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Author Topic: Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR  (Read 2086 times)

1LCorvo

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Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR
« on: June 04, 2007, 12:11:31 AM »

Of the two, which is better?
Would you recommend either of the two? Both?

pros/cons of both?
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LanguageGame

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Re: Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2007, 11:48:26 AM »
Leiter's rankings are better if you want to know where the academic quality of the faculty ranks. However, the academic strength of a faculty does not correlate with the reputation of a law school in the private sector. So I would never look to a law school's academic quality to get a sense of its private reputation. The U.S. News rankings are more widely known, and are going to be the rankings most often consulted (if any ever are) by the private sector.

If legal academia is your thing, then Leiter's rankings may be more important. The problem with the academic quality of a faculty is that often changes every year. Faculty take jobs at different law schools all the time, and this can radically change the academic standing of a law school. For example, Minnesota had a rough period when there was a major exodus of faculty a few years ago, but this year has made a huge rebound, with something like 5 or 6 major hires. However, I am sure that during this period Minnesota's reputation did not change one bit in the private sector. Law firms simply aren't interested in keeping up with whether Minnesota (or any other law school) just gained or lost a highly distinguished expert in civil procedure (or whatever area).

Another point to note about Leiter's rankings is that his methdology has changed radically. In 2003/04 his rankings used a "scholarly reputation" method, which like U.S. News, involved a survey of law school profs about their perception of the academic quality of various law school faculties. I tend to think that Leiter's results were more representative of what law profs actually thought, than are the U.S. News surveys. A higher percentage responded to Leiter, I think they accorded Leiter's attempt at a ranking more respect, etc. However, that was done in 2003/04, and as I pointed out, faculties have changed a lot since that time. In 2005/06 Leiter began to use a "scholarly impact" method, which involves measuring the number of times the work of a given faculty member is cited in other law professors' work. Leiter believed this would provide a more "objective" measure of the academic quality of a law faculty. He is currectly undertaking another ranking study this fall, which sounds like it will combine the "scholarly impact" and "scholarly reputation" methods. So it is important to keep in mind what is being measured in each of the rankings that have been put out, as well as the fact a faculty may have changed considerably by the very next year. And Leiter certainly has not done a ranking (of this type) every single year.

1LCorvo

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Re: Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2007, 11:57:53 AM »
I'd use both.

can I ask why you chose Duke?

I picked Duke for a variety of reasons:

-I lived in Carolina for about 7 years, so I am slightly bias.
-I received the most money from Duke (out of the t14).
-I don't want to study in the city (Philly, NYC, or Chicago). I've never been a city kind of guy. But I do see the advantages in studying in the city.
-I enjoy college basketball a lot. My UG didn't really emphasize sports (d3), and it was lame. So, I wanted to go somewhere that did.
-Visited (UVA, Penn, NYU, CLS, Mich, N/W, and Duke), and enjoyed Duke the most.
-Duke places well around the country. So, I'm not too worried about my job prospects after school.
-Believe it or not, weather was important to me. I tried to figure out what makes me happy. And warm weather does.
-Coach K and the Cameron Crazies.
-They have a fantastic gym too. It was great playing ball there.

It came down to Uva and Duke for me. I hope that answers your question.
With the number 1 pick in the NBA draft, the Portland Trailblazers select: Greg Oden!

(the Trailblazers have been blessed from God)

IF

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Re: Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2007, 01:37:32 PM »
I liked looking at both; leiter for the scholarly and USNWR for the popular, all-around. 

Suprised you chose Duke over UVA as well :), but certainly understand to each his (or her) own.
UVA, 2010

It's the place.

Special Agent Dana Scully

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Re: Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2007, 03:54:13 PM »
I liked looking at both; leiter for the scholarly and USNWR for the popular, all-around. 

Suprised you chose Duke over UVA as well :), but certainly understand to each his (or her) own.
same IF

and don't 4get, you almost did the same until I talked you into following your heart  ;)
Columbia 3L

1LCorvo

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Re: Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2007, 04:20:50 PM »
I liked looking at both; leiter for the scholarly and USNWR for the popular, all-around. 

Suprised you chose Duke over UVA as well :), but certainly understand to each his (or her) own.

In the end, the decisive factor was coach K.
I'll log back on in ten years, and tell you if I regret my decision. Hopefully, I'll have enough money to afford the internet (slightly worried now)...
With the number 1 pick in the NBA draft, the Portland Trailblazers select: Greg Oden!

(the Trailblazers have been blessed from God)

IF

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Re: Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2007, 06:28:52 PM »
I liked looking at both; leiter for the scholarly and USNWR for the popular, all-around. 

Suprised you chose Duke over UVA as well :), but certainly understand to each his (or her) own.
same IF

and don't 4get, you almost did the same until I talked you into following your heart  ;)

Actually I figured out not going to Duke on my own...it was GULC you saved me from  :P

I liked looking at both; leiter for the scholarly and USNWR for the popular, all-around. 

Suprised you chose Duke over UVA as well :), but certainly understand to each his (or her) own.

In the end, the decisive factor was coach K.
I'll log back on in ten years, and tell you if I regret my decision. Hopefully, I'll have enough money to afford the internet (slightly worried now)...

Nah, you won't regret it.  Duke's a great school and I was impressed on many levels by it.  I just think UVA's better  ;D.
UVA, 2010

It's the place.

1LCorvo

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Re: Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2007, 08:06:41 PM »
Coach K will haunt you in your dreams.
Uva is great too. All the t14s are great IMO. There's no hate here...lol
but watch out for coach K
With the number 1 pick in the NBA draft, the Portland Trailblazers select: Greg Oden!

(the Trailblazers have been blessed from God)

mrdunson

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goosenesque

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Re: Brian Leiter's Rankings vs. USNWR
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2007, 11:26:22 PM »
http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_legal_studi/files/the_us_news_and_world_report_rankings_without_the_clutter.pdf

I think that this is the best rankings available. 

Funny, I think those are the worst rankings I've seen (besides Cooley's).

Yes, GPA is hard to compare across different schools and majors, and yes, employment data can be distorted, but those are still two important factors that cannot be ignored.  Only use LSAT percentiles and peer assessment scores?  Come on now.