Over the past few days we’ve seen an outpouring of support for the proposition that people should go to law school. It’s clear that there are many students in law school or heading to law school who believe that they’ve made the right decision (and it is the right decision, for some people). Moreover, we’ve learned that a lot of people seem to think that ATL — or, more specifically, me — have some kind of vested interest in crushing dreams and making law students feel bad.
Duly noted. I probably should stick my vuvuzela up my butt and let you guys enjoy the excitement of starting out on a new career.
But as Gandalf once said: “I’m not trying to rob you, I’m trying to help you.”
From the files of “things that will never freaking happen,” the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) is telling law schools to discontinue divulging LSAT scores to U.S. News for the publication’s annual rankings. SALT should duck before that flying pig smacks it upside its head. The National Law Journal reports:
[SALT] has urged law schools to stop providing U.S. News with their incoming students’ LSAT scores on the theory that the immense pressure to snag incoming students with high scores is making it harder to admit diverse classes. The median LSAT scores of the entering class accounts for 12.5% of each law school’s U.S. News score — a greater weight than the magazine gives to average grade point average or acceptance rate.
Not only is this something that will never happen, it’s also an idea that is beyond dumb. Quite an exacta there from the law teachers…
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
We’ve come to the end of the U.S. News Law School Rankings. The Fourth Tier. The schools that are friends to those who will do anything in order to go to law school. Here is an open thread to discuss these schools, collectively or individually, and to compare and contrast.
Are any of these schools worth the price of admission? Well maybe for the Lulz. Check out how even high-achieving students get treated at 4th tier Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School…
SMU Dedman School of Law is now officially willing to pay law firms to hire its graduates. The school is calling its new program “Test Drive,” which adds a nice layer of hilarity: Toyota wouldn’t pay me to test drive a Camry.
Even the logo for this program screams sadness:
Let’s look at the blast email from SMU career services…
It’s time for us to discuss the third tier law schools. Every year, U.S. News ranks the top 100 law schools, and then throws everybody else into the third tier morass (which is better than the fourth tier morass, I suppose).
We won’t list them all, but you can click here to check them out.
One could argue that the legal profession would be better if there were just 100 ABA accredited law schools (as opposed to 200). One could argue that we should have very different kinds of law schools: a top 100 that caters to Biglaw, big time clerkships, and elite legal work, and another “tier” of law schools that better prepares graduates for small law and the kind of low cost legal services we need more of.
One cannot credibly argue that the price of these third tier institutions should be similar to the first and second tier schools we’ve previously discussed.
But don’t try to get the administration at these schools to reduce the cost of the education just because the debts put their graduates in a bad financial situation…
We have finally come to the last batch of top-100 law schools according to U.S. News.
These are law schools that should not be called “TTT.” They aren’t in the third tier. Okay? They are in the top-100. That means that U.S. News thinks they are better than at least 100 other law schools incomprehensibly accredited by the ABA. Let’s all remember that as I list these schools:
78. Loyola (Chicago) 78. UNLV (Boyd) 80. Chicago-Kent 80. LSU 80. Rutgers 80. University of Denver (Strum) 80. Oregon 86. Hofstra 86. Indiana University – Indianapolis (IUPUI) 86. Northeastern 86. Seattle 86. Syracuse 86. Arkansas 86. Richmond 93. Chapman 93. Santa Clara 93. Missouri 93. Nebraska 93. West Virginia 98. Catholic University of America 98. Depaul 98. San Francisco 98. University of the Pacific 98. William Mitchell College of Law
Sometimes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all. And you know what, the level of acrimony and lack of civility flying around Above the Law the past two weeks has been really ridiculous. So, after the jump, I will endeavor to say one nice thing about every school in this batch…
Welcome to the top … of the second tier. We are at the point where the value proposition of going to law school is questionable. But the “nailing attractive co-eds” possibilities remain high. Check out some of the schools ranked in this batch. If you are going to spend three years and six figures on something, you’re going to need more than illusory job prospects to keep you warm at night:
54. Florida State
54. Yale Law School’s Hartford Campus/University of Connecticut (j/k)
56. Case Western Reserve
56. Loyola (Los Angeles)
56. San Diego
60. Georgia State
60. University of Houston
64. Lewis & Clark College
67. New Mexico
72. Penn State
72. Seton Hall
72. St. John’s
See what I’m saying. I bet young law students are just cutting a swath through the undergrads at Yeshiva University.
Seriously though, FSU, Miami, Rocky Top, Ha-freaking-Waii. Good times! You know, unless you want to get a job…
Let’s finish off the top 50 law schools as ranked by U.S. News. As many people know, U.S. News jump from its top 100 straight to the “third tier.” The jump allows many clearly “second tier” schools to claim that they are “first tier schools” even though everybody knows they are not. I’m not even sure that all the top 50 schools should be able to call themselves first tier: but I don’t make the rules, I just watch as prospective law students are fooled by them.
To refresh your memory, here are the next batch of schools:
34. Ohio State (Moritz)
34. University of Washington
34. Washington & Lee
38. Arizona State
38. University of Colorado – Boulder
38. Wake Forest
42. George Mason
42. University of Arizona (Rodgers)
42. UC Hastings
47. Florida (Levin)
48. American University
These places charge like first tier law schools. But are they?
Given the legal economy, prospective students should clearly be shooting for law schools in the top-15. But, not everybody can rock the all powerful LSAT. Going to a law school in this group can still result in Biglaw jobs for graduates who want them — especially if the school is located in the market where you ultimately want to practice.
18. USC (Gould)
19. Washington University in St. Louis
20. George Washington
22. Boston University
22. University of Minnesota
22. Notre Dame
27. Indiana University
28. Boston College
28. William and Mary
28. U.C. – Davis
Thoughts on these schools? I’ve got some thoughts on this particular group of rankings as a whole…
Let’s continue our march through the U.S. News law school rankings. Today we finish up the traditional top-14 — and we’ll throw in the schools tied for 15th, because we’re pretty sick of hearing UT and UCLA students whine. To refresh your memory, here’s the next group of schools:
All joking aside, dropping to #6 is really not that big of a deal. NYU Law students will be fine — check out how the kicked it on the basketball court just after the rankings came out…
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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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.
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