Talk:Law school rankings in the United States

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Preliminary Notes[edit]

TO DO: I would appreciate help with some of these improvements. The article does need some minor editing for grammar/spelling/clarity. We can also expand the list of alternative rankings. I think the criticism section could be expanded even more. And lastly, some more intrawiki references could be added (for example, to the cities and states of the schools)--Wikiwriter706 20:36, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

The information on the effects of the ranking on real law schools would be article worthy as this gaming of the system is appropriate. But we need more references to make this article really rl John wesley 22:22, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
A lot of the External websites and other references do list more specific examples. We could make it clearer that these elaborate on and support the "gaming" effect.--Wikiwriter706 03:50, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

What about law school outside U.S.A? Do you plan something? Oxford / Cambridge as an example --YoavD 07:57, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Impossibility of "statistical fluke"[edit]

Whatever you may think of the term T14, it is downright wrong to say it is a "statistical fluke." The probability of selecting: 14 schools, in any order, into 14 spots out of say a hypothetical 15 (allow an imaginary school to exist), over the number of years US News has ranked law schools, is less than a fraction of one percent. The only thing that could be said is that there is a systemic bias amongst those polled or the data used to achieve this group, but to attribute it to randomness, which seems to be the insinuation, is absurd. Of course, to get a claim of bias you would either, A. have to believe that legal academics and practitioners have no idea which schools are decent in their field B. Believe that LSAT scores, GPA, and selectivity are inappropriate mechanisms for determining law school quality.

The Top Ten Law Schools (And the fourteen schools in it)[edit]

Top 14: This section of the article is completely appropriate. Regardless of whether "Top Fourteen" has merit as its own article, it is definitely deserves some coverage under the broader heading of Law School Rankings--indeed, the various references provided in this article should be more than sufficient to establish it as worthy of inclusion in this article. Besides, this is an article on law school rankings--it ought to include some ranking of law schools.--Wikiwriter706 00:15, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Neologisms do not belong on wikipedia, whether they are in their own articles or included in article text. A ranking list sometimes used on random internet message boards has no place in an encyclopedia. Xoxohthblaster 00:17, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
This is not a ranking list sometimes used on random internet message boards. This is a list of the schools ranked in a national, widely distributed publication you may have heard of called the US News & World Reports. --Wikiwriter706 00:19, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
True, these 14 are derived from USNews, but the idea of focusing on these 14 schools is a non-notable message-board based concept. See lengthy discussion on this matter in the top fourteen deletion debate (of which I assume you are aware). Xoxohthblaster 00:21, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
The article has been updated to reflect that these 14 are actually the top 10.--Wikiwriter706 00:24, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
But the whole discussion remains about the non-notable T14 concept. Xoxohthblaster 00:26, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
If it is not notable, why is it included in all the cited references?? Books, websites, press releases, etc.?--Wikiwriter706 00:37, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
As I imaine you are aware, this issue has been discussed at length in the course of a deletion debate regarding an article on this very term: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/T14. This page was deleted on the basis that this term is a non-notable message-board originated neologism. Please stop ignoring wikipedia wikipedia:consensus. Xoxohthblaster 00:46, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you that "T14" is not worthy of an article, and you are correct that an article on "T14" was considered a neologism. This article isn't about "t14," nor does it now include the term "t14." Rather, it talkes about the 14 schools that have been ranked among the top 10 in the last 15 or so years. The discussion of the 14 schools that have ranked in the top 10 is not a neologism. A neologism is defined by wikipedia as "a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created ("coined") — often to apply to new concepts, or to reshape older terms in newer language form." "Top 10" and "Top 14" are NOT neologisms. It is an easily understood description in the English language. Indeed, a Google Search returns over three million pages using the phrase. If you think it is inappropriate to discuss the law school rankings with respect to the actual rankings of the schools in this way, please do not blank out key sections of the article. Instead, work to change the language so as to appease your concerns, or suggest an alternative way of listing the schools that have been consistently placed in the top 10.--Wikiwriter706 03:43, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
If you read my comments, I have described t14 as both a "neologism" and a non-notable concept. As it stands, this article still contains a long discussion of the concept that there is a group of 14 schools that matter -- this is a sneaky way of including a concept deemed non-notable by editors. As the article stands, it still does not provide any decent sources for the concept of using top fourteen to group law schools. Unless such a reference is found (not a message board and specific enough that we know it is not fabricated) for this specific concept, all of this discusion of there being 14 top schools and why this matters appeats to be wikipedia: original research. P.S.: Top fourteen was also deleted and an administrator felt strongly enough about this deletion to protect it. Xoxohthblaster 03:53, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
The section that you continually delete is not about "t14." I'm not sure if you've read it before deleting it but if you had you would've noted that it is an alphabetical listing of the schools that have placed in the top ten since the advent of the annual US News Law School Rankings. Since the top ten and its order frequently changes, it seems fairest to note these as the highest ranked schools. For example, Boalt was outside the top ten last year but is in it this year. It doesn't make sense to constantly edit a top ten list, but instead to list "schools that have been in to the top ten recently." The idea of keeping these 14 as a peer set is not a neologism. It's not a word or phrase at all. And it is notable in that it is supported by published books, Washington Post articles, websites belonging to prominent admissions consulting firms and undergraduate institutions--all of which were referenced with over a half dozen footnotes. There are over 16,000 internet pages that have include both the terms "top 14" and "law school"--a significant proportion referring to the very list destroyed by blaster. I do not appreciate your refusal to consider evidence and citations or to accept consensus or compromise. If you do not believe it is appropriate to address the top ranked schools by listing those ranked in the top ten, please suggest another way of approaching law school rankings.
As I said, if you can provide a reference to USNews to show that these 14 schools are the only ones that have been in the top 10, this list is fine. Beyond that, I will oppose including any discussion of the concept of a "top 14" as a way of discussing law schools. As this stands, there us little evidence of notability (notability of the concept, not just neologism, was the basis of the dletion discussion, as I discuss above). That is, as I have said, discussion of this concept in secondary sourcs so that this is not prohibited original research. By the way, as you can see I was not responsible for the last revert.Xoxohthblaster 17:22, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
There was a reference to USNews supporting the Top Ten list.
You just haven't paid attention to the references. Please review what you've deleted.--Wikiwriter706 18:11, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Ummm..I saw that reference. A general to USnews seemed insufficient to suport a reference to every USnews ranking ever. Xoxohthblaster 18:16, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Chicago, Michigan, Virginia, Penn, and Berkeley (Boalt) are in the top 10 in the latest 2006 rankings (called 2007 by US News). Duke was in the top ten from 1989-2001 and again in 2004. Cornell was in the top 10 in 1999, 2000, and 2003. Northwestern was in the top 10 from 2004-2005. Georgetown was in the top 10 in 1993. You are correct that I did not list each magazine's full citation, and instead chose to include a link to a tertiary source (the spreadsheet compilation in the footnotes) to ease reference. Since you are interested in "improving" this article and are so keenly interested in the top ten section, I would appreciate your help in getting direct citations to these issues. --Wikiwriter706 18:11, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Fine, then I won't oppose a list of the 14 schools that have been in the top 10. But I maintain that any discussion of the relevance of this concept beyond just pointing out that these schools have been in the top 10 at some point will be an unaceptable discussion of the non-notable top 14 concept. Xoxohthblaster 18:27, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Is it true or is it false that the US News Top ten has only had schools from a set 14 schools? John wesley 19:20, 19 April 2006 (UTC) ~
Did you read my comments? I agree that including this list is acceptable. However, any further meaning drawn from thefact that there have been 14 schools on this list may not be included unless supoorted by valid secondary source discussing the relevance of the concept of top 14 in the context of law school admissions. hth. Xoxohthblaster 19:32, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes this is true--the 14 schools are all those schools that have placed in the top 10 since the inception of the annual US News rankings (and which have never placed lower than any school outside the set).--Wikiwriter706 17:58, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Now that everyone's calmed down a bit, I would suggest including the list of 14 but removing any discussion as to their significance unless properly sourced. So far all we know is that these 14 schools have been in the top 10 list recently. Fagstein 19:35, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

That is exactly what I suggested. Go for it. Xoxohthblaster 19:46, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
These suggestions have been incorporated.--Wikiwriter706 17:55, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me less important that these schools have placed into the top ten over the years than that they have never placed out of the top fourteen. If say Georgetown or Northwestern had drifted between 11-14 for the entire duration of US News, it would not change the impact of these schools, nor the salience of the term. Further, I doubt many of the people who are familiar with the term would point to the fact that these schools were in the top 10 at some point as their defining characteristic, versus placement, selectivity, prestige, etcetera. I think it would be more relevant to label the section "top fourteen" and then note that, incidentially, these schools have all appeared in the top 10.

Article Cleanup[edit]

People interested in investing some time in this article could help with cleanup. The footnotes at the bottom have been placed as they were added so aren't quite in the right order. Some of the wording could be tinkered for better flow. Any help would be appreciated.--Wikiwriter706 17:55, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

The footnotes are very important, as in the next few days I will be checking each of them to assure that they support the assertions for which they are provided. Xoxohthblaster 19:14, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Please remember as I noted above that they are out of order, so the numbers of the footnotes don't necessariliy match up with the numbered list. The note/ref tags match up. As you work through them, your help reordering them would be appreciated.--Wikiwriter706 20:55, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I'll give you a few days to fix them, but it is not my reponsibility to do your research for you -- it is each editor's responsibility to verify his or her assertions when they are challenegd. Xoxohthblaster 23:11, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not talking about a lack of research, but rather a formatting issue that needs cleanup. As a newbie, I copied the ref style from another article...which happened to be the old footnote style. I've also made continuous efforts to add more footnotes. The result seems to be that the footnotes are out of order.--Wikiwriter706 00:19, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I believe you. That's why I haven't messed with the article and am going to give you awhile before I check your citations. I am really just trying to accomodate you here. Xoxohthblaster 00:26, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Impact of Law School Rankings[edit]

I dunno why somebody keeps removing this section and why I'm being chatised for including it. It's very relevant to the issue of law school rankings. I have included sources that indicate how big law firms often put emphasis more on a lawyer's educational pedigree and brand name school rather than the individual skills of attorneys. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:14, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

It has been removed because it is not based on reliable sources. There is one source cited in the 2-paragraph passage (this one), and its reliability is dubious. --Orlady (talk) 13:21, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Further, your citation did not prove the fact that more weight is given to the lawyer's "pedigree" and "school name" than the individual skills of attorneys. The source hinted that students with poor grades at a top-ranked law school will be given higher consideration than students with high grades at a lower-ranked law school. Couldn't it be that students with poor grades at a top law school actually have better skills than students with high grades at a lower-ranked law school? It certainly could. Therefore, even this dubious citation does not support your assertion. (talk) 20:40, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

If students with poor grades at a top law school have better skills, then why did they get poor grades? Why would a firm give consideration to a student with poor grades on their transcript? It's obvious that the only reason a top law firm would even consider a student with poor grades is the fact that the student attended an elite university. Obviously, pedigree is important to these top law firms and it's unfortunate--and downright stupid--that they'd rather hire a poor performing student from a top ranked law school than "take a chance" with a student from a lower ranked school who has proven to have superior grades and performance? Again, how does a student with poor grades from a top law school actually have better skills than students with high grades at a lower-ranked law school? That's about the most ridiculous assertion i heard. If they really had skills, they wouldn't have poor grades.
wouldn't it make sense that the associate at Latham even admits that pedigree and going to a brand name school matters to these top law firms and the expense of actual experience and skills? Only the legal profession is this elitist; whereas other fields, you're judged by more objectionable criteria such as performance, skills, and individual merit rather than the school you went to. Perhaps you're some T14 or XOXOHTH troll yourself, I don't know. But why deny the truth? (talk) 23:36, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what an XOXOHTH troll is, but I will respond to your inquiry. Why might a student with poor grades from a top law school have better skills than a student with better grades at a poor law school? Because grades are relative. You don't receive grades based on some objective standard, you receive grades relative to your classmates' abilities. If you are in school with classmates of generally-lower ability, it's easier to get good grades. Someone who gets a C at Columbia could, quite easily, turn out to be a more capable attorney than someone who gets an A- at a second or third-tier school. (talk) 05:28, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you're familar with law school, because frankly, the second or third tier law schools are just as competitive, probably more so than the elite schools. Second or third tier law schools are graded on a "curve" (like for example, a 3.0 or 2.8 curve). So that means that everybody has to fight very hard for these good grades, even just to get a B+. These students study and work very hard to earn these top grades and unlike the elite schools, there's no room for margin of error so if a student at a second or third tier law school even makes a slight mistake, it could cost them dearly in terms of grades.
Students at elite schools don't have that pressure. They are not graded on a curve, they are not graded relative to their classmates' abilities. Essentially, all you have to do at Harvard Law School is to show up, put on a good faith effort, and you'll at least get a B/B+, maybe even an A-. Yes, I know the elitists' argument that getting into a T14 law school is very much a challenge and that for that reason alone, they should be entitled to any good job they want because getting into a T14 law school shows they're brilliant and blah, blah, blah. But once you reach that challenge, it's easy street. You don't need to (nor do you really have an incentive) to work hard at a T14 school because they hand out As and Bs like candy. So if a Columbia student gets a C, that shows either he's really lazy or that maybe he's simply not capable of being a good lawyer.
I can't speak to every school, but when I attended NYU (class of '08) we most certainly were graded on a curve. One of my professors even had her grades sent back for failing to meet the mandatory grade distribution.2601:A:1781:9E7F:11CA:3C18:58E2:B480 (talk) 11:49, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not saying that second or third tier students who earn low grades make better lawyers; no, a C student at a poor law school will likely make a poor attorney. But due to the elitist nature of the profession, a C or D student for a T14 school still has a chance to earn a prestigious law firm job even though his grades are an indication that either he's lazy or that he's not capable of being a good attorney because it is even easier to earn good grades at an elite law school (due to the lack of a curve). (talk) 14:56, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I doubt you have any proof that top schools "hand out As and Bs like candy", but if you do I'd like to see it. Even when there is no strict curve enforced at higher ranked schools, you must admit that students are given grades relative to their classmates' abilities. Do you deny that professors are judging papers and exams relative to the others they receive? A student at a lower-ranked school is competing against weaker students than a student at a higher-ranked school. If you take a student who gets an A at a lower-ranked school and put him or her in a higher ranked school, there's an excellent chance she would get a lower grade. Since students are judged relative to their peers at their own schools, you cannot accurately judge students accross schools based on grades. Further, what does laziness in law school have to do with "skills as an attorney"? Couldn't it be that someone who doesn't apply him or herself in school will go on to make an excellent attorney when his or her clients' fates depend on it? (talk) 05:20, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Further, your discussion of elitism in the profession has no place in this entry. Wikipedia is a place for objective claims, not something nearly so subjective as a classification as of various professions' elitism. Even if it were a place for such subjectivity, this would be a discussion for an entry about the legal profession in general, not law school rankings. (talk) 05:30, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

UC Berkeley's law school's NEW name[edit]

Berkeley's law school has a new name, ladies and gentlemen. Let's try to stop erroneously editing it to include its old title, "Boalt". See , which quite clearly states: "Our official name is the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. With external audiences, we will use our official name in full or in one of two abbreviated forms: UC Berkeley School of Law or Berkeley Law." It goes on to state: "We will continue to use the name Boalt Hall with alumni and with the internal law school community." Quite clearly, Wikipedia is not for an audience of alumni, and it is not within the internal law school community. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ntp1 (talkcontribs) 01:56, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Sig. of SCOTUS Justices from T14s?[edit]

Under the common characteristics of T14s, we find this: "All current members serving on the Supreme Court graduated from one of these top schools." True. However, the current Justices actually graduated from 4 law schools, collectively: Harvard (5 Justices), Yale (2), Northwestern, and Columbia. To put it in historical perspective, the last time a Duke Law grad served on the Supreme Court was never. Same goes for Cornell, Georgetown, NYU, and Chicago. Northwestern's 1 Justice compares favorably with the one (Chief) Justice who graduated from what is now known as the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, MN.

In other words, this "criterion" for prestige is essentially nonsense, because it is not a defining feature of the T14, but is rather conspicuously present in the top 5 or so, and conspicuously absent from the other 9. I think this sentence should be removed. SS451 (talk) 18:34, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

question about U.S. News law school rankings[edit]

Why is there no tier 2 in the U.S. News rating system? (talk) 20:51, 1 October 2009 (UTC)


IP user edited the list of the top 14 law schools yesterday to include Washington State University and the University of Idaho at the expense of Berkeley and Virginia. (talk) 07:32, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Judging the Law School new rankings[edit]

Cooley's Judging the Law School rankings are updated. Cooley has moved themselves from 12th in the nation to 2nd. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Adding Statistics to the Rankings[edit]

Interested in making a table so that the top 14 list could be arranged in some sort of descending order. Should this be based on the US News rankings, acceptance percentage, tuition, or something else entirely? Info202ringhof (talk) 06:21, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Top 14 and new USN&WR rankings[edit]

I implore editors to more carefully consider how the old (outdated?) sources in this article that refer to the "Top 14" should be described, included, and summarized now that the actual top 14 institutions in the U.S. News & World Report rankings have changed. The premise of the "Top 14" has always been that while a few of them may shuffle into different spots the entirety of the top 14 institutions remains consistent. That's no longer the case with Georgetown dropping to 15 and Texas moving up to 14. So it's no longer accurate to describe the previous list of "Top 14" schools as the ones currently ranked in the top 14 or ones that have always been ranked in the top 14. However, the vast majority of the sources were written when those facts were true and include Georgetown. This leaves this article - and those who believe in the silliness of the "Top 14" and other ranking nonsense - in a real quandary when figuring out what to write about the "Top 14" and how to write it. Please do so carefully and correctly. ElKevbo (talk) 05:53, 20 March 2017 (UTC)