The Alternative Law School Rankings

For some years now law school prof Glenn Reynolds has been banging the drum on the disconnect among law school enrollments, the cost of attending law school, and the prospects for actually getting a job as a lawyer once you’ve graduated. At Above the Law (hat tip: Glenn Reynolds) they have produced an interesting ranking of the top 50 law schools based, rather than on the inputs to the law school, e.g. entering LSATs, GPAs, etc., the outputs of the law school, e.g. jobs in law, alumni satisfaction, etc. There are some overlaps between the conventional published law school rankings and some interesting deviations.

If you don’t graduate from one of their top three law schools (Yale, Stanford, Harvard), prospects for getting a job in law drop sharply. Prospects for working the law dwindle through the next ten schools (#13 is Northwestern) and drop sharply again. If you graduate from #14 (University of Texas at Austin), your prospects for getting a job as a lawyer drop to only 60.67%. It’s downhill from there through the remainder of the top 50 schools in their rankings. The prospects for getting a job as a lawyer if you graduate from at their 50th-ranked school, the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law the Arizona State, is only 36.83%.

Now, I suppose it could be maintained that a law school education is useful for all sorts of other things, for example, as a preparation for a career in business or finance. Pretty expensive way of preparing for a career in business or finance. It’s even more expensive if the best you can expect is shouting out of a loudspeaker mounted in a clown’s mouth.

5 comments… add one

  • PD Shaw

    Dave, I don’t think you are reading the results correctly.

    University of Texas scores a 60.67 on multiple factors, such as placement in large firms or prestigious clerkships and cost of eduction. If you click through you will see that 89% of U of Tx students get jobs, but probably not as prestigious or as well-paying as schools ranked above them. Meanwhile Sandra Day O’Connor’s School of Law gets 93% employed.

    I guess that these top 50 schools probably do a good job of getting their students hired, but the likelihood of finding jobs to pay their education debt is a whole different story. Transplanted Lawyer at League of Ordinary Gentlemen did a good series on the ins-and-outs of law school last month.

  • Thanks, PD. You’re right. That makes more sense.

  • Red Barchetta

    “…….I gotta roll, can’t stand still, gotta flaming heart, can’t get my fill.”…………..Jimmy

    Sorry. Can’t sleep. and I’ve just got “dreams of you all through my head……….. “

  • Cannons Call

    “I told althea I was feeling lost, lacking in some direction.
    Althea told me upon scrutiny that my back might need protection.
    I told althea that treachery was tearing me limb from limb.
    Althea told me better cool down boy, settle back, easy jim.”
    Grateful Dead

  • Red Barchetta

    You appear to be music buff, Cannons.

    I will see you, and raise you……..

    “….when the levee breaks….got no place to go, whooho…………all last night, sat on the levee and moaned, all last night, sat on the levee and and moaned………..thinking ’bout my baby and my happy home,,,ooh-hoo……, Led Zep IV was the quitesstiial rock albumb. I love them.

    I’m a Stones guy Jumpin Jack Flash is simply the ultimate and greatest rock and roll song in history. Are you kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me? I’m Jumpin Jack Flash, its a gas gas gas…………..

    It defines a band, and simply cannot be duplicated….

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