Thoughts about choosing a law school, part 1

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5 Responses

  1. Logan says:


    Something to include in these posts (and for aspiring law students to consider) is what kind of law they want to practice in the future. A lot of schools specialize in particular areas and also offer scholarships to those that are willing to work as ADAs or public defenders for a reasonable time period.

  2. Megan Lewis says:

    I think you overestimate the desire for a prestigious resume and underestimate the desire to just get in.

  3. Jeff Lipshaw says:

    The problem, as you point out, is the translation of a bell curve relationship into a linear one. I talked about this a couple years ago, but focused on the peer reputation score, and did it with a fancy graph over at PrawfsBlawg.

  4. John Henry says:

    I’d quibble a bit with the above analysis. For instance, the difference between the 8th ranked school and the 10th is 2 points in the U.S. News formula. Yale is in a class by itself in terms of opportunities for its graduates; Harvard and Stanford likewise are significantly better than Columbia/NYU/Chicago, which in turn are better than the rest of the so-called ‘Top 14’.

    It is outside the Top 14-16 that the national reputation drops off significantly, as Mr. Lipshaw’s analysis in the link above describes. For instance, the difference in the prestige scores provided by academics and judges between Yale and a 10th ranked school is basically 4.9 to 4.5-4.6. The prestige scores for a school ranked around 20 is about 3.5; 30 3.2; 40 – 3, and so on.