Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Ranking of Law Schools

The National Law Journal has ranked the top 50 law schools by the percentage of JD grads who took jobs with the nation’s 250 largest firms. It also identifies the schools where these firms recruited the most graduates and where the most alumni were promoted to partner.

The Go-To Law Schools
The 50 law schools with the highest percentage of graduates who go on to NLJ 250 firms.

Firm Favorites
The schools that top NLJ 250 firms relied upon most to supply first-year associates.

Associates Promoted to Partner
Law schools that saw the most alumni promoted to partner in 2011.

Here’s another link.

I’m not sure we need another ranking. The success of a school’s ranking here depends on a number of factors including the culture of the law school, the location of the law firm, and the reputation of a school among law firms when that reputation may be out-of-date. The importance of this ranking also depends on whether you think getting a job with a megafirm is the goal of all law students.



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I actually think this ranking is harmful, for the reason you suggest: not all law students want to go to mega-law firms. In fact, I think most law students do not want to do that, and would be happier not doing that. Rankings like this just play to the stereotype that "success" in law is defined by how much money you make (since mega-law firms pay the most).

I think for most lawyers, success can be defined by the clients they help. Most of the happiest lawyers I knew in practice worked in smaller firms, with lots of direct client contact. They could see the tangible results of their efforts in other people's lives. They were not the richest lawyers in town; most of the time they struggled to make ends meet. But they had the highest job satisfaction. Let's find a way to measure that!

Posted by: Ken Chestek | Mar 1, 2012 7:24:37 AM

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