Law Schools

And now things get interesting. As we continue to run through the U.S. News 2012 law school rankings, we get to a crucial set of schools. The schools in this batch are certainly top tier, but they’re not “top 14″; for the most part, though, they charge like top 14 schools (especially the private ones).

So this is the batch of schools where we usually hear questions like: Should I go to this school at full price, or a much lower-ranked school for free? And our answer is usually, “How much lower-ranked are we talking about?”

The bottom line is that when people get into schools like Duke, or Penn, they are going to end up going to that school. But when people get into some of the schools on this list, they do seriously consider other options. Should I retake the LSAT, score better and apply again? How much financial aid am I getting? What’s the job market like in the [secondary market] this school is located in, just in case I get stuck there? Is it worth it to go into this much debt for a degree from that school?

These factors should come into play no matter which law school you get accepted to, but at this point on the U.S. News list, cost factors take on increased importance…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Open Thread: 2012 U.S. News Law School Rankings (16 – 30)”

* Were you skeptical of all the law schools reporting to U.S. News that the median private-sector starting salary for their graduates is $160,000? Forbes explains why your skepticism is warranted. [Forbes via Constitutional Daily]

* On a related note, if you want to be a millionaire, you should definitely go to college. Law school? Not so much. [CNNMoney.com]

* Ninth Circuit to LGBT community: no gay marriage for you — yet. Request to vacate stay DENIED. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio is suing his former defense lawyers, claiming that he was improperly charged for expenses like attorney underwear. If I had a client like Nacchio, I’d need new boxers too. [Bloomberg]

* Georgetown Law’s outgoing SBA president, William Broderick-Villa, is worried about GULC’s U.S. News ranking: “I do not like sharing the #14 spot with Texas one bit…. I’ve heard students tell me for awhile they fear that Texas will overtake us. And Texas is hungry.” [Georgetown Law Weekly (Google Cache)]

* An update on the partner who, when called out for blowing a deadline, threw his secretary and former associate under the bus (previously discussed here). SFL asks: “What happened to old-fashioned groveling?” [South Florida Lawyers]

* Congrats to my friend and law school classmate, Dan Stein, who has left the S.D.N.Y. U.S. Attorney’s Office (where he headed the public corruption unit) and joined Richards Kibbe & Orbe. [Richards Kibbe & Orbe]

Negrodamus sees a future where only people who actually want to be lawyers go to law school.

A reader sent in an encouraging list from the New York Times. Well, encouraging to me and others who want the demand for legal education to decrease to levels the legal economy can sustain.

According to this story, the Times asked 18 high school seniors in San Diego to predict their futures over the next ten years. None of them saw themselves as lawyers. They saw themselves as doctors and nurses and scientists, but not attorneys….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In Five Years, Will the Endless March Of New Lawyers Finally Stop?”


Invisible Unemployed

The new proposals for regulating law schools coming out of the American Bar Association’s Law School Accreditation Committee are not perfect, but they represent a major step in the right direction.

Now if we could only get the entire ABA to see that allowing law schools to provide misinformation to potential students is bad for everybody.

The National Law Journal reports that there are three major changes being proposed by the Accreditation Committee: changes in the way law schools report employment information, dropping the LSAT requirement, and dropping the requirement that law schools retain a tenure system…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ABA Law School Accreditation Committee Makes Strong Proposals”

Earlier today, we reported on the illustrious position of “dude who puts litter on parked cars,” which was being offered to jobless students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

This wasn’t the first terrible job being offered to law students we’ve posted about. And sadly, it probably won’t be the last. But perhaps we’ve gotten to the point where these kinds of jobs are so pathetic that law school administrations are starting to feel bad about it.

We just received word that the Pitt Career Services Office has officially apologized to students for presenting them with such a terrible option…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Apologizes to Students For Weak Job Listing”

Space is still available for our Above the Law Event: We Know What You Should Do This Summer. But we are filling seats, so sign up today if you would like to join us — and our co-sponsors, Practical Law Company and the ABA Law Student Division, Second Circuit — for a frank discussion about how to make the most of your summer experience. It’s taking place on April 6th at 6:30 p.m.

As we’ve said before, we’d like this panel to provide information attendees can actually apply towards their summer experiences. Whether you have a summer position locked down or not, there are things you can do with your summer that will make you more attractive to employers in the future. Towards that end, let’s meet another one of our panelists.

Anastasia Boyko is the Professional Development Manager at Practical Law Company (PLC). She specializes in professional development and training, and she’ll be there to add some insight into how people can use their summers to actually become better lawyers. Before joining PLC, Boyko was an attorney at Akin Gump and Katten. Prior to that she was an investment banker and has her Series 7, 63 and 79 licenses. She is also a founding member of a NYC women’s networking organization. Boyko received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2005.

Get TicketsIf you want to learn how to use all of the tools at your disposal this summer, we’re here to help. We hope to see you on April 6.

Welcome Texas!

As you are all know, the University of Texas School of Law has moved into the “top 14″ in this year’s U.S. News law school rankings. It’s a bit of cheat for U.S. News: Texas is technically tied for 14th, which means that the magazine has actually managed to cram 15 schools into its top 14. I’d complain more, but I’m a fan of a Big (We Can’t Count To) Ten school.

While we all know that Texas is in the top 14, very few of you remember the significance of the top 14 in the first place. The top 14 isn’t as arbitrary as it sounds. Since U.S. News started publishing these law school rankings, no school that ranked in the inaugural top 14 has ever been ranked outside of the top 14, and no school that did not rank in the top 14 that first year has ever cracked that list. Until now.

The top 14 has been a way to distinguish elite institutions that are nearly interchangeable with one another from really good law schools that are just a cut below. When viewed that way, Texas’s inclusion was probably long overdue.

Let’s take a look at some of the other movement in this rarefied group of law schools….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Open Thread: 2012 U.S. News Law School Rankings (7 – 14)”

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Small Firms, Big Lawyers, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

As the owner of a small law firm, I’m always surprised at how many blind résumés I receive in the mail. First of all, who even uses mail anymore? Does anyone seriously think that I’m going take them more seriously because they used cream-colored, 100% cloth, 24-pound bond paper? I’m not.

But forget the résumés for a minute; for me, it’s the cover letter that tells me whether I want to interview this person. Over the years, I’ve received thousands of cover letters from lawyers and law students. I’ve gotten to the point where I really don’t need to read the résumé before I’ve made my decision.

So with that in mind, here are 11 tips for writing cover letters to potential employers.

1. Spell my frikkin’ name right. You’d be astounded at how many times candidates blow this one.…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Small Firms, Big Lawyers: Enclosed Please Find … No Reason to Hire Me”

Does this count as 'employed at graduation'?

This has not been a great weekend for the University of Pittsburgh community. As many of you know, the school’s college basketball team choked disappointed fans with an early round exit from the NCAA tournament.

You should always avoid comparing a school’s basketball team with its law school, but it appears that things aren’t going much better at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While there is some evidence that the legal economy is recovering, the improving fortunes have not trickled all the way down to 3Ls searching for work….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Leader in the Clubhouse for Worst Job of the Year”

* If you root for your law school alma mater over your undergrad alma mater, you are the kind of unprincipled betrayer who deserves the very worst of all that life has to offer. [PrawfsBlawg]

* Did you know that university professors could get fired for appearing in burlesque shows? [Siouxsie Law]

* Some thoughts on what black prospective law students should consider when choosing a law school, from Yolanda Young. [On Being a Black Lawyer]

* Best. Deposition transcript. Ever. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Please, please, please, let there be many character and fitness boards who will ding this law student who stomped a bird to death. [Huffington Post]

* Happy Purim, everybody. And if you are an Irish Jew, I wish your liver the best.

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