Law School Rankings, What Do They Mean?

l2So it’s another year and we are faced with another round of law school rankings from the so-called “experts.” The law school are virtually meaningless to the average student and should be largely ignored by you. Regrettably, if you are planning on applying to law school, you will have a very hard time ignoring the law school rankings. In fact, you will probably buy copies of every magazine, book, newsletter, or crayon drawing that purports to rank law schools in any way. And you’ll most likely pay much more attention to them than you ought to.

Law school rankings should be viewed with a certain amount of skepticism. These rankings are untrustworthy and mislead students into thinking they need to attend a highly ranked school or they will be second rate lawyers due to their “substandard” law school education. This is plainly not true. Many schools have now decided not to cooperate with the publishers who compile these rankings, despite the massive pressure they have to not only participated, but to inflate their data in order to appear more attractive to prospective students.

What you will eventually learn, whether you go to Harvard Law School, or a night law school in your local city, is that the legal instruction you will receive will be significantly the same – regardless of which law school you attend. In addition, within five years of your graduation from law school, practically no one – including employers, colleagues, judges, and most significantly clients – will be concerned at all where you went to law school.

All of that being true, you should consider all varieties of items other than law school rankings when deciding where to go to law school. More important considerations include cost, appeal of the location, weather, where you want to live after law school, the social landscape, and the courses offered. Then, if you are still undecided consider law school rankings.

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