Tuesday, January 5, 2010
One law school finds success by saying "nuts" to USNWR rankings and instead preparing students for practice
To paraphrase a famous line from The Graduate: "I want to say one word to you. Just one word: Skills! [not 'plastics']." With the job market in shambles (some sectors might get worse still) and with more law schools in the planning stages, the North Carolina Central University School of Law is taking an approach that other fourth, third and perhaps even second tier schools might follow. As the Legal Blog Watch reports, NCCU is saying "nuts" to the USNWR rankings by focusing instead on preparing students for the practice of law by emphasizing skills training. So far the formula seems to be working as evidence by the school's recent Princeton Review ranking (which solicits student opinion about several aspects of campus life) as well as being named the best value in legal education by Pre-Law Magazine.
To the extent competition for law school tuition dollars gets fierce in the years ahead, the elite schools will continue to care about USNWR rankings while lesser ranked schools may decide to avoid the fray in favor of finding alternative ways to distinguish themselves to students.
I am the scholarship dude.