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May 05, 2015

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Anon

How does your view on Hastings square with the success of Davis? You may have missed the fact that Davis has recruited several Hastings faculty among others in the last few years. In other words Bay Area schools that focus on hiring strong faculty can compete with the out of towners.

Dan Filler

Anon, great question. I wonder if Davis is benefitting from market dominance in Sacramento - a city which probably has fewer out-of-town graduates seeking jobs.

Derek Tokaz

For someone looking at these stats to gauge how likely it is they'll be a practicing attorney after graduating, they'll want to note that these stats include solo practitioners.

If all you care about is becoming a lawyer, and solo practice (for you) counts, then the stats mean nothing. Just pass the bar and your odds go up to 100%. Of course, most people looking at jobs stats care about being hired and having a pay check (among other things).

Some of the schools get a significant rankings boost from their solo grads: St. Mary's - 8.7%; Willamette - 9.0%; Lincoln Memorial - 15.6%; and Florida International with 7.1%. (And that's just a few, I didn't come close to looking at the whole list.)

anon

Derek

Interesting point. Perhaps a category:

FT, LT, JD required, excluding law school funded and sole practitioners.

Nothing wrong with that that I can see; easy to do, and useful data point.

Matt

I assume that a large part of Yale "underperforming" comes from having a lot of students pursuing PhDs or other advanced degrees after finishing law school. Such students are, under the definition here, "unemployed", but counting them as such is surely misleading. (There would also be some people like this at other schools, perhaps especially other "top" schools, but Yale is likely the most hurt here, I'd think. I expect that we'd get a more accurate picture if these students were just left out of the calculations.

anon

How is Yale "hurt"?

The law schools that successfully place grads in the positions their grads seek are fairly well established.

It is the schools whose ranks were NOT published that deserve attention.

I went over and looked.

How the feds allow these schools qualification for student loan benefits is beyond me. The rate of employment appears to be similar to the "diploma mills" that have been shut off in the past.

It really is time to turn off the spigot for schools that place fewer than 25% of their grads in the employment for which they have paid so dearly - in time and money - to prepare.

Derek Tokaz

anon,

The category you just described is very close to the LST Employment Score. Only difference is that LST includes school funded positions but then alerts users to how much of the ES comes from them.

Matt,

4.3% of Yale's class is pursuing another advanced degree. And no, such students are not under the definition here "unemployed." The Leichter's rankings don't describe anyone as unemployed. They are simply not employed in LT FT BPR jobs.

Anon

Only a small minority of law professors have ever practiced law and most look down on it, so why would they care if students get these jobs?

Derek Tokaz

"Only a small minority of law professors have ever practiced law"

Pretty sure that isn't true. It seems that most have a few years (often in BigLaw). However, only a small minority of law professors have ever been career lawyers before entering academia.

Anon

Yes, many have a few perfunctory years but very few have meaningful experience as lawyers.

Anon

Law schools are reluctant to hire "career lawyers" as law faculty for the same reason that law firms are reluctant to hire "career law professors" as lawyers - no book of business (i.e., publications).

anon

Law firms needs lawyers, so it makes sense that they wouldn't hire career law professors. On the other hand, law schools are supposed to train lawyers, so having teachers that know and appreciate legal practice would be a good thing for students.

Barry

Anon: "You may have missed the fact that Davis has recruited several Hastings faculty among others in the last few years. In other words Bay Area schools that focus on hiring strong faculty can compete with the out of towners."

You're making quite an assumption here, that Hastings' grads are doing well due to their faculty hiring.

Barry

IMHO, a few schools will have strange rankings in any system. Notice that Harvard ranks rather low. This is likely due to two things: pursuing advanced degrees and (from what I've heard) elite consulting companies willing to hire new JD's *if* they are Harvad JD's.

I don't see that as a problem, for the elite schools. People going to those will do fine. If somebody purchase a Mercedes rather than a BMW due to some minor features of high-end rankings, they's not a real problem.

The important thing is to let people know which schools don't do well, because most of them don't.

Notice that by the time we hit #100 (out of over 200), the rate is at 60%, and that counts solo's/small 'firm' hires, many of whom are unemployed but are hanging out a shingle. It's important to let people know what they are buying for $100 - $250K.

dupednontraditional

Anon makes a good point about the lawprof "book of business."

To take it further, if we are going to make the divide between the practicing lawyers' "book" and the practicing prof's "book", then law schools need to get out of the "preparing students for the bar" business altogether and instead be legal research think-tanks, and get grants for research to fund their studies. No students, no student loans, no schoolin'. The ABA could accredit a different mechanism for education.

Frankly, I think the majority of law profs would be just fine with this arrangement, at least in principle, as at their core they want to be researchers. That's fine, and we should stop trying to shove a square peg through a round hole. The question of funding, though, would be a tough one...

Anon

Not clear to me that going to law school has ever been necessary to pass the bar. The question is whether it makes it more likely that you can practice law or do whatever better than alternatives.

In any case separating writing from teaching is not going to happen given the way universities work unless one wants to go to world of stand alone bar prep law schools like the non-ABA's which I gather most people here do not like.

Anon

"To take it further, if we are going to make the divide between the practicing lawyers' "book" and the practicing prof's "book", then law schools need to get out of the "preparing students for the bar" business altogether and instead be legal research think-tanks, and get grants for research to fund their studies. No students, no student loans, no schoolin'. The ABA could accredit a different mechanism for education.

Frankly, I think the majority of law profs would be just fine with this arrangement, at least in principle, as at their core they want to be researchers. That's fine, and we should stop trying to shove a square peg through a round hole. The question of funding, though, would be a tough one..."

Yes, and this may be the biggest scam of all.

Rob T,

"The method yields anachronisms - Yale ends up at 33, for example [...}"

Uh, don't you mean "anomalies"?

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