Rankings

Say what you will about the Cooley Law School Rankings, but at least they are internally consistent and objectively applied.

We’ve written before about the ridiculous National Jurist Best Law School Rankings. Many law bloggers have written about this list that looks like it was put together by getting the Sorting Hat drunk on goblets of fire water and forcing it to name law schools until it passed out.

We’ve all tried to reason with the National Jurist, but it turns out that effort was not unlike trying to convince an infant not to poop while you’re eating. We’d have been better off just ignoring it and cleaning it up later.

The publication came out with an “edit” yesterday, and while its revisions did a good job of highlighting how stupid these rankings were in the first place, I’m compelled to write about them just so nobody is fooled into thinking their “updates” have actually fixed anything….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “National Jurist Needs To Delete Their Law School Rankings And Apologize To Us All For Wasting Our Time”

He’s smiling because he has long forgotten that night at the printers.

Folks often overlook the value of a good 401k plan. But in Biglaw, a good 401k plan is essential because lost in the cocktail of a good salary, crippling debt, and 5-Hour-Energy-fueled document reviews is the fact that you need to start planning for retirement now. Look, there’s a couple ways this legal career is going to go: you can become rich and not even need to care, or more likely you’ll eventually end up as a permanent associate, government lawyer, low-level in-house functionary, academic, temp attorney, or worse, blogger.

The point is you need to set up your road to retirement while you’re still rolling in Benjamins and ordering Seamless at 3 a.m.

Thankfully, someone has gone to the trouble of ranking 401k plans offered by law firms. Without further ado, let’s see those rankings!

Well… I guess the further ado of clicking through to see the full story….

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* In the wake of the Montana zombie scare, the Canadians have decided to begin preparing for a zombie invasion from the United States. I just hope zombies are vulnerable to hockey sticks. [The Faculty Lounge]

* Some savvy law students from Indiana looked at the job market and said, “Let’s brew beer instead!” And then they named the beer Black Acre. [The Indiana Lawyer]

* National Jurist is going to “correct” its rankings. But don’t worry, it’s going to keep the Rate My Professors score. That doesn’t bode well for Columbia Law. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* The price of litigation is too damn high! [What About Paris?]

* It’s legal, under some circumstances, to rig a sports game? Guys, I’m beginning to think the Washington Generals have been taking a dive all these years. [The Atlantic]

* More on the bipartisan panel on voting rights reform. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of this commission as one side punts on recommending anything. [New York Times]

Yeah absolutely, and I think that, you know, that’s definitely the data point that, uh, I think we’ve gotten the most criticism about.

– Jack Crittenden, Editor-in-Chief of National Jurist Magazine, explaining how Rate My Professor scores ended up in his magazine’s latest law school rankings.

(Continue reading for video of Crittenden’s interview with Bloomberg Law.)

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* Antonin Scalia thinks the State of the Union is a “childish spectacle.” I mean, if it was so important, the Founders would have put it in the Constitution, right? [New York Daily News]

* Does your son or daughter want to be Barack Obama when they grow up? Here are complete instructions to building your own play drone! [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Snickers bars are not tax deductible? Damn you H&R Block!!! [Tax Prof Blog]

* Yesterday I mused about needing a ranking for the rankings. PrawfsBlawg points out that there is such a ranking. My dreams of glory are dashed yet again. [PrawfsBlawg]

* It turns out recruiters are just as unimpressed with your legal research skills as your non-law friends. [Monster]

* Allegedly, Nestle’s does not play well with others. [Courthouse News Service]

* Is it just me or is giving the Republican response like being named the Madden cover athlete? Now let’s all watch Marco Rubio realize he needs water in super slow motion. [Deadspin]

* BREAKING: Law enforcement appears to have cornered Chris Dorner in Big Bear. Two injured in a shootout. [NBC News]

* Ranking the rankings? Who’s a bigger joke: National Jurist or Cooley? If only we had a ranking system for rankings. Hmm, that gives me an idea… [Brian Leiter's Law School Reports]

* A 2009 Harvard Law grad and Proskauer associate Megha Parekh just took over as the General Counsel of the Jacksonville Jaguars. She’s a much better hire than Blaine Gabbert. [Big Cat Country]

* Looking for a clerkship in the present state of anarchy in the post-Clerkship Scramble world? This new website can help. [PrawfsBlawg]

* Call 911 for a sexy emergency! [Legal Juice]

* Papal resignation is a little more complex than you’d think. But what’s all this stuff about Benedict XVI having to “take the Black” and move somewhere called “The Wall?” [Volokh Conspiracy]

* When is a blogger a journalist? This question becomes pretty important when a state boasts a shield law for journalists. [Simple Justice]

* The profiled study here asks whether judges prefer plain language or legalese? Unfortunately, it doesn’t consider the fact that some judges prefer neither. [Associate's Mind]

* After the jump, watch some video of what happened when hackers hit the Montana emergency alert system and said zombies were taking over….

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These days, it seems like every media outlet that has any remote connection to the law is making an effort to dispel the allure of the esteemed U.S. News law school rankings. U.S. News encourages law school administrators to attempt to game the rankings, they say. The U.S. News rankings are too focused on the test scores of incoming students, they say. And while we agree that some of the U.S. News methodology could be changed for the better, others have only offered up absurdities in their alternative ranking systems.

National Jurist recently came out with its own set of rankings which measure much lauded criteria like the number of Super Lawyers each law school produces, and the quality of each law school’s faculty, as measured by the oft revered website, RateMyProfessors.com. And as with the glorious Cooley rankings, any traction that the new National Jurist rankings might have received went totally out the window when the powers that be at the magazine decided to rank Alabama higher than both Harvard and Yale. Come on, everyone knows that the only place ‘Bama should be ranked ahead of Harvard is on a football field!

As far as we’re concerned, this serves only as an exercise in how not to make a new rankings system….

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Could this be a hint?

When it comes to all-important law school rankings, law schools follow the juvenile, Cosmo-esque dating advice of pretending they don’t care while secretly making every decision, consciously or unconsciously, with an eye toward maximizing their appeal.

And that’s not the worst thing in the world. The rankings are there because we generally agree that they measure stuff we want law schools to maximize. But if the rankings counted, say, “employment X months after graduation,” in a down market, the urge for law schools to manipulate that figure is on par with scoring another heroin fix.

Even if it means hiring the students directly to boost the numbers. Schools around the country have been doing this for quite some time.

At one prominent law school, the number of students in school-funded jobs is climbing. Is this a sign that the job market for recent law school graduates has yet to bottom out?

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Wooooo, law school!

It’s about that time: law school tuition deposits are due in a few weeks, and the class of 2016 will soon be bilked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for questionable promises of an improving entry-level job market. So obviously this is a great time for rolling out the latest set of dubious law school rankings.

You’ve seen the prized U.S. News rankings. You’ve seen the somewhat-ridiculous Princeton Review rankings. You’ve even seen the “What is this? I don’t even…” Cooley Law School rankings. But today, for your viewing pleasure, we present you with the GraduatePrograms.com rankings, because that’s apparently a thing now.

While GradPrograms ranked the top 25 student-rated law schools, as well as the best law schools for financial aid, we’ve decided to focus on one of the most important parts of the law school experience: your social life. Now let’s be perfectly clear, if these were colleges, they’d be called “party schools.” But because they’re law schools, there needs to be an air of highbrow prestige — hence these “social life” rankings.

Let’s find where you can go to law school and still party your face off….

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If you show us the ability to be an attorney, we’ll give you the opportunity to be an attorney. It’s not like we let anybody in the door. We don’t. But we’re much more inclusive in our admissions policy than most law schools are.

Jeffrey L. Martlew, associate dean of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s brand spanking new Florida campus, commenting on the school’s admissions policy of inclusion, rather than elitism.

(Want to learn more about this bastion of legal education’s unique approach to law schools admissions? Come on, you know you do, so keep reading!)

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