Top Law Schools

Getting no-offered isn’t the end of the world.

Getting no-offered is a bad thing. Even though (or perhaps because) summer associate classes are small, offer rates remain high. As Jay Edelson of Edelson LLC writes in this interesting call for reform, End the Summer Associate Sideshow, offers of full-time employment to summer associates are “virtually guaranteed, so long as they don’t do something to truly embarrass themselves or the firm.”[1]

So a no-offer is bad, but you can recover. Sonia Sotomayor got no-offered after summering at Paul Weiss, and her legal career turned out pretty well in the end. Her wonderful memoir is aptly titled My Beloved World (affiliate link), not “I Got No-Offered And Now I Live In A Van Down By The River.”[2]

Let’s say you got no-offered this summer. What should you do?

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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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* Sadly, Ronald Dworkin has died at 81. [The Faculty Lounge]

* Oracle really really hopes the Federal Circuit has read Harry Potter. But of course they have, because… nerds. [Groklaw]

* A 16-year-old is suing her parents to keep her unborn baby, claiming her parents are forcing her to have an abortion. I’m sure she’s just hoping to get on the next season of Teen Mom. [KPLR 11]

* Snake-handling pastor has his snakes confiscated by Tennessee cops. I had to read this twice because I assumed it was a recap from last night’s Justified. [WSJ Law Blog]

* An interesting look at the false dichotomy between teaching and practice. It’s probably unfair, but all I kept thinking was, “those that can, do; those that can’t…” [PrawfsBlawg]

* Jeff Kurzon is taking a break from suing law schools to run for Congress. If elected, Staci expects an invitation to the next State of the Union. [Jeff Kurzon Blog]

* Overlawyered cites, presumably with disdain, a school district banning the use of a piece of playground equipment. I’m sympathetic to the school for two reasons: (1) when I was a kid, I broke my arm on a piece of playground equipment; and (2) take a look at the death trap of a machine they’re banning. [Overlawyered]

* TestMasters claims that individual posters have been sharing their materials for free. This case sounds an awful lot like what brought down Litchfield Law School. [Courthouse News Service]

I want you to digest that headline for a moment. This weekend, a rising 2L is going to share his “system” for succeeding in law school, a system he honed — for a whole year — at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The kid is trying to charge people money to attend his seminar.

Oh, but he was really good at law school. He was able to transfer out of TJLS to George Washington University Law School. He starts there in this fall. Success!

Actually, let me give you the full, prestigious biography he posted to Top Law Schools. We’ve also got video footage of the guy, providing “The 21st Century Approach” to succeeding in law school.

That approach, by the way, doesn’t involve books…

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Over the past few days, we’ve received numerous emails from our readers asking about the fate of the Clerkship Scramble. This website, a popular read among the clerkship-crazed (we count ourselves in this camp), went offline sometime last week, on or about July 4. If you go to its former address, you’ll encounter this message: “Sorry, the blog at clerkshipscramble.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.” The site archives are gone, and they don’t seem to be available via Google Cache either (at least not on a comprehensive basis).

The Clerkship Scramble has been gone for just about a week, and readers already miss it. Fans have described it to us as “very useful,” “a promising site that filled a much-needed information gap,” “the best unofficial resource for law students applying to clerkships,” and “so good!” The site maintained data about clerkship placement rates by law school, compiled rankings of Supreme Court feeder judges, offered advice about the application process, and broke clerkship-related news (such as Georgetown Law’s decision to abandon the Law Clerk Hiring Plan).

So what happened to the Clerkship Scramble?

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We don’t cover the goings-on over at Top Law Schools very often. It’s such a vibrant online community that one could devote an entire second site to meta-coverage of TLS. But over the last couple of weeks, a scandal of sorts has been unfolding. It is unusual enough that we figured it’s worth talking about.

An LSAT tutor by the name of Dave Hall has, for some time, promoted his business over at the TLS forums. He conducts most of his teaching over the internet, and he appears to have a fairly solid fan base on the site. Recently, he landed in some pretty hot water when his longstanding claim of receiving three perfect LSAT scores turned out to be untrue.

The site erupted in conspiracy theories, harsh criticism, and allegations of forging documents. In the midst of the hullabaloo, another tutoring service sued Hall for unfair competition.

Who knew the dreary world of test prep services could be so dramatic? Well, we spoke to Hall about the situation he’s found himself in. The story is not quite what you might expect….

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It’s finals period at many law schools around the country. Here at Above the Law, that means we can expect our inbox to get very entertaining. Pressure + law students + internet = loads of fun.

Well, it’s not just “pressure” that makes some law students wilt during finals period. There is no accounting for plumb stupid.

But today, we’ve got a story that is both stupid and unethical. A student at a top 14 law school reportedly posted a question from his Constitutional Law exam on a message board. He apparently posted it during the take home.

Yes, Virginia, it’s still cheating even if you do it online.

Or should I say: “Yes, Durham”???

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