Welcome to the top … of the second tier. We are at the point where the value proposition of going to law school is questionable. But the “nailing attractive co-eds” possibilities remain high. Check out some of the schools ranked in this batch. If you are going to spend three years and six figures on something, you’re going to need more than illusory job prospects to keep you warm at night:

52. Pepperdine
52. Cardozo
54. Florida State
54. Yale Law School’s Hartford Campus/University of Connecticut (j/k)
56. Case Western Reserve
56. Loyola (Los Angeles)
56. Cincinnati
56. San Diego
60. Georgia State
60. University of Houston
60. Miami
60. Tennessee
64. Baylor
64. Lewis & Clark College
64. Kentucky
67. Brooklyn
67. Kansas
67. New Mexico
67. Pittsburgh
67. Villanova
72. Penn State
72. Seton Hall
72. St. John’s
72. Temple
72. Hawaii
72. Oklahoma

See what I’m saying. I bet young law students are just cutting a swath through the undergrads at Yeshiva University.

Seriously though, FSU, Miami, Rocky Top, Ha-freaking-Waii. Good times! You know, unless you want to get a job…

Job wise, this is the point in the rankings where the “employed upon graduation” statistics get scary. Even with all the techniques for cooking the numbers law schools are using these days, the job market at many of these schools is soft. Some of these schools aren’t even reporting job statistics to U.S. News.

I particularly noticed Loyola’s decision to not report. The school jumped up to #56 in the rankings. It recently retroactively inflated grades for its students, claiming that the change would make it easier for graduates to get jobs. You’d think that the school would release their employment statistics, just to back up the claim. But no. Loyola – L.A, wants you to know that it’s giving out free points on its GPA, but doesn’t want you to know what kind of shot you have at actually getting a job.

Other schools are in the same non-reporting boat. Georgia State, Baylor, Penn State, and Lewis & Clark all declined to supply employment statistics to U.S. News. What are they hiding?

U.S. News could end this farce next year if it said: “As we consider getting a job the whole goddamn point of going to a professional school, schools who do not provide employed upon graduation statistics will automatically be placed in the third tier or lower.”

In any event, schools that do provide numbers aren’t looking so hot themselves. I think one or two schools in this batch represented over 80% employed upon graduation numbers, but most of them were under 80% and a few of them were under 70%.

If you go to a law school where more than 20% of the graduates have no job (and again, remember all the things that count as “a job” according to U.S. News), then I just don’t know what to tell you. A few of you will get lucky and get a high paying job. Many of you will find some kind of employment that doesn’t really cover your loans. Some of you will just be SOL.

Is it worth the risk? I don’t know. Can you take the LSAT again?

Then again, if you are sitting in San Diego, enjoying perfect weather, flanked by babes or hunks (as is your preference), what do you really care what’s going to happen to you down the road? Life has worked out so far, might as well let the good times roll.

Earlier: Open Thread: 2011 U.S. News Law School Rankings (1 – 5)
Open Thread: 2011 U.S. News Law School Rankings (6 – 15)
Open Thread: 2011 U.S. News Law School Rankings (17 – 28)
Open Thread: 2011 U.S. News Law School Rankings (34 – 48)


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