Law School Admissions – News You Can Use

We’re trying a new format today, which is to include a series of noteworthy links from the world of law school admissions and the legal market. There have been a lot of interesting takes on two topics in particular: deferred law firm jobs and the new U.S. News & World Report rankings. We’ll offer up a few links in those areas, as well as a couple of this blog’s favorite law school topics, including faculty hiring.

Here are some of the hot topics in the law school community:

  • In the wake of the new law school rankings, U.S. News & World comes right out and addresses concerns and feedback, via Bob Morse’ “Morse Code” blog. The publication’s recent movement toward transparency and dialogue about the all-important rankings has given the list even more credibility.

  • Perhaps not surprisingly, one of the more extensive responses to the rankings came from The GW Hatchet, where the George Washington student paper tries to work through law school’s drop from 20 to 28 in the latest rankings. In particular, the article focuses on the disagreement between the school and the aforementioned Morse – the former claiming that the addition of part-time programs in the rankings is what dropped GW down the list, while the latter insists that “weak placement” data is responsible. Worth a read, if only to understand how seriously everyone takes this ranking business.
  • Third-tier program New York Law School rates well behind fellow Manhattan schools such as NYU, Columbia, and Fordham, but its new building appears to be second to none. (Note also the swanky location. You could do worse.)
  • The Wall Street Journal is the latest entity to run a story on the increase in job deferments for new law firm associates. You can follow our analysis of this trend here and here.
  • The Kansas City Star also focused on the difficult legal job market, and extended the analysis to include a reduction in federal clerkship positions.
  • The Chicago Tribune ran a story speculating that President Obama’s pick to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court is likely to have significant ties to the University of Chicago Law School.
  • Legal writer and attorney Ursula Furi-Perry has published Law School Revealed and this article provides a solid checklist for analyzing which schools might be a good fit.
  • Stanford shook off a discouraging drop to #3 in the rankings and the loss of constitutional law scholar Lawrence Lessig to Harvard by hiring 10th Circuit Judge Michael McConnell to direct the Stanford Constitutional Law Center.
  • Stanford can also take solace in the fact that its Law School is at the top of the heap in the TaxProf Blog’s ranking of employment success. The ABA’s blog reports that Stanford rates first (followed by Duke, NYC, UCLA, and Penn) in a study based on U.S. News & World employment statistics and conducted by respected law professor Paul Caron, of the University of Cincinnati.

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