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NLJ's misleading law-school ranking

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The National Law Journal ranks law schools by the percentage of graduates who end up in BigLaw jobs right out of law school, but the computation is misleading. For example, I had an offer to join Kirkland & Ellis out of law school, but also for a one-year clerkship with a federal judge. That clerkship was plainly more competitive than a BigLaw offer; K&E even gave me financial incentives to defer starting for them so I could have the clerkship. But I wouldn't have been counted in the NLJ employment statistics, reducing the score of my law school. For schools like Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and Chicago, large percentages of students could have BigLaw offers if they chose, but instead take jobs that are tougher to get, often more prestigious, and often would not preclude (and often would even help) a BigLaw career. A better study would provide those percentages of graduates as well. Prospective law students should not think that Penn provides twice the opportunity of a Yale: many Penn grads are in BigLaw because they could not get the clerkships and DOJ fellowships that other law school graduates are receiving.

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

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