Earlier this week, we brought our readers news of the latest Princeton Review law school rankings for Best Career Prospects. Basing a “career prospects” ranking on surveys of current students, students who have yet to embark upon their careers, could be questioned methodologically — but you ate that s**t up like Halloween candy, so let’s give you more.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at the new rankings in categories that current law students actually know something about: the law schools that are the toughest to get into, and the law schools with the most competitive students. While one of these rankings lists is consistent with conventional wisdom, the other might surprise you.
Good news, everyone! Princeton Review — the other, other white meat U.S. News — has released its very own law school rankings. This year, we are treated to the Best 168 Law Schools Rankings. As usual, the rankings are divided into 11 categories filled with mostly nonsensical results. After all, where else will you find Cooley Law on a list for having the “Most Competitive Students”?
But nonetheless, in this kind of a down market, everyone’s been itching to see a rankings list of the law schools that will verily ensure graduates’ employability (except for the purposes of suing over employment statistics, of course). Honestly, why go to law school in the first place if as a result you’re only qualified to stock shelves at the local convenience store?
That’s why everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Princeton Review released its somewhat-ridiculous “Best Career Prospects” rankings list. Because any list that doesn’t include Yale is sure to be worth reading….
It’s always a little underwhelming when the Princeton Review Law School Rankings come out. Unlike U.S. News, Princeton Review ranks schools by categories instead of an all-in numerical ranking. So it’ll tell you which law school has the “best career prospects” or the “best classroom experience,” but it won’t tell you which law school is the G.O.A.T once you factor in everything.
More annoyingly, the rankings are based in large part on student surveys. Do you particularly care that students at Vanderbilt rate their career prospects slightly better than students at Harvard? ‘Cause I don’t — which is perhaps the only thing I have in common with a Supreme Court justice.
This year’s rankings seem more useless than ever before. In the initial press release, Princeton Review announced that Brown had the best law professors in the land. Brown. Apparently Princeton Review is now being written by John Grisham. Faculty Lounge captured a screen shot of the initial inaccurate release (now corrected).
But rankings are rankings, and it’s always fun to discuss them. I mean, Princeton Review has U. Penn Law rated as the law school with the best career prospects. I’d ask Penn grad Marin what she thinks about that, but she’s busy pushing a shopping cart full of cans to the grocery store to augment her ATL pay.
Let’s take a look at some of these lists. Hilarity is sure to ensue….
When the Princeton Review Law School Rankings came out last year, I was skeptical of their usefulness. The organization ranks law schools in 11 different categories based on student surveys. This year, 172 law schools were eligible.
Looking at Princeton Review’s list of top ten Best Career Prospects, I remain skeptical:
1. Northwestern 2. Penn 3. Michigan 4. University of Chicago 5. Stanford 6. Boston University 7. Boston College 8. Harvard 9. NYU 10. GULC
Honestly, I’m okay with Harvard being ranked lower than BU or BC in terms of career prospects. I mean, that’s wrong but whatever. I’m okay with NYU placing in the top ten while Columbia does not. Again, probably wrong but no big deal. But — as I said last year — having a list that ranks the ten best law schools for your career that doesn’t include Yale undermines the credibility of the entire list. You’re really telling me that there are ten law schools that are better for your legal career than Yale Law School? That’s just dumb. Maybe next year, Princeton Law will be on the list.
Anyway, after the jump we take a look at some of the other categories.
Princeton Review has released its annual (nonsensical) law school rankings. This year we are treated to the Best 174 Law Schools Rankings. The rankings are divided into 11 categories.
In this down market, the Best Career Prospects category seems appropriate. The top-ten law schools are:
1. University of Michigan Law School
2. Northwestern University School of Law
3. University of Virginia School of Law
4. Harvard University Law School
5. Boston College Law School
6. Stanford University School of Law
7. The University of Chicago The Law School
8. New York University School of Law
9. University of Pennsylvania Law School
10. Boston University School of Law
Notice that Yale Law School isn’t on this “best career prospects” list. I dare somebody to get into Boston College and Yale and go to Boston College because they think that is a better career move. Send ATL both acceptance letters and a BC transcript, and we’ll send you $100 and a photograph signed by God.
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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