Law School Discussion

Whats the cutoff for T1, T2....T4?

Whats the cutoff for T1, T2....T4?
« on: March 23, 2008, 08:50:34 PM »

I've been reading the boards lately and have just been wondering what the general consensus (if there is one) is for the cutoffs of the different tiers for ranking the law schools.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Whats the cutoff for T1, T2....T4?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008, 10:03:59 PM »
I read somewhere that it's the top 14 because, since the inception of the US News and World Report Law school rankings, only those 14 schools have been ranked in the top 10 at one point or another.

Re: Whats the cutoff for T1, T2....T4?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 12:48:13 AM »
generally, when people refer to T1, T2, T3, T4, they are talking about the first 50, second 50, third 50, and whatever's left on the USNWR rankings.  there are people who argue that T1 should be understood as the top 25 or the top 14 (there's a group known as the top 14 for some bizarre reason), but people generally refer to those as T25 or T14.

This is essentially correct for the tiers, though I believe T3 and T4 do not have exactly 50 schools.  As for the top 14 schools, when I applied to law school legend has (had?) it that they have always been in the top 14...

Re: Whats the cutoff for T1, T2....T4?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2008, 03:13:19 AM »
They are essentially called the top 14 because Georgetown's class and reputation has been so strong that there was a big drop-off afterwards. The 14 in 10 explanation was devised ex post facto as justification - it's not like they devised a methodology and those happened to be the results. There is no top 5 of HYS, Chicago, Michigan just because those are the only schools that have been in the top 3. The term would still exist even if Georgetown hadn't ever been higher than #14. The only schools in T14 rule isn't technically true, as UT and UCLA were in the T14 in 1987, but it's a more significant reason, since it's actually intuitively meaningful and 1987 was before a 3 year gap and with very different methodology. However, I am willing to bet that if UCLA has been #14 for one random year in, say, 1998,  the term would still exist, so it's clearly not ultimately a product of some arbitrary numerical rule.

It's worth noting that the usage of the specific term probably doesn't extend much beyond a few internet discussion boards, though.