines your career.  What I find funny is that so many people are willing to just pack up their bags and move to a part of the country unseen because their state school is ranked 75th in USNews and they got into a school ranked 25 somewhere else.  To use the topical example, you're a resident of Texas and you get into Baylor, SMU, UH, Tech, STCL but you don't get into Texas.  You also apply to some schools like Iowa, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Washington & Lee, UC Hastings, etc... Really good schools elsewhere.  Now say you've thought about how you want to start your career and what path you want to take and you want to stay in Texas.  To me it makes no sense to go anywhere but Baylor, SMU, UH, Tech, STCL.

Let's stretch the analogy to my situation.  I personally want to stay in New Mexico.  I've been around, I've seen the puppet show and the strings and I want to live in New Mexico.  Let's say I was accepted to Havard, Yale, Stanford, and UNM.  I would choose UNM because it fits my ultimate goal of having my career in New Mexico better.

In my humble opinion, I think the willingness of students to pack up and go to a law school across the country for a "better opportunity" is misguided at best.  I don't believe there are national degrees.  I do believe there are stuck up firms that might really prefer Harvard over NYU or something like that, I'm sure it exists.  I just think it is overly-exaggerated on this board and I sincerely wish that people were more willing to pursue a professional path they planned out for themselves rather than trying to get the 'best' school they can.


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