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August 25, 2012


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Larry Cunningham

Thanks for the writeup. The challenge with doing a lawyer/judge survey is that we couldn't be confident that the individuals participating in the study are receiving all of the materials that are being sent. My sense is that schools do a scattershot approach to these mailings, often focusing on alums or regional practitioners/judges.

You make a good point regarding the many factors that go into peer assessment. One way to test to see which of the variables is, in fact, driving the result is through a regression analysis. Maybe next year.

I sure hope we are entering a period of declining law porn. My worry is that law schools may start moving to e-porn. At least there is always the unsubscribe option if a school is complying with CAN-SPAM ...

Alfred Brophy

Hi Larry,

Thanks for commenting and for the study. Really interesting stuff in there.

I completely understand on the lawyer/judge survey. It's hard to know how much law schools do and it's hard for them to target mailings, since we don't have a good idea of who's surveyed by U.S. News. For a paper on an entirely separate issue I've looked at changes in peer assessment and lawyer/judge assessment and I've been shocked at how static the peer assessments are and how fluid (by comparison) the lawyer/judge assessments are.

One thing that just occurs to me is that it would be interesting to see if there's any relationship between the mailings sent to law schools and the lawyer/judge scores over the course of a year. One might hypothesize that the size/number of mailings to law faculty is a proxy for mailings to lawyers and judges.

Then again, perhaps someone could prevail upon a friendly federal judge to toss all the mailings into a box for a year!

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