TaxProf Blog

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

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Law Schools That Most Goosed Their U.S. News Ranking With School-Funded Jobs

Following up on yesterday's post, ABA May Prohibit Reporting Law School-Funded Jobs as Full-Time, Long-Term Bar Passage-Required Jobs:  Robert R. Kuehn (Washington University) passed along this chart (from ABA data for the Class of 2013) of the 38 law schools that boosted their full-time, long-term reported numbers by 2% or more through school funded jobs:

Law School

# Employed    Bar Passage Required FTLT

# Funded Bar Passage Required FTLT

% Funded Bar Passage Required FTLT

1.   WILLIAM & MARY

166

43

25.90%

2.   EMORY

244

62

25.41%

3.   GEORGE WASHINGTON

469

88

18.76%

4.   VIRGINIA

348

58

16.67%

5.   AMERICAN

231

37

16.02%

6.   GEORGETOWN

540

73

13.52%

7.   UCLA

252

31

12.30%

8.   ILLINOIS

168

20

11.90%

9.   LEWIS & CLARK

144

15

10.42%

10. UMASS

29

3

10.34%

11. UC-BERKELEY

261

25

9.58%

12. VANDERBILT

178

17

9.55%

13. CORNELL

173

16

9.25%

14. BOSTON UNIVERSITY

187

17

9.09%

15. NYU

505

42

8.32%

16. MARYLAND

152

12

7.89%

17. UC-DAVIS

138

10

7.25%

18. COLUMBIA

415

29

6.99%

19. CHICAGO

199

13

6.53%

20. USC

154

10

6.49%

21. CHARLOTTE

129

8

6.20%

22. YALE

160

9

5.63%

23. PENNSYLVANIA

235

13

5.53%

24. PACE

122

6

4.92%

25. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

21

1

4.76%

26. COLORADO

123

5

4.07%

27. TEXAS

296

12

4.05%

28. HAWAII

53

2

3.77%

29. RUTGERS-NEWARK

151

5

3.31%

30. GEORGE MASON

129

4

3.10%

31. LIBERTY

33

1

3.03%

32. TULSA

67

2

2.99%

33. STANFORD

170

5

2.94%

34. MINNESOTA

192

5

2.60%

35. ARIZONA SUMMIT

126

3

2.38%

36. NORTHWESTERN

225

5

2.22%

37. PITTSBURGH

135

3

2.22%

38. HARVARD

505

11

2.18%

Placement data counts 20% in the U.S. News Law School Rankings Methodology.  Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

See also Kevin Outterson (Harvard), Messing With the Data, Law School Edition

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/03/the-law-schools-that-most-goosed-.html

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

That's quite a list of shame. One ought to note that at GW, those school jobs pay but $15/hour, and a few years ago, the dean tried to plead poverty and cut it back to $10/hour, to his lasting infamy on Above the Law.

P.S. For anyone curious, no, I don't know whether the reason why Northeastern doesn't do these school-funded jobs is because 1) they are too cheap, 2) all of the office busywork is already performed by the students who couldn't get a co-op offer from an outside employer, 3) they don't care about their alumni enough to offer a lifeline, or 4) they think that their 43% to 48% FT, LT, license-required employment rates are sufficient. All of the above, probably.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Mar 9, 2015 7:24:33 AM

It'll be interesting (and quite shameful) to see how quickly these positions dry up (or what new boondoggle is conceived of) once the rankings benefit disappears, especially at those schools whose administrators are on the record claiming that these positions are solely to help the students. So, if these administrators meant what they were saying, then we should expect to see these positions remain at the same levels, or increase, until the legal job market stabilizes, right?

Emory, G.W. and W&M: all eyes are on you.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 9, 2015 9:30:27 AM

Very interesting to note Michigan is not listed while primary public school competitors Virginia and Berkeley rank quite highly on this list, and every other school that made the 2016 US News & World Reports top 10 released this morning is here except Duke. Looks like Michigan paid a price for not going along with this trend!

Posted by: Dave G | Mar 9, 2015 12:25:03 PM

There are a lot worse ways to spend a law school’s money than helping students in a terrible job market get a foot in the door (and ultimately a permanent job) at a public interest position or gov position. Places like Wash. U., the home of the chart’s author, that are charging $49k tuition but not providing this kind of assistance should be on the hot seat not the other way around.

Posted by: Why Would Someone From Wash. U Take the Time to Make a Graph? | Mar 9, 2015 2:46:44 PM

It is admirable that schools are helping people in a bad market, but this is the equivalent of giving a tuition rebate coupled with an externship. It is NOT a reflection of market factors that favor the schools graduates. Instead, the numbers for most of these places reflect the very opposite. This holds true regardless of the author's employer (a cheap shot gives you know sympathy - pay your debt).

I don't think the Yale and Harvard numbers amount to "goosing." First of all, they do not need the boost. Second, the "boost" probably isn't even a statistical boost. Finally, grads from these schools can go into teaching, or stay around to help direct centers and other academic projects. Since many grads from these school ultimately teach, this should not count against the schools.

Posted by: tony smith | Mar 9, 2015 6:50:11 PM

Without intending any implicit criticisms of any other particular law school, I am pleased, but not surprised, to see my alma mater, Duke, absent from this list. The school is thriving under Dean Levi's leadership, and I know for a fact that while he is certainly aware of USNWR and other rankings, he cares far more deeply about the proper mission of the school and the students and civic institutions served by that mission. Older alums like myself (’83) cannot help but be proud.

Posted by: Mike Petrik | Mar 11, 2015 7:46:54 AM