Princeton Review

Wooooo, law school!

Yesterday, we brought our readers news of the latest Princeton Review law school rankings for best career prospects. Of course, we found it odd that the list was based on nine-month employment statistics for any old kind of job (e.g., people who passed the bar and went on to become bartenders) and again relied heavily on survey responses from current students rather than recent graduates, but we won’t complain.

Today, we’ll focus on two rankings categories for which student feedback actually matters: the law schools with the most competitive students and the law schools with the best quality of life.

Which schools do you think made these lists? We’ll give you a hint and tell you that the second-best law school in the country will be proud to be on at least one of them….

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Another day, another ranking. Princeton Review has released its annual law school ranking, which we hereby dub the Everyone Gets a Trophy Awards. Each year, the list is divided into 11 categories, and each one seems to be filled with results even more asinine than the last.

While the results here leave much to be desired, surely people will be interested in seeing which schools are doing the best in terms of their graduates’ ability to get jobs (not necessarily as lawyers, mind you, but jobs, period). Thankfully, there’s a ranking for that.

But can we live in a world where Yale Law isn’t number one — or on the list at all? Let’s find out…

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* Musical chairs (White House hottie edition): Michael Gottlieb, former associate counsel to President Barack Obama, is joining the Washington, D.C. office of Boies Schiller & Flexner. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

* The search is on for jurors to serve in the criminal trial for Bernie Madoff’s former employees, but in a case of guilt by association, it’s proving to be a difficult exercise. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* “Democracy is not on autopilot,” said Justice Kennedy at Penn Law. Just because we have a Constitution doesn’t mean it will prevail — which is being evidenced by our government now. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* Because no one could be more “non-essential” than a law student during this mess, the government shutdown is taking a toll on their externship placements throughout the district. [National Law Journal]

* The Princeton Review’s annual law school rankings are out, and boy, have things changed — including the schools with the best career prospects. We’ll have more on this news later today. [Chicago Tribune]

* Cooley Law is teaming up with Eastern Michigan University to offer joint degrees. But we thought Cooley was teaming up with Western Michigan University. Is Cooley infiltrating all Michigan schools? [MLive.com]

Just yesterday, the latest batch of starry-eyed dreamers sat for the LSAT (although the number of these hopeful 0Ls seems to be in freefall). As they wait for the scores to come in, these aspiring JDs will no doubt be doing their research and narrowing down where to apply. Law school applicants have no shortage of resources at their disposal to help them in making their decisions and navigating the process: from U.S. News to Princeton Review, from Anna Ivey to Top Law Schools. But we all know that there is no decision-making tool as beloved as a ranked list. People love rankings — such time and energy savers! We suspect more application and matriculation decisions are made by perusing rankings than will ever be admitted to.

Regular readers of this site might recall that a little while back we published our inaugural ATL Top 50 Law Schools ranking. We are proud that we, rather than burying our methodology in the footnotes or an obscure appendix, prefaced our rankings release with a detailed discussion about the choices we made in devising our methodology.

Whatever the subject matter, anyone looking to rate or rank anything has to make some choices between three basic methodological approaches:

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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.

MOAR RANKINGS, after the jump….

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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….

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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….

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