Thursday, November 19, 2009
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
Or something like that. To pile on top of what Alan has to say, what I mean to say is the seeking of publicity for the sake of publicity. And I say that as somebody who was a Super Lawyer in Indiana back in 2004 or so. For whatever the hell that's worth (see certificate suitable for framing below). Just make a ranking (or pull off a hoax) and get your fifteen minutes.
Geez, another magazine wants to get in on the rankings game by measuring schools by how many Super Lawyers went to the school. Yes, as Brian Leiter and others point out, it has most to do with size. There's another problem (or bias). Super Lawyers are overwhelmingly lawyers in the private sector, practicing in law firms, the primary reason for which is that if you are named a Super Lawyer, you have the opportunity, provided to you by the publisher, to purchase advertising space in the magazine! Something which of course is of little use to judges, academics, government lawyers, in-house lawyers, and people with law degrees who don't practice law. (For the record, there is a category for in-house lawyers, and that was mine. I was one of four in-house lawyers, of the bazillion lawyers in Indiana so honored, and no doubt because one of the lawyers at one of the big firms to whom we referred multi-hundreds of thousands of dollars of work nominated me. That's not to say she didn't admire my skills and my charming personality, but somehow I don't think she would have nominated me on stellar reputation alone. The point is somebody had to go out of her way even to get an in-house person nominated.)
Not that I feel sorry for Yale (or Stanford, my poorly ranked alma mater) but if you put a disproportionate number of your graduates into non-private practice pursuits, you are going to get dinged.
Oh, and by the way, my current employer, the Suffolk University Law School, ranked 33.