Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Is the IRS Applying Moneyball Principles in its Hiring of Law Students?

Over at TaxProf Blog, I covered today's fascinating Wall Street Journal story on how the IRS has ramped up its recruiting efforts to attract the best and the brightest law students (It's Taxing to Recruit Top Law Grads To IRS, but a New Push Betters Returns). The article notes that "the IRS has 1,500 applicants so far for the 50 spots it wants to fill over the next 12 months." It appears that the IRS is focusing more on the ranking of the applicant's law school rather than on the applicant's performance in law school:
For decades, the IRS, employer of 1,500 lawyers, failed to draw freshly scrubbed graduates from the country's top law schools....

A wave of new graduates from law schools at Yale, New York University and the University of Southern California begin work next month, the first stream of new lawyers from those top-tier schools to join the IRS in years.

Would the IRS be better served recruiting students at the top of the class at a non-elite school rather than a student at the bottom of the class at an elite school?


Blogger Kevin Wells said...

Sadly, the article is subscribers only...

Your quote mentions Yale, NYU, and USC... How far does "top tier" extend backwards? ...because I might have to stop studying and just relax.

But in all honesty, I think that's a really good point. I have thought that a lot of the people who didn't get into top-tier law schools have the work ethic and aptitude to do the work just as well (if not better) than those at the higher ranked law schools. If you're at the top of the class at a "lower tier" school, then you're most likely in better shape than someone at the bottom of the top schools, because a great LSAT, (some people are just good at standardized tests) combined with an easy undergrad (and subsequent high GPA) don't necessarily combine to make a great law student...

10/11/2006 9:08 AM  

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