TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, March 26, 2007

More on Underrated Law Schools

Vault_3On Friday, I blogged Vault's new ranking of the Top 25 Most Underrated Law Schools, based on the views of legal recruiters.  On the Emprical Legal Studies Blog, Bill Henderson asks What Does It Mean?:

As I read the list, I wondered, what is the practical implication of a law school being underrated by the people who make hiring decisions for entry level lawyers? Presumably, it means that graduates of certain law schools tend to perform [better] than their school's U.S. News ranking; thus, legal employers are more likely to hire them. If this is true, what is the source of superior performance? Here are two possibilities:

  1. Stronger Students. Some schools may enroll a stronger student body than their rank might suggest.
  2. Better Education. Some law schools may equip graduates with more or better skills than other schools of comparable rank.

Based on some preliminary statistical analysis, there is fairly clear quantitative evidence for the first hypothesis. There is also some qualitative evidence for the second--enough to warrant some additional research.

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Do you really think Vault (or any ranking service) is able to tell which law schools equip students with more skills?

They probably just used some criteria like “Number of large firms that recruit.” (Which tends to favor urban schools.)

Posted by: S.cotus | Mar 26, 2007 4:50:12 AM