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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Texas to Raise $200m to Crack U.S. News Top 10

Austin American-Statesman: Law School Dean Trying to Break Into Top 10 Rankings:

Lawrence Sager knows he will be measured by his ability to raise the $200 million he has promised to add to the University of Texas School of Law's endowment. ... If he can raise the money by the university's 2014 deadline, he will nearly double the current $202 million endowment and exceed by fivefold the most money ever raised in a single drive for the law school.

Hitting his $200 million target, Sager says, is crucial to attracting top faculty and the best students, essential ingredients in his drive to elevate the school from 16th in annual U.S. News and World Report rankings to the Top 10, alongside law schools such as Yale, Harvard and Stanford. For the past 20 years, UT School of Law has maintained a ranking in the Top 20 but never cracked the Top 10. ...

"You find yourself worrying about the rankings much too much, but you can't not care about these rankings," Sager said. "They affect your ability to attract the best students and faculty. One of the key ways to affect those rankings is to spend more money."

(Hat Tip: ABA Journal.)

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Or perhaps Texas could use that money to make it cheaper for its students to go to law school and accept the fact that it is a regional, not a national, law school.

The school smacks of top 25, not top 10. Maybe if UT forced all its students to take jobs in NYC (if you can even find one now from an out of market regional school) it could crack the top 10. but who is it really going to displace: yale? harvard? standford? columbia? nyu? berkely (fka Boalt)? penn? U Chicago? Northwestern? UVA? Michigan? [that's 11] And even then it would still have to get passed G'town [12].

SUre, UT can manipulate and massage the numbers all they want, but people know who the "top ten" are with or without a USNWR list, and Texas ain't on that top 10 list.

for the record, i think UT is an excellent school; just not a top 10 school. who is going to choose UT over any of the schools listed above if they are not from texas? i think that IS the question that defines why it will never be top 10.

Posted by: regionalism | Nov 13, 2008 1:17:22 AM

Why don't you take a look at the number of top New York firms that recruit from Texas before you call it a "regional" school.

Posted by: | Nov 13, 2008 2:02:17 PM

UT-Austin has hosted and produced a lot of top scholars, judges and attorneys. It offers an education that is at least on part with some of the T14 and manages to do so without the hometeam bias that benefits East Coast law schools such as, perhaps, Penn.

Posted by: doug | Nov 13, 2008 7:25:45 PM