Saturday, August 09, 2008

Why Bother?

A great deal of attention is focused on the USN&WR rankings of JD programs. Whatever errors exist in those ranking pale in comparison to the LLM rankings. The last time I checked, LLM rankings were 100% reputation -- no accounting for LSAT of students, law school GPAs, rank of JD program of applicants, number of applicants, acceptance rate, etc. Plus the whole idea of ranking LLMs seems a bit odd to me. I know it means someone gets a diploma for doing a certain amount of work but it most definitely is not a ranking of the faculty who teach in the program. For example, The University of St. Jack may have an LLM in Restitution and Elder law and I assume being the only one means the rank is number 1. Dozens of other schools may have better faculty in the area depending on how they are assessed.

And think about it, since St. Jacks is number 1 and, no doubt, will publicize it widely, grads of St. Jacks may get teaching and other jobs. And my hunch is that St. Jack's grads, as specialists in Elder Law and Restitution are the ones who will asked by USN&WR to rank programs in that area. Even if a new program pops up that is better, which one do you think they vote for? In fact, if they are strategic, if asked to rank they know to rank only one and leave the rest blank to avoid even a half vote for a rival.

Why does USN&WR bother?


Anonymous Matt said...

Are LSAT scores required for LLM applications? I have no idea so am honestly asking here. Is it the same for foreign and "domestic" LLM applications?

8/11/2008 3:25 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey Harrison said...

I do not know if the lsat score is considered. You could check various web sites, I suppose. Of course virtually every USA law grad would have one and I think knowing something, anything, about the student body would be better than a poll of the people who will vote for their own schools.

8/11/2008 3:46 PM  

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